Richard Krajicek: 'Injuries make you stronger'
Injury will prevent talented young tennis player Tim van Rijthoven from competing at Wimbledon. His mentor Richard Krajicek does not believe that this is a bad thing.
At the start of the season expectations were high: 18-year-old Tim van Rijthoven had a fair chance of winning the junior title at Wimbledon. In 2014 he surprised everyone by reaching the quarter finals at the junior tournament of the Grand Slam, and with Richard Krajicek as his mentor he was looking at the possibility of seizing the title on the hallowed grass.
Unfortunately these plans have been disrupted by an injury to Tim’s elbow, which prevents him from competing in London this year. Nevertheless his mentor’s advice is proving very useful now. ‘Tim and I are staying in touch right now. I know all about what it means to be sitting at home while great tournaments are being played,’ says Richard, who suffered various injuries of his own in his career. Moral support is not all that matters now, though. The focus has shifted more than to the future. ‘The most important thing that I’ve learned about injuries is that you must always make sure that you come back stronger than before. Of course there are things that you can’t do, but then you can work much harder in other areas. For example, Tim can now focus on his physical development.’
The body is a temple
To Krajicek, the body is a temple, and certainly in the case of talented young players. He often advises them not to train more, but instead to rest more. They need to listen to every signal that their bodies give them. ‘Junior tennis is great. Of course there are important tournaments where you want to compete and where you want to win. But the final goal is much more important: to reach the ATP or WTA Tours in good shape. That’s where you need to prove yourself, and that’s what I’m trying to teach these kids.’
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