The US Open was held at Drexel university in Philadelphia, home of Rocky Balboa – the greatest athlete ever invented!!! On arriving I had a hot with former world no.1 John white amd after a few cross court games I was defiantly not going to have any worries seeing the ball!
I drew Ashraf Azan of Malaysia. A random character to say the least. Plan was to get stuck in play a fast tempo squeezing position and errors out of him as with time on the ball he can put the ball away when he wants! Within 87 seconds I was down 5/0 in the 1st, chop chop. Managed to pull it back and sneak the 1st 11/9 losing the second to a similar score. 2 crucial points in the match proved to be the difference. At 6/2 up in the 3rd he’d clipped the tin with a boast. Somehow the ref managed to miss it and instead of moving on I’d given him 6 quick points a rest and a lead 2/1. The 4th I got back to the game plan taking it amd the match into a 5th set. The ball went a little spongey making it difficult to hit length and the dynamic of the match changed and turned into a shooting contest and was something he adapted to a lot quicker taking the 5th 11/8. Needless to say I was gutted. The difference of winning and losing these matches – ranking points, price money and the opportunity to play another day! There were some positives to take away and so it was back to the drawing board with Bluenose in Halifax Nova Scotia around the corner. A great event with really enthusiastic crowds filling the seats from the 1st round all the way to the finals!
In the lead upto this I picked up a bit of a virus that I struggled to shake off and going into the 1st round I was a little apprehensive but didn’t really have much problems getting through but the next match was always going to be a sterner test playing Eric Galvez of Mexico. I did feel a bit stronger hence a little optimistic. The 1st 2 games were tight with two 11/9, one for and against. 5/3 up in the 3rd and I started to struggle physically and lost it 11/5 with the 4th following a similar pattern. Tough loss to be honest but take it on the chin and move on. Theres not to much time to dwell on it as the world open is just around the corner so I drew the positives and as the days have gone by iv been getting back to full health and strength and ready for the world open in Manchester next week!
Which is part of what sport is all about – competing in the biggest tournaments against the best players in the world!