Sep 12, 2012
Well it has been a beautiful start to the week. I got through my first round of singles and doubles today. In singles I went up against A. Ventre (BRA). The guy came out swinging early in the match. He was ripping forehands from all over the court and painting lines left and right. I was praying that he would cool down a little bit or else I knew it would be a long day. My goal was to weather the storm at the beginning and then make a little rain myself once he cooled down. He missed a couple balls in a close 3-3 game and he let his frustration get the best of him. I did my best to take advantage of the opportunity and squeeze out a break. It was pretty smooth sailing from then on. I went on to win 6-3 6-2. He had his fair share of altercations with the referee. During the match he received two warnings, one for throwing his racket and one for yelling at the referee for too long, along with a point penalty for crushing a ball over the fence. He wasn't satisfied yet though. Immediately following match point he threw his racket over the fence into a tree. The crowd of five people watching the match were all trying to figure out if the racket ever came down or not. I couldn't tell myself, but either way he got some pretty impressive distance on it. Either way I was happy to walk away with a win. I am lucky to get the day off tomorrow in singles. I play my second round Thursday against the winner of Denis Nevolo (USA) and Prakash Amritraj (IND).
This week I am playing doubles with Reid Carleton who is a former Duke player. This is the first time we have played together and hopefully we can make a good run. We won our first round today 6-2 6-4 against a pretty tough team. Hopefully we can keep the wins coming. We play our second round tomorrow not before 2:30pm. We are the #1 seeded team so I'm hoping we can uphold our end of the deal. We will see in due time though. I have faith in us.
In other news the weather is awesome. When is it not in California though right? I am staying in housing without Internet this week so it is a little tricky posting. I am having to relay through email on my phone to get these posts up so bare with me a little bit. Next week will be more timely blogging. I will make sure to keep you guys posted throughout the week though. Feel free to leave comments if you have questions about anything as well. Anyways it is late here and I need to get my snooze on. Thanks for stopping by and stay classy.
All the best,
Sep 7, 2012
Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.
Sep 6, 2012
I know I have been MIA for the past couple months. I apologize for the lack of postings. I am back and ready to get this thing going though. I hope that you guys can find it in your hearts to forgive me for my laziness. I won't let you down this go round.
I am currently in Bradenton, FL training at the famous IMG Academies (aerial view below). It is a pretty unbelievable facility. It covers about 450 acres and caters to tennis, baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, and football. It is also a pretty nice perk to be about ten minutes from the beach. I will be here for a couple more days, and then I am off to California for four weeks of tournaments. The end of the year is going to be a pretty busy one. Everyone is trying to get one last push of ATP points before January rolls around again. I have no points to defend for the rest of the year, so I am looking forward to finishing off strong. It is a good opportunity for me to put up some results. I plan on taking full advantage of it.
As far as tennis goes I don't have too much exciting to report at the moment. There are a couple of things I am excited about though. The New Orleans Saints season opener against the Redskins is getting me amped already. My Ole Miss Rebels are 1-0 in football and going up against UTEP on Saturday. I couldn't be more stoked about that whole scenario. Football season is just a better time of year. I have had withdrawals for the past couple of months just waiting for it to roll around. Not to mention fantasy football. I love me some fantasy football. I am in three leagues this year, but the most important one has to be my family league. There is too much pride on the line. We even have a custom made trophy for the winner (pictured below). I dream to one day have that bad boy sitting on my mantle. The moral of the story is football season is a thing of beauty. Never forget that.
That's about all I have for you today. I am excited to get back into the rhythm of blogging and keeping you all up to date on everything. I will have the Tour section of the website up to speed by tomorrow. I post again sometime on Sunday. I am also looking into getting an instagram for more photo updates. Anyways, good stuff all around. I look forward to our next meeting. Thanks for reading along.
All the best,
Jul 19, 2012
I want to start off with explaining the rules of World Team Tennis for a second. It is pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but it is an adjustment for sure. The match consists of men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles. Each event plays a set up to 5 with a 9-point tiebreaker at 4-4. It is all no-ad scoring. So there is no room for error and you have to be ready to go from the first hit of the ball. The home team coach chooses the order of play an hour prior to start time. You keep the team score by total of games won. If the trailing team wins the last event then it goes into overtime. Overtime goes until the leading team wins one game or until the trailing team ties the score and then there is a tiebreaker to decide it all. Also we play lets in WTT. So it forces you to stay on your toes at all times. It is high-paced action. That about sums it up the rules. Time to move on the updates.
So the first week of WTT was pure madness. We played seven of the first eight days with four away matches. It was a lot of travel and not a whole lot of sleep. The main problem is that we play at 7pm and we finish around 10pm on average. By the time the match is over I am so pumped full of adrenaline that sleep isn't even an option. So the sleeping schedule is all twisted up. I pretty much sleep at any opportunity I get during the day to try and make up for the lack of sleep at night. Amir Weintraub and I got caught in the act at the airport in Atlanta a couple of days ago (pictured below). I always fully appreciate the chairs with no armrests. I think that the picture kind of sums up our fatigue levels for the last week. Also on a side note I have to mention that the bag next to my head belongs to a man and that man being the Lasers team coach JL De Jager. It is pretty cute I think. He wears it well.
Our team record is 1-6 at the moment. We got our first win Monday night against the Orange County Breakers. So I just figure we are on a one match win streak. We had 3 match points against the Kansas City Explorers last week (venue pictured below). That was a rough one to lose. We were up 16-10 going into the last match and Amir and I lost 6 straight games and a tiebreaker to lose the match. I am still unsure as to how exactly it happened. It is all a blur. I am choosing to completely forget about it now though. We are moving on. Tonight we are going up against the Sacramento Capitals at 7pm here in Springfield. Sacramento is leading our division so it would be a good one to take. Sam Querrey is their singles guy so it should be an entertaining match. I am looking forward to it.
Well I hope to have more exciting information for you guys in the next post. I am pretty busy with everything going on so bear with me on the lack of posts. It is time to go hit some balls and get ready for match time. Thanks for reading along. Be blessed.
All the best,
Jul 11, 2012
I apologize for the delay on the post, but this World Team Tennis business is nonstop action. I have been going twenty-four seven the past few days. I am happy to have an hour or so of free time to update you guys on all that has been going on.
First off I want to mention that Jeff Dadamo and I took the doubles title in the Winnetka, IL 50K event. (pictured below) We had a pretty tough draw going in, but we squeezed through it. It was our first time playing together and both of our first challenger titles. So that was pretty exciting. Jeff was bringing the heat on the serve all week. I have to give him a big shout-out for that and for putting up with me for the week. I cracked the top 180 in doubles so I am pretty pumped about that. I also moved to 36-4 record on the year for doubles, which I am pretty proud of. I hope to continue improving my ranking and working my way up the ladder in singles and doubles.
Anyways, let's move on to the exciting stuff. I am currently in Springfield, MO playing World Team Tennis for the Springfield Lasers. My teammates are Amir Weintraub (ISR), Timea Babos (HUN), Maria Sanchez (USA) and our beautiful South African coach JL De Jager. I have enjoyed hanging with all of them. I was really lucky to get a pretty cool group of people to be around for three weeks. We started a couple of days ago and it has been pretty much all out blitz. We opened up the first night against the Kansas City Explorers here in Springfield. We went down in a pretty close loss. I wasn't too happy with my play in the match, but it will get better I am sure. Yesterday we flew to NYC to play the Sportimes. We travel in style on the Lasers squad (below). We don't mess around. Unfortunately we took a loss last night as well to move to 0-2. The good thing is we got on the jet again this morning back to Springfield and have a chance to redeem ourselves tonight against the Washington Kastles at 7PM central time. I hope I will have some more good news for you guys in the next post.
I will say that World Team Tennis aka WTT is a lot of fun. They keep it entertaining for everybody. There is music playing at all times except during the point. It is really fast paced so it keeps you on your toes at all times. The fans really seem to enjoy it. I have always liked being a part of a team as well so I think that side of it is awesome. It is just a good time all around. If you ever get a chance to go out to a match somewhere take advantage of it. I am sure you will enjoy yourself. I will explain more about the rules in my next post. That is a whole different story in itself. Anyways, I have to get going and get ready for the battle tonight. I hope you guys enjoyed the post. I will post as often as I can during the season to keep you guys posted. Thanks for reading. Laser out.
All the best,
Jul 4, 2012
Well I went down in the final round of qualifying on Monday 6-3 7-6 to my roommate and doubles partner Jeff Dadamo. I don't think either of us brought our A game to the match, but he was able to play better on the bigger points which made the difference. I was serving at 5-3 in the second but failed to make a first serve on my way to getting broken. The tiebreaker was a complete disaster as well. He came up with a couple good shots, and I missed a few routine balls. It just wasn't my day out there. I need to be better I know that much. Doubles on the other hand went well yesterday. We went up against the two seeds Bobby Reynolds (USA) and Rik De Voest (RSA). We both served pretty well and were holding fairly easily. We squeezed out a 7-6(10) 7-6(7) victory. Needless to say it came down to one point here or there in both sets. Luckily we got those points. We will play our second round tomorrow not before 3:00PM.
Outside of tennis I have been enjoying myself this week though. I have an awesome housing setup this week. They are treating us incredibly well and have a beautiful place to stay. They have twin fourteen year-old boys so there have been a lot of ping-pong match-ups this week to say the least. It has been a lot of fun. Last night we all went to a local gathering for a big firework show. It was a beauty. I got a little video footage, but it wasn't quite up to par for the blog. I did however hear a song that I think should be the official song of the 4th of July (below). That is right. You guessed it. America the Beautiful by Ray Charles. If you don't feel some sort of patriotic emotions listening to that then you pretty much don't have a soul. No offense. It just doesn't get much better than Ray Charles and America mixed together. That is a heck of a dream team.
Besides that there isn't a whole lot of information to share. I did witness the Joey Chestnut hotdog massacre today. Watching that competition is a great way to lose your appetite. I always decide to watch it and mid-way through I wonder what I was thinking. I always wondered how someone got involved in competitive hotdog eating anyways. Either way it is amazing how they throw down. It's impressive and disgusting all in one. What more can you ask for?
Anyways, I hope you all have enjoyed your 4th of July celebrations. You have got to love the U S of A. I know I do. Be safe the rest of the night. I will post again on Friday. Thanks again for reading along. You guys and girls are the bomb.
All the best,
Jul 1, 2012
Qualifying play started today here in Winnetka, IL. I was lucky enough to get a bye through to the second round of qualifying so I only had to play one match today. It was not an easy one by any means. I went up against Gregory Andrews (USA) who plays for Notre Dame. I pulled out a win 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 7-5. It was a pretty up and down match. He came up with some pretty big forehands when he needed them. I didn't serve quite as well as I would have liked to, but it was a good match to get through. I will go up against my doubles partner and roommate for the week Jeff Dadamo (USA) in the second round tomorrow. We play second after 10:00AM. There will be live scores on the ATP/WTA app for your iphones as well as online here in case you are interested.
In other news tonight was the sponsors/players party. It was held at one of the local family houses. It was a really nice setup with some good food and an awesome view of Lake Michigan. The coolest part was that they had a raft setup in the Lake for a chipping competition and a long drive competition. I came up pretty clutch in the chipping competition. I can tell you honestly that I am one of the worst golfers out there, but I hit two chips on a frozen rope to the raft. Nobody hit the raft, however I was the closest. So I came away with a title tonight. I am pretty proud of it. There was also a prize for the winner, but I will find out what that is tomorrow. The long drive competition proved to be too much for me. I hit it hard and straight but unfortunately it just wasn't enough. You can't win them all. I was able to snap a shot of Tennys Sandgren (USA) striking a nice long ball (below). He got robbed out of the title, but he walks away with his head held high. Just look at the technique as well. This truly was beauty and the beast.
That is all I have for you guys tonight. It is time for some rest and recovery before tomorrow's battle. I hope you guys have had a good weekend. Thanks for tuning in to the blog. Comments are always welcome. Be blessed.
All the best,
Jun 24, 2012
I apologize for the blog slacking going on this week. I have not been on my blogging grind. I admit it. I have however been on my training grind though. I am working as hard as possible and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments. I will be leaving for Winnetka, IL on Friday morning to get ready for the challenger event. Which will be followed by three weeks of World Team Tennis. I will be playing for the Springfield, MO Lasers. I am pretty pumped to see what WTT is all about. I have heard it is pretty awesome. Time will tell though. You can check the schedule here to see if you can make it to any of the matches.
On a different note, tropical storm Debby has been doing work down here for the past couple of days. I haven't seen the sun in a quick minute (that is a long time in awesome people lingo). It has literally rained for two days straight and is supposed to continue for another two days. There have been winds up to sixty MPH and tornado warnings for the better part of today. It isn't exactly ideal for hitting tennis balls. Luckily we have a few indoor courts to work with. We can usually get on for at least an hour at some point in the worst case scenario. Needless to say, Debby is a real jerk. That pretty much sums up that topic.
That is about all of the updates I have for you guys. I do want to leave you with a little inspiration though (pictured below). If I ever feel like I am in need of a little boost, I go to that beauty of a picture. I can't help but get a little bit emotional sometimes. One time I looked at it for a little too long and tackled the guy next to me out of sheer adrenaline (that didn't actually happen, but the thought did cross my mind a few times). I just can't help but get jacked up about Ole Miss athletics, and football season is starting just around the bend. I could talk about that all day long. I don't want to scare you guys off though. I love The University of Mississippi. It is just a part of me. I can't hide it. It feels good to get that off my chest.
Anyways, it is about time for me to get some rest. Thanks again for reading along. I hope to have a productive week of practice before tournament time. I will keep you guys posted. Don't hesitate to comment and check out the other links on the site. Be blessed.
All the best,
Jun 16, 2012
You will probably recognize this jam from some Internet Explorer commercial. I can't say it doesn't get me jacked up and ready to go every time. I hope you guys feel the same way about it. If not then we aren't friends. Only kidding of course, everyone has his or her own different taste in music. I get a lot of my musical inspiration from my sisters Tara Chez and Katie. Let me just tell you this much, I love my sisters more than Chuck Norris loves roundhouse kicking people in the face. So I felt the need to give them a quick shout-out. Anyways, I hope you guys all enjoyed the tune thoroughly. That is all I have for you today. Have an awesome weekend. Thanks for taking some time to check the page.
All the best,
Jun 15, 2012
Well I took one to the chin today in the singles. I went down 6-2 6-3 against Michael McClune (USA) 6-2 6-3. I didn't serve nearly well enough and I let the wind get to my head a little. Those are two keys for disaster. I was also leading 3-1 in the second set and somehow managed to lose five straight games. Overall it has been a productive two weeks of singles action though. My ranking will end up in the upper 400's somewhere. So a decent little jump for two weeks of work. Jordan Cox and I won our quarterfinal doubles match 7-5 6-3 and received a default in the semifinals. So we are on to the finals on Sunday at 10:00AM.
I am going to have to keep today's post a little short. I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to some sleep. I should have some good updates for the next post though. Our housing family offered to take us out on the lake tomorrow. I hope it works out because it looks like a pretty amazing lake. I will get a hit and a workout in with Jordan in the morning and then hopefully we will be able to get on the water. Anyways, I hope you all had a blessed day. Speak to you guys soon.
All the best,