Tiburon Recap and Fairfield Start
Tiburon was another good week for Max and I to build on as we lost in the semifinal. We did a nice job making it through a tough section of the draw and advance deep in the tournament. We played the 4 seeds first round, Sem Verbeek and Andre Goransson. They won a challenger together only a couple of weeks prior to us playing them, so we knew they were going to be a tough match. We won 6-3, 6-7, 10-7. The next round, we beat James Cerretani and Maximine Cressy. Maximine is having a really nice year in singles. He’s currently ranked 220. James is currently 124 in doubles, but he has been ranked as high as 45. I didn’t return as well as I wanted to in that particular match, but we were able to win 6-3, 6-4. In the semifinal, we lost to JC Aragone and Darian King. They are both good singles players who are capable of playing good doubles. Max and I won the first set 6-2, lost the second 7-5, and lost the tiebreaker 10-7.
I had a bitter sweet feeling after completing Tiburon. On one hand, it felt nice to make it deep into the tournament; on the other hand, we felt like Tiburon was our tournament to win. I was happy to have a solid week, but I was disappointed that we didn’t win the tournament. Us having high expectations is important because people that expect to win generally put themselves in the best position to succeed. People who don’t expect to win often find ways to lose. The bright side is high expectations increase our chance of success, but the downside is truly expecting to win makes losing hurt a lot more. However, I’m grateful for the good week, and it’s another step in the right direction for Max and me.
I’m excited at the general level that Max and I have been playing at for the past month. I’m even more excited at how much better we can become as a team. Max and I have been playing a high level for a set, and also in pressure moments like set and match tiebreakers. Our current level has allowed us to beat good teams and be a threat to advance deep in each tournament we play. However, it’s our goal to consistently win challenger level tournaments, so we can graduate to the ATP. Max and I have to get to the point where we are playing a high level for two sets rather than just one set and pressure moments. We believe that if we can play a high level for two sets, we can be an ATP level team.
How do Max and I continue to improve? By continuing to work hard as we have been and staying curious. As I mentioned in previous blogs, we have early morning practice most days, afternoon practice against another team, and we do film study on our practices. While we watch film, we both take notes and make corrections on things we can improve. Sometimes we don’t know the answer to a scenario that pops up on film. When that happens, we send the video to Eric Butorac who helps us. Eric has been retired for a few years but has reached as high as 17 in the world in doubles and is a Grand slam Champion.
After Tiburon, we had a week off. During the week off, I spent time in New York at Max’s house to train with him and Eric. On the first day, Max and I spent time only watching film of our matches played this past month with Eric. On the second and third day, Max and I worked hard to apply the advice that Eric had given us. Eric felt that we did most things well. We hit our first volleys well, we make more than enough returns to win, and our serve and returners partner is a strength of our team. Eric said that the area we have the most room to grow is starting the point with heavier serves. If we hit heavier serves, we can do a better job of forcing weaker returns more often. Eric told us, “You can fix positional things and improve tactics all you want. You improving those areas may take you to 105 in the world, but both of you serving heavier will jump you to 40 in the world.” Eric gave us a few drills that worked for him on his serve that Max and I have started to use these last few days.
I’m currently in Fairfield, California. We play JC Aragone and Donald Young first round. We play 4th up after 10:00am. We will likely go on court around 5:00pm EST. Thanks for your support and I look forward to posting again at the end of the week.