February 27, 2011
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Played my first round match today in the qualifying draw here at the Montreal Futures event, and lost 6-1 6-4 to Canadian youngster Hugo Di Feo. The courts here are indoors and extremely quick, and my young opponent executed a much better game plan for these speedy conditions. On the fast indoor courts, it is important to serve big and play aggressively from the baseline, which is exactly what Di Feo did while I was playing a much more conservative, lower-risk style to which I’m more accustomed.
Though I’m disappointed with the early exit from singles, it was a good learning experience and I clearly know the game style I need to play in order to be successful on the rest of this Canadian circuit. Now that I have a week until my next singles match (the next Futures event in nearby Sherbrooke, Quebec), I will work on positioning myself closer to the baseline, taking more risks during the point, and being very aggressive with my serves. I will also have the doubles event that will start tomorrow here in Montreal, which will also allow me to work on my serve, returns, and net game. I’m disappointed but not discouraged, as now I have a clear plan for the next week of practice and what I need to do in the next tournament.
Off the court, I have really been enjoying my time here in Montreal. Though the weather has been cold (it has not been above freezing since I’ve arrived), the city is beautiful with lots to do. The architecture is a beautiful mix between old and new, as some of the enormous cathedrals in the old part of town having been here for hundreds of years. Everything is in French, but everyone is also able to speak almost perfect English, which has been incredibly impressive. I’m using the metro system daily, which is awesome and very easy to use, to get to the downtown area. Snow-covered sidewalks, French culture, and lots of things to see and do have made Montreal a really cool place to explore!
Stay tuned for updates as my partner Charlie Cutler and I begin the doubles main draw either Monday or Tuesday.
Thanks for reading!