Staying on Track…Jacket, that is.

Going back to the 70′s, usually the first thing I think is Disco, man! Polyester, terrycloth, and bell bottoms, baby! When I think of tennis in the 70′s I think of long hair, corralled with a terrycloth headbands, wristbands, tight polos, and short-shorts. Along with all of that, were the sweet track jackets some of the top players wore. Names like Bjorn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, and John McEnroe come to mind.

Fila has gone retro with a few of their track jackets, bringing back a couple of classics:

Nike, a trailblazer in sports fashion, outfits Rafa and Roger with these stylish threads:

Fred Perry continues to offer a classic look with their track jackets,

while the ever fashionable Lacoste keeps pace as well.

These are just a few of our offerings. Click HERE for a selection of all Men’s Tennis outerwear at Tennis Warehouse.

Happy shopping,

Spencer, TW.

New Place, Same Story….

November 14, 2010

Bangkok, Thailand

Good fortune was once again not on my side this week. I was unable to get into the final tournament here in Bangkok, making it the second time in as many weeks. Like I’ve previously said, I knew that not being able to get into the small qualifying draws was a risk that I was taking coming over here with no ATP points. However, it was also the small qualifying draws that gave me the best chance to get through and make it into the main draw to acquire my first points, like I did in Laos. Luckily, now when I go to tournaments in the future, no matter where they are in the world, I won’t have to worry about not getting in, now that I have my points that I got in Laos.

So this week has been pretty similar to the last…cheering on my travel buddies Brad and Charlie and maintaining my training and staying in shape the best I can. However, once Brad and Charlie are done (they got into the main draw of the doubles together), we are going to head to the beautiful southern islands of Thailand, take our minds off tennis for a bit, relax and recharge the batteries before we head back to the States. These three weeks on the road, having been in a foreign land, traveling from tournament to tournament and struggling to communicate with people with a mix of their native language and ours, has been tiring and exhausting, and it will feel good to relax and unwind for a few days before we have to worry about coming back to the States.

Even though I was only able to participate in the first of the three tournaments we traveled to, the trip has been a major success in my eyes, and a wonderful experience so far! First of all, acquiring my first two points in one of my first Futures tournaments was awesome, and something I wasn’t necessarily expecting to come so quickly. And as I said, now when I travel I will not have to worry about getting into tournaments because I’ll always be able to at least get into the qualifying draws with a couple ATP points. Secondly, it’s been my goal each time I step onto the court to get one day or one match better, and I can definitely say that coming out of the tournament in Laos I’m playing the best tennis I ever have and have learned a lot that I can use in my future travels. I’m learning what it takes to be prepared and successful here on the road. I’m learning different ways of transportation in foreign places, how to find ample food and water that I need to stay healthy and strong, and how to maintain a positive daily routine, all to keep myself as centered and focused as possible in my constantly changing surroundings. That was something I struggled with during the summer along the Pacific Northwest circuit, and I feel that I’ve definitely gotten a lot better at staying prepared and somewhat sane on the road.

The experiences here have been some that I’ll remember forever, and that ultimately is what makes this trip a success to me. One of the things I’m very blessed and fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to do is to travel the world and experience all these new places, and each day on the road I’m trying to take it all in, get immersed in the different cultures as best I can, and make the most of every moment. The people I’ve been traveling with and meeting over here have been awesome, and a big reason why the experience has been so great! Brad and Charlie have been so great to travel with, as they have been so fun, easy going, and as into the experience and the immersion into foreign culture just as I am. The players I’m meeting at the tournaments have all be awesome too! Everyone has been so respectful and welcoming, on and off the court, which has been a nice change from the “cutthroat” attitude that surrounds a lot of the American tournaments.

So after the islands, I’m coming back to the States…and then thinking, what next?? I’ll play a couple money tournaments in December, one in Southern California and one in the Seattle area to stay match tough and (hopefully) build up the bankroll a little bit. Then, January is a little undecided. I’ll either get in a month of good training in Southern Cal and hit the road in February to some Futures in the US, or leave the country again in January and start the Futures right after the first of the year, either coming back to Asia or down to Central America. After my success in Laos I’ve been so excited to keep playing and see how much more success I can have, especially now that I have a couple points that will give me a little better chance at getting through qualifying and into main draws.

So stay tuned for an update on my journey through the southern islands of Thailand! I want to thank all of my friends and family who have been following my journeys and have showed their support and love! Knowing I have an awesome support base back home really helps on the road, and I am very grateful!! Thanks for reading…

-AG

Traveling south through Thailand

Andy playing in Laos

Andy playing in Laos

November 8, 2010

Khon Kaen, Thailand

Internet access is limited and spotty here in this new town in the northeastern part of Thailand. English is also pretty limited. The city of Khon Kaen is large and built up, but is not a tourist area of Thailand, and thus barely anyone speaks English here. But the city is nice, and it feels really good to be back down south. I love Thailand. The people are so friendly and hospitable, bending over backwards for visitors of their country. The food is incredible, and you can eat some of the best Thai food you will ever have for less than $5 a day. We are staying in a beautiful hotel, living luxuriously, and paying less than what we would to stay in a roadside motel back in the States. The only drawback of Khon Kaen is the heavy traffic, similar to most big Asian cities. Aggressive drivers and absent-minded motorbike riders fill the roads, and when rush hour hits it’s not uncommon to be sitting still for a half hour or more. It even took us over an hour to get back to our hotel from the tournament site a couple nights ago, and we are only a couple kilometers away!

Unfortunately my good fortunes on the court ended abruptly in Laos, as I was rocked by one of the top players from Thailand, Kittiphong Wachiramanowong, 6-1 6-1 in the quarterfinals. We left almost immediately for Thailand, and upon arrival here learned that I was the only one out of our three-man travel group to not get into the qualifying draw of the tournament the following week. The points I earned in Laos do not enter the computer ranking system for a couple weeks, and thus I still have no ranking for the rest of the tournaments on this circuit. But I’m still trying to get better this week, and have been working out in our hotel gym and have been getting in two or three practices a day with some of the guys that are in the tournament. That was the risk that we took going on this trip with no points, so I knew that not getting into some of the tournaments was a possibility. But oh well! I got my points, and now after this trip I won’t have to run that risk anymore. I have to take my rookie lumps just like the best of them, I guess.

Andy playing in Laos

Andy playing in Laos

So I’m hoping for better luck next week in the final tournament on this stretch in Bangkok. It looks like we are going to have a couple extra days between tournaments this week, and so we are looking into exploring Khao Yai National Park, the biggest and oldest national park in Thailand. It will give us an opportunity to get our minds off tennis for a couple of days, relax and unwind, and then have ample time to get to Bangkok and prepare for the next tournament.

Stay tuned for updates as I make my way south through the wilderness of northern Thailand, and get ready for the next tournament in Bangkok! Thanks for reading…

-AG

PS. It’s my mom’s birthday today, and unfortunately I’m on the other side of the globe and don’t get to be there to celebrate with her…So I’d like to wish her a very happy birthday from the Far East!!