from The Challenge (Arnesen-Tennis)
by Jonas Arnesen
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
Elias Ymer with Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg after a Wimbledon practice session (picture opencourt.ca)
Elias Ymer will probably live the greatest adventure in his life. After the SkiStar Swedish Open tournament, the 19-year-old from Sweden will take part in a training camp with Roger Federer.
- It's great and it will be great to learn from the best of all time, says Elias.
During Wimbledon, the Swedish future hope had the chance to hit with Federer before a match and the 17-time Grand Slam champion liked what he saw in Elias, who will now be the sparring partner of the world number two in a three-day camp in Zurich.
- It was Stefan (Federer's coach, Stefan Edberg) who asked me, says Elias who obviously did not need thinking twice before saying yes.
- I have two weeks off after Båstad. Roger is the greatest in history and to have the opportunity to train with him is amazing. When Stefan texted me at Wimbledon and asked if I could hit with Roger the day after I felt both amused and nervous. When we stood there, I thought, "Hey, I am standing and hitting balls with Roger Federer that I saw on TV thousands of times."
And how do you feel now?
- I'm not nervous anymore, says Elias Ymer, who begins to feel increasingly at ease in the environment, although he has not yet established himself on the ATP tour.
But still, he may be a little surprised at some things. Such as when he came to this week's Båstad tournament where home favorite and hope for the future Ymer is one of the attractions.
- I've been here since I was young, when I dreamed of playing the tournament and to be in the players lounge. Now I see myself on the posters here, he says smiling.
Ymer has qualified in this year's three Grand Slam tournaments already played and whatever the results in Båstad he will need to qualify again to play the US Open as well. After going out at Wimbledon, he played two Challengers hoping to be able to climb high enough to be qualified directly for the year's final Grand Slam tournament, but he did not get enough points.
The 133-ranked home favorite has a tough draw in the Swedish Open on Tuesday, as he will meet 41-ranked Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who has taken all his four ATP titles on clay, the last one in Geneva this year.
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