This weekend we have the US Open National Playoff sectional for the Northern division, and it will be played at the University of Minnesota. It is nice to have a local tournament after having to travel and be gone for a week in San Diego! There is quite a mix of players in all of the events, and with some tough competition as well. The weather has turned quite humid and sometimes very warm recently, so I always leave the courts drenched!
I started with singles and the afternoon, and cruised along pretty well to win 6-0 6-0. I played on court next to Brian Battistone, who I may end up against in the final. It was interesting to see him playing in person with his jump serving and two-handled racquet, and he plays tough. Another tough opponent, Evan Song, withdrew apparently from an injury and is not here. After finishing, I was able to watch my mixed doubles partner go up against a currently ranked top 500 WTA player. A few things here and there did not quite go her way as she lost 7-6 6-4, but I would say the result is commendable for a 14 year old.
Although it was cool and windy with overcast again, today was a great day! I won my singles semi-final match 6-1 6-1, and the final will be tomorrow (Monday) at noon. I still feel that I could sharpen up a couple areas, but today I played a little better than yesterday. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so we may be playing indoors. The final will be against a former University of Minnesota #1 who had a good national ranking and played the year end NCAA singles tournament at least one year. We played a final in April that I won, but he is looking tougher now in my opinion, so I will need to be ready to perform.
We also won our first doubles match and we both played very well together. After watching the other doubles semi-final, they requested to play the final this evening right away since one player would be unable to play on Monday. We agreed and played it indoors. The first set was tough, close and on serve but we pulled it out at the end 6-4. We played great in the second set and won 6-1. It was a fun match against a couple of very powerful and talented juniors but we were able to overcome with smart play, consistency and accuracy. It was some of the best doubles I have ever played actually, which hopefully will continue over into tomorrow’s singles final.
I just have the one final match tomorrow then, and I also plan to watch some of the women’s singles and doubles finals. It will showcase a couple of our section’s very best juniors that are also prominent on the national scene (one is my mixed doubles partner from a month ago). The most amazing part is that they are only 14! I am hoping to also have some of my singles match taped, so I will share that soon as long as I can put my best foot forward!