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Postcard From Sven Groeneveld – Journey to 2021 AO Qualifying Tennis

Coach Sven Groeneveld arrives at Australian Open qualifying in Doha.

By Sven Groeneveld

Here’s some observations on my trip to Australian Open qualifying in Doha.

The Istanbul airport much busier than Amsterdam airport.

My transfer layover was an hour-and-a-half. Then we took the four-hour flight Istanbul to Doha. A two-hour time difference, we arrived at 5:35 a.m.

Many players and their one plus with them on this flight but luckily we got an upgrade.

It took two-and-a-half hours from landing to navigate from the gate to transport.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the proces:

You  must buy a  SIM card for your smartphone. It cost 8 euros and required standing  in line for a long time with everyone on top of each other- way too close.

2. SIM card installed and get set with the tracking app to show to next step. Techie Dusan Vemic travelling with Brandon Nakashima helped me set up tracking app. Everywhere players and coaches were getting their phones track their locations.

3. Check with airport staff and show you have a hotel reservation.

4. Get in another line for getting your test tube for PCR test.

5. Get COVID-19 test.

6. Go through customs.

7. Pick up luggage.

8. AO transport all perfectly organized and ready for us. 

9. Easy drive  to the hotel.

10. A hotel all prepped for check in.

11. Breakfast served in open hall way with AO and hotel staff receiving us.-

12. In room now and will have to wait anywhere from 12 to 14 hours for test results.

My compliments to AO and Qatar tennis Federation to get all of this organized  on such short notice! 

Fingers crossed we get a practice session in today!

When on the road heading to the hotel one thing stands out! Most cars are white and all over the place still a lot of construction but since my first visit in 1996 as the coach of Michael Stich a city has been built!

The hotel we are staying in is the same hotel as I was here last time in 2018 with Maria Sharapova.

Count down to our test result and in the mean time working online for my team at OrangeCoach Toalson and my new project www.tenniswalluniversity.com (Master your inner coach with Frits Don.)