British Open 2017
I won my first round match against Zak Eadle who is a young and upcoming player. The score was 6/3 6/1 6/4. I was happy with how I played for the most part. I was trying out different serves & I was working on cutting the ball more on the floor rather than forcing too often to try and extend the rallies so I get used to the court. Zak did manage to get a few games with some good forcing and he got 4 games in the last set, I was 4/1 up however but I really was trying some different shots on the court to see what works well rather than being clinical and finishing off the match quicker.
The real test comes on Tuesday when I take on Bryn Sayers on his home court at 1pm UK time. Bryn is a former winner of the British Open so this is going to be a massive test of where I am at with my game. I am quite excited for this match which is unusual for me as I am normally quite apprehensive going in to match like this.
Fingers crossed I can pull off one of the biggest victories in my career.
Unfortunately I lost to Bryn Sayers 6/1 6/1 6/2.
The match was closer than the scoreline suggests but with that said Bryn was too good for me on his home court. Queens is probably the most difficult of all the courts to play. The ball doesnt die and it is very hard to serve. You need to be clinical with your finishing, and I was not.Bryn was excellent at killing off the points. I had chances to make the match closer and potentially change the moment of match in my favour, however I really struggled in the forehand corner on the service end. I made too many basic errors which killed off any chance of getting back in to the match. This was especially disappointing because I have worked hard on that part of game and was confident I would be retrieving the ball well. This result only motivates me to keep working harder, to keep improving so that in 2020 I will be challenging for the world title.
Rob & I won our QF match 6/0 6/1 6/4. We played pretty solid against qualifiers Nick Wood & Josh Smith. Next we take on the no 3 seeds Bryn Sayers & Kieran Booth
am through to my first British Open Doubles Final after Rob & I beat Bryn Sayers & Kieran Booth 6/5 6/2 6/4
The match was 2 & 1/2 hours which is long for 3 sets. The first set took an hour. We had a lot of long rallies but seemed to end up on the losing side more often than not.Bryn & Kieran went up 4/1 in the first set. Rob and I were determined to fight back and win this set. Rob was in my ear the whole time talking tactics and pumping me up. Not wanting to let Rob down, I started to be more consistent and Rob was on fire. We brought the set score to 4 all. we were to lose the next game however to go 5/4 down. Rob knowing how important the first set was, especially with how long it was taking, said to me we are not losing this set, gave me a fist pump and that was that. We took the first set 6/5.
We started the second set well. Again a lot of long rallies but this time we won more of them . Halfway through the set my level dropped. I was missing easy balls. Rob could see there was a potential moment shift at 4/2 up 30 love down and moved me to front of the court until I got my form back. This worked as I picked my game up and we won the second set 6/2.
The 3rd set we wanted to start well which we almost did. We went 2/1 40 love up but stupidly we lost that game and ended up on the back foot by being down for most of the set. This was the set I played my best tennis and were back to playing server up. Bryn & Kieran were throwing the kitchen sink at us and we were digging deep to not let the set slip away. we were 4/3 down but not for long as we made few mistakes and we were both hitting the ball hard & accurate. we were 5/4 up and now serving for the match. We got to 40/15 but there was a hazard chase so we had to change ends. I was returning the serve, knowing one good cut volley and I would be in my first Open doubles Final. Bryn served it, I hit a good gut volley but he retuned the ball well and they ended up winning the point. Still we had one more match point & we were not to be denied.
it was an awesome feeling to know I would be in a final at Queens and It would be with Rob in the biggest major of the year.
Playing with Rob, the greatest player ever has been such a surreal experience. Seeing his hunger & determination to win after all these years is inspiring. He was brilliant teammate, he was talking to me the whole time. Pumping me up and never getting down on me when I made poor mistakes.
Tuesday night Rob and I lost To Camden and Tim in a very close final. 0/6 6/3 5/6 5/6
A big crowd came in for the final including HRH Prince Edward sitting in the front row. It was the first time I suddenly realized, dam this is big, this is what it feels like to be in a final. There was no time to settle in to the match as Camden and Tim came out hitting the balls so hard and accurate . Before I knew it the set was over 6/0. My worst fears of being embarrassed on the court came to the front of my mind. Rob spoke with me and said we are too good for this, we are going to win this set. This is what has made Rob a great champion, his mental strength and sheer desire to win is incredible. We won the first game of the seconds set and the whole crowd erupted. They were just as desperate as we were to make this a final to remember. Rob and my game lifted and to the shock of our opponents we took the second set 6/3. We could tell they were unnerved by this, as their usual jovielle selves were now more solemn.
The 3rd set was so close the whole set. At 5/5 you could feel the atmosphere was tense. We won the first point. And nearly won the 2nd but some great defense from Camden and Tim got them out of jail. It was to be Tim's great hitting that would help them clinch the 3rd set 6/5.
The 4th set Rob and I got of to a good start again. We went 4/2 up and had points to go 5/2 but didn't manage. The crowd was massively in our favour. The perks of playing with Rob who has a big fan base and also being the underdogs. Tim and Camden had string of good games to go 5/4 up. Some great playing from Rob got us back to 5/5. We were on the receiving end at the start of the 11th game. Rob hit a dedan and the noise the crowd made was incredible. Rob went for another force that was hit hard but not high enough as it went into the net. The next point I managed to hit hit a backhand to go in to second gallery. Tim& Cam then won the next 2 points so now we had to change ends. Rob served the ball and Tim hit a main wall force that missed the dedan and I tried to retrieve the ball from the miss as I was playing up but I could not get to it. The match was over.
The appaulse the crowd gave us at the end was awesome and HRH Prince Edward came on to the court and over to me and Rob and we had a good chat for 5 minutes before presentations were made.
This was the highest level of doubles I have ever been involved in. The pace the ball was being hit at was immense, it was so hard to get comfortable out there. With that being said it was unforgettable experience playing with Rob and in front of HRH Prince Edward. Rob told me that was one of the best doubles matches he has ever been involved in and was impressed with how well I played. It was really nice of him to say, I found it hard going for a lot of the match and did not feel I played well but all the spectators and pros who watched told me I played awesome so I guess I must of done alright and at the end of the day we gave the doubles world champs one hell of scare.
I am teaming up with Rob for the Australian Open and we will be the no1 seeds. Maybe this will be the time I win my first doubles major.