Tuesday, 29 January 2013

US Open - Philadelphia

Hi,

I'm currently sitting at Philadelphia airport ready to to fly back to London after quite a good tournament where I felt I hit the ball pretty well and gained another good experience in the match against Bryn.

Ben Matthews and I played in the doubles together and that started on Sunday with a hard fought 5 set victory over Rob Whitehouse and the improving Gabe Kinzler.
We started strongly winning the first 3 games quite easily but then out of no where the locals pegged us back to level at 3/3 we steadied the ship and took the opening set 6/3. Gabe had returned Ben's railroad very well cutting it very well cross court making Ben dig a lot of balls out of the corner. As we won the set from the service end they kept it the same and Gabe continued to return well and was becoming tougher to get the ball past. They took the 2nd set 6/3 after both Ben and I got a little off track and allowed them some confidence.
For the start of the 3rd set I was able to swap and serve and return to Gabe ripping in a very deep railroad to tie the left handed Gabe up. We took the 3rd 6/3 and now felt strong.
Low and behold Gabe who was a 6.8 handicap on 24 January and after some very impressive wins is now only two weeks later a 1.1 handicap, he played with the aggression Steve Virgona would be proud of and had Ben and I picking up ball after ball out of the dedans. 6/4 to the locals and now 2 sets a piece and into a decider.
Ben and I started strongly and raced away with a surprisingly hard fought victory 6/1 in the 5th set.

Two days later we came up against the very formidable team of Camden Rivière and Tim Chisholm. This pairing are hard to find holes in when on the singles court so when they're paired together in doubles its almost impossible. I love watching Tim hit the ball as it sounds so sweet and looks so effortless. And Cam is easily the quickest around a court in the world.
We took it to them and a 3/6 0/6 3/6 defeat at the hands of these two players wasn't the worst result in the world. Only the bagel of the 2nd set a little disappointment.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time away in Philadelphia and after a few days off training when I get home I will be again better for the experience.

Thanks,
Chris

Sunday, 27 January 2013

US Open - Philadelphia

Hi,

Last night was my quarter final match in the 2013 US Open against Bryn Sayers. Scheduled for a 4.30 start we got on court closer to 7pm after a long doubles match in the morning and also Tim Chisholm and Ben Matthews having quite a long match during the afternoon. .

The 1st and 2nd sets were both there for the taking. At 4 games all in the 1st and after what felt like a really ding dong battle exchanging punches and really taking it to him he was able to play two good games to close out the set. The 2nd started well and I quickly went to a 2/0 lead then onto 3/1. I was really serving my railroad well, really trying to get the 1st bounce quite deep and only bounce once on the penthouse. I was finding the grille well on my backhand and really being the aggressor of the two players. At 3/1 Bryn really steadied the ship and he was able to smother some of my intensity. Again at 4 games all in the 2nd it was anyone's and if I could of pinched this set it would of been game on. It wasn't to be as Bryn again closed out the set to lead 2-0 in sets.
I tried not to worry and again took the ascendency getting out to a 2/0 lead in the 3rd and thought that this must be the set I take and push Bryn into a 4th set and who knows... But I lost my line and length on my railroad and started to make a few errors which had been few and far between in the 1st two sets and Bryn made me pay. Closing out the match 4/6 4/6 3/6.
By the time we finished it was sometime around 9pm and all that was left were the two players, the Marker and one lonely supporter my fiancée Carly.

I feel that I'm getting closer and closer to a win against one of the elite players and Bryn is definitely one of those players.

Ben and I play our 1st doubles match this afternoon at 2pm in the quarter finals against home town hopes of Philadelphia Pros Rob Whitehouse and Gabe Kinzler.

Thanks,
Chris

Saturday, 26 January 2013

US Open - Philadelphia

Hi,

After doing a little sight seeing like visiting the Rocky steps it was time to get into the tournament and last night I won through to the quarter finals of the US Open after putting in a strong performance against local Head Pro Rob Whitehouse 6/0 6/2 6/1. Rob is a very handy player so I was very pleased with how I played and the shoreline.

I now come up against the inform and current US and British Open champion Bryn Sayers at 4.30pm local time. I'm really looking forward to the match against Bryn, he's obviously a very strong player so it's another good challenge.

I said in my last post that matches were able to be streamed at livestream unfortunately that's not the case the good news is they're actually streaming the matches on ustream.tv and can be found by searching 2013 US Open or real tennis US Open. My match vs Bryn will be at 9.30pm UK time tonight Saturday 26 January (AUSTRALIA DAY!!!!!!).

Thanks,
Chris



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

US Open - Philadelphia

Hi,

A few hours ago I flew into Philadelphia for the 2013 US Open 24-31 January. The draws can be found at http://www.irtpa.com/index.php/realtennis/tournament_draws matches can also be watched at http://new.livestream.com/ and search IRTPA. Most of the top players in the world are here again for this tournament. Steve Virgona, current US Open holder Bryn Sayers, Camden Rivière and Tim Chisholm are the top 4 seeds

My 1st match is to be against the winner of Philadelphia Head Pro Rob Whitehouse and Seacourt assistant Adam Player on Friday 25th at 16.00 Philly time. I have a couple of hours of practice on court on both Wednesday and Thursday and I'm already looking forward to playing my 1st match.

Watch this space...

Thanks,
Chris

Friday, 18 January 2013

National League 2012/13

Hi,

As mentioned at the end of my last post the next home National League match is on the 16th Feb vs Queen's. Please call or Email the Pro's office to book your seats.

Thanks,
Chris

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

National League 2012/13

Hi,

The 2nd match of our Premier Division National League was played at RTC in front of a near sold out crowd of 75 people.

Peter Wright filled in for the injured Nick Wood and played a blinder. On paper Peter was the underdog 4 handicap points behind the very experienced Jonathan Dawes, but Peter was on form. He lead from the outset and held on to take the 1st set 6/5 before racing away with it as Jon couldn't find his grove and Peter took the match 6/5 6/2.

The next match on was myself taking on world number 6 Ben Matthews, this was possibly the largest crowd I've played in front of on a Real Tennis court and even though Ben had worked at RTC for a number of years before myself the locals were very supportive and definitely gave me a home crowd advantage.

Ben and I practice regularly, the last time we played each other was the 2010 British Open only a matter of months after arriving in the UK.
I was really looking forward to playing Ben in this match especially in front of a big crowd. Ben started strongly and took the first 3 games. I was finally able to get on the board in the 4th game of the set and that helped me settle. We exchanged a number of deuce's in the opening set but after stringing 6 games in a row I was able to take my 1st set off a player ranked 7 or higher in the world. 6/3.
The second set started well for me taking the first game making it 7 games in a row to myself. Ben rallied and took the next 3 to lead 3/1. There were a number of fantastic rallies and that continued. I saved a couple of set points at 4/5 down and was able to take the game to level at 5/5 and was one game away from a straight sets victory. Ben dug in and took the set 6/5 to level at 1 set each and into a decider. I started slowly in the 3rd and for the first time in the match made a series of errors to give Ben a lead in the 3rd set. Although I lost the 3rd set 6/1 I did lead 40-15 in at least two other games in the set which if converted would of made it 3/4 instead of 1/6.
All in all a very pleasing match as it's the best two sets I've played against a top player. 6/3 5/6 1/6.

After a short break while the spectators grabbed some much earned dinner we moved onto the doubles. The Hatfield team proving a bit too strong taking the deciding rubber 3 games to 8.

Our next Premier Division National League match is away at Hatfield on Thursday 7th February. While our next home match is against Queen's, the team of world number 3 Bryn Sayers and Andrew Lyons.

Next up for me is next weeks US Open in Philadelphia where the draws can be found at http://www.irtpa.com/index.php/realtennis/tournament_draws

Thanks,
Chris

Friday, 11 January 2013

National League 2012/13

Hi,

Tomorrow saturday 12 January is the 2nd of 6 IRTPA Premier Division National League matches and our 1st Home match.

RTC the team of Peter Wright (filling-in for the injured Nick Wood) and Myself are taking on Hatfield the team of Jonathan Dawes and Ben Matthews in front of a minimum of 70 people.

There are still a few standing tickets at the service end top gallery for RTC members. You can contact the Pro Office at RTC on 020 8977 3015.

Many thanks,
Chris