Parasports World talks to Wheelchair Tennis Player Sam Schröder
Updated: Jun 8, 2019
We got the chance to catch up with Sam Schröder, Dutch Quad Wheelchair tennis player, who returned to action earlier this Summer claiming second at the German Wheelchair Open in Berlin before picking up a win in the consolation draw at the British Open. We talked about his return to tennis, his ambitions for the future and the Wimbledon crowd!!
German Open 2018. Picture courtesy of Claudio Gärtner
Sam, you finished second place in the German Open Quad Singles. Being so close to victory, how do you reflect on it now?
Even though I lost the final match I was really happy to even get into the finals. This was the first international tournament I played in almost a year and I came into the tournament without any expectations so getting to the finals definitely made me feel like the winner.
After getting to the final in Berlin, you won the consolation draw at the British Open. Were you happy with your performance?
Well the first matches I played here were just for us to see what my level would be like after having barely played for a whole year and of course there is a lot that I need to work on and improve but my level of playing was higher than we expected.
Summer 2017, you were playing great tennis and had just finished runner up at the German Open behind the great David Wagner and then you’re hit with a cancer diagnosis, how good does it feel to be back on the court again?
For me everything that has happened in the past year is in the past and I just look forward and want to play tennis as much as possible. Knowing I'm young and really fit was important because it helped me get through the chemo, radiation and surgery quickly and of course getting back to playing tennis was the most important thing for me.
British Open 2018. Picture courtesy of Anna Vasalaki
What was going through your head when you could finally get a racket in your hand again?
The first time I practised after my surgery lasted only 15 minutes but it just felt great to be back on the court and playing tennis again. My training routine and nutrition has pretty much stayed the same, but because of the ileostomy I now have I need to drink a lot more water and electrolytes than before, especially in this warm weather.
You were at Wimbledon this year as a spectator, how did it feel and will we see you on court there one day?
Going to Wimbledon and being inside the centre court hearing 15.000 people clapping for a point was a really great experience. My idol is Roger Federer but unfortunately he lost in the quarterfinals before we could see him. Hopefully one day he’ll be watching me!
Sam with his two coaches Joop Broens and Mieke van Chastelet
2020 is your main goal for the next years. What do you think you have to improve to play in Tokyo your best tennis?
I think the serve and return are the two most important parts of a match and so that's what needs to be improved a lot and just playing a lot of matches and tournaments. Of course the aim is to continuously improve and aim for a Paralympic medal.
Looking forward now, it’s 2032. Where are you and what does your life look like?
Wherever I am or whatever I’m doing I just hope I’m surrounded by lots of Paralympic medals!
Want to know more, follow Sam's progress or get in touch?
Article written for Parasports World by Yvonne Glöde
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