Jun 13, 2012
I kicked the week off right with a first round singles win today. I was able to come out on top 6-4 6-4 in a tough first round against Ben McLachlan (NZL). That is New Zealand for those of you that do not know. I felt pretty good about the way I played and was happy to get a couple of breaks, as he was serving pretty well. I am up against Tyler Hochwalt (USA) in the second round of singles tomorrow at 11:00AM pacific time. Doubles didn't start off quite as smooth as I would have hoped, but Jordan Cox and I were able to come out on top in the end. We won 6-3 2-6 10-5. I didn't play my best match by any means. I am glad that we were able to get the job done and stay alive though. Second round of doubles will be tomorrow afternoon not before 3:30PM against Michael McClune (USA) and Denis LaJola (USA).
Let's move on to the less serious stuff. Today I was done with everything involving tennis by around 1:30ish so I was looking for some afternoon entertainment. I was in serious need of a haircut so I made that priority one. I went straight from the courts to the nearest cheap hair cuttery (I know it isn't a word settle down). They hooked me up with a pretty nice looking flat top. I am not too picky when it comes to haircuts though. I thought about asking to get the number six (Lebron James' number) shaved into the back of my head. I figured that could wait until after they won the championship though. Jordan Cox and I decided to go for a little bike ride around Chico after that. We were headed to a place called One Mile. It is a monster man made pool that a river flows through. It is a pretty awesome idea I think. It looks like a good time as well. I didn't make the effort of jumping in today. There is still plenty of time left for that and let me just tell you right now, "I ain't scurrd." Anyways, we biked down there and hung out for a little bit. We checked out the scenery, and I can tell you first hand that Chico has no shortage of interesting characters around. The people watching was good if you know what I mean.
This evening was a good time as well. The tournament put together a Taste of Chico deal at the club. My housing family had a station up for their mexican restaurant so Jordan and I were able to sneak in for free. They are really hooking us up this week. We decided to volunteer to work at our housing's station to help serve some tacos. They seemed to be a little short handed so we jumped in and got to work (below). As you can probably see from the pictures we were enjoying ourselves. That is Geoff in the picture with us. He is out housing man for the week. Sol is the name of his restaurant. If you are ever in Chico, CA you better not miss out on the chance to eat there. All the meals are made of pure happiness. You think I am kidding, but it is a fact. On a side not, don't judge my sweating. I was a little nervous that is all. It was nerve-racking work. Tacos don't come easy.
That is about all I have for you guys in today's post. I hope that you were somewhat entertained. I will post again on Friday with some more good news hopefully. I hope that you all had a blessed day. I am off to get some much needed beauty rest for tomorrow's battle. Thanks for reading along.
All the best,
Jun 11, 2012
It was a great week in Sacramento. I was able to squeeze out a couple of tight matches in the semifinals and finals to get my first professional singles title. I am pretty excited about it. It didn't come easy by any means. I was really happy with the way that I fought all week long. It came down to a couple of points here or there in multiple matches, and luckily I was able to tough it out. I look forward to more tournament wins to come. It has been a long journey to get this one. The Journey isn't over yet though. I have to say that It is nice to finally have a real positive stepping stone. I feel pretty good about it. I hope that I can keep this positive momentum going through the coming weeks. This tournament will push my ranking into the 450's which is a nice hundred spot jump. It is nice to keep things moving the right direction. Also I would like to give a special shout out to the Ariza family (my housing family for the week) for taking such good care of me. They really went above and beyond on their housing duties and I really appreciated everything. Thanks for a great week guys!
So now it is on to Chico, CA for tournament number two in the series. Jordan Cox and I had a little bit of trouble picking up our rental car in the Sacramento airport this morning. Luckily Jordan put the charm on early on to get the nice lady on our side. After all the issues were sorted out, we ended up with a free upgrade. We went from a Ford Focus to a Chevy Malibu. I can't say it was much of an upgrade but an upgrade nonetheless. Shortly after we made a quick pit stop at Jim Denny's Hamburger and Chili. After I won the tournament I thought, "What better way to celebrate than by eating until I want to pass out?" So I went online and discovered Jim Denny's which is home of the HUBCAP pancake (below). There is a plate underneath there somewhere I promise. At first I actually thought it would be a good time to try and destroy this monster. I thought wrong. Midway through I realized I had no shot at doing it justice. I could have pushed through, but since I am still in tournament time I decided to stop a little bit early. I will include the after picture though (double below). I love food. What can I say? It is hard not to being born and raised in the great state of Mississippi.
Back to what I was saying. We finished the meal and hit the road for Chico, CA. It was a roughly two-hour drive and a nice one at that. Chico is a pretty nice little city from what I have seen so far. The courts are a little bit quicker this week, which is nice. There is a small college downtown area. Also Jordan and I were lucky to get another great housing family this week. The people seem really nice and they own a Mexican restaurant. That in itself is way more than I could ever ask for. Mexican food and I are like soul mates. That is probably the easiest way to describe my feelings about it. So overall things are beautiful on my side of the country.
I will be starting singles this week on Wednesday. Jordan and I play our first round of doubles tomorrow afternoon not before 4:30PM. I was pretty upset seeing this start-time, as the NBA finals are tomorrow night starting at 6:00PM. You have to make some sacrifices in tennis though. That is just a fact. I find it hard to sacrifice my Lebron James time though. It pains me, but I know it is something I might have to do on the odd occasion. I hope you aren't taking me too seriously here. Purely sarcasm. I do love Lebron though. That is real.
I look forward to updating you guys again on Wednesday. Hopefully there will be some positive news to bring. I meant to get pictures after I won the tournament last week, but I failed on that part like usual. I figured pictures of pancakes were probably more important. I can't be perfect every time out. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this update. Feel free to comment and ask questions. I am all ears. Other than that, I hope you guys all had a blessed day. Hotty Toddy.
All the best,
Jun 8, 2012
It has been a pretty good couple of days here in Sacramento. I won my second round of singles on Thursday against Denis Lajola (USA) 6-2 6-2. I played a pretty solid match overall. It was a big improvement from the level of tennis in the first round so I was pretty happy with that. Today, in the quarterfinals, I went up against Philip Bester (CAN) who is a friend of mine. We trained and roomed together at IMG academies in Bradenton, FL from when I was fourteen to roughly seventeen and a half. Needless to say we are pretty familiar with each other's game and have played in the past a couple of times. I lost to him both times that we previously played but in pretty close matches. It was a strange match overall. It was just a couple of points here and there to decide each set. I was lucky enough to come up big on a couple of points in the third set to take the match 6-4 2-6 6-3. I will face Nicolas Meister (USA) in the semifinals tomorrow at 1:00PM. The only time we have played was 7-6 in the third (barely squeezed it out) so I look forward to a tough battle.
Thursday's doubles match was not a pretty showing by any means but Jordan Cox and I were lucky to squeeze it out in the third set tiebreaker 2-6 6-0 10-7. Today we went up against Phillip Simmonds (USA) and Vahid Mirzadeh (USA) in the semifinals of doubles. They played pretty well and came up big on the deciding points when they needed to. So they took us down 6-4 6-3. The no-ad scoring system in doubles frustrates me like crazy. I just want to let that be known to the world.
Besides all the tennis action it has been a pretty good time here in Sacramento. The weather has been off the charts for the most part. It is roughly eighty to ninety degrees every day with a slight breeze and no humidity. I couldn't ask for it much better. Our housing people took us out on the boat today as well. There was a little bit of tubing involved along with some wakeboarding as well. I had a pretty good time watching Greg Ouellette wakeboard for second. There is nothing like watching a former Florida gator crash and burn. No offense to any gator fans out there. There always has to be some SEC trash talk involved. You know how it is. Jordan Cox also made a few attempts at wakeboarding but was unsuccessful. I have faith that he will work out the kinks and get up one of these next couple of days though. Perseverance is key in the wakeboarding game.
I would also like to give a shout-out to the king himself, Lebron James. Without his dominant performance in game six last night, I am not sure I would have been able to get through my singles match today. When Lebron steps up, I step up. That is just the way it is. Watching his 45-point performance last night was the most pumped I have been in my entire life to date. That is a fact. The guy was as coldblooded as I have ever seen in my life. I was watching a little bit of the replay tonight just to reminisce on how unreal it actually was. He is a machine and a hero. End of story.
Anyways it has been real as usual. That is all of the information I have for you today. I hope that you all enjoyed the blog. I will post again either tomorrow or Sunday. Thanks for reading along. Be blessed.
All the best,
Jun 4, 2012
It is finally tournament time again. I have had a couple weeks of good preparation so I am ready to try and do some damage here in Sacramento, CA. I open up tomorrow at 10:00AM against Eric James Johnson of the USA. I have not heard much about him so I am not really sure what to expect, but I look forward to getting after it. I am playing doubles with my brosef Jordan Cox this week. We play our first match tomorrow not before 1:00PM. So I will play my singles match. Then grab a quick bite for lunch. Then get straight on my doubles grind. It is that simple. There is no time for shenanigans tomorrow (big word right? patting myself on the back as we speak). I am looking forward to a good days work.
I am really blessed to have an awesome housing setup this week. I housed with the same family last year and they are a great crew. I wasn't about to let some other jokers from the tournament get this place. So I called dibs on them about a month before the tournament. I am basically coming into the tournament feeling like I have already won. Jordan Cox and Greg Ouellette are staying in the house as well so I should have some pretty good updates throughout the week on the going-ons here.
The housing has a small lake in the back of the house with a trampoline tube. This tube wasn't around last year so it was the first thing I noticed when we pulled in. I said, "Is that a trampoline in the water?" but what I really meant was, "Is this going to be the greatest week of my life?" Needless to say, after all our practices were finished up on Sunday, we jumped. And we jumped hard. I wish I could describe the awesomeness levels in words, but to be frank, it just isn't possible. There were plenty of diving catches being made into the water. There were also plenty of failed attempts, which were way more entertaining. I will have to post some pictures of the lake on Wednesday. It is a thing of beauty. You are going to like what you see. I guarantee it.
On a more serious note, I look forward to keeping you guys posted on everything this week. I always try my best to bring my A+ blog game during tournament time. Stay alert and ready because I am bringing the heat this week. It is going to be a fun one. I will hopefully have some good news for you guys on the Wednesday post. I am off to get some much-needed rest for match time tomorrow. I hope you all have spectacular weeks. Thanks for stopping in.
All the best,
May 28, 2012
It has been a busy last few days here in Bradenton aka B-town, Florida. The weekend festivities were extremely tiring. Brad Cox came into town for his birthday so we had plenty of activities planned. I had a really solid practice with Jordan Cox on Friday morning followed by a brutally awesome fitness session. Then we headed to the links to meet up with Brad and Mr. Cox to get a nice round of golf in. The teams were pretty fair for the most part. It was Brad (solid) and I (terrible) versus Mr. Cox (solid) and Jordan (terrible). It was a battle down to the wire. The seventeenth hole came around and we were all square. I hit two drives into the water, which wasn't even on the same hole. So I decided to watch Brad play this one. He came up huge with a roughly twenty-foot putt to put us up one and virtually seal the victory. Shooter McGavin immitations were thrown around for a second followed by a small chest bump to finish. This win was a real confidence booster for me I have to admit it.
The Saturday morning hit was a good one. I was moving like a gazelle and felt like I couldn't miss. It must have been all the confidence I gained from the golf. I don't know what it was, but it was a good way to end a tough week of practice. I did a little bit of movement drills in after practice to work on the quickness and then I called it a day. Just afterwards I headed over to the beach to get a little rest and relaxation in. Let me just tell you now that if you are looking for rest and relaxation, the beach is not the right place to be. On top of the sun draining me of all that it could, I spent most of my time in the water making diving football catches. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I had a great time. I just needed a solid twelve-hour nap afterwards to balance it all out.
Sunday is normally the day to take off when you are in a training block. So it was more of a relaxed day. I went to church with the fellow 2009 NCAA champion Mallory Cecil (Duke) and her family followed by a really good brunch. It was great to get to catch up with them. After that it was back to the Cox household to get some good pool time and have a cookout for Brads last night in town. It was a pretty delicious spread. We had some sausages, burgers, chicken, and lamb chops to chow down on. I am pretty sure I put down at least five pounds worth. Somehow I weigh less today than I did yesterday. Just another one of the upsides to being an athlete I guess.
I hope that you all have had as good of a Memorial Day weekend as I have. A special thanks goes out to all the servicemen and veterans. Thank you guys and girls for all that you do for this great country! Happy Memorial Day to all of you.
Anyways that is the full weekend update. I apologize for the blog delay. I will stay on it from here on out. I booked my flight for Saturday to Sacramento, CA. So there will be more tournament blog action starting next week. Also I want to say congratulations to Steve Johnson (USC) and Nicole Gibbs (Stanford) on their NCAA singles titles today. They are two great peeps and very deserving winners. I want to also say congratulations to my fellow rebels and brothers Christoph and Marcel Thiemann (Ole Miss) for making the final four in doubles. A great way to finish up two great college careers. Hotty Toddy boys.
All the best,
May 22, 2012
I apologize for the delay on the posting. After the past four weeks of tournaments I needed a couple of days to relax and recover. So I figured what better way to do that than to head up to Athens, GA to see some NCAA tennis and catch up with some old friends that I haven't seen in a while. It was my first ever time to Athens, GA. I have heard a lot of good things, but I wasn't sure what to expect since I have a pretty high bar set having played at THE University of Mississippi. That's right. An all capital lettered THE. I will leave my feeling for Ole Miss at that for now because I could go on for days about it. Needless to say I was a little bit skeptical about the whole UGA deal. I have to say it definitely impressed me on the tennis side of things. The atmosphere was awesome. I really enjoyed watching some of the matches and just walking around the facility. I think it is a pretty good spot for the NCAA tournament. There aren't a lot of places in the country that can compete with it. Overall I would have to give UGA an A grade. I really enjoyed myself as well as everyone that I talked to. I reserve A+'s for schools located in Oxford, MS. That is just the way it has to be.
I am now back in Bradenton, FL and ready to battle grind myself into the ground before the next set of tournaments. Jordan Cox and I went for a Rocky workout today to try and get going again after the couple days off. My legs are pretty much out of service at this point in time. Most tennis players really struggle with days off. If I take two days off I come back and feel pretty slow for about two days. That is just the way it works. Rhythm and things like that take a little time to get back as well. Then again off days are necessary to give your body the needed recovery time. So it is sort of an art of when to take days off and when to push through. When I was really young I always refused to take days off. My parents tried to get me to rest every once in a while, but I wouldn't have any of it. I have learned to appreciate them though. Off days are pretty rare in professional tennis after all.
I will be here in Bradenton until next Saturday/Sunday. Then I head to Sacramento, CA followed by Chico, CA for a couple of 15k future events. I will be training hard and watching the NBA playoffs for the next week and a half. I plan on reporting plenty of good news on the Miami Heat. Lebron James is and always will be my favorite basketball player. Game five of the series vs. the Pacers is tonight so I plan on getting pretty pumped up. The Lebron James jersey is already locked and loaded. Can you feel the electricity in the air right now? I know I can.
Anyways, my picture taking abilities have been sub-par I know. I plan on having a good selection for my post tomorrow so be ready. I am off to get some much-needed food so I will catch you all tomorrow. Stay classy.
All the best,
May 16, 2012
Well it has been a successful couple of days on the tennis court. Jordan Cox and I won our first two rounds of doubles to move into the semifinals tomorrow. I won my singles first round today against Mac Styslinger (USA) 6-4 3-6 6-4. It was interesting being out on the clay for the first time in about a year. It was drizzling most of the day, which made the conditions extra slow. That is not exactly ideal for my game, but I got through it so I can't complain. I play second round of singles at 10:00am tomorrow so hopefully I will have more good news to report on Friday.
I am going to bring you some more pictures of the site and things on Friday. For now I will give you my first video entry. If you had any doubts pertaining to Jordan and I's chemistry and intensity, this video should put those doubts to rest. I want to introduce you to BroxEW (Britton and Cox Entertainment Worldwide). I apologize in advance for my shirtlessness. Nobody was harmed in the making of this video don't worry. We created this beauty a couple of years back when we were bored at a tournament. We try to keep people on their toes. Please refrain from judging if at all possible. I understand if you can't hold it back though. That is understandable. Enjoy.
That is all the entertainment I can give you for tonight. It has been a long day so I am going to go get some rest and relaxation in before I get some sleep. There has been a new edition to the website. You can now subscribe to the blog along with a couple of other things. It is under the Stay Connected header, which is just below my rankings. Check it out and let me know what you think. Anyways I hope you all had a great day. Thanks for reading. See you all on Friday.
All the best,
May 14, 2012
Well I made it back into the USA safe and sound. The flights went smoothly for the most part. I had an hour layover in the Houston airport. With immigrations and another security screening it proved to be just enough time to get to my gate. I got a decent jog in down the airport hallways. There is nothing like getting a good sweat in before a flight. I felt bad for the lady next to me. I probably should have packed an extra deodorant in the computer bag. Oh well, you win some you lose some. I was just happy to be there. Luckily all of my bags made it to Tampa. One of the main problems with flying out of Mexico is that they do not let you carry-on your tennis bag. Tennis rackets are apparently a form of weaponry down there. Tennis players generally do not like to check their tennis bags. I personally don't trust the airport to get it there on time. If they lose your tennis bag you are in pretty bad shape for tournament time if you know what I mean. Also the extra $40 isn't much fun to hand over. Airports these days right? Luckily they came through this time so props to United Airlines.
My brother from another mother Jordan Cox (Old school picture of he and I below) picked me up from the airport. I roomed with Jordan and his brother Brad for three and a half years in the dorms here at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy before I went to Ole Miss. Anyways we went straight to the beach from the airport. We played a little beach volleyball mixed with some frisbee action. It was a little cloudy, but overall a pretty nice first few hours in Florida. We had a incredibly nice home cooked meal afterwards courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Cox. We had a little steak, lamb chops, sausage, potatoes, broccoli, and an incredible salad. I enjoyed the heck out of it. It was a great first meal in the USA. I couldn't have asked for much more.
I got a good practice in on the clay courts with Jordan today. It is always interesting going from altitude back to sea level. It feels like the ball weighs about ten pounds. In a couple of days I will be feeling normal again. The 10k futures tournament in Tampa, FL is starting tomorrow. Luckily I have a Wednesday start for singles so I have an extra day to get acclimated. Jordan and I are playing doubles together this week. We are playing our first round not before 3:00pm tomorrow. I am looking forward to a good week of clay court tennis. This will probably be one of my only weeks of the year on clay so it will be a short clay court season this year.
Anyways this will have to be a shorter post since I do not have much to report. On Wednesday I will have some results to report though so be ready for some good action then. I hope that you all had a great day. I am off to Carrabba's to get myself some good Italian food. Don't forget that comment questions are welcomed. Also a few of the other pages have had some updates so check them out when you get a chance. Thanks for stopping by.
All the best,