I am sorry to say that my World Championship bit fell just short. I was defeated in the WC by Rob Fahey 7 sets to 3. It was an amazing experience, and I am very proud of how I played.
The first day of the match was by far my best. I wanted to come out firing, and put him on his heels early. I did just that, playing one of my best sets ever and taking it 6/0! It was the first time someone has taken a 6/0 set against Rob in a WC, as well as the only time someone has won the first set against him. The next set was a battle, with Rob taking a slight lead early in the set. I stuck with it though, and fought back from 5/4 down to take the set 6/5. I felt great with a 2 set lead, but knew the match was nowhere near over. Rob started to pick up his game, and I started to make too many errors. Early in the 3rd set I managed to run into the main wall and give myself a decent gash on my head. We had a 5 minute injury timeout during which I was treated as best possible. The only annoying part was that it broke my concentration in the match. I was still fighting and playing well, but seemed to have lost that extra edge I needed to win. The tennis was amazing but Rob was too strong taking the next two sets 6/3 6/4 ending the day at 2 sets all.
The second day of play was a very up and down one for me. The first set saw some good steady tennis from me. I was serving well and controlling play, and that resulted in me winning the set 6/2. The next three sets however saw Rob taking over, and my errors becoming too common. My serves seem to lose there effectiveness and Robs seemed to just get better. I fought hard but couldn’t grab an early lead or any momentum in the sets. Rob took the next three sets 6/2 6/3 6/4. This ended the second days play with Rob leading 5 sets to 3.
The third day was a tough one for me. We had been delayed due to sweating on the court, and I was trying to use the extra time to regain focus. After having the extra day off I knew Rob’s body would be feeling slightly better, and I would need to play well to stay in the match. Unfortunately that was not the case. Rob came out very strong, and even though I stuck to my game plan, I just couldn’t seem to string points together like I had earlier in the week. My error count kept going up as the pressure built later in the match. Rob kept his foot down and didn’t give me any openings. He took the two sets he needed 6/2 6/0 and that was the match. It wasn’t the best tennis I have ever played, but I have to give Rob credit as he controlled play incredibly well throughout the week.
Although it is not the result I was hoping for, I know that I worked hard and did everything I could to win. My opponent was too strong this week and I must congratulate him for that. There is a reason he has been World Champ as long as he has, and he proved it to me this week.
I have to give a huge thank you to Alistair Curley, Owen Guest, and their team for organizing an amazing week of events. Thank you as well to Frank Filippelli and his team for what must have been a stressful two weeks. My practice partners Nick Howell and Julian Snow were amazing, and there support on and off the court helped me play some of my best tennis. Having my family there also made the trip that much more special, and I can’t thank them enough for coming half way across the world to support me.
After the match my mom, Claire, and I headed down the coast to Mornington, which is my favorite part of Melbourne. We were treated to an amazing two days by Jonathan Howell and his family. It was the perfect end to what has been a pretty amazing journey.
We are now headed to New Zealand for 5 days of adventures, and then I will be headed to San Fransisco for another week of exploring before I head up to Newport for the US Pro Singles. (gotta get back on the horse and try again!)
Thank you to everyone who supported me on this journey. I could not have accomplished all of this without you. The emails I have received over the last few weeks have made me feel so special, and to know that I have the support I do made the whole process easier. I will keep working hard to achieve this goal, and look forward to the opportunity to do this all again in two years!