Well the time has come for all eyes in the tennis world to gravitate towards NYC. The first day of the 2013 US Open is here! I cannot tell you how excited I am to be back up playing in the main draw of both singles and doubles. For an American, it doesn’t get much better than playing here because the atmosphere is electric. The crowds are loud, the spotlight is always on, and opportunities are there to make dreams come true. I’m especially pumped because I’ve been watching tennis from the couch for most of the year due to the right knee injury I sustained during the Australian Open. This is my third tournament back and I’m ready to get after it. It’s also the 20 year anniversary of the 1st time time I visited Flushing Meadows. I definitely was a wide-eyed 8 year old whose dream was to one day to play in the US Open.
I arrived in NYC on Thursday morning and have just been practicing and training for the past few days. The courts have a nice medium speed to them that should fit my game well. I’ve typically been doing two 45 minute sessions on the court hitting each day and have spent another 45 minutes to an hour in the gym. The key for me leading up to a grand slam is to hit just enough to get the feel of the courts and stay sharp. I don’t need several hours on the court to accomplish this feat. Off the court, I’ve just been hanging out with my family and my girlfriend who made the trip up from Nashville, TN. I normally like to just rest up at night when I’m away from the courts, but on Friday, my girlfriend dragged me to the Broadway play, The Phantom of the Opera. I’m glad that she did because it was a great time. I strongly suggest going to a play if you visit NYC.
In singles, I am set to play the 2001 champ and former number 1, Lleyton Hewitt. I’ve never played Lleyton in a match and have only practiced with him once, so it will be a new match for both of us. He is a great player and champion, but I’m ready to play and excited for the opportunity. I’ll be trying to gain some information over the next few days on how to best play against Lleyton. Our match is scheduled for Wednesday, so it’s another day of hitting the practice court for me tomorrow. I’m hitting with fellow American, Tim Smyczek at 12:15 for 45 minutes and then I’m done for the day.
In future blogs, I’ll give you guys more in depth info on what a typical match day and practice day looks like for me at the Open. I’ll also be doing an equipment blog among others so stay tuned!