Just made it back to LA after a couple of tennis-filled weeks in the south. After earning my first title in three years in Baton Rouge, I was able to reach another final in Auburn this past week. After ten matches in twelve days, I was finally out of gas and lost to an in-form Imanishi. I feel very fortunate that I had scheduled a week off to reset and train this week, since I don’t think my body would have handled a third tournament well after so much competition.
While many people assume that the toll that playing a lot of matches takes on your body is the most significant barrier to winning back to back events, the mental strain is nearly as taxing. In most jobs, you can leave work at the office when you go home for the evening or weekend, but during a sports competition, you are never truly off the clock. As soon as one match ends, recovery and preparation for the next begins. And while ice baths, careful nutrition, and rehab work may not sound like a significant load, the pressure of being “on” all of the time does eventually catch up.
In order to combat feelings of mental and physical fatigue, I maintained extremely strict routines, including meditation twice a day, calming breathing exercises, full-submersion ice baths, and nearly identical nutritional intake each day. I strongly feel that had I not maintained this level of discipline from start to finish, I would not have lasted at a high performance level for as long as I did. These tournaments had the dual benefit of granting me confidence while also honing these routines, which will serve me well when I return to the main tour in a few weeks.
Also, did I mention it was HOT down there?? I knew to expect heat, but during the first week in Baton Rouge, the heat index routinely exceeded 100 degrees on court. I feel very proud of my efforts, despite disappointment to be missing out on the grass court season and difficult playing conditions. After a day to rest, I’m already looking forward to my final 25k event in Winnipeg next week.
Enjoying the grind!
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.