Checking in from the Miami Open where I am staying at an airport hotel—glamorous, right? Turns out hotel rooms on South Beach and other coastal areas are extremely expensive during Spring Break (who knew?!), so I used my tournament sponsored room for my coach so that he can access transportation to and from the site for free. Meanwhile, I’m staying at a cheaper location but will need to Uber back and forth from the site all week because transport only commutes between official hotels and the site. I am, admittedly, quite frugal when it comes to tour life, so while many players opt for a simpler setup, I often go to great lengths to minimize costs.
But anyway, enough of the boring details. After a bit of a reset—a few days off and an exciting move to my new town home in LA—I am feeling much better both on and off the court. With the weight of points and expectations relieved, I feel I’m finally back to my normal self: an underdog and a competitor. As I move up in this sport, I will need to improve at “faking” this mentality even when it does feel as though there is something to lose. But, for now, I am relishing the opportunity to prove myself again and work my way back into the top 100 and onwards.
I always enjoy coming back to Key Biscayne for the Miami Open. The first time was ever invited to a USTA “camp” for elite American junior players, it was hosted at Crandon Park. That was now 13 years ago—yikes!!! Since then, I have attended many more camps, training weeks, and junior tournaments at this same venue. When I’m here, with memories of a simpler time when tennis was more of an obsessive hobby than a pressure-packed job, I can’t help but have a relaxed and positive mindset.
I will play my first match on Tuesday or Wednesday, so just one more day of practice and rest for me. Then, hopefully, with so much weight lifted from me this week, I can bring my best tennis to Miami. But either way, I’m looking forward to the fight :).
About My Tennis Life Series:
In February of 2017, Tennis Channel launched its first multi-platform content series My Tennis Life featuring two professional tennis players, Nicole Gibbs (USA) and Sam Groth (Australia), as they traverse the globe in search of valuable ATP and WTA points. The series gives you a behind-the-scenes look of the professional tour. Tennis fans across the globe will witness Sam and Nicole’s efforts to break through respectively on the ATP and WTA Tours, and the challenges they face while trying to improve their game and career earnings.