Updated: Sep 24, 2019
It’s been a long time since I’ve written my last blog. The main reason I haven’t written anything lately is because I didn’t have the finances to continue playing and thought I was going to have to stop. I thought during the week of August 5th at the 100k in Aptos, California would be my last tournament for the year.
When I arrived the night of August 4th to the San Francisco Airport, I checked the draw to see who Max and I were going to play. I searched the draw from top to bottom and didn’t see our name. I continued to stare at the draw for a few minutes searching for our name only to realize that Max and I didn’t make the cut for the tournament. We were the first alternate out. Once I realized we didn’t make the draw, I became pretty devastated. My plan was to work very hard to have a good summer, earn a US Open wildcard as I did last year, and use that money to fund my fall. Aptos and Vancouver were the only two challengers left before the US Open Wildcard selections were made. Max and I had very mediocre results leading up to Aptos and Vancouver, which is why having good results in the two upcoming tournaments were vital. Once I realized we didn’t make the draw in Aptos, my hopes of making The US Open were gone. This meant I would have no way of funding my fall to continue playing. Although I was heartbroken at the time, I felt like I had to quickly cheer up because Claire, my housing mom for the week, drove an hour from Aptos to San Francisco to get me from the airport. I didn’t want to be a complete downer, but it was honestly hard not to hide my disappointment.
Max and I met at housing that night to discuss how we should go about the week in Aptos. We decided to sign in as alternates the upcoming days and continue to train. If a team pulled out, Max and I would make the draw. For doubles, first rounds are played on Tuesday, Wednesday and occasionally Thursday. On Tuesday, Max and I signed as alternates and trained but all doubles teams showed up for their matches. On Wednesday, Max and I signed for alternates and trained but all doubles teams showed up for their matches that day also. On Thursday, there was only one doubles match left. Leander Paes was scheduled to play but couldn’t because of his ankle, so he pulled out which allowed Max and Me into the tournament. We played well and made our way to the finals. We lost in the third set tie breaker 10-8. My results in Aptos lead to me getting a US Open Mixed Doubles Wildcard with Sachia Vickery. The money from mixed is allowing me to continue playing the fall with Max which has been awesome!
Since the US Open, we played 3 tournaments. We lost first round in a 125k in New Haven, Connecticut 17-15 in the breaker. It always stings when losing a match that close, but it’s a part of professional tennis. After New Haven, I went to New York for a few days to train with Max to prepare for the next tournament in 90k Cary, North Carolina. We beat the 1 seeds of that tournament first round which was a good win for us. Both players are currently top 100. The next round, we played John Patrick Smith and Treat Huey. John Patrick is currently top 100 and Treat Huey was ranked between 20 and 65 in the world from 2011 to 2017 before getting injured in 2018. After sitting out that full year, he has come back this year with a protected ranking at 106 to start his journey to become top 100 once again. We lost to them 10-8 in the third set breaker. The match we played against them was streamed on the tennis channel which I found very cool. The next tournament after Cary was a 90k in Columbus, Ohio. Max and I lost in the final of that tournament 6-4, 7-6. Although Max and I lost first and second round the weeks prior, we felt ourselves playing well because we work very hard. Us finally having another big result and making another final was both rewarding and motivating. We are currently in Tiburon, California for this week’s tournament.
I’m very excited that I’ve been able to continue my journey. Max and I have been working very hard to get better each day and finish the year strong. In preparation for this week’s tournament, we met yesterday to recap on last week and our goals we would like to accomplish this week. Our meetings are very simple. We meet at the beginning of each week to address performance goals we set for the previous week and determine whether we improved in those areas or not. The next thing we do is identify areas of our game we want to address this week. Once we identify those areas, create practice plans that are designed to help improve those areas. We play the tournament and then evaluate our progress in the beginning of the next week. I really love this process we go through to get ready, and I’ve noticed more of a jump in our game in the past two weeks. I look forward to providing weekly blogs again and keeping you all updated on my journey and what Max and I are learning each week. I’m currently ranked 132 and my goal is to still be top 100 by the end of the year. We play the 4 seeds first round on Wednesday. We play 4th up after 10 Pacific Time. Take care and I look forward to updating you on my journey next week.