Mladenovic diary: Lessons can be learned from defeat

Kristina Mladenovic 19:21 20/02/2016
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  • Mladenovic and partner Garcia were beaten by Chuang and Jurak in the doubles final.

    Defeat is something you constantly have to learn to deal with in tennis.

    Except for those champions like Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic who have a few losses that they can count on one hand or two, for all the other players it’s very rare to finish a week unbeatable, meaning that you won the tournament.

    It’s never easy to get over a loss, I’m of course always disappointed because I’m a big competitor and I want to win but then you try to be humble and calm and take everything as a great lesson. Think about what worked, what didn’t work…

    My coaches always told me that my biggest quality is that I’m a very hard worker. Even after the toughest loss I always go on court the next day, from the first hour and go and practice. Sometimes, that feeling happen to me straight after a match so I go and practice.

    I have some friends on tour, players that are so down the next day after a loss that they’re just lazy and they don’t want to do anything. I’m a big hard worker and I’ve always believed that in order to achieve something, hard work always pays off.

    I just try to take it as a great lesson, that’s always what we say. Sometimes you can learn even more from a loss than a win. And you can really feel, if you’re concentrated and focused on that, it can help when you come back in a similar situation and position to remember ‘okay, I did that, at the time it was wrong’.

    You just need to move on, and try to work and keep believing and working, it’s never easy but on the other hand what I’ve always been told is that I’m quite mature in that – at the end of the day, I’m the happiest because I can play and compete and be there and have a second chance the next week.

    I was so badly injured when I was younger that I still have in my mind that time when I was forced not to play and I wished I could go out there every week, even if I lost, at least I could still compete.

    So of course I’m disappointed that I lost because everybody wants to win but at the end of the day I feel there are things that are much worse in life than losing a match.

    I’m doing my job that I love and in tennis every week you have a new opportunity to prove, to improve, to enjoy. I feel like it’s just a tennis match and I’m living off my passion, it’s my job. That’s not going to affect how I’m going to sleep at night.

    Of course I’m a professional competitor and there are some nights where it’s more difficult to accept and tougher to sleep because you’re thinking about the match, what changed the momentum, what were the turning points… but there are much more important things in life outside tennis and at the end of the day it’s a job like any other job. It’s true it’s difficult mentally because it’s a sport and there are wins and there are losses but at the end of the day it’s a job and you say it was a bad day at the office.

    The rain on Wednesday made things very difficult for us in terms of the schedule.

    Can you imagine I got off the court after 1:00am? I have to be honest and say that none of us on tour practice or hit at midnight or 1:00am. And that day we had only me and Coco, and Kvitova and Brengle – who finished before us – when I finished, when I went off court, it was like 1:15am. This is ridiculous.

    That’s why this sport is crazy because we would never practice at that time, our bodies aren’t used to this. That’s why I admire us, that we managed to be so competitive and put such a quality game out there.