Leading up to the first day of qualifying in Ilkley I had put in some hard work and had a few days of good practice. I felt as though I was hitting the ball well but still felt a bit tight and stiff in the knees and hips. I took the court feeling pretty confident, although definitely not totally at ease.
Unfortunately, what transpired was an absolute shocker. The first set I really struggled with my movement. I felt I was out of position for every ball. I wasn’t reading my left-handed opponent’s shots, and as a result I was just guessing on returns and short balls. I was serving and volleying fairly well but struggling to get any kind of speed behind my serve. My timing and rhythm was way off. I got broken early and never really came back. I fought as hard as I could, but to no avail. I lost the first set 6-4. Things didn’t improve much in the second set, and I went down 6-2.