Here is a little update on how I’m doing. I finished up my off season training in Arizona, before heading to Daytona Beach for my first tournament. I was fortunate enough to be able to get to the tournament early to adjust to the time difference and courts. It was also nice to spend some time with the Okarski’s, who have housed me the last couple years. It’s always a huge help to have some housing for these tournaments to save some money.
After three days of training, the qualifying rounds started. First round I played a girl named Katerina Kramperova from the Czech Republic. Although I didn’t start off playing very well, I was able to take control of the match and won 6-3, 6-2 against the feisty Czech. After the match, I got a short practice in to sharpen up my game for the next day.
In my second round match I played Petra Rampre from Slovenia. She’s a very crafty player who has a one-handed backhand and uses a lot of slices and touch shots. I won 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the final round of qualifying. I played very aggressive and was able to finish out a lot of points at net. Since I didn’t make very many errors, I was feeling pretty good going into the final round.
In the final round I played a girl named Kayla Day. She’s a young lefty who trains with the USTA in Florida. Things started off going well for me, and I went up 5-2 in the first. However, that day I had a tough time closing the set out. I wasn’t serving very well so that hurt me quite a bit. I ended up losing 7-6(5), 6-3.
I couldn’t dwell on the loss for too long because I still had doubles that day with my partner, Jamie Loeb. Jamie won the NCAA singles title this past year so she’s a solid player so I knew we would make a good team. We played my former doubles partner, Natalie Pluskota in the first round. We played pretty well together and won 6-2, 6-2 to move to the quarters. Next we took on the number one seed in doubles. Jamie and I didn’t play as well in our next match. We fought, but we were barely missing our shots. We also lost three deuce games in the first set which hurt. In doubles it is no-ad scoring and a super tie-break for the third set. The final score was 6-2, 6-2.
The tournament was over for me, but it was good for me to find out what I needed to work on for the bigger tournaments I have to come. I went up to Seattle to train for four days before heading to Maui for my next tournament. The weather in Seattle was actually pretty good since there were some clear days. I still practiced indoors though. My coach pushed me hard for those four days: hitting 3-4 hours a day, working out in the gym 1-2 hours and then doing bikram yoga.
Now I’m in Maui, and since I’m in main draw I still have a few days to recover from all the work that I put in. This tournament is a $50,000 whereas the one in Daytona Beach was only a $25,000. I’ve been working hard so I hope that will end up showing in my results.
Time to get ready for practice!