Wednesday, 24 September 2014

French Open 2014 - Paris


Last night I played my heart out in probably one of my best preformanances on the tennis court to date. 

I started well in the 1st set and won the first two games. In fact I served a winning gallery railroad to win the 1st game of the first set (first time in my career). After I got out to a 2/0 lead Rob settled into his game and kept the pressure on. I felt good and was sticking to my plan but the set although long in duration was and did get away from me. 3/6 and first set to Rob. 

I again started the 2nd set well and although went 1/2 down I was able to play some really consistant tennis and held the service end for more of the set than rob did. I went 5/3 up in games and held what felt like 6-8 set points in the 9th game. Rob was able to pin me down the hazard end and he eventually took the game. Still leading 4/5 we had another long deuce game where I saved a few game points but was able to take the set and my first against Rob in 5 or so matches against the World Champion. 6/4 and 1-1 set all. 

I was now serving my giraffe (high dropping serve) really well and was able to stop Rob's dominant return of serves from doing the damage. When getting down to the hazard end I was able to put Rob on the back foot somewhat with my own strong returning game. This set was tight all the way. I went 5/4 up after hitting a winning gallery defending a chase. It was the first emotion I showed on court with the smallest of fist pumps or less a fist clench... Rob levelled at 5/5 and we were at 30 all two chases. I go down to the hazard end and Rob pulls out his best two serves of the match to take (snatch) the set from right under my nose. 5/6 and Rob leading 1-2 in sets. 

My serving started to drop away and I served roughly 12 first serves as faults in a row which meant Rob was able to see a lot of 2nd serves. And through this period I went down 1/4. I remember saying to my self at this point not to be satisfied with getting somewhat close. I was able to get back to a frame of mind that saw me play the best tennis I could muster to win 5 games in row to again lead the World Champion 5/4. Rob again levelled at 5/5 and again we were locked at 30 all in the 5 all game. I can remember it well... (shakes head as writing) Rob hit a slightly wild attempt at a main wall dedans force which went high and ricoched around to the service penthouse and gave me a backhand volley that 99 times out of a 100 I whip cross court to the tambour/grille corner with heavy cut and win the point. On this 1 out of the 100 I decide to hit the volley down the line and miss time it and hit back wall on the full of which Rob doesn't need another invitation to finish off a point with an emphatic dedans strike. Match point down yet so close to taking the set myself I chase the ball down the court and norowally miss the grille with a backhand and rob flicks the ball up only for it to be high enough to be awkward and miss time the volley into the net and the match is unfortunately lost 3/6 6/4 5/6 5/6. 

It was a bit of a weird feeling at the end of the match. So much to be proud of ie; getting so close and playing so well for 3 whole hours (yes 3 hours) of actual game time and yet be so disappointed to lose the match regardless of who it is in such a close encounter let alone Rob Fahey.

There are so many positives to take away and plenty to learn from and improve on. It is still the 1st match I've played at this level for 10 months and now have to back up again and again. The next tournament being the IRTPA Championships in Manchester starting in mid October. 


Saturday, 20 September 2014

French Open 2014 - Paris


I can't tell you how excited I am to play this French open! 

The French open is to be the 1st major tournament for me since I dislocated my shoulder 10 months ago at the British open but also after working so closely with Rob Fahey over an 6-8 month stretch in preparation and throughout his World Championship defence earlier in the year which has inspired me even more (if possible).

The only downside to the French open is the fact I have drawn the World Champion himself in the 1st round which is a tough draw to say the least but I always knew I was going to just miss out on being seeded so my job now is to get out there and trust in what I've been practicing and learnt from Rob and give it my all. 

There is hopefully going to be streaming but as yet I'm not sure of the details. 


Friday, 12 September 2014

The new season... 2014/15


Well hasn't it been a while since my last blog! Following the World Championship in May I flew back to London for a month and then headed back out to Melbourne to marry Miss Carly Feore on June 22 which was an amazing day with friends and family. For our Honeymoon we flew to Los Angeles for 3 nights, San Francisco for 2 nights and Las Vegas for 7 full nights which was amazing. (Photo's of our special day can be found here).

The rest of the Summer has been spent preparing for the upcoming season. First on the agenda is the French Open at Paris 22-29 September. With it being a very strong field I have missed out on being seeded and have been drawn to play Rob Fahey in the 1st round which I'm looking forward to after working so closely with him through his successful World Championship defence.

We then head to Manchester for the IRTPA Championships 15-20 October. I am likely to play Claire Fahey (nee Vigrass after also tying the knot over the summer) in the 1st round.

It's then back to the British Open to be held again at Queen's 16-25 November which was the last tournament I played after dislocating my shoulder at last years Open. The draw for the Open will be done sometime in October and we'd be expecting a pretty strong field of players.

I have just booked my trip to head home to Melbourne to play in the Australian Open in January held at my old club the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club 13-21 January.

There are currently no dates for the US Open or US Professional singles but sometime in March and June respectively.

Draws for the tournaments can be found at the IRTPA website.

The National League Premier Division is again back this season with Peter Wright and myself to represent RTC against 4 strong teams, which are;
Leamington - Ben Matthews/Jon Dawes,
Queen's - Conor Medlow/Andrew Fowler,
Petworth - Bryn Sayers/Tom Durack and
Holyport - Rob Fahey/Claire Fahey

All 4 home matches have now been scheduled and just waiting for 3 remaining dates for the away matches. There is a sign up sheet in the Pro's Office with tickets to the 1st of the home matches with prices starting at £15. Under 18's are free for the Hazard Top Gallery.
Dates for RTC's Premier matches are below with a 5pm start time, Away times will vary;
- 1st November HOME vs Leamington
- 6th December HOME vs Queen's
- 31st January HOME vs Petworth
- 19th February AWAY vs Queen's
- 28th March HOME vs Holyport