All good news from Israel!
Fortunately, I got a bye in the first round of the qualifying, so I was scheduled to play at 3 pm on Saturday afternoon. I was drawn to play a young, local player from Tel Aviv.
I got off to a flyer, serving well and just playing solid tennis, and before I knew it I had the first set in the bag, 6-0. He played much better in the second, however I continued my good form, winning the set 6-2.
Sunday I arose to play in my final round of qualifying against another Israeli player. I got a good warm up and stepped onto the court for my 10:30 am match. By this time it was already very hot and humid and the water coming out the taps was more like tea than anything else. Luckily, a kind spectator saw my reaction to taking my first sip of water and donated his new bottle of ice cold mineral water to my cause.
I got off to a great start, breaking in the opening game and then the set continued on serve until 5-4. He was serving well and ripping forehands all over the place and I was playing aggressive and taking every opportunity to get into the net on his backhand. At 5-4, I was serving for the set. He had not come close to breaking me up to that point but I must admit I got a little tight. All of a sudden I was down 15-40. Luckily, I managed to get myself out of trouble with some big serving and some quick net rushing and closed out the set, 6-4. I broke in the first game of the second set and it was all over. I played rock solid from that point on and finished him off 6-1 in the second.
Ecstatic to have just qualified in my first Futures tournament, I left the court to turn in my score, only to receive even more good news that my doubles partner Dean and I had been accepted into the doubles draw. Dean’s partner had pulled out earlier that day and we had signed in at the last second on the off chance that the doubles draw didn’t close. Since I currently have no ATP singles points its incredibly difficult to get into the doubles draw due to its small size of only 16 teams. But somehow it all worked out and we’re in! We play the number 1 seeds this afternoon at 1 pm.
My first round singles match is scheduled for Tuesday. Since I qualified on Sunday the tournament gives you Monday off. So that worked out perfectly, with no singles today, meaning I can focus solely on doubles.
I’ll update you on my results tomorrow!
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