by Krista Lyn White, WSO sports mentor
Smiles are contagious. And if you look at Alicja Rosolska’s ranking, they should be a part of every player’s daily routine. Smiles don’t cost anything, except maybe the effort to forget the mistakes, forget the losses and to remember that your tennis game should be enjoyed not perfected. While Alicja isn’t opposed to perfection in her game; it’s what all professionals want. She’s just not a slave to perfection. She’s got other things that make her smile, and that has made all the difference.
— Krista Lyn White, WSO sports mentor
Alicja: My first racquet was a plastic racquet for kids. I remember I really enjoyed playing with it. I think it was a gift from my parents.
Every Sunday my sister and me and my parents would play doubles. When we got older, my sister and I would play together against my parents. But we were always losing, but it was always fun. After church we would go to the courts. Sometimes we played before church. It just depended on when we got the court time. It was always a really nice time together.
I’ve always wanted my family to come with me on the tour because before this tournament [US Open] none of them ever got to travel with me. As junior players, we never had sponsors, so it was really expensive to travel, and I had to travel by myself or just with a coach. And even after I got a sponsor, I still had to be careful about money. But when I started coming to the bigger tournaments, and seeing all the other players with family and physios and coaches, I wanted to have my family with me to see me play. And so it’s great that my sister could come with me now to New York, to the states to be with me. It’s nice for her, too, to see New York and experience the US Open.
When we were younger, we never thought that some of us [Polish juniors] could play professional tennis. We were just enjoying. And I am not sure how it came about that I started playing professional tennis. I was just all the time enjoying, enjoying.
So, yeah, I think it is good for you to have someone from the family with you. But it also depends on the person. Because when I was playing my first tournaments, I was traveling with the coaches. And when my parents came to watch me, I got more stressed. I could feel their stress because they really wanted me to win the match. My mom could see my reaction on court, and then she was feeling more stressed. So sometimes it depends on the player. If the parents are calm, then it is good for the player. But I have seen so many times, when the parents are screaming at the player, or they are fighting, or not handling the stress well, then it is not so good that a player travels with their parents.
I think education is really important to life. Because on tour a player’s life is going very fast, I don’t feel like I am really twenty-eight. I feel like I am twenty. We travel so much and to different countries and then at the end of the season, suddenly one year has passed. And when you have other stuff in your life like studying you can see outside of this tennis world.