With the British Open now only a few weeks away I thought it would be time for a quick update covering the;
- French Open
- Current training
- National League
- British Open
- It has now been over a month since a very disappointing French Open which was a tough pill to swallow for a week or so after losing to Kieran Booth (WR #8) in the Quarterfinals.
Kieran played extremely well especially the 5 all games in both the 2nd and 3rd sets but ultimately it was far from my best performance...
- Since the French Open my training has been going really well on and off court.
I've been continuing an explosive-strength program twice a week as well as an agility session once a week with a 'real' sport specific element.
On court Josh and I have really been focusing on some target hitting and the keeping of records in a skills session. There are two reasons why we've added at least 2 skills sessions a week, 1) because poor Josh is having trouble with his ankle again and has been struggling in our rallying sessions, 2) I'm trying to learn from my Paris performance where I wasn't as positive in choice or execution in my game plan.
I've also been getting on court with Ben Taylor-Matthews on a Tuesday morning either at Leamington or a London court like Queen's or Lords which will be really beneficial for the two of us. On a Friday I've been getting on court with Bryn Sayers at Queen's which is always a great workout even with Bryn competing less these days.
- The IRTPA National League is back in action this season in a bit of a mix of Premier Division and Division 1.
The Premier type teams are Leamington (Ben Taylor-Matthews & Robert Shenkman), Holyport (Rob & Claire Fahey) and RTC (myself & Nick Hatchett).
The Div 1 type teams are Manchester (Darren Long & Zak Eadle), Cambridge (Ed Kay & Jamie Giddons), Wellington (Peter Wright & Adam Player) and Petworth (Tom Durack & Louis Gordon).
The Premier teams all play each other home and away and then play each of the Div 1 teams once either home or away. The Premier 1st string players also give an Owe15 H'cap to the Div 1 1st string players to even things up a little bit but keep it in the Premier guys favour.
So far RTC's first two matches have been our most difficult opponents in Leamington and Holyport. On Wednesday 19th October we hosted Leamington at RTC where I defeated Ben T-Matthews 6/1 6/0 in a bit of a surprise with both Ben and I so close in World Ranking at 6 & 7. my teammate in Nick Hatchett unfortunately went down 1 set to 2 which means we lost as the away team gets the Win when its one rubber all.
Thursday 27th October we headed to Holyport where I defeated Ricardo Smith, filling in for Rob Fahey, 6/4 6/4 in what is hopefully good preparation as I'm likely to play Ricardo in my 1st match of the British Open. Nick H played extremely well but went down to Claire Fahey 3/6 5/6. but again this time as the away team we get the chocolates...
Wednesday 2nd we again headed out for another away match. Unfortunately Nick had to retire injured after winning the first set 6/5 after tweaking a hip. I have Tom Durack an owe 15 handicap and Tom played very well on his home court as I only just snuck the first set before winning in straight sets to keep my 100% record in tact after three National League matches 6/5 6/3
Our next home match is Friday 11th November where we will be hosting Manchester. Tickets are always available via our Pro's Office.
- The British Open draw has been out for a little over a week and can be found on the IRTPA website http://www.irtpa.com/fixtures/
As mentioned I'm likely to play Ricardo after he most likely defeats a qualifier in the 1st round. On seeding if I was to continue through the draw my likely opponents are Rob Fahey (QTR), Steve Virgona (SF) and Camden Riviere (F). But anyone on their day can cause upsets as seen in the recent French Open.
Steve Virgona and I set about defending our British Open Doubles title. The defence of this title is going to be a tough one but I know Steve and I will be looking forward to the challenge. We will most likely have a rematch of last years final in the Semi Final against Sayers/Smith and then either the Doubles World Champions in Riviere/Chisholm or the team of Fahey/Stout in the Final.
It's actually the 1st Real Tennis title I will have had the chance to defend. I won the 2011 US Pro satellite tournament and have been a seeded player since and ineligible for the satellite. I also won the 2011 Category A (0-9's) at Oxford but have had a H'cap in the +'s since and again been ineligible to play.
Tickets are always available for the British Open via the Tennis and Rackets website https://www.tennisandrackets.com/Default.aspx