A once-in-a-life-time chance
Hello padel people!
Yes… I am still walking on cloud nine after the Vilsharäd Padel Masters. I was given, or actually, I TOOK a once-in-a-life-time chance to get to know one of the best padel players in the world, Lucia Sainz, up close — both on and off court. The icing on the cake was that we won the tournament together and I received the best prize money I’ve ever received and probably will ever receive. So, let’s just say I would be happy if I had to retire right here and now and go straight to padel heaven. #grateful
Many people asked how we knew each other, how we met, have we played together, were we friends — like why in the h*ll is the No. 3 in the world playing with little me? Well, I met and briefly spoke to Lucia at the WPT Monaco and at the World Championships Portugal in 2016 and learned that her English was perfect with a little touch of American and that she would be interested in coming to Sweden to promote Nox sometime. And, I don’t really remember whose idea it was, but in the Fall of 2017, I do remember kidding around with my Nox sponsors about “borrowing” one of the Spanish stars since I had just lost a long-term partner. We kept in touch and originally planned
for a promotional weekend with clinics/exhibitions, but Vilsharäd Padel Masters happened to fit perfectly into our summer schedules, and the joke about playing with a star turned into a reality.
Just four days before she arrived, I rolled off of an airplane from the USA — jet-lagged and a little more “fluffy” than usual from breakfast burritos, cheesecake and three and a half weeks of road tripping on the West Coast. So, obviously I was a bit nervous.
For one, although I was active and I tried squeezing in workouts during the trip, I was not exactly in tip-top shape. During our match against Svedenhov and Arvidsson, I was especially nervous.
It was just one of those matches I really didn’t want to lose and if I did lose, I couldn’t really blame it on my partner, right? I was also still adjusting to having Lucia by my side and in between points I was panting like a dog. Lucia asked, “Are you OK? Is it your condition?”
Even though that could have been the problem since I lived on American junk food for the past month and Anna and Sofia played 90% of their shots on me #movingtarget. I replied that I was mostly just nervous. She was relieved that it wasn’t pure fatigue, because if it was, we would have been in deep trouble. So, she just reminded me throughout the match to make sure to breath.
Two, I didn’t touch a padel racket during my holiday since padel is almost non-existent over there.
Funny, I found myself walking down the boulevard in Las Vegas making a bandeja motion in the air and had to stop myself #freak
Three, I was to spend three full days with a WPT star. What would we talk about? What does she like to eat? Will she be a diva? #starstruck #staycool Although she plays padel like a bad-ass goddess, she proved to be a very considerate, down-to-earth and easy-going person which made my weekend all the more enjoyable. #ihaveagirlcrush
Four, I was to compete with her while she would watch my every move from the backhand side. I told her she was free to give as much feedback to me as she wanted. And believe me, it started raining feedback! It was of course exactly what I need and exactly what I asked for, but it was
definitely a challenge to take it all in, try to adjust and also still play my game and do what I can do best. Luckily, in the final, I felt a better flow between us and in my own game. As far as what tips she gave me, I’m still negotiating with her as to whether I am allowed to reveal them. Maybe in my next post, I’ll be able to share ;)
Now, I need to go pack my bag again but this time for National Team Training and the Swedish Padel Open. Hope to see all of you padel lovers in Båstad!!!
P.S. A big thanks goes to Robert Von Scheele, Per Boström and his Vilsharäd team, the weather gods and most importantly, Lucia for giving me a padel weekend to remember.
In 2016, at WPT Monaco with Lucia and her partner Gemma Triay
Saturday — waiting patiently with Swedish Champs for our semis match to be announced
Groupie with Helena and Marta after the finals