Visa troubles

Training during a busy week.

Training during a busy week.

It has been another relatively chaotic week and my plans are evolving. I spent Monday morning driving all over Los Angeles trying to track down the South African Consulate, the British Consulate and the United States Immigration Services. Who knew traveling to a few tournaments would be such a mission.

Unfortunately for me, I am traveling on a South African Passport, which seems to be as useful a handful of African mud right now. For some strange reason Israel does not require me to obtain a visa for entry, but the UK does, and there lies the problem. I was hoping to leave for Israel next Tuesday, however because I am going straight from Israel to England I have to have my UK visa all squared away before I leave.

Over the past week, on top of training and trying to prepare, I have been running around like a mad man putting the UK visa puzzle pieces together. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, it does not appear that I have any chance of getting my passport back from the British Consulate before next Tuesday. Therefore, even though I got into the qualifying draw in Israel, I can’t go. As of right now I am hoping that I will get my passport back in time to be able to travel to Israel for the second and third tournaments of the Israeli circuit in Herzlia. Unfortunately it is now all in the hands of the British Consulate. All I can do is hold thumbs.

In the meantime I’ve been training hard. I’ve tweaked a few more technical things in my game this week than I would usually like to right before a tournament, but if I don’t change them now then I never will. Having this next week to train may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as it will give me a little more time to hit as many balls as possible and get used to the small changes I’ve made to my forehand and backhand.

There is a small chance I might play a tournament this weekend. I found out at the last minute that I wasn’t going to be able to leave for Israel, so I have contacted the tournament director of the Roy Emerson Adoption Guild Tournament in Newport Beach as well as the tournament director of the Vince Dente Memorial Tournament in San Luis Obispo to see if I can get a late entry into the singles and doubles draws. I’ll just have to wait and see. I’ll update you in my next blog as well as delve further into the technical adjustments I’ve made in the last week. Thanks for reading!

Matt

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