August 2, 2005

European Road Rules

Aug. 2, 2005

Entry 4: Lessons on Clay

The last two weeks had their ups and downs. On the positive side of things, I have been training a lot in preparation for upcoming tournaments both here in Spain and soon in France. Aside from tennis, I don't do too much off the courts other than watch movies or go to bed. The workouts are tough and take a lot out of me so I try to rest as much as I can.

I heard about the sad news on campus involving Moses and Jeannine. It was tough for me not to focus on their passing as I had plenty of interaction with them (especially Jeannine, who helped me in the training room recover from my knee injury). To be hit with two tragic deaths within days of each other was really tough on the mind.

To get my mind off of the sad news, my housemates and I went to the beach on a day off training. The beach was really nice and the weather was unreal. Bright, sunny and almost like being at home (Huntington Beach). The day after the beach trip, I saw a bull fight. This was quite an experience as there was a lot of energy during the event, but not fun watching the bulls die in the end.

The following week, I competed in my third tournament in Spain. This event was held on red clay, a surface that I have been training on and getting used to quickly. Once again, I had quite a tough draw as I had to potentially face the top seed in the second round. I don't mind playing the better players, but I wouldn't mind having that opportunity a bit later in the tournament. I received a walkover in the first round as my opponent didn't show up... maybe a better option for him... ha, ha. I then was to face the number one seed in the second round.

The top player held a world ranking on the ATP tour and I heard he was very good. I figured it was going to be a tough opponent so I didn't feel too nervous. I wanted to make sure that I played hard whether it was a top seed or unseeded player. I certainly had my chances after being up 5-2 in the first and 5-3 in the second set. Both sets went to tie breakers and had identical 8-6 scores in favor of my opponent. Final score: 7-6, 7-6. A great match that I wish I had won, but I certainly learned a lot from the experience.

I hit the courts again the rest of the week and tried to relax a bit too. One of my housemates and I did get to test out the night life in Barcelona over the weekend. Let me tell you that it's crazy there. We had a very good time and today I'm catching up on sleep.

I'm looking forward to traveling to France and meet up with my teammate, Bobby Rasmussen. We will be playing tournaments there for a month. I can't wait to grind on the courts again and also see some sights in Paris.

Talk to you soon,

Kev