Archive for February, 2014

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February 26, 2014

Photos from Trophy Presentation in Oslo

February 26, 2014

Photos from Trophy Presentation in Oslo

We are on our way to Lithuania and got some good news!!

February 22, 2014

Sasha has cleared into the main draw of the Grade 2 in Lithuania.  So we now have a few days to practice and get ready to come out strong!

 

Lost in the Oslo Final

February 22, 2014

Sasha lost today 3-6, 2-6. He did not play his best match and strayed away from the game plan. Federico played very well. He is a solid player who has now reached two finals in two consecutive weeks. A tough task for sure. We are off to Lithuania for our last event on this trip. More later.

Ok–Logistics dealt with Here’s our schedule

February 21, 2014
We’ve had lunch and are going through our afternoon routine.  We will shop soon and go back to the apartment and get ready for dinner.  Difference tonight, we have to pack our stuff and say bye bye to our apartment tomorrow.  We have asked if we can leave our things in the apartment since it is right near the train station.  The referee in Lithuania was reasonable.  We did a referee to referee sign in so we don’t have to be there tomorrow (which would have been impossible).  Also (at this time) Sasha is the #1 seed in qualifying, so they have given him a late start (last match on) Sunday.  He MAY get a bye in qualifying , or could of course, get into the MD directly.  Whatever, we’ll take it.  So the final is at 10am tomorrow.  We’ll go to the airport at some time in the afternoon but I have access to the lounge there.  We will fly to Copenhagen and connect to Vilnius.  We get in late and will stay overnight at an airport hotel.  The we take the train from Vilnius to the town whether the tournament is which is 2.5 hours.  So, won’t be the best preparation for a tournament, but we’ll certainly arrive with good confidence notwithstanding the outcome of the final tomorrow.

 

Into the Finals

February 21, 2014

Sasha won 6-4, 6-3 so here we are in the finals!! Bonacia also won his match so that’s the final. It’s Bonacia’s second final in consecutive weeks so it will be a tough match no doubt.
Sasha played very well today. Executed the game plan very well.
I’ll write more later. We have the logistical problem of getting to the next tournament in Lithuania and I have deal with that problem. In the words of a player I used to coach “that’s a quality problem to have!” 🙂

ok, here is the more I promised :)

February 20, 2014

Ok here we are in the Oslo ITF Open Semi-finals.  Sasha played an ok match Monday, an absolutely brilliant match on Wednesday against the 1 seed who is a top 200 British player, and an ok match today.  Both ok matches were good enough to come through–the brilliant one was a thrashing.  So we are working on bringing a consistency to the court from one match to the next.  With today’s win Sasha earns a top 300 in the world junior ITF ranking.  A huge achievement.  But we have loftier goals.

We have practiced this week with an Italian player and his coach, Federico Bonacia.  He is a solid player and has also earned a berth in the semis albeit on the other side of the draw.  We will warm up with them again tomorrow.  Federico has a good chance to get to the final as does Sasha.  That would be a good final.  Federico got to the final of Copenhagen last week and lost to Christian Sigsgaard (4-6, 0-6).  Christian is the same player Sasha lost to in Copenhagen (1-6, 6-2, 6-7(4).

So we will stick to our routine tonight and have dinner at the apartment, backed chicken which is setting off the smoke alarm right now  :), asparagus and buckwheat.  We will be in bed by 10, up at 6:30am to have a breakfast, leave for the club at 7:15, make a stop for my morning Americano, then take the train four stops.  Stretch at the club, warm-up and play the semi-final at 10.

I’ll update you tomorrow!!

 

Into the Semis

February 20, 2014

Won 6-4, 7-6(6). More later.

Into the quarters in Oslo with a win over the 1 seed ( a top 200 player)

February 19, 2014

Sasha played an awesome match to beat the 1 seed 6-3, 6-2. He served great. Stayed very focused. Took his opportunities. And here we are. I’ll post more later.

A win in Oslo

February 19, 2014

Sasha won his match yesterday–6-1, 4-6, 6-2. He plays the 1 seed today which should be a good match. He is a British leftie who we have seen play a number of times. We will let you know what happens when it happens. 🙂

Sasha is moving up in the Grade 2 in Lithuania. He is now 5 on the qualies list which should in the worst of cases put him seeded 2 in qualifying. Best case we will eeeek into the main draw.

After that tournament of course we will go back to Copenhagen to collect our things and head to Palm Springs. We have added one tournament in Costa Rica (Grade 3) to give Sasha a better shot at being a high seed at Easter Bowl and potentially be seeded at Carson. Of course some of that is dependent on what happens this week and next. As of now, he would be on the verge of seeding but probably just outside. We also need to realize that the American kids are now beginning to play–there are ITFs in Mexico and Central America that more kids travel to. Along with of course Claremont, Carson and Easter Bowl then the 4s and 5s in Florida and the Islands start up. Obviously to be a contender for getting into the French, one has to have a ranking inside the top hundred–very doable for Sasha but means he has to do well in the big events–Lithuania, Costa Rica, Carson, Easter Bowl, and Beaulieu. Lots of opportunity, but good players there from first match. He is now to the point where the Grade 4s and 5s don’t offer much chance to improve ranking. Playing with the big boys now and consistent results are important.
After Lithuania we have a week off the court. Sasha takes the SATs and we will do some physical training to get back some of the stamina and endurance that one looses playing back to back events. After SATs we will begin on court training again along with continuing intense physical training. We have a day off which we will use to travel to Costa Rica. There we will connect with Jose Fernando Carvajal Torres. How is that for a mouthful. Jose and Sasha will practice form3 days in Costa Rica and then play the Grade 3 in singles and doubles. Jose will travel back to Palm Springs with us. At that point we will assess whether we will take the next week off or play the Grade 4 in Claremont. Then it’s Carson and Easter Bowl back to back. Jose and Sasha will play dubs at Carson. Jose cannot play Easter Bowl as he is not American.

So that’s a longer update than I intended, but… Sasha is just going on court!! Later everyone!!