Hello from Houston!
I arrived late Monday night, after a long but relatively easy day of traveling. This is the last tournament in a long stretch of consecutive events, and although I’m about ready to be home in NYC, I’m also glad to be in summer weather as opposed to the Northeast snowstorm!
Since I’ve got 4 tournaments to recap, I’m going to attempt to make each of them concise (although that never happens…). Here goes… only a month late! (I don’t have any pictures from this tournament, but posted a couple videos on my Instagram, if you want to check them out!)
Windy City Open (Chicago)
Match vs Sarah Cardwell (AUS)
I was originally supposed to play fellow Canadian, Hollie Naughton but the draw changed at the last minute, and I drew Sarah Cardwell instead. It was nice to have someone new to play, especially because I recently played Hollie at ToC in January.
The first two games went by quickly…not in a good way. I did not play well and Sarah attacked a lot from the middle of the court. By now, I’ve had enough experiences on court where I’ve gone down 3-0, failing to settle into any kind o groove. I knew I didn’t want to do that again, and tried to let all thoughts and anxiety go, hoping to let myself just play. When I walked on to the court in the 3rd game, I felt instantly more confident, and from the moment I returned the serve, I felt like a whole new player! I took the 3rd game in a close 11-9. I began to find my stride, and won the 4th 11-6 and the 5th 11-7. My tactics felt effortless, and I did a good job of attacking short vs attacking long. In particular, I felt that on my backhand volley, I instinctively knew when to go deep and when to attack short. Holding and hitting really helped me get the ball by Sarah, to achieve a good position to attack.
Overall I was really pleased with how I turned the match around. It was the first time I’ve been able to let go and just play in competition, and it was both a relief and motivating!
Match vs Yathreb Adel
My body was tired after a long and hard fought match against Sarah, and in particular, my right quad was shot. I got a 30 minute massage later that day to try and flush out my legs, but I think the damage was already done!
Nevertheless, I gave it my best shot at the former top-30 player. The first game I was tentative, and let her rattle off point after point, mostly from the midcourt area. In the second game, I was able to extend and control the rallies a bit better, and tested her movement. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite keep the intent and focus right to the end, and lost 11-9. The third game was very similar to the first, as Yathreb came out firing once more, and I stepped back, making poor shot choices, some of which were poorly executed and right on her racquet.
Although I lost in three, I was happy with the second game, and wish I had believed a bit more in myself to actually win the game. It was good to see that I can play at that level, but need to be able to compete that way consistently, point after point.
All in all, Windy City was a good experience this year. I made some good money and scored some really good ranking points, which, along with those from the Philly tournament, helped bump me up from #68 (February) to #59 (March) on the world tour. Woo!
My next post will recap the Bermuda Open!