As the third match on yesterday, I was able to sleep in again, and take my time getting a good breakfast and lunch. I was able to sleep well and was feeling better, but my plan was to conserve energy. Normally, I would want to get a hit in, but I played well in my first match and the biggest issue was overcoming my recent fatigue and stress.
At lunch, I saw all kinds of house names around me. I ate next to Lisicki again — so hopefully she doesn’t think I’m stalking her or catches me taking pictures! I also saw Sloane Stephens, Cibulkova, Errani and more. My opponent and I talked a little too, he seemed friendly. We talked about a couple common opponents we’ve played, and how he will be at Harvard this year. I certainly wasn’t outsmarting my opponents these last two matches!
At about 3, I went right on court into the warmup. I expected a tough, quick and strong player and he definitely was. I picked up from yesterday and was playing very well the first set. Making almost every return and first serve, rallying consistently, moving the ball around and doing damage with my forehand. I won 6-2 and hoped to get off to a good lead again in the 2nd.
I went up 2-0 in the 2nd set with more of the same, and had chances for 3-0 but couldn’t get it done. I was noticing more tight, nervous play the whole second set but was pulling it together enough to keep holding and winning a couple tight games. At 5-3 with him serving, I got down 40-0 with more errors. But you can always come back if you don’t bail or quit on the game yet, and with solid play, I came back to deuce. I wanted to close it out as soon as possible rather than serve it out at 5-4. It went to his ad a few times, but on my first match point I won, and yelled out in celebration — remembering what I’ve been going through all year and especially recently off the court.
It feels nice to be in the semifinal. That’s what I set the bar at coming in. But now, I will do all I can to win tomorrow again. The #1 seed is very good, winning pro doubles events and he is in the top 500 in singles. He is a big, lefty hitter. Hopefully, I feel good and can move well while hitting like I have been the last few days. Just have to take it a step at a time and believe.
I will update again tomorrow! Thanks again for all the support!
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