2018 US Open
After I got back from Australia, I got straight back in to training with my fitness coach Michael Cecchi and had a few trips to Boston to practice including a hit with Steve Virgona last week. Preparation was on track until I went up again to Boston to hit with Boston Pro Leon Smart just a few days later. After our hit we went out for dinner and I ate some dodgy fish as I woke up early in the morning throwing up so I had giving myself food poisoning which knocked me around for a few days . Fortunately I felt much better with the tournament about to start but frustratingly I hurt my calf with while practicing with Rob Fahey the day before my first match. I had some treatment on it, with the help of muscle rub and some KT tape I felt confident in getting through the match unscathed.
My first match was in the 2nd round of the US open . I was up against an experienced real tennis player called Tom Durack from Petworth in the UK. He has a handicap
of 5 but has been as low as a 0 so it will not be an easy match.
Fortunately I won my the match against Tom Durack. 3/6 6/2 6/4 6/0
I went it to the match with a very sore calf so I had no idea what it would be like once I started playing. It felt ok in the early games but I turned on a ball off the back wall and it immediately seized up. So much of the first set was figuring out how to play on 1 leg. Tom played very well and took the first set 6/3 but it was a close 6/3. I felt confident starting the second set in how to play with this sore calf and won the 2nd set 6/2. The 3rd set was similar to the second. I won 6/4 but I was 5/2 up with a set point. In winning the 3rd set I hit a ball that really hurt my calf and could now only limp around the court. Fortunately I was serving well and returning the serve brilliantly and won the 4th set 6/0. I was pleased with my concentration and ability to adapt with my injury and beat a player who has handicap of 4.
My next match was against world no 1 Camden Riviere in the QF. With my calf still troubling me I knew it was almost an impossible task to try and get a victory. I played for a couple of sets but with my calf still troubling me I retired early in the 3rd set.
Rob & I had a bye into the QF and we were up against qualifiers from Boston T&R. They played nicely but Rob & I were to strong, winning 6/0 6/0 6/2
Our SF match was going to be against much tougher opponents We were up against world no 5 Ben Taylor Matthews & world no11 .Darren long. We won the match 6/0 6/2 6/4 so we were in the final!
The Final,Rob & I lost to Camden & Tim 6/4 6/0 1/6 6/1. I was really disappointed this time to lose. I knew Rob and I had the game to beat Camden & Tim. The first set ended up being crucial as Rob confided in me at the end the match that losing the first set broke his heart as he knew it would be almost impossible to win because he had a tweak in his back and understandably needed to protect it with his world eliminator match coming in just over a week.
In the first set there was some great hitting from all four players. We tried to pick on Tim as we knew he was carrying an injury, It worked some of the time but his hands are so amazing that his injury didn't seem to affect him too much. Tim played up when normally him & Cam played server up. This meant we also had to try and hit through Camden which is an incredibly hard task as his retrieving is quite simply the best anyone has ever seen ever. We had a great chance to go 4/1 up in the first set by being 3/1 40 love up but failed to convert. Another crucial point came at 4/4 30 all. We were defending 1&2 Tim hit 3 force's on target that both Rob and I defended and on the 3rd ball we defended, Tim took the ball out the air and smashed it in to the main wall then dedan. It was an unbelievable shot from him and the momentum fully shifted in their favour and they ended up taking the first set. The second set Rob and I lost out mojo and we both made too many errors and we lost the second 6/0. We found our groove again and played some great tennis to win the 3rd set 6/1. We were getting a lot of support from the side galleries who were getting right being Rob and I which was fun. I was enjoying having some interaction with the spectators. The 4th set we needed to start well. We had chances to take early games but we were not able to do so. That allowed Camden and Tim to get on to a roll and they closed out the match winning the 4th set 6/1.
It was great to see some NJKH supporters at the match, Beth, Jeremy and the big surprise was my fitness coach Michael Cecchi taking time out of his busy schedule to cheer Camden and I on.
I can't wait for more of these challenges. I know I am getting better all the time and big win is just around the corner. I'm now ranked at a career high #6. With the world eliminators coming up, my next tournament is in June. Now is not the time for rest. (Maybe a week off ) but I plan to get back with Mike to work hard in the areas that will improve my games, hips legs, core and footwork so I better shape than ever before.