Final Tournament of The Year and Offseason
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
Max and I lost in the second round of Houston to Luke Bambridge and Nathaniel Lammons. They are both top 100 in the world and had great results this year. Luke made the quarters of US Open, and Nathaniel has won several challengers. He is starting to scratch the surface of playing ATPs consistently. Our match score was 6-1, 6-4 and the match didn’t necessarily ever feel close. I personally felt they played very well. However, them being “on” is two-fold: On one hand, they would have beaten a lot of teams badly that day; on the other hand, Max and I simply need to get better. If we could have been more imposing, we could have disrupted how well they played. We need to continue holding serve and executing our strengths at a higher level. Our serving, first volleys and neutral volleys are our strength as a team. Ideally, my serve and volleys need to shoot through the court rather than hang for opponents to get a clean look at. My serves and volleys shoot through the court 60 to 70 percent of the time. I’ve made good progress, but I can do better. My goal is to take my strengths from being pretty good to dominant. It will be a process that requires relentless work, but I’m excited to do it.
We will have the full month of December to make our strengths dominant. When Max and I put Luke and Nathaniel under scoreboard pressure during their service games ( 0-30, 15-30, 15-40 or 0-40), they found free points with their serve to get out of trouble. When Max and I were under scoreboard pressure on our serve, we barley found any free points. We executed a well placed, heavy serve at time and a hanging serve at other times. The exciting part is I feel like I only need to improve this skill set about 10 to 15 percent more to make decent progress in reaching my goal of being a top 75 player in the world. However, at our level, improving and extra 10 to 15 percent takes a lot of hard work, but we are willing to do it.
Overall, Max and I had a really nice back end of the summer and fall of playing together. We reached 3 finals and 2 semifinals. The key is trying to turn 2 of those finals into wins and 1 of the semifinals to a final. Those results would have given me approximately an additional 110 points. Winning challengers rather than just making the final is the difference from being top 100 to being 120 in the world. Max and I have made very steady progress during our time together, and this is what the path of getting better looks like: slow and steady progress until we finally have our breakthrough. An extra 10 to 15 percent of higher level execution should help us win some of the challenger finals we lost last year.
I’m currently in Tiburon/Mill Valley, California, and I’ve been here for the last week. Patrick Kaliski was nice enough to let me teach at his club during my two week vacation period after the season. I have another week to spend here before going to Orlando to start off season training. I’ll be blogging frequently to keep you all updated on our progress. I’ll also keep you all updated on the specific drills and mindset techniques we are using to improve. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!