KEEP PUSHING FORWARD

Hello Friends!

I have returned home after a successful trip to Melbourne. Not only did I grab the Singles title, but I also won the doubles as well! This gave me the grand slam in both singles and doubles, as well as the career grand slam in both. Needless to say, I am very pleased with how the trip went!

Even with that result though, I must keep training and pushing forward to improve. The US Open is only a few weeks away, and will be played in my old home of Boston, MA this year. It is very exciting, as this is the first US Open Boston has hosted since 2006. The draw is going to be a tough one, with almost every to 10 player in the world signed up.  I will keep you all updated as we get closer to the event, but thank you all again for the kind letters of encouragement.

#focus

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPION AND A GRAND SLAM!

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Hello All!

Last night marked one of the biggest wins of my career. I defeated Chris Chapman to win the 2015 Australian Open Singles title, and with it become the holder of all 4 Opens, the US, French, British, and Australian, which is also known as a Grand Slam!

The Final was a great one for me, with some of my best mental and physical tennis being played. It was a very tough one from a mental perspective, as I knew what it would mean if I could win it. This just made me more excited to be out there, and I feel it showed with my concentration during the match.

The first set I tried to come out as quick and focused as possible. I knew it was Chris’s first Open final, and having experienced that myself, hoped that he would be a little nervous. Chris played well, but I could tell he was feeling it a bit, and I took full advantage grabbing a quick 6/1 first set by keeping my error count as low as possible and putting all the pressure on him.

The second set we both settled in a bit more, with the rallies becoming longer, and control of the service end being even more important. I stuck to my plan though, and continued to work the floor and wait for my opportunities when going for the openings. We traded games early on but a grabbed another 5/1 lead before closing out the set 6/2.

The third set was by far the tightest, with Chris and I trading games until 2/2 before I could grab a lead. Even though I was ahead Chris seemed to be finding a little more rhythm, I wanted to make sure he didn’t gain too much confidence, as I know how well he can play when he has it! I took the set 6/2 and that was the match!

I have to give a huge congratulations to Chris on making his first Open final. His game has really improved, and I will definitely be expecting to see him back at this stage over the next few years.

Winning the Australian has made both my career grand slam, and actual grand slam, a reality. It is something you never think about while playing, and even at the British Open the thought of the grand slam had not crossed my mind. I am now lucky enough to be grouped in with some of my idols, and it is a tremendous honor.

Thank you all for the kind messages of support I have received, and especially to Dacre and Harry for helping make this a reality.

#FOCUS

INTO THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN SINGLES FINAL

Hello All!

Australia has been going very well so far, and I have managed to make it to the Singles Final! I won my semi-final match yesterday against Nick Howell, and will now take on Chris Chapman in the Finals. It has been a great trip so far, and I have been lucky enough to catch up with lots of old friends.

Since I arrived I have been very busy, having plans with old friends almost every night. I was even lucky enough to catch up with a long time childhood friend who I had not seen in many years. This is one of my favorite parts of coming to the events, as I would never get to see them otherwise!

My quarter-final singles match was against one of the local juniors James Gould. James is a fellow lefty, and has been playing the game since a very young age, something I can definitely relate to! We had some great rallies, and I see a lot of potential in his game. Hopefully he will stick with it, and continue to improve as he gets older. I was in control though and took the match 6/1 6/0 6/0.

The semi-finals pitted me against my friend, and host for the week, Nick Howell. Nick has a strong family connection to the game, with his father being one of the top players for many years. Nick has been improving lately, and is about to break into the top 10 in the world, which means I have to take him very seriously! We had a great match, and I can see how much he has improved over the last year. The first set was all about finding a groove. Nick was serving very tight railroads, so tight that I was having flashbacks of the World Champs!!!, and I was working hard to win points from both ends. I was finding my openings when I needed them though, and jumped out to a 5/1 lead before closing out the set 6/2.

The second set was very similar, I felt that Iw as serving very well, and so was Nick, which made the match a very interesting one. We were both having to work hard from either end, and long rallies were occurring almost every point. Nick was retrieving well, and making me cover a lot of court, not very kind of my host of course! The score line went went the exact same way as the first with me grabbing a 5/1 lead and then closing the set 6/2.

The third set was just a battle. Nick tightened up him game, and mine went a bit loose, not controlling my length or the serving end very well. We traded game to 3/3 before I grabbed a 5/3 lead. Nick fought back to 4/5 and took a 40-love lead before I put together some strong points from the service end to finish the match 6/4.

I now take on Chris Chapman in the Final, who defeated Kieran Booth in a tight four set match last night. It will be a tough one, and I will have to play my best to win. Thanks as always for the support!

#focus

Australian Open Update

Greetings from down under!

I am in Melbourne, and working hard to get ready for the Australian Open. The singles quarter-finals start today, and the club is buzzing with anticipation. So far my trip has gone smoothly, with no jet lag or health issues to speak of. I have been practicing with all the usual suspects over here, including my doubles partner Julian, who has to be one of the best people to practice against I have ever come across. Because of his consistency on the floor, one basket can last for 20-30 minutes. This means I am hitting twice as many balls per basket, and makes me feel much more comfortable on the court.

My quarter-final match today is against James Gould, who is a local amateur and fellow left-hander. I will be 100% focused as always, and will take him just as seriously as anyone else I play. My hope is to make the match as quick as possible, as the heat could become a factor later in the week, I want to save my body as much as possible.

The matches will also be streamed, and I have created a schedule of times for those you located on the east coast. Please take a look below, and if you get a chance check out the stream!

Quarter-Final Singles – Wednesday 9pm (YOUR TIME)
Semi-Final Singles – Friday 9:30pm (YOUR TIME)
Finals Singles – Monday 2:30am (YOUR TIME)
Semi-Finals Doubles – Saturday Midnight (YOUR TIME)
Finals Doubles – Tuesday 2:30am (YOUR TIME)
#FOCUS
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UPCOMING EVENTS AND INFO

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Hey Guys!

2015 has started very well for me, with training for the Australian Open going strong, and lots of support and motivation from friends. Last weekend I headed up to Philadelphia for a training weekend with my friends John Lumley and Gabe Kinzler. Unfortunately Gabe came down with the flu right before I got there, and was unable to practice, but John and I made the most of the weekend spending a solid 3-4 hours on court per day. It was great to get back out there, and I always find I am motivated and excited to get back on court once I have had a break. My game has been progressing well, and I feel that I will reach my peak at the perfect time, the Australian Open.

The Australian Open is going to be an important one for me, with lots of added pressure. Winning the event would give me the “Tiger Slam”, which means I would be the holder of all 4 Opens (US, French, British, and Australian) although not in one calendar year. It would also complete the career grand slam for me, which would put me in an elite group. As always I am focused 100%, and know that it will not be easy to accomplish this goal. The draws are up and if you click the links below you can see them.

Australian Open Singles Draw

Australian Open Doubles Draw

On a side note I wanted to share a thought on the new year that one of the people I admire the most shared with me. Kai Greene is a professional body builder, who has come in second place at the Mr. Olympia the last 3 years. Although he and I do not share careers in common, I find the mentality he brings to his training and life incredible. He is one of the most focused people I have ever seen, and has a mental perspective that I only wish I could have. Please take a read below at his thoughts on the new year, if they don’t motivate you to get out there and be amazing nothing will!

From Kai:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Yes, you heard correct. #MakeMistakes

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re #DoingSomething

Its a New Year and if there is one thing I would encourage anyone to do it is just that…make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is….art, or love, or work, or family, or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing. #DoIt”

 

#FOCUS