A comeback and a nail biter

My doubles partner Fabian Matthews and I have toughed out a couple close matches to reach the finals of the Claremont Futures!

My doubles partner Fabian Matthews and I have toughed out a couple close matches to reach the finals of the Claremont Futures!

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.
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Claremont Main Draw

Stretching and rolling out some tired muscles after the doubles.  A little painful!

Stretching and rolling out some tired muscles after the doubles. A little painful!

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.


Claremont Qualies

Well, it was a tough weekend of qualifying but I managed to make it through. Thankfully I only had to play one match a day, anything else in the heat of Claremont would have been a real challenge. I got a first round bye on Friday, meaning that I started my qualifying campaign first thing on Saturday morning. I won my first and second rounds convincingly, 6-2 6-1 and 6-1 6-4 respectively. I played my final round of qualifying this morning. My opponent was Emmett Egger, a player from the University of Washington. On the line, a spot in the main draw and a little bit of revenge for me. Egger and his partner Kyle McMorrow had been the only team to beat my doubles partner, Andre Dome, and I in the collegiate regular season last year.

I got off to a great start. Serving big and really putting pressure on my opponents return games. I broke in the third game and never looked back. Although I was putting more pressure on him than he was putting on me, we both held serve for the rest of the set. 6-4 to me.

The second set was a carbon copy of the first. I broke early and then held serve convincingly to take the match 6-4 6-4. It was a great feeling to qualify without losing a set and an even better feeling to get some wins under my belt. Qualifiers get the following day off, so I’ll play my next match on Wednesday morning. The draw was just posted and my opponent is Marcos Giron, the standout from UCLA. Not the greatest draw, but definitely not the worst. My partner, Fabian Matthews, and I are scheduled to play doubles tomorrow afternoon.

I’ll let you know how it goes. I have to get back to watching the US Open final, Nadal up 4-3 in the third. Unbelievable tennis going on right now. Novak¬†Djokovic and Rafael¬†Nadal really are taking our sport to new heights. It’s incredible to watch.

Enjoy it!