It seems that it has been a while since I traveled to a big tournament! I’m in Tyler Texas this weekend for the USPTA Hard court nationals. I’m playing 3 events — singles, doubles and mixed.
We got in Thursday to see our wonderful host family again, had dinner and zonked out. On friday, I got a morning practice in with my doubles partner and was able to get adjusted to playing outdoors and with bright sun again. I cruised through my first singles match and then after a couple hours played my quarterfinal against a pretty solid player. I was hitting well and won 6-1 6-2.
I potentially have 4 matches to play on Saturday. I’m feeling pretty good at the moment but have been low on sleep, so hopefully I’ll hold up. The first match on Saturday is the singles semifinal against the player I hurt my ankle against and lost to last year. Then it will hopefully be 2 doubles matches and one mixed before the finals on Sunday. I’m anxious for the first match. I’ve been wanting this all year and now I’ve got it. Anytime I get a chance to redeem myself, I am up for the occasion.
The tournament is awesome and well run! It’s also perfect tennis weather in the 70′s — so hopefully I have good news for you tomorrow!
It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Things were so awful emotionally for me not long ago, even during New Haven. But right now, none of it matters. Because it has made me a stronger and better person in numerous ways.
I ended up winning the Minnesota Open tournament that finished September 1st, and won some nice prize money as well. I had to play an Israel-born opponent in the final, and he was very good. I knew he would be tough since I knew he had been a circuit player for several years and with an ATP ranking. I skipped the Colorado State Open in Denver to take a break, but won another small tournament last weekend at the LifeTime Fitness National tournament.
My next event will be in Tyler, Texas for the USPTA Hard Court Nationals, October 18-20. This tournament is very important to me in several ways. The last 2 years I have lost there due to physical issues, including my terrible ankle injury last year. My off-court problems were becoming much worse around this time as well, and the opponent I lost to was also quite a jerk. I’m looking forward to the rematch, with a goal of winning the tournament, and with my father and girlfriend will be coming with me as well. It will be symbolic for me with everything going so great for me a year later, win or lose.
Just wanted to let you guys know how the semi-finals of the US Open National Playoffs went for me. The way I saw it, almost all of the pressure was on him to win since he was the top seed. I have been surprised with how well I have been playing recently, and it was time to just let it all hang out and do everything I could. At the same time, I was enjoying the tournament with such a fun setting.
My opponent, Jeff Dadamo, was a #1 player at Texas A&M, and was able to win the NCAA doubles title with Austin Kraijeck. On tour, he has won a few doubles titles, as well as being ranked in the top 500 for singles. I watched him play his match the other day, and he looked good. He plays a very aggressive game, with a huge serve. Whenever he gets a chance, he will go big on the shot. He has a one-handed backhand that he is content to chip a lot, but is capable of hitting big on that wing as well. To make matters worse, he is a lefty. I knew I would be able to be in the match with him based on groundstrokes, but the keys to having a chance to win would be returning serve, playing defense, and managing my own service games with smart play.