UK Pro Doubles & Champions Trophy
The doubles over the weekend at Prested Hall unfortunately did not go to plan. I arrived Friday Lunchtime to play SF match at 5pm. I would of arrived earlier but there were no practice courts and I was enjoying an extended break with Family. I was also confident that we wouldn't have too much trouble with our opponents as they are both high single figure handicaps. We did win this match fairly comfortably. 6/2 6/2 6/4 but I didn't feel too comfortable on the court as its a funny court that has glass back wall.
I was still confident that we would be ok in the Final as I did have the World Champ as my partner on his home court.
In the final we were up against a strong pairing of Ben Taylor Matthews & Bryn Sayers. We lost this match in 4 sets. Rob and I both struggled to get going and were unable to convert the important points. We had a lot of 30 all but didn't win those games. Ben and Bryn were playing solidly also. There was some hope in the 3rd set when Rob and I started to click and we won the 3rd set 6/2. The 4th set we got off to a bad start.
The first 4 games went to deuce and we lost all 4. I was missing some easily volleys and important times which was frustrating. We lost that set and the match 6/4 6/3 2/6 6/1.
We were both a bit rusty and Rob understandably has not played since the World Champs celebrating that amazing win and has also had a very busy time having a baby boy born a month ago. We are confient that we will go will well in the next bunch of tournaments coming up including the world doubles championship in Hobart in January. Rob did say to me at the end that we will be alright and it was good practice for us which was nice of him to say.
I played French no 1 Mathieu Sarlangue for my first match in the Champions Trophy. I was very pleased to win this as he is a dangerous opponent. He forces very well and has great control with his floor game. I knew I had to play well to win and I haven't had a lot of matches in the last 4 months so I was a bit nervous. I started off the match well, going 4/0 up before Mathieu made a bit of a come back.
The 2nd set I was struggling for a bit a form and I also was finding it hard to contain Mathieu's forcing from the receivers side. I went 3/5 but got the match back to 5/all 30 all. Mathieu hit a main wall dedan off his backhand to go 40/30 up with a chase of worse than last. We changed ends, Mathieu served a railroad and I ripped my cut volley, I though I had won the point but Mathieu made a brilliant effort to get the ball back, I went for the last gallery with my back hand and hit the bandeau and Mathieu was able to flick the ball just over in between hazard first gallery and the line post to win the set.
Mathieu started the 3rd set off well and was 3/2 40 love up but I fought back to win that game and win the next game to go 4/3 up. Mathieu tied the game at 4/4 after I played a sloppy game. I was able to close the set off to great relief. The 4th set I told my self to up the intensity and to not give him a sniff. I played well in this set and won the set only losing 1 game.
I played Ben Taylor Matthews in the QF. I lost in 5 sets but for the first 2 and half sets I was playing some of the best tennis I have played. I was 6/3 6/1 4/1 up before I started having some problems.
I went in to the match with a pretty simple game plan. I wanted to return the serve well, work hard to get the ball back and whenever I had a chance I was going to be aggressive and force the ball .I also wanted to enjoy my tennis and be okay with losing. Too many times I have gotten angry playing, not enjoyed being on court and ultimately lose a match a may have won. The game plane was working, I felt relaxed and I was enjoying just playing tennis. Unfortunately halfway through the 3rd set I picked up an old injury which really limited my mobility.
It was gutting to lose but I also can look at the positives, I was dominating a match for two and half sets against the world no 5 who the next day gave Camden a real scare by losing to him in 4 sets and one of those sets he lost 6/5. I know I'm on the right track and have the best support behind me to help me become the best player in the world. Just so you know I have appointments with the GI to solve this problem once and for all.