Checking in this week from Trnava, Slovakia, the location of my second clay court stop on tour this season. The tournament is hosted at a hotel with tennis facilities, so things have been logistically very easy here. As players, we tend to love tournaments that lend themselves to simplicity. There’s nothing better than rolling out of bed, heading downstairs to breakfast, and then walking to practice, all without having to schedule transportation or find means of transit.
Last week in Cagnes, despite amounting to another singles loss, was an extremely positive one for me. My match against Pereira was high level, and it represented some of the best tennis I’ve played on clay to date. That said, it was still obvious that I had lacked competitive play, and it took me a bit too long to find my groove. Building from last week, I have every expectation that I will start on a more confident note and be able to play an even better match start to finish.
I will start competition this week on Tuesday against a qualifier. My practices here have been great—my coach and I are in a really nice groove, communicating well, and generating productive practices each day. Also, as a result of continued discipline in the realms of fitness, nutrition, and recovery, my body continues to feel great. This is perhaps the biggest victory of the trip so far.
The week before a slam is always an important week to compete hard and fine tune any weaknesses. This will be my first qualifying effort at a slam in just over a year (previously had been directly into main draw), but I’m honestly excited for the challenge. I have yet to win a match at Roland Garros in the main draw OR qualifying event, so I have my sights set on changing that this year. But first, I will focus on playing a few more high quality matches in Trnava in preparation.
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.