We had one heck of a run to the finals of the doubles in the Claremont Futures. Unfortunately, that run came to an abrupt end on Thursday afternoon against the number one seeds, Carsten Ball and Daniel Garza. Both my partner Fabian and I struggled to find our rhythm, and we never really got into the match. We had a few break chances early and let a couple of deciding points go begging, but for a most part it was a bit of a bad day for us. Our opponents played solid tennis from start to finish. They served well, took control of the net and kept us constantly off balance. We couldn’t find a way to break them down and we had cashed in our whole allotment of comeback cards for the week. We went down 6-3 6-2. All in all it was a great week for us, and it was a really good feeling to get some positive reinforcement and good results.
It has been quite an exciting couple of days! Wednesday brought in the challenge of the doubles quarter finals. Fabian and I were matched up against the Japanese pair of Sato and Katayama, the number three seeds. We got off to a shaky start, losing our serve in the 3rd game. Midway through the first set absolute chaos erupted and our match became somewhat of a sideshow.
Smoke poured across the sky overhead as, we later found out, a nearby botanical garden went up in flames. What followed was pandemonium. A dozen helicopters circled overhead, ambulances raced passed the courts, and twin engine airplanes dived and soared a few hundred yards above our heads dropping water on the flames just a block away. Apparently the linesmen and umpire were not satisfied enough with the air show, and they wanted to see some tennis too, so we continued. Our opponents capitalized, as we played a little distracted, and before we knew it we were down 6-2.
We played some great doubles yesterday. My partner and I got a reasonable draw and were up against Damon Gooch and Evan Song. We played a really solid first set, broke early and then held serve consistently to take the first set 6-3. The second set we got the early break again, but then got broken back 3 games later. We battled until finally at 4-4 we got another break chance, and we took it. We then served it out for a 6-3 6-4 victory. It was a good day. We both played well and competed hard.
Unfortunately, my singles today against Marcos Giron didn’t go as well. I played a great first set. I should’ve broken him in his very first service game but I couldn’t quite get it done. We both held until I got broken at 4-4. He closed out the set 6-4.
The second set was very disappointing for me. I really lost my intensity. I couldn’t shake the thoughts and the chances from the first set and I got broken in the very first game. From that point on I really struggled. I started going for way too much. I was serving pretty well but then really rushed the second ball. He didn’t miss a ball, I missed a lot, and he closed out the match emphatically, 6-4 6-0.
It was a really disappointing mental display by me. I stopped thinking, got frustrated, and pretty much handed him the second set. But I learnt a lot, and I definitely learnt what not to do when down a set. So life goes on. There will be more opportunities next week.
Thankfully I’m still in the doubles. We’re set to play against the #3 seeds this afternoon at 3:30pm. I’ll update you tomorrow.