The third Kremlin Cup tournament turned out to be a milestone in Allon’s education too:
Gollar: Allon went to a private Swiss high school, after switching from the English school to a German-speaking one. Only two students managed to do it. Entry exams to Swiss school are very difficult, but he was a good hard-working student.
The ﬁrst Kremlin Cup was not a holiday, but I got permission to take him. However, the principal stressed that it’s just a one-time permission. On the next time we took a long weekend, and I got a letter from the doctor, saying Allon was sick and couldn’t come back. Then I got a call from the school principal: “You wrote that the boy was sick, but the other kids saw him on television! Next year either he comes to school during the Kremlin Cup, or he is expelled.”
I said: “This is what my son wants to do as a profession, it’s much more important than school! He’s a good student and can afford to miss 4–5 days!”
The principal said: “OK, but you have to know that if you take him once more on school days, he will have to leave the school.”
This principal was also a pastor, and was so strict! He always told me: “We have to set an example for our children.” And then he fell in love with the mother of one of the students, and divorced his wife. Excellent example for our kids!
When I told Allon that in order to go to the Kremlin Cup he would have to leave the school he always wanted, he said: “For the last two years of high school I wanted to go to boarding school anyway. You travel a lot and Nani and Isaac don’t live at home either.”
We went to a very high quality boarding school in Zuoz, near St. Moritz. When we met with the director of the boarding school, I made it clear that we’re enrolling him in the school on the condition that he is exempt from schools on the dates of the Kremlin Cup, and he agreed that, as this is his future career, it’s much more important than ﬁve days of school.
My heart was bleeding. I didn’t give birth to my kids to give them away, but I realized this was his choice. It was a very good German-speaking boarding school (now it is international and English-speaking), and the alpine air in Zuoz was also good for his asthma.
That was when mobile phones became available. They were still very expensive, but I bought Allon a mobile phone because when he came back home with his friends, it was a dangerous ride through the Alps and I had to know he’s alright. I used to call him every ten minutes. Maybe I was being overprotective: At some point Allon put the phone in his suitcase under all his clothes so he couldn’t take it out, and asked me not to call because he doesn’t have his phone at hand.
Allon has always been very focused, and knew exactly what he wanted. He studied law but knew he wouldn’t practice it. He did it because it’s good for what he wanted to do in the tennis world.