Once again, I’m playing catch up with by postings… I am currently in Morelia at my final Mexican tourney, but let me first take a step back and talk about my previous week in beautiful Guadalajara.
The Guadalajara tourney was held at the Complejo Panamericano, an incredible all-sports complex that was built especially for the 2011 Pan-American games… the place is first rate! 4 practice courts, 8 elevated-show courts, and 1 very impressive Tel-Cel Stadium!
>>>>While quite a few of my photo selections seem to revolve around each week’s cuisine offerings, a good friend, and Mississippi tennis legend, Devin Britton, shows off some of his excellent photography skills on his own blog (www.DevinBritton.com). So take a minute and check out his blog as he always has an interesting take on the cities we’ve traveled to.<<<<
Once again, the housing connections came through in a big way, as I was able to find housing in Guadalajara, thanks to Nacho Plascencia’s (a Guadalajara native, but now a Roddick-LaValle tennis academy member in SA) good buddy, Daniel Alvarez put me up for the week. I had a great time with Daniel, a very considerate and generous host, I felt right at home.
We spent quite a bit of time together as a quintet that week in Guadalajara, our shared fitness guru, Paco Munoz, Nacho, Camilo (originally from Columbia, also of the Roddick-LaValle academy), Daniel (who elected to skip school to hang with us at the tourney). At most tourneys, you end up finding your go-to-group, and for the second week in a row, I was surrounded by impressive new levels of Spanish slang…
My singles (tennis, that is) experience in Guadalajara was a disappointment. I drew a first round bye which was nice as it afforded me a good, hard practice day for the first time in about a week. I played an American seed the second day, Mico Santiago, a good 18 year old from Oregon. I ended up going down 6-3,6-4 and felt out of rhythm the entire match. Even while not playing my best, I was happy with the way I competed and hung around, but simply lost too many long games. I lost 3 return games in which I had 3 break points in each game, and 4 service games in which I had at least 3 game points… not exactly a recipe for success. But I do need to give credit to Mico for making things difficult for me, he played a solid match on that Sunday and went on to qualify for the main draw the next day.
With my singles opportunity dashed early in the week, it gave me an opportunity to get back to the practice court and clean up my game. For the most part, I have been happy with my play in Mexico (6-3 singles record to this point), but I still felt like I could be executing a more aggressive game plan from time to time. So what a great opportunity to practice and incorporate that into my game plan before my final tournament in Morelia.
As I believe I’ve described in an earlier post, acceptance into the main draw doubles event is based on your singles ranking (a system that confounds me), and while I am still waiting for the ATP computer to register my ATP singles point (and subsequent world ranking) from last week’s Celaya, I am a liability in terms of getting into the doubles draw, at least until my ATP singles ranking becomes official in 2 weeks. So needless to say, I was excited when Pavel Krainik (CAN) (1100 ATP) asked me to play doubles. We drew the previous week’s winner’s #3 seeds Devin Britton (USA)/ Darian King (BAR). We jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead and had chances in the next several games as Britton and King made their push, but we couldn’t sustain our break advantage and went on to lose a close match 6-4,6-3. (Congrats to Devin & Darian as they went on to win their 2nd futures doubles title in a row a few nights later in Guadalajara). Darian & Devin had already had some success together and it showed during the latter part of the first set as they moved and crossed like a doubles team that has developed a sense of chemistry. Pavel & I didn’t quite have this same flow on our side of the net, as we had just put this pairing together… It’s always tough to play with someone when you’re still trying to remember their first name, but I was very pleased with how I played, regardless of the outcome it’s nice to see an immediate carry-over effect from practice sessions. I’ve always felt I was a better doubles player and now I am pumped to play a more consistent doubles schedule!
So while the tennis record in Guadalajara was an unimpressive 0-2, I had an opportunity to clean up some short-comings in my game and am ready for my last week in Mexico.. Morelia.
I also had an opportunity to do some sight-seeing around the beautiful capital of Jalisco, but that post will have to come later as the practice court calls my name…
–> I’ve posted a bunch of photos that you should browse through until I get a chance to publish the next posting.
Y’all take care & Go Spurs GO!