February 14, 2011
The first tournament back since the knee injury…and a tournament win! This past weekend, my doubles partner Trevor Dobson and I won the Irvine Open doubles title, defeating Julian Barham and Darren Yates in the final, 5-7 6-0 6-1. Trevor and I didn’t play our best tennis throughout the tournament, but we played well when we needed to and showed tremendous resiliency under pressure, which I believe was the key to our successful weekend.
We were broken early on (in the first game) during the final, and struggled throughout the first set. Almost every one of our service games they were getting break chances, and other than the first game we were just barely holding our serve. We battled our way back to 4-4, but a couple of loose points and bad bounces later and we had let the first set slip away 5-7. However, Trevor and I both felt good about the way we finished the set, and felt that we were starting to sink our teeth into the match a bit. We were starting to get a feel for our crafty opponents, and were figuring out ways to put some service holds together.
After an easy hold in the first game, we broke and held easily and were up 3-0 in the second set really fast. We used the shift in momentum to get another break, and just rolled from then on. My partner and I both started serving and returning extremely well, and our opponents couldn’t counter. Trevor and I could have easily let our frustrations take over after we lost the first set, but the positive energy that we drew on from climbing back into the match after our early struggles was definitely what allowed us to turn the match early in the second, regain momentum, and ultimately ride it to victory.
Looking ahead, I’ll make my last trip up to San Luis Obispo this week before heading off to Canada next Wednesday. I have been serving really well the past couple weeks, and I’ve been feeling more and more comfortable with my movement and point construction as I continue to gain confidence in my knee. I will have my last physical therapy appointment on Wednesday and then head up to SLO shortly after that for some last-minute tune-ups before I hit the road. Stay tuned for updates as I get ready to return to the tour in a couple weeks! Thanks for reading!