From the frozen tundra of Rimouski

March 11, 2011

Rimouski, Quebec

I’m in the middle of nowhere on the last stop of the three tournament Canadian circuit, here in Rimouski. I took an eight hour bus ride yesterday which just seemed to take us further and further away from civilization, and closer and closer to what seems like the North Pole. For hours I sat and looked out the window of the bus at the unchanging scenery outside…just long stretches of nothing but white, with the occasional barren, snow-covered grove of trees lining the highway, and a rural farmhouse that was buried under many feet of snow. After the long ride we arrived into this small town located right on the frozen Atlantic Ocean, hours north of the border to Maine. It’s a small town (with a population of around 40,000 people that includes the students in the local university), and barely anyone speaks English. I feel like I’m in French Alaska. But all kidding aside the town is lovely, the people are very nice, and the tennis facility we are playing at is beautiful, with finally a manageable playing surface that isn’t as fast as ice.

Doubles in Sherbrooke was a quick affair, losing our first round on Tuesday 6-2 6-4 to Hadyn Lewis/Marvin Rolle. We were broken in two deuce games in the first set (remember, the doubles on the pro tour are now no-ad scoring) and struggled with our opponent’s big serves. The second set was even until 4-4, when we got a little rattled after the first point of my partner’s service game after a ball call. A double fault and volley error later and we were in a 0-40 hole. After saving two break points they finally converted on their third, and held easily to win the second set 6-4.

I’ve been getting in as much practice as possible since then, with two practices following my doubles match on Tuesday and two more practice sessions on Wednesday. I also did a body-weight workout and a speed ladder workout on Wednesday to keep up my conditioning. Thursday was spent on a bus and now today Charlie and I are practicing twice before signing in for the qualifying draw this evening. I’m eager to get this last tournament underway, and hopefully get a win under my belt on this trip. It has been an awesome adventure, but disappointing as well since I have yet to win a match. This weekend I’m hoping will be a different story!

Stay tuned for updates from the Rimouski Challenger in the far northeast…thanks for reading!

-AG

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