Mini Training Camp in South Africa at 6,000 Feet

After a great week in Sweden, it was time to head back to Africa where I linked up with Rayne Roselt, one of my closest friends on tour. His family was kind enough to host me for the week at their home near Johannesburg where we had the opportunity to train twice a day along with access to a gym nearby. I am extremely grateful at their generosity as I felt like I was truly part of the family for the week. Rayne’s mom known as “Auntie B”, “B”, or one of her many other nicknames cooked for us almost every day as well as Rayne’s dad who prepared a South African BBQ known as a “Brai”.

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4-0 Representing Karlstad Tennis Club in Sweden

After missing the cut for the last tournament in Israel by 1 spot, I decided to go to Sweden to train before embarking on my Africa swing. Upon arrival, I thought it was just going to be an intense training week, but with the help of Jason (a friend and Swedish player there) I got connected to Karlstad’s A team. I thought I was going to simply just practice with them, but I actually got the opportunity to compete for the club in competition at the end of the week! Thanks to my Swedish license number I signed up for this past summer along with the support of the team and Karlstad Club President (Jonas Wahrolin), the Swedish Tennis Federation made an exception in my case!

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Second ITF Future in Israel

I came into this match feeling a flurry of emotions. After a tough first week, I really pushed myself on the practice court and was hoping to get a decent draw in qualifying. When I saw a drew Tal Goldengoren, recently ranked in top 600 and formerly part of Israel’s Davis Cup training team, I was definitely excited for the opportunity, but also a bit frustrated I had to play him right out of the gates. He just qualified the week before and won in main draw and was probably the best player in the entire qualifying draw…

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First Pro Tournament in Tel Aviv, Israel

I arrived in Tel Aviv and felt ready to go after an intense few weeks in Florida. It’s been great that my doubles partner, Jeremy Sonkin, is here with me along with one of my best friends and training partners on tour, Rayne from South Africa. We are all staying in an Air BNB together and really immersing ourselves into the culture and lifestyle here.

Now that my U.S. National ranking is up to 166, I am pretty much guaranteed into all qualifying events for these tournaments, which helps a lot in terms of planning ahead.  

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Florida Fall Preseason Recap

After a summer filled with lots of tennis, travel, and tournaments, it was time to get back to the practice court and put in a lot of work before going out to compete again. My coach (Andrew Rifkin) told me that this would be our most intense preseason yet as we had about 18 days total to get me ready for this coming two month swing. Usually we like a minimum of 3-4 weeks for a preseason, as you really need to give your body a lot of time on court and in the gym. Andrew warned me that this would be mentally and physically taxing as I would not only be battling some of Florida’s hottest weather and humidity, but would be on court 2 times a day for around 4-5 hours total a day 6 days a week. I woke up, went to tennis, ate, stretched, and slept… There was not much energy to do pretty much anything else after days like that!

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Summer Update Part 3 of 3 (Asia - Vietnam, Philippines, and Japan)

After almost three months of nonstop tennis from Florida to Africa to Guam and lastly France, I decided that I could keep playing more tournaments or take some time away from the court to mentally and physically reset. Many people including some of my coaches did not agree with my decision and felt I was making a bad choice considering how well I was playing. However, I decided that I was going to do what I thought was best for me, which I have not always done.

I could not be happier with the choice I made because I wanted to travel to Asia my entire life! I had the opportunity to play several tournaments there, but decided I would travel as a tourist while still training in the gym and running to stay in shape.

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Summer Update Part 2 of 3 (Toulouse, France)

I know I briefly mentioned at the end of my first summer update that I spent the month of July competing in the prize money circuit in Toulouse, France, but I will explain their system a bit and highlight some of my matches during this month.

I do not want to bore readers discussing every match as there were probably over 20 plus matches, but there were a few worth sharing highlights from. I highlight 4 matches that show the progression I had from playing right after arriving from the airport to my final match in France, which was a real BREAKTHROUGH!

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Summer Update Part 1 of 3 (Zimbabwe & Guam)

To my fellow readers I want to apologize for being off the grid almost all summer since my last update from Tunisia! This summer has been filled with nonstop tennis, travel, and adventure. I am very excited to highlight everything in a three-part blog segment that I will be sending out over the next couple weeks. I will be writing a lot more frequent blog posts throughout the rest of the fall as I continue this amazing tennis journey.

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Bronze Ball in Doubles & Tunisia Update

After receiving a lot of great feedback from the first video blog, I wanted to put together another one from Djerba, Tunisia. My doubles partner, Jeremy Sonkin, and I arrived in Tunisia late last week. It was quite the journey to get to Tunisia, but that is something you get used to as you spend more and more time on tour. I found myself mentally up and down this past week as I was in my head a lot about technique. I bring that up because I think it is important to be honest with my fellow readers about the ups and downs of this journey.

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First Video Blog!

I thought it would be a lot of fun to share a live update on court from this past week in Florida! I have enjoyed providing my readers with an in-depth written analysis of my journey in prior posts, but I would love to hear if you like this video blog I am testing out this week!

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From Food Poisoning in Florida to Tournament Mode in Southern California

Florida Training:
I was extremely eager to get back to the training grind as I have not really pushed myself on the practice court since Greece! Coming out of the gates, I was in the gym for 2-3 hours a day and on court twice a day. I found myself hungry and locked in on improving what I had discussed after Greece. I felt amazing and really dialed in before an unexpected turn of events.

Visit to the ER:
It is Tuesday, April 17th. I had my BEST day of practice to date and was on court twice, ran 4 miles at a 7-minute pace, and finished the day off at the gym for 2 plus hours. Not only did I feel at peak fitness physically, but also mentally i was ready for battle. After this amazing day of training, I went out for a routine dinner and had Japanese food, which is a personal favorite of mine. A few hours after that dinner, I found myself barely above to move, extremely sick with food poisoning.


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Off Week: Visiting my Brother in Copenhagen

I have to say after almost 25 days of eating, sleeping, and breathing tennis in Greece I was pretty mentally exhausted. Every single week and almost day for that matter was almost the same with the exception of practice days versus match day my routines will vary. I absolutely love tennis, but it is amazing that even something that is one of my biggest passions can wear me down after awhile. By the end of my few tournaments, I was ready for not only a change of scenery, but also a few days removed from tennis.

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Recapping Greece

First, I want to apologize for being off the grid these last few weeks while I have been in Greece. It was an amazing experience and I continue to learn a lot about myself on and off the court. I have to admit as I am writing this, I find myself quite mentally drained from these tournaments. Whether it is preparing in the gym, practicing on the court, or simply just repeating the same routine day in and day out for the most part, it can start to get to you (or at least for me that is). I continue to believe in what I am doing and genuinely feel I am closing the gap with some of my competition. That said, there is still plenty more work to be done, but I am excited that I am gaining much more clarity on the adjustments I have to make.

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Recapping First ATP Event & What's Next

Before diving into the talking about the specifics from my matches at the San Francisco Challenger, I quickly want to let all of my readers know how appreciative I am of all of your support and this amazing opportunity to compete against world-class players. This event taught me a great deal about professional tennis and also gave me a lot of perspective and gratitude in regards to the journey that I am on.

 

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