This pandemic has created a state of lockdown for most countries — we all have to deal with it. What is most important is that we all stay disciplined and take the right precautions to keep our families and each other safe. We have to stay home.
During this stretch, I’ve been trying to educate myself and trying to learn. It’s a crazy time, but I also see it as an opportunity. I know this may last pretty long, so that will give me a chance to familiarise myself with new things. Travelling the world playing tennis, it’s not always easy to find time to do so. But now I see this as opportunity to expand and grow in different ways.
I’ve never been 100 per cent dependent on tennis. Of course it’s my job, and I get to do it for a living, but I’ve always had a Plan B and a Plan C of things that I want to do outside tennis and those have been working pretty well. I can’t play tennis right now, but I can still do other things.
Most importantly, I want to occupy my brain. I want to learn a new language and improve my cooking. There are plenty of YouTube videos to help with that. Some people know that I have a special Instagram channel @stevethehawk, which I am trying my best to upgrade, as well as my different social media channels. I also try to experiment with new ways to edit my YouTube videos to keep you entertained.
It’s a different and difficult time for everyone. There are no goals on the tennis side that I’m currently chasing after. Everything is on pause, and I’m trying to enjoy every single day despite that. I know I’m probably going to have the opportunity to continue chasing my tennis dreams in the future, so I’m just trying to get the best out of this time and wake up every day feeling happy that I don’t have any responsibilities. Of course I miss the competition, that is for sure. But you can always see the bright side.
Obviously you want to be outdoors sometimes and you want to connect with people, but this is not the time for us to go places and visit others. I’m realising how much I depend on being social. I didn’t really understand that all these years.
You’re used to a tempo where you get to do things and see certain people on a regular basis. As tennis players we travel throughout the world, but we always see the other players, coaches and others. You’re used to something going on all the time and when you cut that, it just feels sort of weird that you’re not on the same scale and things are not happening the way they always did.
It’s really nice to be with my father on the road, but I don’t get to see my entire family that often. Spending quality time with them has been great. It’s nice that we’re all united. We all came together and we’re just trying to do things together and be a family. It gives us a chance to connect and have quality time together. That’s really important. I’m trying to stay in touch with my friends as well. Obviously in many countries, it’s no different.
[TENNIS AT HOME]
In some countries, it’s worse than others. But I believe technology helps a lot these days. It lets us connect with people more and at the end of the day you do realise how much of an effect that has in our lives. We could talk on the phone, video chat and more.
Here at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, we almost exclusively stay inside. Luckily, because this is a protected area with a huge forest, we are able to go for walks from time to time and enjoy the space in nature. There are no people around, so that’s good. It’s very quiet and a good place to be.
Of course we stay at home and do all of our fitness sessions just to stay fit and in shape. Our family plays games together, watches movies and even cooks together. It’s actually pretty slow-paced.
It’s not easy to stay at home all day and do nothing. There are things you do want to do outside your household, it’s very understandable. I’m an active person, I’ve always been an outdoors person growing up in Greece where there is a lot of good weather. Most of us were outdoors all day long. But it’s important to understand what’s going on right now. We haven’t dealt with something like this in our lifetimes.
I do believe we need to take these precautions and just be careful in general and try to stick with the government’s plans. At this crucial time it’s important for the entire world to stick together and do what we have to in order to help create a more promising future for ourselves in the next couple months. This is something we need to take very, very seriously. Stay safe everyone!
– as told to Andrew Eichenholz
Source: ATP World Tour