Yesterday I played the #1 seed in qualifying to get into the main draw. He is from Australia, is currently ranked about 1000 and is only 17 years old. Though he is young, he has a lot more experience than I do playing international tournaments and he is getting top notch coaching and has hit with the likes of Tipsarevic and Sharapova at the Australian Open.
Though I have been having some issues with my knee and some feet blisters at the moment, I was definitely feeling ready to compete hard. Right off the bat, the umpire told me my shirt’s logo is too big (ITF rule) as well as the one in my bag. The referee comes out and gives me a slight scare, but they let it slide this time.
The first 6 or 7 games of the first set were high quality tennis with long, very physical points. At 2-3, I lost my serve in a long deuce game and ended up losing the set 6-3. Frustratingly, at these Futures an umpire is making practically all of the line calls, and several mistakes are made in his favor. I saw one go against him too. But, it has happened before and it will probably happen again.
I got down an early break in the second set, and at 2-3 I had a couple break points to even it up — but couldn’t convert. I lost it 6-3, 6-2, and although disappointed that I had a few slip-ups in close moments, overall I played pretty well and he was just the better player. He definitely had a weaponous serve, was very consistent and had a well-rounded and took opportunities to attack well from the baseline.
I don’t play many Futures events, but I will try again eventually. The way I was playing, I had a great chance to beat any of the other qualifiers out there today, so tough luck. I have a string of good prize money open events coming up from now until mid August, so hopefully I can have a nice run before the US Open playoffs!
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