He has been around the world several times, but the memories from the cities happen to be from the large number of hotel rooms more than from the actual destinations. Robert Lindstedt dreams of seeing the beaches of Thailand.
Wake up, breakfast, practice, fitness, practice, treatment, dinner and then to bed. Add a small amount of free time and a big dose of “hotel time”.
That is pretty much the typical day of a tennis professional, if you ask Swedish Robert Lindstedt. And it does not change whether you are in Bangkok, Beijing or Brisbane.
As last week ended, so did the tennis tournament Thailand Open. Robert Lindstedt, who in May was ranked as number 3 and has played Wimbledon finals the past three years, lost early and like all competitive athletes that did not appeal to him.
“There is nothing I hate more than losing, but that’s how it is in tennis. Every week there is only one winner and the rest of us are losers. Everybody has to get used to that,” Robert Lindstedt states, not further marked by the defeat.
“I did play good but I did not win. I feel that we were the better team, but that is what happens sometimes. I have tried being the worse team before and still win the match” he adds.
Losing early also means more time to spend outside the tennis court. Nice, some might think, but free time for a tennis professional in Bangkok is not equal to get seated in a tuk-tuk and enjoy the city as a tourist.
“However after many years of playing the cities have just become surroundings. Somehow you become numb to where you are. When I travel to play I never ever have a list of things I want to do and see. I just stay inside the hotel room and focus on what I do,” Robert Lindstedt says.
The Swedish tennis professional has been pretty much everywhere in the world attending one tournament after another. Just to mention a few the cycles of the tennis year includes the US, Australia, Asia and then of course the famous grass court of Wimbledon in the UK. Tough it is not a 9-5 job, it is a job more than anything else for Robert Lindstedt.
“It’s a job, but the special thing about my job is that the office is always different, in different countries,” he says and adds:
“I hope that when they day comes and I quit from tennis and if I take vacation I will finally have time to see the cities I have been to and see something I didn’t see before. I really want to go and see the beautifull beaches here in Thailand. It’s a very Swedish thing to do, and I want to do that too.”
Robert Lindstedt feels privileged about his job, but emphasizes that it can be a rough job to be a sport athlete. Especially at this time of the year where the end of the season is approaching and the players are tired both physically and mentally.
“It is tough for your social life. Of course I miss my friends and my family, and you actually have to numb yourself a little bit and not let your feelings take over,” he says.
In addition to that Robert Lindstedt considers himself as a true Viking, with a heart very close connected to Sweden and Swedish culture. That makes it especially tough for him to be apart from his relatives during Midsummer, which is one of the biggest celebrations in Sweden.
To keep his family and friends updated on his touring around the world, he has made a blog. It started out as a fun thing “with a bunch of friends” as he tells, but after a while he found that the blog was a good tool, both as a way of killing a lot of hotel time and as a way out of telling the same story over and over again to his relatives. But also for a third reason.
“It is a very good tool to promote and defend yourself, I think. Both if the press writes things about you, you want to comment, and if the media reads the blog they can be more up to date when they call me,” he says, stressing that the promotion part of the blog is not to be snezzed at.
“We athletes have a short lifespan, so all promotion is good promotion, even if you do it yourself,” he notes.
You can follow Robert Lindstedt on his blog www.RobertLindstedt.com, follow link here.
ScandAsia met Robert Lindstedt at hotel Intercontinental in Bangkok on Thursday 26 September, where he had checked in together with the rest of his tennis colleagues. Already the day after on Friday 27 September he left Bangkok to attend another tournament in Beijing.