Preparations this week for the Santa Maria Open have gone really well. I have been playing as many sets as possible and trying to get my mind into match mode. I have 4 tournaments in a row coming up — so it’s important for me to get off to a good start. My movement is improving more and more every day and I’m feeling confident about the next few weeks.
What’s interesting is that this movement change and my rediscovery of the split step has really helped to alleviate some of the pressure I feel during the points. I don’t feel as if I have to go for broke anymore. I can bide my time, move the ball around and set up the point.
I think too many players get caught in the trap of the never ending pursuit of perfect technique and ball striking, and forget the simple fact that they are trying to get the ball in the court, more times than their opponent. There have definitely been times when I have been guilty of this. Sometimes I’ll almost brainlessly swing for the fences and forget that I’m playing a game of cat and mouse. Fortunately, those days are over. I really enjoyed my week of practice, I was able to relax, play within myself, not go for too much and just play the game.
I’m on my way to Santa Maria right now. I play my first singles match tomorrow morning at 9:30 am. I’ll update you as I go. Enjoy the US Open action!