Maybe it’s because my next birthday is inching up…or that lately some of the things I see and hear make me feel old (I’m pretty sure I still don’t know exactly what twerking is?!). But I feel like the world is all sorts of retro lately, even hitting the tennis world…and I like it!
Even watching the Oscars last weekend, actors I grew up watching were on stage winning awards (shout out to Jordan Catalano for any “My So Called Life” fans — who knew we would see Jared Leto up there winning an Academy Award?!). So seeing some of my favorite tennis players make their way back on to the scene (in one way or another), makes me excited for the future of tennis! Continue reading →
After taking some time off this fall, I was getting back into playing and training hard. Unfortunately, I have not had good luck as for the last 3 weeks as I have had pretty bad plantar fasciitis. I had a mild case several years ago, but this is really uncomfortable and limits my movement. I’m trying to do different things to heal it, but I am always on my feet coaching. Hopefully, something will work to get me back doing what I love. In the mean time, I tried a few of the new racquets and have feedback on that as I’m sure many of you are looking at some of the newer racquets out there.
As some of you know, I have been using Head Radical racquets since I was in middle school. The first racquet I playtested this fall was the Prince Tour 98 ESP. I chose this racquet as it was a similar weight to my Radical and is also pretty flexy. I tend to like racquets that are not too stiff. I could definitely tell a difference in spin on my shots from the 16×16 string pattern! I had nice control in a very comfortable package, but felt I was just not quite getting enough sting on my serves and forehands that I am used to. Continue reading →
Another year in the ATP is in the books. Four majors have been played, 3 separate men have captured those titles. The pros are busy preparing for the year to come. So, who can we crown the GOAT of 2013? Rafa? Nole? Murray? The discussion is on the table!
our Tennis Warehouse GOAT
Rafael Nadal. After receiving the “Legend Award” this week in Spain, Nadal proves to be possibly the GOAT of 2013…and possibly of all time. With his domination on most surfaces he competes on and his all-out physical game, we have seen Rafa take a new approach to tennis this year with taking chunks of time off to properly train and rehab. With the French Open and US Open titles under his belt plus 8 other titles, it’s an impressive feat indeed. But can we really give the GOAT award to a player with an early 1st round exit from Wimbledon? Continue reading →
It has been nice to have a bit of a break in the last few months. I have just had the one tournament in Texas and otherwise life has been very busy, but good at the same time! At this time of year with fewer tournaments, I like to get back onto a schedule of doing more off-court workouts, and harder practices. I try to do an upper-body workout every other day or so, and lots of sprinting and anaerobic type work throughout the week on the track or various machines. For the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to have a coach who works with me once or twice a week in the winter. We do some of these off-court sessions together, as well as drilling on the court at the club I work at. In return for his help, his 14 year old daughter hits with me during most of these sessions. That might sound like a weak partner for me, but as I mentioned a few times last summer, she is in the top 10 nationally for her age and has a bright future. She is very capable of hitting a good ball and giving me a good practice in the drill setting. I was lucky enough to have my girlfriend come to watch a recent practice, and she took some interesting videos of some of the types of training that we do on the court:
I’m afraid I have some bad news to share with you all today. After a lot of thought and many hours of discussion with doctors and physiotherapists, I have decided to retire from the game of tennis. Over the past few years my knees have been put through the wringer and it has become clear to me, not through lack of trying, that they will never truly get better.
Tennis is such a brutal, unforgiving sport. You have to be in tip-top shape just to be competitive. While I know that many professional players out there are nursing injuries during matches, there aren’t many out there that are starting tournaments, training blocks, or even simple practice weeks hurt, and there lies my disadvantage. I don’t feel like I can maintain my game and level once I get a couple matches into a tournament. By the third day of competition my knees and hips lock up and I simply cannot move anymore. Another frustrating factor is that I don’t feel like I can train as hard as I want to, as hard as I need to. I can’t work on my footwork for hours on end, I can’t do drills all day long, I can’t hit baskets and baskets of serves like I should be. These are the kinds of things that I need to be doing in order to get an edge, but my body and primarily my knees are stopping me from doing it. Continue reading →
Saturday was a long day! When I woke up to get ready for my 9 am match, it was in the 40s and windy. This definitely was not the ideal match conditions I was expecting or wanted, but I was ready to battle. My opponent was a very good college player and spent some time on the futures circuit. Last year, we met in the semi-final and within the first 2 or 3 games I hurt my ankle really bad and somehow managed to take the second set, but lost 6-3 in the third. I figured if I played well this time around, I should be able to win in 2 relatively close sets unless I was not playing well.
I started off very energized and playing very well. I was taking control of the points and moving him around a lot, and found myself up 4-0, cruising. I was very confident that it was going to be my day, and gain some revenge for my loss and his antics after last year. But, after I won the first set 6-2, I was starting to miss a little more and was down 0-1 serving and down in the game. He made a bad call and though I don’t believe it affected me, it seemed from that very moment on, I was never quite the same as I was in the first set. Continue reading →
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.
Following the Futures in Los Angeles I feel like I’ve had a lot to think about. My knees really let me down in the later stages of all three tournaments. They haven’t bothered me too much on the doubles court in the past but this time around it seemed like every time I got 2 or 3 rounds into the tournament they locked up and made the next couple of rounds a real challenge. My biggest concern was general mobility and pushing off on the serve and return.
Going forward my plan is to take a little time off and see if I can get my knees back to a place where I can be competitive. Initially, my plan was to travel to South Africa and Zimbabwe in November to play four Futures. Unfortunately, I was just notified by the South African Tennis Association that all four tournaments have officially been cancelled and postponed until early next year.
This news has somewhat thrown me for a loop and I’m busy looking into other possible places that I can go in November and December. Right now it’s looking like the two viable options are Thailand or Senegal. I’ll keep you posted and update you as soon as I know where I’m going. Thanks for reading!
We got off to a good start in our semifinal match on Thursday afternoon. We were in complete control in the first set and closed out the set 6-2. In the second set our opponents rallied back and didn’t go away as we expected they might. Nonetheless, we broke at 3-3 to give ourselves a 6-2 4-3 on serve lead.
What followed is somewhat of a blur and something I would definitely rather forget. We got broken twice to lose the set 7-5, went up up 3-0 in the final set deciding super tiebreaker only to find ourselves down 9-3 in a flash. We battled back to make 9-6 and put a bit of pressure on them. But it was too little too late and we lost the very next point to hand them the match and most likely the title, as the number 1 seeds of Carsten Ball and Daniel Garza had pulled out of the earlier semifinal.
What’s next? I may go up to Sacramento for the $100,000 challenger next week. If I do I will more than likely only play doubles. Hopefully my partner and I will get in. I’ll keep you posted.