Daria Saville says Grand Slams are extremely chaotic and suggested that measuring one’s success by Grand Slam results creates a toxic environment for players. Saville, 28, admits players feel the extra pressure to do well at Grand Slams as they receive a lot of attention – not only within the tennis community – but also from their families and teams.
Thinking that you just have to do well in a Grand Slam or you’ll disappoint doesn’t help players at all, Saville says. On Monday, Saville left the US Open after losing to Elena Gabriela Ruse in the first round.
Saville played her match on an outdoor court which is extremely difficult for her as she has been diagnosed with ADHD and the outdoor courts are very noisy and there is always something going on around her.
Saville on Grand Slam
“My thoughts after playing all 4 Slams this year,” Saville wrote in a lengthy Instagram post.
“Why do slams feel so different from other tournaments? Grand Slams are messy. It’s busy, it’s so bloody chaotic in the player areas, and 90% of these people never travel to another tournament except because it’s a slam they’ve come to “support” their players.
friends, family, agents. I don’t know about other players but I feel like I owe them a win. I just want to do my job, I don’t come to your job to “support” you. I like to focus on progress, but all of that goes out the window during the slam.
Because at every second tournament you “prepare” for the slam. My thinking gets so toxic and all I want to do is win and I feel like everyone around me wants me to win. It’s not true, but it feels like nobody cares if I’m better.
Just win. It’s a good problem to have reached the final of the tournament the week before, but that means I have 0 training locally. Played the final, traveled the next day, played in completely different conditions and place the next day.
There are rules for warming up before games and so only seeded players and (maybe idk) former champions can hit on the spot for their warm ups, people like me have to warm up in the park… so yeah the prep wasn’t it. Outdoor courts are really difficult to play on.
It’s very distracting, especially for me with my ADHD. Shit is happening everywhere, people in and out, calls from other places that you think are for your match, it’s so loud because you’re exposed to everything.
Not to mention that outdoor courts are generally faster than stadiums. And we can only practice it 4 times a year. Because as I said, Grand Slams don’t feel like any other tournament. I really hope that one day slams won’t feel like torture anymore and I’ll enjoy it more.
IM working on it.”