Tennis - Serbian tennis player Aleksandra Krunic is the latest player to speak about the struggles on the tennis circuit in the Behind the Racquet series. Krunic decided to take a break from the tennis circuit in March and spoke about some of the reasons for the same in her latest post on the series.
Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic on how she lost her identity while competing on the tennis circuit
The Behind the Racquet series has been launched by American tennis player Noah Rubin, where several players have chronicled their on-court and off-court journies on the professional circuit.
27 year old Krunic is the latest player to do so, where she says it would help if everyone took the sport a little less seriously and says that the tour is a tough place since everyone sees the other players as an enemy. Krunic is not the first player to talk about the loneliness and the competitive spirit on the tour.
In a recent post on Behind the Racquet, current World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas also spoke about how he thought he would make a lot of friends on the tour but his experience turned out to be the opposite as everyone kept to themselves, adding that it would be better if players took the sport a little less seriously.
Several other players have also spoke about the same in their posts on the Behind the Racquet series. Below is the link to Krunic's post on the Instagram account of Behind the Racquet, where you can also find the posts by other players.
Aleksandra Krunic has won one singles title and four doubles titles on the WTA Tour.
“Once money, agents and everything else got involved I lost focus. All of 2019 I was asking myself questions, ‘Do I want this? Is it my dream or everyone else’s around me? I am a very intuitive person and I feel like everyone’s opinion got in the way of my own intuition and confidence.
At some point I guess I started to believe that everyone else knew better than I did and the idea that without a coach you are screwed; you have no chance. I found out that this is all an illusion. We all need some sort of structure, some more or less freedom than others. Within all of this it is very important to not lose yourself and to be true to your essence.
We all have very different and interesting personalities but it is becoming tougher and tougher to express them on tour. You get this feeling that nobody cares who you really are, only what you can do for them. It has been an ongoing struggle for me to get used to this environment while doing my best to stay true to my beliefs and values.
We as players all have similar problems and struggles and if we were all a bit more relaxed, helpful and took tennis a bit ‘less serious’, it would benefit everyone. Being on tour for over 10 months a year is really difficult especially when you are supposed to think everyone around you is an enemy.
For most people, not all, we are somewhat of a project for others and it’s tough to separate your true identity from that. These were all the reasons I decided to take a break from tennis from March on, eventually we were all forced to stop, and basically spend time alone with myself, away from other opinions.
I wanted to get rid of all the crap that was implemented in my career and learn to acknowledge positive things about myself, which no one taught me. I am learning to find my own place in tennis with my own ambitions and expectations, without being influenced by anyone.
That’s my ultimate goal: To judge myself by who I am as a person, not by the matches I win. To find who I really am in this journey and to be okay with whatever answer I find”. @alexkrunic #BTR Go to behindtheracquet.com for extended stories, podcasts & merch.
In June 2018, she reached her best singles rankings of world No. 39 and in April 2017, she peaked at No. 43 in the doubles rankings. She is currently ranked No. 218 in singles and No. 57 in doubles. Her best performance at the Grand Slams came when she reached the fourth round of the US Open in singles in 2014 and the third round at Wimbledon in 2015.
She has won over $2.6 million in career prize money. She has scored wins over Garbiñe Muguruza, Petra Kvitová, Jeļena Ostapenko, Elina Svitolina, Johanna Konta, CoCo Vandeweghe, Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci, Madison Keys, Ekaterina Makarova, Timea Bacsinszky, Kimiko Date, Francesca Schiavone, Daniela Hantuchová.and Caroline Garcia during her career. She has also been a member of the WTA Players Council. She has a 14-9 record while playing for Serbia in the Fed Cup.