What a start it’s been to 2018. At the end of 2017 there were actually a few more tournaments I could have played to see if I could push the ranking up just a bit more. With the help of my coaches we made the strategic decision to end the season early and start training my body to be ready for 2018.
The start of this year was a bit unlucky to say the least. After playing my first tournament in Thailand, the day I was to depart to Melbourne, Australia some weird flu like bug struck me hard. At first I thought it was something I ate because I was going to the bathroom every minute until everything, and I mean everything including all the liquids was out of my system. It didn’t help that I was flying out the same day. When I got to the airport I started to feel the onset of something more than food poisoning. As soon as I got on the plane my body suddenly started to feel weak and sore. I was very cold. Luckily I had a face mask with me, hoping that I wouldn’t give my sickness to anyone else. The feeling I had on that plane was probably one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. That feeling of sitting 10 hours next to people you don’t know, cramped up, and going through hot and cold body temperatures constantly. I was literally counting down the seconds.
It was going to take something miraculous for me to be at my best for Australian Open Qualifying. Background story on Australian Open is I actually waited two years to play it. The first time I got in I decided to play a different tournament in the hopes of gaining more points for my ranking. The second time I got in I was just coming back from surgery so I wasn’t ready to play. It was quite a sad moment for me during that week in Australia because I felt like I had worked so hard to prepare my body to be in the best condition it could be in and I couldn’t even put it to use. I had to cancel practices leading up to the 1st round. The day of the match I was going in for warm up and I just felt out of it. My equilibrium seemed to be off, I was tired after hitting a few shots. I ended up playing my match and put up a good fight losing in three sets, but my body was just not able to fight through.
I came back home to Los Angeles determined to get my body back on track. Only one last setback. I had been dealing with tooth pain for over 2 years (root canal gone bad), I figured I was going to be home and wanted to check with the dentist again. I was referred to a specialist and he said the best option for me was to operate on my tooth. So I asked him, “Operate??” I don’t know anyone who likes going to the dentist, but getting work done on your teeth can probably be one of the most scary feelings. My only concern was that I had a tournament over the weekend and it was Thursday. The procedure had to be done though. The smarter thing to do was to probably not play the tournament in Newport Beach. My only thing was that the tournament was so close to home and I wanted to give it a shot. The tournament didn’t go so well to say the very least.
As a tennis player and athlete many times we play our best when we are confident. The year had just started and I haven’t played too many tournaments yet, but after that Newport Beach tournament I started to question myself. It was tough because I really put in hard work in the off-season to be ready for this year and I just wasn’t able to showcase that work. I’ve been fortunate enough to have great friends and great coaches that really tell me the truth when I need it most. I never like making excuses on losses, but I really was too hard on myself. From getting the flu to getting surgery it was hard to be at my best.
After that Newport Beach tournament I really changed the way I approached tennis and myself. I started to forgive myself more for things out of my control. There were so many things outside of my control and I would beat myself up over it. I was determined to be nicer to myself and I think that has made all the difference in the last couple weeks.
All about the journey..