They say the hardest part of any journey is taking that first step. For many years I have wanted to take my first step into the world of professional tennis, but for one reason or another that step has been just beyond my stride. I have spent countless hours out on the court and in the gym preparing for my moment. I thought I was ready three years ago, but as they say nothing comes easy, and often that initial step into the unknown is the toughest one of all.
My name is Matthew Fawcett. I am a South African tennis player who is preparing to take my first steps onto the professional tennis circuit. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 1988, making me 24 years old. A little late to be starting out on the tour some might say, but that is not by choice. I have had to overcome many obstacles along the way. It has not been an easy road to get to where I am, but I feel like the time is right, and my time is now. Besides I have always considered myself a bit of a late bloomer.
I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in June 2012. I loved every minute of my time there, but I was not able to play as much tennis as I would’ve liked. I have been out for the better part of three years with a knee injury, hence the age, the late but initial steps on the tour and hopefully the successful late bloom. It all started in the summer of 2010 with a partial tear to my ACL; this in turn led to chronic patella tendonitis. I have spent more time in the training room, on the physiotherapist’s table and in the gym doing rehabilitation exercises in the last three years than my entire college team did in the last three years combined. It’s been a grind to say the least, but there have definitely been positives that have come out of it all and a couple silver linings along the way. I have learnd so much about the body, about injury prevention and about the physical game of tennis that I now go about my training in a completely different way. I plan on sharing a lot of what I’ve learned as well as many great tips on health and nutrition (a passion of mine) in upcoming blogs, so be sure to look out for that.
Right now I am training down in Irvine, California. My knees have, for the most part, recovered nicely. I still get a little pain from time to time, but that is mainly due to all of the scar tissue in there that’s built up during rehabilitation and now needs to be stretched out and made to be more elastic. I’m preparing for a series of money tournaments in April, starting with the Yonex Cup in Palos Verdes on the 10th. These tournaments will serve as great preparation and great match practice for the Pro Circuit Events I plan on playing, beginning in May. It’s been a long time since I’ve played a tournament. The last competitive tennis I played was back in May 2012 in the last 16 of the NCAA Doubles Tournament with my partner Andre Dome. So it is definitely going to be somewhat of a trial by fire for me in the coming weeks, but there is no other way for me to do it and get effective match practice. I’ve put in the so much hard work in the last six months to prepare my knees and my body for what lies ahead, and now it is time to get out there to see what happens. I am incredibly excited and very thankful to Tennis Warehouse for giving me the opportunity to share my journey with you. In the following blogs I will talk a little bit about my background, growing up in Africa, my collegiate career – the highs and the lows, as well as delve into my knee rehabilitation and maintenance program and what I’ve had to do to get back out on the court. Thanks for reading.
Talk to you soon,