This week was a tough one. I played pretty terribly in my match in Miami, despite committing whole-heartedly to my game plan and staying composed throughout. This was the kind of loss that serves to remind me of how important it is to have a positive team. I was feeling pretty bad after the loss until I spoke to my coach, who surprised me with a glowing review of how he thought I played. He claimed that I had made huge steps forward in my commitment and demeanor, and that the execution would follow, sooner rather than later. I went from feeling like I was in some form of an interminable slump to feeling fairly optimistic within minutes.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of my week was sunshine and rainbows. I have continued to struggle in practice with my consistency and execution, despite feeling like I am doing all of the “right things.” Sometimes, sports are a fickle endeavor. You can work hard, train right, recover well, eat smart, and maintain a good attitude and still play poorly when it comes to match day. I have been very frustrated lately on the practice and match court, feeling as though I have been taking care of the controllable elements of my career without seeing the payout. Fortunately, I have an amazing coach, who never fails to remind me that success and process are rarely linear, and that some blind faith is required in chasing a dream of any kind. By virtue of having been through a rough patch like this before with my tennis (see first half of 2015), I know that things will come around eventually—the trick will just be to employ patience and positivity in the interim.
I have spent the majority of the past week back at home in LA, practicing, training in the gym, and setting up my new home. In moments of discouragement, I have leaned on my friends to give my life some balance and perspective. When things aren’t going as planned in the tennis realm, there is nothing better than hanging out with a bunch of people who care for you as a person and couldn’t care less about what’s happening on court. Hopefully, I will be able to check in with more exciting updates in the weeks to come, but in the meantime, I’m trying to remember that there are lessons to be learned in the struggle.
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.