Sep 21, 2012
Well people, it has been another successful day on the west coast. I was able to come up with the goods in singles today. I won 6-2 6-4 against Denis Lajola (USA). I came out hitting the ball much more clean than the last couple of days. I was down 0-30 in three different service games and came out clean. I didn't face a break point in the match and that's always a comforting thing. Hopefully I can continue to keep things going and keep gaining confidence with each match. I will play my semifinal match at 10:00AM tomorrow against Daniel Kosakowski (USA). This will be the toughest match-up so far. I look forward to the challenge.
Doubles also went well today. Jeff Dadamo and I came out with a 6-2 6-2 win against Denis Nevolo (USA) and Nick Andrews (USA). Denis had a three-hour battle in his singles match earlier in the day. I am not sure he was all that pumped to have to play a doubles match soon after. We were happy to get through to the finals though. We will be going up against Nick Meister (USA) and Ryan Thatcher (USA) not before 3:00PM tomorrow. They are a pretty tough team so I look forward to a good clean battle in the doubles as well.
The tournament official pointed out to me earlier today that it was an all-American quarterfinal in the singles today. I can't say I have seen that very often. I can definitely see US tennis moving in the right direction. I know there are plenty of guys out there putting in the work. It is just a matter of time before some of us start breaking through. I thought that was pretty cool anyways. That is your fun fact for the day.
Well that is it for me tonight. I have to be ready to go for the early start tomorrow. I appreciate you guys keeping up with my life. I hope I will have more good stuff tomorrow. Be blessed.
All the best,
Sep 19, 2012
Well I have good news and good news for you guys. I won my first round of singles today in a tight battle against Chris Wettengel (USA) 6-4 3-6 7-5. He played a pretty tough match and I was happy to come out with a win. I figured if I hung in there long enough, I would have a good chance. I always think of these kinds of matches like getting ice into a bottle of coke. The ice never really wants to go through, but if you push hard enough eventually it will. Even if the pushing frustrates you like crazy, you know that cold coke always tastes better. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, you can go ahead and completely forget about it. I like to just go with what comes to me, and for some reason it was ice and coke bottles.
Anyways, let's get back to the updates. I am playing doubles this week with Jeff Dadamo (USA). We played once before in Winnetka 50K event and won the tournament. So technically speaking we are undefeated. Hopefully we can keep that streak alive this week. We won our first round match 6-2 6-4 against a pretty solid team so we are off to a good start. My second round of singles and doubles will be tomorrow. Singles is not before 11:00AM against Alexios Halabien (USA) and doubles is not before 3:00PM. I will post tomorrow night with some updates on the matches.
In other news I am housing with a very nice family this week. It is Jeff Dadamo and I in the house together so it works out well. They have cooked us some awesome dinners the last couple of nights. It is always a huge plus when the people you stay with can cook. Good food always makes me play better and that is a scientific fact. They also have a stringing machine in the house, which is beautiful because I get to string my own rackets. It is always nice to save the $18 a day on stringing.
Well it has been a long day today so I am going to call it quits. It is time for me to get some shut-eye. I will have more news for you guys tomorrow. Thanks for reading along.
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,