Nadia Podoroska, from living on loan to taking advantage of neuroscience and meditation to reach the round of 16 at Roland Garros

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Rosario, a sensation at the Parisian Grand Slam, it was only a couple of months ago that she was able to rent an apartment. She competed in Europe by staying with whoever received her.

In Nadia Podoroska’s house, no topic was ever avoided, perhaps because of her mother’s background as a Philosophy student. This detail and the difficulties that she soon had to face in her career shaped her to stand out for her maturity. Those who know her put that characteristic next to others: intelligence, analytical skills and also resilience.

It is that behind this success at Roland Garros, the Parisian brick dust that will receive her in the round of 16, there is a path traveled with patience from those first steps that sounded like pebbles in the Fisherton club, the same one where a certain Luciana Aymar handed out her first bowls.

There, little Nadia, one of Irene and Marcelo’s three children, began to wield the racket, eventually becoming pharmacists. The next step was to go to the school in Charly Rampello on Route 9.

That teacher / coach was the one who accompanied her until about two years ago the young woman born in 1997, who decided to take a new course working with Emiliano Redondi Y Juan Pablo Guzman. Y Martiniano Orazi is your physical trainer.

He had on his back the backpack of being the great female promise. She earned her first professional points at age 14, began giving interviews and dreaming big thinking about imitating Gabriela Sabatini, who. retired before she was born.

In his native Rosario he found his nickname, the Russian, despite the fact that his lineage is actually Ukrainian. Legend has it that a worker from the newspaper “La Capital” in the design area was responsible for the nickname when she suggested it during one of those editions of a note with the precocious tennis player.

Reaching the main draw at the US Open in 2016 reinforced the idea that you could be facing a tennis gem. But fate wanted to disrupt those ideal plans and change them for recurring injuries. Almost two years passed before Nadia was able to compete again with some normality.

So he decided to go to Alicante, Spain, to be close to the tournaments in Europe. Did counting every weight in the pocket, measuring every meal, every expense. Podoroska knows what it’s like to fight her in this environment: just a couple of months ago a small apartment could be rented.

Until then, lived on borrowed anywhere he agreed to receive her: a friend, a colleague, a coach. She sought to squeeze every penny, even if it meant looking for flights not only at the lowest possible cost but also having schedules to spend the night at the airport and sleep there if necessary.

Last year his career was decidedly difficult financially. Holding her was getting more and more up hill. The old ghosts that had attacked her in the days of injuries seemed to return, turned into skinny wallets.

Success at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, in which he won the gold medal, allowed him to slightly stick his head out of the water by accessing an ENARD scholarship for “Pan American excellence.” “I hope I can get sponsors; I am in a very delicate situation,” he acknowledged after getting on the podium.

And in that sense there is another unavoidable reality in this arrival to the round of 16 at Roland Garros: it has both joy and monetary relief. At least $ 223,768 that Nadia will take for having reached the fourth round will not solve her life, but will allow her to face the next months of her career with greater calm – and optimism.

The other calm, the one that could well allow Rosario to reach this happy present, has to do with her own inner search after those hard moments.

A year ago Nadia started working with Pedro Merani, an Argentine based in Doha, Qatar, who is a bowling coach and directs the National Team of that country. He put together a system that circulates between the neuroscience and bompu zen, a variant of that school of Buddhism that is stripped of the religious question.

Nadia, those who know her say, is super convinced of this methodology, so much so that changed his head. “It is an aspect that I had never worked on: it is not related to psychology, but it is more a mental training for competition. She has daily exercises for meditation, relaxation, visualization. It is a process of self-knowledge, “she explained these days.

After all the fighting, it is time for rejoicing. Although the path does not necessarily end here: the stairway to heaven has many more steps.

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