Hans and I are currently in the second round of Milan. We won our first round 6-4, 6-7, 10-6. The match should have honestly been 6-4, 6-4 in our favor. We served for the match at 5-4 and got broken. I got 3 overheads on the first point of the game. I failed to put the first two away, and I missed the third one. I was not happy. After losing the first point, we battled back in the game and ended up getting broken after the 30-40 point. I was really frustrated with myself for losing the first point of the game because momentum is everything at this level. Winning the first point of the game may not seem like a huge deal and sometimes it’s not. However, whenever the score is fairly close, and we lose a point that we should have won, the momentum has a chance to turn. The chances of the momentum changing quickly is even higher when trying to close out a match. After I gave them the first point of the game, they hit two return winners and executed well on the other point to break us. Players exploit any kind of opening they can at this level if given the opportunity. Although I was upset with myself, mistakes like the ones I made are common and if I don’t mentally regroup quickly, I’ll fall behind in the score. I was ultimately proud of myself for regrouping and playing a good match tiebreaker to win the match.
After the match, I got treatment on my wrist, had lunch, and had practice for an hour. It’s very important to make a consistent effort to get better if I want to make it out of the challenger level. Everyone is good. The difference between the last doubles team in the tournament and the 1 seed is very small. If I don’t consistently work to add to my game, my chances of stacking wins against these teams and eventually winning the tournament is unlikely. I worked on the timing of my serve during practice. My serve was the only thing I didn’t necessarily do well in the match. I lifted at the gym after practice and that completed my day yesterday.
Today we had 8:30 – 9:30 individual work, 11:00 – 12:00 match play, film study on our opponents after lunch, and lift at the end of the day. Our opponents are good players. One of them made the quarter finals of Wimbledon in doubles a few years ago. Hans and I look forward to the challenge. We play second after 10:00am. We will likely go on around 11:30, which will be 5:30am eastern time. Hans and I will do more individual work at 10:00am and rest a little before our match. Please tune in if you’re an early riser! Take care.