Since arriving in London I’ve been very busy. Although the weather has not been exceptional, I have managed to get a few good days of practice in. Unfortunately it has been difficult to find grass courts that are dry and in good shape. I had a practice scheduled today at the Hurlingham Club in Putney, but the fabulous English “summer” had other plans and its been raining for most of the day.
Hurlingham is supposed to have some of the best grass courts in the country, but because of the weather they’ve been closed and covered for the day. So today I am going to have to practice indoors and hope that I can come back some other time and experience the grass courts.
Outside of practicing I’ve been fortunate enough to go to watch Wimbledon twice. I went on Tuesday afternoon and all day on Thursday. What an amazing experience! There really is no tournament like Wimbledon! Both days I had a ground pass so I was free to watch all of the matches on the outside courts, which during the first week of the tournament is really all you need. I watched some great matches on Tuesday, including Feliciano Lopez versus Gilles Simon. On Wednesday, most of the great matches were on the main show courts. I did however, manage to watch a lot of great doubles matches, a singles match between Steve Johnson, a former NCAA champion and USC standout, and Bobby Reynolds, and an absolute thriller of a match between Jurgen Melzer and Reister.
It’s amazing to watch these pros up close. Their control, balance, and movement is just extraordinary. I think the biggest difference between the top guys and the guys in college and on the Futures circuit is the quality of contact and the fact that these guys just don’t miss returns and first serves. It’s sounds obvious but it’s unbelievable how many great serves the top guys are able to get back in play, with interest.
This week has been really great and such an unexpected treat. Now it’s my turn to get onto the grass and slap the ball around a bit. Unfortunately it won’t be the grass of Wimbledon, but I’m definitely feeling motivated, inspired and excited after watching the big boys. I leave for Manchester tomorrow morning. Sign in is on Saturday and the tournament starts on Sunday. Really looking forward to it!