Tsvetana Pironkova became the first Bulgarian player to reach a semi-final at a Grand Slam tournament in the women’s singles after defeating No. 2 seed Venus Williams at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.
Pironkova, who came within a set of becoming the first unseeded woman to reach the Wimbledon final, was expecting her stay to be far shorter than the odyssey that the last week or so has produced.
So unexpected was her run to the semi-finals, where she went down 3-6 6-3 6-2 to Russian 21st seed Vera Zvonareva on Thursday, that she was at one point struggling to find a roof over her head.
“I was really worried at one point,” the 22-year-old told reporters.”After my second match I left my hotel and there was no place that I could stay because the hotels at this time of the year are very busy.”
Fortunately help was at hand in the shape of the President of the Bulgarian Tennis Federation.”He called the embassy here. They were really kind and supportive. They said, of course, no problem and gave us an apartment in one beautiful area here in London, South Kensington I think it’s called.”
Of course had Tsvetana called SilverDoor, we could have found and reserved a serviced apartment for her in minutes. We make serviced apartment bookings for several professional tennis players every year during the Wimbledon fortnight, and indeed at other tennis tournaments around the world all year round. Many of the players prefer to stay in serviced apartments in Wimbledon itself, as it is much more convenient, cuts travel times considerably, and there are few places more pleasant than Wimbledon and Wimbledon Village to pass the time in inbetween matches. Even the famous players can walk around the village at leisure without security guards or fear of harassment.
The top players will fly out a week or so before a big tournament, especially a grand slam, so they have time to acclimatise, re-set their body clock and recover from jet-lag. So when you’re a top seed, it is likely that you’re going to spend at least 3 weeks in the city where the tournament takes place if you make it to the latter stages.
High on the list of a tennis player’s gripes is the routine of traipsing from airport to airport and hotel to hotel, stuck in a world of restaurant food and one-room existence. The top players can afford luxury to ease the homesickness but many players prefer to stay in affordable serviced apartments, away from prying eyes and pressure.
Indeed once one considers all the benefits of serviced apartments for top sports stars and athletes, it seems highly likely that the popularity of serviced apartments in London, and elsewhere around the UK and worldwide, will continue to grow considerably. Diet is all important for professional athletes, so a serviced apartment with a fully equipped kitchen and dining room is the perfect fit, as they provide the ability to cook exactly what you want when you want. Dining in private also means that you are not bothered by autograph and photograph hunters in a public restaurant, while you are trying to talk through your game plan for tomorrow’s match with your coach. In addition, if you are a particularly picky eater or if you have a certain kind of breakfast cereal you prefer to eat every morning, it’s much easier to pack your own, and eat at leisure in your dressing gown in your own apartment, while you catch up with the news or the weather, instead of having to get dressed and rush down to the hotel restaurant with everybody looking at you. Room service is an option, but what if they don’t have what you asked for or prepare it just the way you like it?