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A wonderful experience to be remembered

Rewind to last Saturday night, I’m wearing a bright floral summer dress, taking groupies with Lamperti and Lebron in the hotel lobby while they’re debating whether they should play the World Championship final or not, later eating at a Paraguayan steakhouse buffet and then clinking celebratory drinks with Team Sweden at local night club. #igotafeeling #itsbananas 

 

Now, fast forward to the following Saturday. I’m wearing my most worn-out gray sweats with a tinge of jetlag and the beginning of a cold tucked under down covers hiding in my bedroom with my 10 year-old while my 19 year-old throws a surprise party for my 17 year-old. #siblinglove #familylife #backtoreality

 

I’m not at all feeling sorry for myself, but like to make fun of the contrasts. I am happy to be home and to have had time to marinate all of the impressions and happenings in Asunción, but I won’t draw too many conclusions about the performance of the team nor the success of the tournament since all of that has already been written about. Overall, it was definitely a wonderful experience to be remembered. Since there’s far too much to write about, I’ll try to keep it simple and leave you with a list of highlights.

 

Unsung Heroes

Lucky for us, Emmie Ekdahl brought her physiotherapist mom Lena Rydqvist to Asunción meaning that Team Sweden had its own personal physio team. We got special treatment — whether it was a simple taping or a deep massage — at our beck and call, which kept us in shape for all those long hours on the court.

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Physiotherapist Lena Rydqvist helped the swedish players to be fit for fight.

 

Stars in Da House

Not only was it a privilege actually participating in the same tournament as the WPT pros, we also happened to stay at the same hotel. There is nothing better that getting a good morning “hola” from Juan Martin Diaz at breakfast, Lucia Sainz looking over your shoulder in the lobby asking about the rules of our late-night card game, or even hearing Stupa sing along to Spanish rap in the room next-door… #neighbors #stillstarstruck #nevergetsold #idontwannagrowup

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The spansh superstars stayed at the same hotel.

 

The Rookies

What can I say other than I am impressed with the 2018 rookies on both the women’s and men’s side. Of course, I had a closer look at the ladies and I really admire their mental toughness on the court and their compassion off the court. #idontlikeit #iloveitloveitloveit #talent #nodivashere #teamplayers #brightfuture #2020watchout

 

Mangos Mangos Mangos

Trays and trays of fresh mango every morning #breakfastdeluxe #enoughsaid 

 

Team Manager/“El Presidente”

Novy Karlsson rocked both roles with ease. We mostly experienced him as Team Manager and he definitely managed to think of all the small details. He made sure we were rested, had lots of water to drink, ate properly and had smiles are our faces from the first step we took off the bus in Asunción to the minute we checked our bags to Sweden at the airport. #effortlesseffort #boss

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Novy Karlsson

 

Dynamic Duo

Coaches Dani Dios and Andréas Johansson were the perfect combination. Dani provided us with the Spanish flare and kept us laughing even when telling us we’re all psychopaths that hit too hard. #hestillovesus while Andréas provided us with the more politically correct Swede who kept us calm, in line and well informed. Whether it was Dani or Andréas at side changes, I felt full support. They both gave solid advice for tactics and kept us motivated while under pressure. I hope to be able to apply what I learned from them and look forward to even more from them #respect. Although the question still remains… How do we “psychopaths” in Sweden learn how to play true padel when we are surrounded by “psychopaths”?  #workworkworkworkwork

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Andréas Johansson and Dani Dios - the dynamic duo.

 

South America

The most south I’ve ever come to visiting this continent was going to college in Texas #notevenclose, so I’m very grateful that padel has given me the opportunity to see another part of the world #travel #experience. Some of us squeezed in an informative tour of the city and got to see some of the nicer areas, but most exciting was the bridge between the two padel arenas. A fall from it would not only cause some broken bones, I’m pretty sure the water at the bottom could transmit some minor diseases. I got to walk it a couple times and I was humming the Indiana Jones theme song the whole way. #theonlythingmissingwasssomesnakes

 

Oldies but goodies

During the normal season, I’m usually having cross-court battles with forehand rival Anna Svedenhov. In Asunción, we, the two “oldies” #barreswords #truedat of the gang got the chance to join forces. Last time was in Portugal at the European Championships when we lost a nerve-racking three-setter against Italy. This time was against Team USA which had improved a great deal since I last saw them in 2014. Their team consisted of solid players — a couple ladies from Spain and also a former tennis player that I actually competed against/with when I was a junior in the states #smallworld. Anyhow, this match was yet another nerve-racking three-setter, but Anna and I managed to win our match this time which felt pretty sweet.

 

Trooper of the Week 

In general, the men had tougher schedules and conditions than the ladies, but they managed very well without any complaining. The one that stands out the most was Pierre Bonfré who fell hard to food poisoning and spent many hours losing any nutrients and fluids left in his body after tough matches in the tropical heat. Despite the physical stress and being benched from match time, he bounced back without any whining and wore a big smile while cheering us on from the sidelines.  

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Pierre Bonfré.

Sweden vs Mexico

I was happy to hear that the assistant team captain described the women’s match against Mexico as electrifying #greaselightning because I had the same feeling. It was filled with three-setters, pumping fists, untouchable bandejas and back-spin lobs #unfortunatelynotfromus, power outages, top-of-your-lung screams of joy, high-fives through the fence and even a close-to-ambulance situation #matilda #ranforasmash #tooknosediveintothenet #sheisfine #sheisbadass. Although Sweden lost the team match and Ebba and I lost ours, it will be a night to remember for all of us, but especially for me since I felt Ebba and I had the best flow we’ve ever had. And don’t forget that padel was invented many years ago in Mexico and we were oh. so. close. #nexttime

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So, yet another championship has passed and I’m even more fascinated with padel and Team Sweden #gratefulforeveryyear. Check out my Facebook page for some clips of our little adventures in Asunción. 

Antonette

 

 

 

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