After taking some time off this fall, I was getting back into playing and training hard. Unfortunately, I have not had good luck as for the last 3 weeks as I have had pretty bad plantar fasciitis. I had a mild case several years ago, but this is really uncomfortable and limits my movement. I’m trying to do different things to heal it, but I am always on my feet coaching. Hopefully, something will work to get me back doing what I love. In the mean time, I tried a few of the new racquets and have feedback on that as I’m sure many of you are looking at some of the newer racquets out there.
As some of you know, I have been using Head Radical racquets since I was in middle school. The first racquet I playtested this fall was the Prince Tour 98 ESP. I chose this racquet as it was a similar weight to my Radical and is also pretty flexy. I tend to like racquets that are not too stiff. I could definitely tell a difference in spin on my shots from the 16×16 string pattern! I had nice control in a very comfortable package, but felt I was just not quite getting enough sting on my serves and forehands that I am used to. Continue reading →
I just want to start out by thanking everyone who’s made the past couple of weeks such an incredible experience. The outpouring of love and support has been both humbling and heartwarming. It’s such an amazing feeling to have so many people behind you.
Tim Smyczek at the US Open — photo by Cynthia Lum
Saturday night was a three and a half hour adrenaline rush. I’ve never been a part of something that special on a tennis court. I found it impossible to feel tired with a crowd like that carrying me the entire way. I can tell that feeling is addictive and I can’t wait to be in that same position again. I got chills every time the crowd started chanting, “USA, USA!” I wanted so badly to win that match for all the people cheering me on, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
There’s a reason that Pete and Andre and Andy used to love coming to New York every summer and I feel like I can in some small way relate to that. And I can’t wait to be back next year to do it all over again.
Well obviously I’m disappointed with the result of my first round match against Hewitt. However, I am proud of the way that I competed and felt that my level was pretty solid for the most part (especially for being my third tournament back after over 6 months off). I think my biggest issue was that I haven’t been able to train quite as hard as I’ve wanted to, and that forced me to play too aggressive in the final set. My legs just weren’t quite there and didn’t feel like I could extend a ton of the rallies. Another huge factor was that I didn’t serve well. I probably broke him enough to win two matches, but just never got a good rhythm on my serve. He obviously returns well, but I should never lose my serve that many times.
Brian Baker at the US Open — photo by Cynthia Lum
On the bright side, I’m still alive in the doubles with my good friend Rajeev Ram. We won our first match against the youngsters who won Kalamazoo earlier this month (Ronnie Schneider and Paul Oosterbaan). It was definitely an interesting match because Ronnie and Rajeev are good friends from Indianapolis and share the same coach, Bryan Smith. It was all business during the match, but I’m sure it was tough on Rajeev to play his good friend in his first US Open experience.
Today we play the 7 seeds, Benneteau and Zimonjic. They are a great team who has been in good form lately (won DC). However, Rajeev an I are a confident team and truly believe we can beat anyone out here if we play well. If we take care if our service games, we should be in good shape.
Time to go get on the bike and see my trainer before our 10:45 warmup. We play 2nd after women’s doubles, so we will probably go on around 12:30.