The last few days have taken an unexpected turn for the worst. On Saturday, I was unable to board my flight and make it to Europe, which left Max stranded without a partner this week. Max was upset and frustrated at the whole situation, and I was devastated for both myself and Max. As I mentioned in the previous blog, Max is coming back from injury and is anxious to play, so he can present a case for himself for getting a US Open Wildcard. He also traveled to Europe this week for nothing, essentially. I also have the same goal of taking advantage of each week to present my case for The Open as well. We have about 9 weeks to make our case and this week proved to be a missed opportunity, which is disappointing.
My reason for me not making it to Europe is a fairly complicated story. I fly standby everywhere I travel. For those that don’t know what flying standby is: it allows us to board flights that don’t fill up and have open seats and fly at a reduced price. I had an 11:40 flight to Newark, New Jersey and then a 6:30 flight to Geneva, Switzerland. The 11:40 flight was completely full, and the next flight to Newark wouldn’t have arrived until 7:30 causing me to miss the Geneva flight. Because of this, I looked on my phone to find alternate routes to Geneva. I found a flight path that went through Washington and then Geneva that had lots of free seats. However, I was told by the United representatives that my bags were sent to Newark along with my missed flight, and they wouldn’t forward to Switzerland without my presence. Long story short, I had to fly from Newark to arrive in Switzerland with my bags. Matters got worse once I checked the seat availability for Geneva the following day, and the flight was overbooked. I was also told by United Baggage customer service that my bags getting sent back to Atlanta would take anywhere from a couple of days to a week. I can’t do anything without my travel and tennis bag, so the quickest way for me to move on with my life was to go to Newark on Monday (the following day) to retrieve my bags. After retrieving my bags, I will be able to fly to Switzerland on Tuesday to train with Max for half a week before playing next week’s tournament in Milan.
Missing this week’s competition was unfortunate, but these types of things happen to everybody at one time or another throughout the longevity of our careers. It’s my job to make the best out of the situation by training and getting better each day with Max. We will have the opportunity to practice with other teams at the tournament in Parma and work on our craft. The next challenge for me this week will be finding a person in the tournament I can split a room with. Since I’m not in the tournament, I don’t get free hospitality. I’m hoping I can get lucky and find someone that will allow me to stay in their room because paying for my own for 3 days will be less than ideal with my current money situation. However, in my eyes, taking the risk and coming to train with Max to properly prepare for my next tournament is worth the risk. I’m ultimately responsible for not coming through for Max this week, and me getting to Parma as early as possible to train and prepare is the right thing to do. Plus I also believe in myself and my abilities enough to hopefully do well in next weeks’ tournament to offset money lost from this whole debacle. It’s definitely a stressful situation if I let my mind battle what if scenarios. I just do my best to keep my mind in the present and focus on what I need to do in this moment and this day to give me the best chance to succeed.
I’m currently on my way to the Newark Airport, and my flight leaves at 6:30 Eastern Standard Time. I’ll get into Geneva at 7:45am the following day. I’ll then take the train to Milan, get in that night, and start my training the following day. I look forward to sharing my training week with you all. Max and I have a lot of hard work ahead of us, and it will be a fun journey.