Arantxa Rus's tennis career can be divided into three very different parts: entry into the top100, fall to hell and glorious comeback. The first came very fast, the second was longer than due and the third could only be carried out with the help of a perfect director for the script.
Rus' biggest singles successes to date are a second-round upset over world No. 2 Kim Clijsters at the 2011 French Open, saving two match points in the second set, reaching the fourth round at the 2012 French Open, and defeating world No.
5 Samantha Stosur in the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. The 29-year-old Dutch tennis player, currently number 93 in the ranking, reviewed her entire story on the 'Behind the racquet' blog, from the beginning to a sweet present: “I grew up in the Netherlands close to Hague.
I started to play tennis when I was about five or six years old. I had an older sister who brought me to the tennis club with her one day. I played other sports but it was never the same feeling as tennis. I enjoyed it more than others so I knew it was the one I would choose.
I started playing tournaments around nine or ten, and I was good at just playing for fun and enjoying the competition. At seventeen I finished school and began traveling outside of home with a group of other players. It isn’t an easy decision for people to choose whether to continue to study or play full time.
For me it wasn’t even a thought, I needed to play, practice and see how far I could move up the rankings. Coming from a Jr. Grand Slam title in Australia, I was confident in how I would do on tour. I moved up really quickly to the top 100 but then had a few difficult years where my ranking dropped.
It’s a tough battle when you begin to lose to people who you have beaten and then you begin to have no confidence. I wasn’t used to losing over and over like this. I began to feel a new pressure where I felt the need to stop playing tennis.
I somehow managed to keep going. During that year where I pushed through, I learned a lot about myself. I was fighting the idea that I wasn’t good enough. Once you fall outside the top 100 for a few years, you know you can do better but you just aren’t sure if you are able to.
I was just not believing in myself. I was fortunate to have parents that always supported me but I didn’t have a coach I trusted to help me through this. As you get older you start to overthink far more than you did when you were younger and were just easily pushing forward.
I knew I needed a change and I switched coaches after five years of having the same one. I had no guidance if it was the right decision but I felt that I needed to do everything completely different. I had to do the opposite of what I was already doing for the past five years or so.
I was questioning it along the way for the first few months because I didn’t see any results. To completely change countries for training and still not see results makes you question everything. After about four months, my coach and I finally connected, just had to get used to the way he worked.
He was really straight forward with the way he spoke to me, right to my face, which I now know is what I actually needed. You have to fight every day to get into the top 100. You worry about so many things, like travel and paying for a coach that it is tough to focus on tennis. My coach helped me get my confidence back, but not everyone is as lucky”.