Blog 1 – January 25 2011 – I have been in Turkey for 3 weeks now. My first tournament I lost in 3 sets. I am now realising what winning matches use to be like as getting a set here is like Gold. My second tournament yesterday I won my match 6-3 7-6 against a guy 1700 in the world. I have had some great training sessions and great hits against some really good guys. It is a great experience, I have my second round match but its raining now, so ill do some gym work and prepare for when we are back on. You can keep an eye on my results through this link .. http://www.itftennis.com/mens/tournaments/drawsheetbyround.asp?event=1100132397&tournament=1100023449
Blog 2 – February 04 2011- Ok a lot more to talk about as this is opening our eyes to a whole new world, and if you Juniors think you can come over here and step up easy you have another think coming. Get out now !as this is a battle ground you go from being what you think a good player to a nobody ! I have been through all my shoes they are now worn out ps. I brought 6 pairs with me, roll of strings and gatorade powders so as to save on our costs in buying things unnecessarily over here as we did not know costs and for not wanting to leave the tournament resort unnessarily. Well I have worn the shoes through, been through one whole roll of string, due to the intensity of the hitting (these were meant to last me the whole 3 months) and it is always against guys ranked in the world so it is a phenomenal hit, these hits you beg to get or pay to have back home. Our hits and warm ups here feel like you’v played a 5 set match at home in a Final then double it. There are players everywhere now and I am so amazed at how they notice me and have offered to hit with me being the youngest. Maybe I just stand out for this very reason. They call me “Little Lleyton” . Against my normal self I have been chasing the good hits, you have too! they say yes and at times you have to share a court half each with another pair practising. You have to otherwise you are out of a tournament and have to wait for the next one that can be days. So I have been up every morning and I have had someone to hit with lined up most days. This is certainly an eye opener for me and Dad .. here we are with the pressure of making it into just the qualifying of an event, the waiting and watching the list dwindle watching your name move up the list just to play the Qualifying. As top ranked players make it into the big one and then you watch for the Qualifying draw with players changing their mind and going elsewhere is mind numbing wondering whether you’ve come all this way and don’t make it in. The top 18 are now in and decided for the Main Draw and they range from players ranked 327 to 699 in the world. The Qualifying list is out and it has 56 players named the top ranked being 716 in the world ranking down to 1744 ranked in the world sitting at place 33 . Then the rest of us below with no ranking coming all this way on to make it in the final spots from 33 to 56. I just scrape in at 49th spot. I’m playing ! We set out to find some shops and leave the Resort for the first time in 4 weeks to buy some new shoes. We buy 3 pairs they are a bit cheaper over here thank goodness. We strike up a conversation and get to know the guy and assure him we will be back in a couple of weeks.