With rain through the evening, our semifinal match was moved up an hour and we started play at 8 am on Sunday. I was happy to be getting a re-match with the player that left me feeling terrible 4 years ago. He was hitting the ball pretty well, however (and I guess I don’t know a nice way of saying this) he is not in good physical shape anymore and I was working and moving him around pretty hard. I was in control of the points but was over-using the drop shot and trying to extend the points to wear him down. I actually ended up losing more points this way, and therefore lost a couple games more than I might have liked, but I felt it would still be the best strategy. Unfortunately, toward the end of the first set, after angling him off the court, he returned it and pulled up lame, possibly tearing a ligament in his lower leg, and he was forced to retire. I felt bad for him, as injuries are never fun. He was also really nice about noticing how much I have improved since we last played.
After a couple hours break, it was time for the final. I knew going into the finals that my opponent was going to be very tough. His playing resume proved that he was a solid college player — playing tight with the number one players at UCLA and Pepperdine, as well as a lot of good wins over top ranked NCAA players, and to top it off, he has played Davis Cup for his country, which shows his experience. There really is not a lot I can say about the match, as it was a disappointing display.
I didn’t have long after the Aquatennial final as I am now in Dubuque, Iowa for a prize money open tournament. This is my first time here and it seems like a nicely run event. Today I had 3 singles matches and it went very well as I am now into the semis tomorrow!
It is pretty hot here too, but I got off the court quickly each time which helps. One nice thing was being back on a regular hard court again. The balls are different though which is always part of going from place to place. Instead of extra duty US Open balls, we are using regular Wilson rec balls, so it’s like a super ball in comparison and serves are kicking way up and the strokes get through faster too. Overall, I like it but it is an adjustment as many things always are.
My previous injuries feel good but my shoulder is a bit tight and I’m having some bad chafing. It seems like there’s always something! It rained today and is supposed to be cloudy so I’m hoping for cooler temps in these tougher matches. My semifinal opponent beat me in singles handily on clay in 2009. I’ve improved so much since then so it should go better. If I make the final, it will be against an extremely good college player from Drake who was ranked in the top 30-some and played the year end singles tournament this year. Ill try my best and win or lose it’s pretty good money to be made.
You can check out the draw: https://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=139311