My match review with Max was productive. Before we met, we both made a list of what we did well and what we can improve for next week. I was happy with the way I served, and I was happy with my first volleys. I didn’t get broken once. A huge part of my holding serve easily was because Max did a great job as servers partner. I did a nice job of hitting my targets on the serve and Max did an awesome job of covering the territory he was responsible for. I returned well enough for us to win, but I would have liked to return better late in the second and especially in the tiebreaker. I didn’t do a great job as servers partner which is normally what I do best. However, the most important thing I didn’t do well was control my emotions. Max felt that I was overly stressed for the majority of the match, but I personally didn’t feel myself over stress until late in the second.
I was serving at 3-4 in the second set, and I overreacted to losing an unimportant point early in the game. I remember feeling angry at losing a point I felt like we should have won. I didn’t realize the anger and stress stuck with me. We still held serve to make it 4-4, but my overall execution level dropped for the rest of the match. On a scale of 1-10, my execution level dropped from about a 7 to a 4 because I was playing with increased tension. I didn’t necessarily make any huge mistakes at key moments to cost us, but I wasn’t executing well enough to positively influence the point in my favor. For example, rather than execute a serve to my desired target and stick the volley, I missed my target on my serve and floated my volley. If you float volleys at this level, you will fall behind in the point quickly. I didn’t notice my stress level increase while playing. I noticed after the match while watching the game tape and during my talk with Max. I know how to calm myself down and get into the right frame of mind. Me not knowing how to calm my emotions wasn’t the problem. Me lacking the emotional awareness that I was overly stressed was the problem. If I realized that I was stressing more than usual, I would have taken the necessary steps to calm myself down and compete in a better frame of mind. It was unfortunate losing the match, but the bright side is I’ve gained emotional awareness. Me being more emotionally aware will help me win matches in the future.
Max and I had a great practice the day after our loss. Towards the end of our practice, Max got informed by the tournament director of the ATP in Newport, Rhode Island that he wildcard into. It is a great opportunity for Max, and I wish him the best of luck. Max and I will play the 4 following weeks together. I’m playing this week with Maximilian Neuchrist. He’s from Austria and he’s a good player. His focus is primarily singles, but he also plays good doubles. I remember watching him play really good doubles when I was in Slovakia last year and his performance stuck with me. We will see how we do together this tournament. We play 4th on today after 10am. The first match just finished and we have 3 more singles matches to go. We will likely play around 4:30pm eastern time for those that want to watch. See you next time!