As the third match on yesterday, I was able to sleep in again, and take my time getting a good breakfast and lunch. I was able to sleep well and was feeling better, but my plan was to conserve energy. Normally, I would want to get a hit in, but I played well in my first match and the biggest issue was overcoming my recent fatigue and stress.
At lunch, I saw all kinds of house names around me. I ate next to Lisicki again — so hopefully she doesn’t think I’m stalking her or catches me taking pictures! I also saw Sloane Stephens, Cibulkova, Errani and more. My opponent and I talked a little too, he seemed friendly. We talked about a couple common opponents we’ve played, and how he will be at Harvard this year. I certainly wasn’t outsmarting my opponents these last two matches!
At about 3, I went right on court into the warmup. I expected a tough, quick and strong player and he definitely was. I picked up from yesterday and was playing very well the first set. Making almost every return and first serve, rallying consistently, moving the ball around and doing damage with my forehand. I won 6-2 and hoped to get off to a good lead again in the 2nd.
My heart has been heavy, and I have been so exhausted the past 3 weeks. But I have started to regain some energy and spirit, and have been practicing better lately.
We arrived at New Haven late in the evening Thursday, and after a good dinner I crashed for the night. I got checked in at the tournament sight — getting credentials, lunch tickets, parking passes, guest match tickets, booking a practice court and so on. Now all I needed to focus on was winning!
We ate some lunch in the player’s and coaches lounge, and saw many WTA faces that I have watched on TV. The main ones I could put a name to were Lisicki and Puig, who I ate merely 5 feet away from. It was all a very cool experience. I warmed up in the afternoon with a friend from Minnesota who just moved out this way! She actually played in the mixed championship here 2 years ago. We had a good hit and she was there to watch and support me play.
Finally it was match time, and we got golf-carted to my court. I was the last match on of the day against a player from Stanford, who also grew up in New Haven. He had a lot of fan support there! He played very well to start as I was feeling my way in, and I got broken in the first game. I played a great return game to get it back, and we repeated the whole sequence again. Fortunately, I started to play very well without missing and moving the ball around a lot. I was playing like I did in Thunder Bay where I felt really in control of everything. I took the first set 6-2 and held the first game of the 2nd set.
Sorry for not giving any updates or details for a long time. The truth is I am going through something awful right now that is personal. Any support and prayers right now mean more than ever.
I went to Thunder Bay for a big open (prize money) tournament last weekend. I was having a hard time focusing with tennis and not on my problems, but the tennis was a great distraction and stress relief and I was actually playing very well.