It’s me again! Why haven’t you heard from me in so long (besides my usual broken promise of posting more often)? To be completely honest, the past month and half on the court has been pretty rough and it’s no fun reporting back when I’m losing. I’m not used to it and I hate it. Coming back from an injury I know I shouldn’t expect to be at the same level as I was before, but ask anyone close to me and they’ll tell you I’m a perfectionist and all about instant gratification when it comes to my tennis. Needless to say, those things don’t bode well for working your way back into competitive play.
After a week back in practice, I decided to just go for it and play 5 tournaments in the month of July. Maybe not the best idea… but I was ready to compete again. I started off the first week of July playing the local Firecracker prize money tournament in Louisville. I took a disappointing loss in the quarterfinals of singles after having two match points in the third set. In doubles, I partnered with Eric Quigley but we fell in the finals to Sean Donohue and Parker Wynn. Props to Sean and Parker for playing a heck of a match. Being good friends, Sean and I made a little bet on the match. Since I lost I now have the pleasure of wearing one of the new man rompers— or romphims, whatever you want to call them— out one night. Stay tuned on that. I’m not sure if I’ll allow any photos….
Next I headed to Virginia for another prize money tournament. I played a solid first round match but then lost a close one in the Round of 16. Overall I was pretty pleased with my play, but I was still nowhere I expected to be, especially with my physical conditioning. Eric and I played doubles together again and made finals, though. I took home $500 for this showing– tough to complain about a paycheck. This was also one of my favorite tournaments. It’s held at the local country club, and the tournament director does a great job of organizing events so every night it’s basically a giant party. There’s always a good crowd and lots of cheering. Most nights I wasn’t off the court until midnight or 1 a.m. so my sleep schedule was a little out of whack, but it was worth it for the atmosphere. It was also a fun little road trip with Eric and Brandon Lancaster who traveled with us too. We came home with lots of inside jokes and had a great time.
I finished out the month with two futures and a wildcard tournament in Illinois. I lost in first round of qualifying in both of the futures, pretty disappointing results, and in the wildcard tournament I fell in the quarters. Now you might see why I haven’t been posting so much. When people ask how things are going and you feel you’re underachieving and don’t have good results to share it’s not always fun to talk about. The good news is every week I played better than the week before, but it’s taking me way longer than I expected to get back in shape and find my game again. Any time you’re out with an injury you always have to work twice as hard to get back to where you were, and then even harder to start improving again.
The last tournament was in Edwardsville, Illinois which is just north of St. Louis so I was able to do some exploring in my down time at night. I got to see one of my buddies from high school, Will Tompkins (better known as Willy T), who is living there for med school. He showed me around Forest Park and then took me to the best barbecue spot of my life called Pappy’s. Another night I went back in to town with my friend Toby Boyer who was also my roommate for the week. We went back to Forest Park again and visited Art Hill, then made our way up the Arch for some pretty cool views (the first photo up top is the overlook of the city from the top of the arch).
The day we headed out Toby and I went back in to St. Louis for the morning to check out the City Museum. It was recommended by Will and he described it as a giant playground to us. I wish I had known about this place when I was younger because I would have been in heaven. I think we were a little too tall for parts of it now, but Toby and I had a good time being little kids again. Almost got stuck in some of the wire tunnels and went down a 10 story slide.
August has been a pretty busy month off the court for me. I had my best friend’s bachelor party and wedding, went on vacation with the family, and I’m heading to Canada in two days!
There’s a lot of lost time and missed tournaments to make up for so I’ll be traveling a lot the rest of the year. Check back in soon!