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.
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.
Not getting into the tournament in Felixstowe turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Having lost early in both Manchester and Ilkley, I was not in a good place both mentally and physically. Tennis is such a mental game and in difficult times it becomes a mental struggle. Thankfully, this free week came at just the right time and I’m glad I took full advantage of it.