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 →
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.
Fabian Matthews and I teamed up again for the Laguna Niguel Pro Classic. In the first round we played the number 3 seeds, the pair of Moreno and Ramirez from Mexico. Fabian and I got off up a rocky start and found ourselves down 3-1 early. We managed to weather the storm however and won the first set 6-4. In the second set we broke early, gave the break back, and then broke again and held serve comfortably after that to win the match 6-4 6-3.
In our quarterfinal match on Wednesday we were set to play Friedman and Rollins. We got off to a flyer and never looked back. We cruised to a 6-0 6-1 victory.
Today we play against a familiar face. My partner from last week, Keith Crowley and his partner Ashwin Vijayragavan are our opponents in the semifinals. I’ll update you tomorrow.
My partner Keith Patrick Crowley and I had a great run last week in Costa Mesa, but lost in the finals to Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald.
It was another long, hard week of tennis in Costa Mesa. My doubles partner, Keith Crowley, and I had a great run all the way to the finals.
We came through a tough semifinal on Friday against the pair of Ernesto Escobedo and Eduardo Nava. We won the first set relatively comfortably, only to go down an early break in the second, before clinching it in the 3rd set super tiebreaker without a hitch. The final score 6-4 3-6 10-4.
Having lost in the singles I shifted my focus to the doubles tournament. In the round of 16 my partner and I faced two familiar faces. On the other side of the net were two players I played against last week, however they played with different partners. Damon Gooch and Sho Katayama paired up at the last minute with the hope of taking the doubles competition by storm. My partner, Keith and I, weren’t too keen on letting that happen.
We had one heck of a run to the finals of the doubles in the Claremont Futures. Unfortunately, that run came to an abrupt end on Thursday afternoon against the number one seeds, Carsten Ball and Daniel Garza. Both my partner Fabian and I struggled to find our rhythm, and we never really got into the match. We had a few break chances early and let a couple of deciding points go begging, but for a most part it was a bit of a bad day for us. Our opponents played solid tennis from start to finish. They served well, took control of the net and kept us constantly off balance. We couldn’t find a way to break them down and we had cashed in our whole allotment of comeback cards for the week. We went down 6-3 6-2. All in all it was a great week for us, and it was a really good feeling to get some positive reinforcement and good results.
My doubles partner Fabian Matthews and I have toughed out a couple close matches to reach the finals of the Claremont Futures!
It has been quite an exciting couple of days! Wednesday brought in the challenge of the doubles quarter finals. Fabian and I were matched up against the Japanese pair of Sato and Katayama, the number three seeds. We got off to a shaky start, losing our serve in the 3rd game. Midway through the first set absolute chaos erupted and our match became somewhat of a sideshow.
Smoke poured across the sky overhead as, we later found out, a nearby botanical garden went up in flames. What followed was pandemonium. A dozen helicopters circled overhead, ambulances raced passed the courts, and twin engine airplanes dived and soared a few hundred yards above our heads dropping water on the flames just a block away. Apparently the linesmen and umpire were not satisfied enough with the air show, and they wanted to see some tennis too, so we continued. Our opponents capitalized, as we played a little distracted, and before we knew it we were down 6-2. Continue reading →
Stretching and rolling out some tired muscles after the doubles. A little painful!
We played some great doubles yesterday. My partner and I got a reasonable draw and were up against Damon Gooch and Evan Song. We played a really solid first set, broke early and then held serve consistently to take the first set 6-3. The second set we got the early break again, but then got broken back 3 games later. We battled until finally at 4-4 we got another break chance, and we took it. We then served it out for a 6-3 6-4 victory. It was a good day. We both played well and competed hard.
Unfortunately, my singles today against Marcos Giron didn’t go as well. I played a great first set. I should’ve broken him in his very first service game but I couldn’t quite get it done. We both held until I got broken at 4-4. He closed out the set 6-4.
The second set was very disappointing for me. I really lost my intensity. I couldn’t shake the thoughts and the chances from the first set and I got broken in the very first game. From that point on I really struggled. I started going for way too much. I was serving pretty well but then really rushed the second ball. He didn’t miss a ball, I missed a lot, and he closed out the match emphatically, 6-4 6-0.
It was a really disappointing mental display by me. I stopped thinking, got frustrated, and pretty much handed him the second set. But I learnt a lot, and I definitely learnt what not to do when down a set. So life goes on. There will be more opportunities next week.
Thankfully I’m still in the doubles. We’re set to play against the #3 seeds this afternoon at 3:30pm. I’ll update you tomorrow.
Well, it was a tough weekend of qualifying but I managed to make it through. Thankfully I only had to play one match a day, anything else in the heat of Claremont would have been a real challenge. I got a first round bye on Friday, meaning that I started my qualifying campaign first thing on Saturday morning. I won my first and second rounds convincingly, 6-2 6-1 and 6-1 6-4 respectively. I played my final round of qualifying this morning. My opponent was Emmett Egger, a player from the University of Washington. On the line, a spot in the main draw and a little bit of revenge for me. Egger and his partner Kyle McMorrow had been the only team to beat my doubles partner, Andre Dome, and I in the collegiate regular season last year.
I got off to a great start. Serving big and really putting pressure on my opponents return games. I broke in the third game and never looked back. Although I was putting more pressure on him than he was putting on me, we both held serve for the rest of the set. 6-4 to me.
The second set was a carbon copy of the first. I broke early and then held serve convincingly to take the match 6-4 6-4. It was a great feeling to qualify without losing a set and an even better feeling to get some wins under my belt. Qualifiers get the following day off, so I’ll play my next match on Wednesday morning. The draw was just posted and my opponent is Marcos Giron, the standout from UCLA. Not the greatest draw, but definitely not the worst. My partner, Fabian Matthews, and I are scheduled to play doubles tomorrow afternoon.
I’ll let you know how it goes. I have to get back to watching the US Open final, Nadal up 4-3 in the third. Unbelievable tennis going on right now. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal really are taking our sport to new heights. It’s incredible to watch.