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AUGUST UPDATE

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Hello CT Fans!

August has been a tremendously busy month for me, with many big changes happening. I have started preparations for the 2016/2017 season, and only have a month left until the first event, the French Open. This training involves getting back with my trainer, Mike Cecchi, as well as getting back out on court. It still feels like the World Championships was just yesterday, but I know I need to get back on the horse to make sure I am 100% prepared for the what is to come.

Luckily, last weekend the National Tennis Club hosted its annual Pell Cup doubles tournament, which I have traditionally used as a warm-up event to kick off my training. This year I teamed up with my good friend, and Boston T&R Head Professional Tony Hollins in the Pro Division. We had two tough matches to make it to the Finals, but I was pleased with my form given the time off over the summer. In the Finals we played current Doubles World Champion, and my doubles partner, Tim Chisholm and one of the top amateurs in the US Peter Cipriano. The match was a close one with Tony and me taking the first set 6/4 before falling in the second set 6/3. The final set was a short one, starting at 3-all, and we managed to take an early lead which proved to be the difference. We took the set 6/4 and that was the match!

I also managed to sneak in a super early morning practice session with John Lumley over the weekend, and am currently planning a trip down to TuxPhiladelphia to put in some good training time with him before the French. I will most likely be there in early September, so if you are around let me know!

Hopefully there will be a lot more big news over the next few months, so keep checking in for updates!

#Focus

 

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CR.ORG NEW LOOK!

Hello My Friends!

As you look around the site, you are going to start seeing lots of new updates! As I move forward in my career, I am starting to #focus on many different aspects of court tennis. This does not mean I am slowly down my training by any means, it just means I am adding lots of other elements alongside it.

I have always been very passionate about the growth of court tennis, and my hope is that I can help the USCTA, IRTPA, and all the other associations to grow the game in the future. Alongside these associations I hope to bring court tennis, both in the US and around the world, to new heights through the building of new courts, advancement of junior tennis, and overall growth of the professional side of the game.

 

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UPCOMING COCKTAIL PARTIES

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Hello All!

I have been honored to receive calls from a few clubs around the US who have asked to throw cocktail parties in my honor. The first of these will be at the Boston Tennis & Racquet Club on Thursday July 21st. Boston has always been a second home to me, and it means a lot to see the great support they have for me.

The second event will be down south in Aiken, South Carolina, my hometown. There is a whole day of events to take place, and I am looking forward to finally getting to share this achievement with them all. The first event will be at the Chamber of Commerce in Aiken, where Mayor Rick Osbon, Senator Tom Young, and Representative Bill Taylor will be present to honor my achievement as well as announce August as Racquet Sports Month in Aiken. The event will start at 11am and I would love to see anyone who can attend!

This will be followed by a lunch at the Wilcox Hotel, which I am hosting to thank many of my friends and sponsors for their support.

In the evening, the Aiken Tennis Club will be hosting a cocktail party for its members, me, and my family. As many know, Aiken is where I grew up playing, and I can’t wait to celebrate with all of my friends.

Thank you to all of the clubs and people who have helped to organize these events. It is truly an honor to see the amount of support there is for my achievement of becoming World Champion. It motivates me even more to continue to grow, and to be the best champion possible.

#FOCUS

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JULY UPDATE

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Hello My Friends!

Coming off of an amazing May and June, I have been trying to recover (both mentally and physically). Most of my July has been spent back at work in Newport, and focusing on building my schedule for the next year. With my new title comes much expectation, both from others and myself, and I am going to do my best to reach those expectations.

One of the biggest changes in the next year, is that I will be working with the USCTA by attending more nets to promote the great game of court tennis. My hope is to encourage those who play to stick with it, as well as convince those who don’t yet play to get out there.

I have also started back with my training, and have to say it is harder than I remember! My first session back with Mike Cecchi at Bridge to Fitness was one of the hardest I have ever had. There are new mental barriers I must overcome, as well as new goals far above what we had set before. I am looking forward to the challenge, but am very aware of how difficult it will be.

I hope you all are enjoying the summer, and I hope to see you at one of the upcoming events around the US!

#FOCUS

 

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2016 US PROFESSIONAL SINGLES CHAMPION

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Hello My Friends!

My incredible month has continued by winning my seventh consecutive US Professional Singles title. It was an awesome week, and by far one of my toughest tournaments mentally coming off the WC. The draw featured almost all of the top 10 players in the world, and with my new WC status I knew they would all be looking to take me down.

In the Finals I had a rematch with the now former World Champion Rob Fahey, and I wanted to back up my WC performance if possible. We had a close match, especially the first two sets, which we split 6/5 5/6 before I managed to grab a steady lead. I won the match in four tight sets 6/5 5/6 6/2 6/1, and it was one of the toughest mental matches I have ever played.

With the win I have tied Rob for the most consecutive US Pro titles at 7, and will now look to surpass it next year.

Thank you to the entire NTC Board and members who helped make the week a great one. Now it is finally time to shut down for a few weeks before starting back in my training. It has been a month to remember, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has for me.

#Focus

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CAMDEN RIVIERE REAL TENNIS WORLD CHAMPION

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Hello All!

May 21st 2016 will go down as one of the most important days of my life. It is the day I officially became the Real Tennis World Champion. It has taken me a while to write this post for many reasons, one of which was that I didn’t know how to put into words what I was feeling.

My dream to become World Champion started when I was 10. I was starting to travel to tournaments and my father asked me what I wanted to do with real tennis. I thought about it for a second and said “I want to be the World Champion.” Since that day, my father as well as many others have helped me in any way possible to accomplish that goal.

When I first challenged in 2008 over my 21st birthday I had no idea what I was in store for over the next 10 years. The emotional rollercoaster of winning and losing matches was almost more than I could take. That mixed with constantly being unsure of what I was supposed to be working on made it feel almost impossible to win the title. Rob Fahey had seemed to figure out all of these things, how to balance work and personal life, how to train properly, even knowing himself enough to form a style of play suited to him. Over the last 10 years I learned these things, one at a time, both by winning and losing, until I was finally able to put it together this year.

Along the way I have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by the most supportive and caring people I could imagine. They are the ones who help me up when I am down, and at the same time keep me level headed when I may get over-confident.

My Coach, Dacre Stoker, has been a longtime family friend, and has been the most crucial piece in putting my game together over the last few years. Many times he would act as a backboard, hearing out my problems and concerns never complaining. He would then call me back with solutions, that often, required more effort on his part than anyone elses.

My Trainer, Michael Cecchi, only came aboard about a year ago, but in that time has managed to change my game in so many ways. When I approached Mike mid 2015, I had no idea what to expect. he came highly regarded, but I was looking for a very specific training regime. After a short chat with Mike I knew we were on the same page. His dedication to his craft, and willingness to work with me at all hours made me want to push myself.

My training partner, John Lumley, who is also one of the top players in the world, took an incredible amount of time to help me with my game. While working in Philadelphia he would still hit with me 4 hours a day, as well as go to the gym. This would be on top of his normal work day which could include up to 4 lessons a day. This amazing willingness to help made me want to succeed just to show him it was all worth it. I know John will be coming for the title soon enough, and I can’t wait!

My friends and supporters around the world, who have helped me be able to push myself to levels I never knew. They have allowed me to see the world from a different view, and have welcomed me into their homes. They are all my family, and I hope I can welcome them just as they have me in the future.

Finally my family, my mom Chris, my dad Tiger, my sister Ashley, my uncle Scott, and my brother-in-law Max, have given up so much over the past 10 years for me to play this game. They have traveled the world to support me, and have never complained when I came up short. They have never wavered in their belief in me, and that has been the most important piece of my life.

This World Championship is gift from me to all of you, a thank you for everything you have done. I hope you all cherish it as much as I do, and understand that without all of you, it would never have happened.

#FOCUS

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K-SWISS 100% TENNIS

 

KS_Lkup_Vert2_RGB (2)Hello All!

I am very excited to announce that I have officially joined the K-Swiss Professional Team! I have always been a big fan of K-Swiss, and have worn their shoes for years. I am excited to now be able to represent them as I continue on the Professional tour.

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K-Swiss is celebrating its 50th year in the business, and have long been a dominant force in the tennis world. They are widely known for their classic court shoes, but I promise you, their new clothing and shoes are the best out there. It is an honor to be working with a company that is held is such high regard around the world, and I am excited to share my passion for the game with them.

If you have not checked out their website lately, please go to KSWISS.COM and read up on their top of the line performance shoes. My favorites at the moment are the Hypercourt Express, which I have been wearing for the last two years. They are very light, while still giving tons of support for the ankle. They also have an amazing heel support, which is crucial when running on that hard slate surface all day!

#Focus

 

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World Championships Training

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Hello My Friends!

As the WC approaches, I wanted to give you inside look into what my training consists of. Just because I qualified doesn’t mean I have put my feet up and am relaxing! In fact I have been pushing harder than ever to improve all the different parts of my game. The hardest part is building a schedule and sticking to it, which is why so many athletes are people who enjoyed patterns. This means repeating the same activities over and over again, which can help keep someone on top of their training. For me this involves a specific diet, as well as keeping my workouts at the same time every week.

Here is how a standard day will go:

Monday

4:30am – Wake up

5:00am – Breakfast

6:00am – 8:00am – ON COURT TRAINING

8:00am – 9:00am – Stretching and recovery

10:00am – Second Breakfast

11:30am – 1:00pm – GYM TRAINING

1:30pm – Lunch / Mental training

3:00pm – 5:00pm – ON COURT TRAINING

5:00pm – 6:00pm – Stretching and Recovery

6:30pm – Dinner

8:00pm – SLEEP

This type of day will repeat from Monday to Friday with the weekends being used for recovery and any other light training required. You can see that it becomes a full time job to train for this WC!

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HEADED TO THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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Hello Friends!

I am proud to say that I have officially qualified for the 2016 Real Tennis World Championship. This was done by winning the Final Eliminator over Steve Virgona last week in Philadelphia. After going into the 3rd days play with a 6 set to 2 lead, I was able to close out the match in one set, winning it 6/3.

I now have a short turn around to prepare for the WC, but am very excited to be playing it on my home court in Newport, RI. It is a tremendous opportunity, and I am going to do everything in my power to take advantage of it.

Thank you to everyone who reached out with emails and texts, it means so much to know how much support is out there for me. I am now in Seattle spending a few days with Gold Leaf Athletics learning about how rackets are made, and putting the finishing touches on the limited edition NTC World Championships racket.

Don’t worry training is still in full force, and I am more than excited to hit the ground running after this week!

#FOCUS

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WC FINAL ELIMINATOR DAYS 1 AND 2

Hello My Friends!

    Sorry for not writing sooner, but things have been moving quickly here in Philadelphia. The Final Eliminator is in full swing, and it has been an intense few days. I have been playing well and find myself with a 6 sets to 2 lead going into the final day of play. This means I only need one more set to win the match! Below are my thoughts on each of the first two days matches.
Day 1 Sets 1-4
Day 1 of the Final Eliminator saw a very tense start from both Steve and me. It’s understandable as the pressure is on to make it through to the WC, but we both needed to overcome it as quickly as possible. I managed to find my groove first, which allowed me to take control of the first set. I did my best to start quickly and took the set 6/3. The second set was much the same, I was serving railroads and trying my best to keep Steves offense in check. The game plan was working, but he was starting to get more aggressive with his returns. I managed to keep the lead the whole set and grabbed it 6/2. The third set is where everything went sour. We battled the entire set, exchanging games before I grabbed a 4/2 lead. Steve fought back to 4/4 before I grabbed a 5/4 lead. I had a set point which I couldn’t convert, and Steve capitalized to take the game and then the set 6/5. This meant that I really needed to regain focus for the fourth set. I was 2 sets to 1 up, and that fourth set became one of the most important of the entire match. I tried my best to focus in, and after losing the first game of the set never looked back. I worked my way into every game and made Steve earn every point. This worked well, as I managed to take the set 6/1 and a 3 sets to 1 lead after day one.
Watch a replay of Day 1’s action HERE
Day 2 Sets 5-8
After grabbing the lead on Day 1, I knew that the 5th set would be crucial for me to keep the momentum of the match. I did my best to start quickly, and again grabbed a quick first set 6/3. The second set Steve started to find his openings, and put me on my back foot. I found myself 4/2 down before I snuck two games to tie it at 4/4. Steve took control though, and closed out the set with two very strong games 6/4. That meant we were 1 set all on the day, and that a third day was definitely going to happen. The mental side of the game at this point was immense, with both of us knowing the importance of the third set. Steve continued his aggressive hitting, and I was working hard to find a way to defuse it. Steve grabbed a 5/3 lead and I knew it was crucial that I be as consistent as possible to make him earn the set. I played a few big points to get to 4/5 and then a great game to tie it at 5/5. At this point we went back and forth eventually have a few deuces before I managed to sneak the set 6/5! That was the biggest set of the match, and with one left to play that day I knew I could put the pressure on. Entering the final set of the day I was 5 sets to 2 up, and wanted to grab the last one however possible. I put my foot down from the start, weathering the aggressive play from Steve and never looked back. I grabbed a 4/1 lead, then a 5/2 lead before closing out the set 6/2, making it 3 sets to 1 on the day.
Sundays play will begin at 1pm, and I will only need 1 set while Steve will need all 5 to take the match. Even with the scoreline, I am treating it as though we are level, and every set is equally as important. My preparation is the same as always, and I know it will be an intense battle from the start.
Watch a replay of Day 2’s action HERE
I will let you know what happens!!
#Focus