As 2017 is coming to an end, I’ve taken the time to reflect on the year I’ve had. In my final tournament of the year, I had hoped to close out the year by defending or improving upon my 2016 semifinal in Honolulu so I was a bit down after my second round loss. However looking back now, I’m proud of everything I accomplished this year. It wasn’t always perfect but I hit a lot of milestones this year.
Last off season I made major changes to my serve, backhand and volleys, which all took a while to master. Joel and I spent at least an hour every day trying to master my new service motion, which led to a lot of bickering and a even a racquet in a tree at one point (his not mine). At the beginning of the year it seemed like things were never going to fall into place as my double faults were at an all time high and my backhands were flying to the back fence. I finished 2016 confident, but in 2017 I struggled as I lost first round almost every week. By mid April I had only won two singles matches out of ten and hadn’t won a single doubles match. My two singles wins happened to be against top 100 players, one of which was in the first round of qualifying at Indian Wells. I kept thinking ok this is it, I’ll start playing better now, but my game was inconsistent match to match. Every week we went back to the drawing board.
Finally by the end of April I found my serve and things started looking up. I finally won a doubles match and made my first WTA doubles final in China. I made finals in a 25k in Thailand in singles and was finally winning some matches. I had the opportunity to play my first grass season and with a little luck, made it into my first Wimbledon. Playing Wimbledon had always been a big goal of mine so just being there was a dream come true. Unfortunately I came up short making it to the All England Club but next year will be a different story.
By US Open time I was feeling sharp after taking some time to train. I hit my biggest milestone of the year. I made it into the US Open qualifying off of my own ranking and beat the second seed first round. My first grand slam win felt amazing especially since I was able to come back from 6-2, 5-2 to win the match 6-4 in the third. All the support in New York was electrifying. Everything I went through at the start of the year was justified and worth it. I also took my first grand slam doubles win with Sachia Vickery 7-6 in the third in a packed stadium. It has been months and I still can’t find the words to describe our match that turned into a night match with a filled stadium. The roar of the crowd could only be described as exhilarating. It is moments like that which I have always dreamed about and it is why I plan to continue working as hard as I can to achieve my goals. Other milestones I have reached this year have been cracking the top hundred in doubles, qualifying and winning my first WTA matches and finishing the year with new career highs and in good position to make runs at some of the biggest tournaments for the upcoming year.
Just want to give a special shoutout to all of my followers for supporting me along this journey. I really appreciate all the encouragement which further motivates me to get better each and every day. I’ve been pushing myself past my limits this off season to improve and further evolve my tennis game. Hopefully next year I’ll be writing this blog from Australia but in the mean time aloha from Maui and happy new year! Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.