Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We are back online

January 13, 2015

We are in Czech Republic and starting 2015 after 10 days of practice in Copenhagen.  We spent New Years with my friends Jan and Aga in Copenhagen.  It’s all about fireworks there, so you will find some fireworks pictures along with food and tennis pictures.  Fireworks in Denmark are as big as they are on the 4th of July in the US.

We had good practices at B93, our European practice base.  Along with some of the club juniors and members, Sasha also practiced with Benji Hannestead before he left for Australia and with Andreas Boares who is from Denmark and was home for the holidays but plays college tennis at Illinois State University.

Unfortunately my friend Jan got sick with the cold/flu and spent a bunch of days in bed.  We left for Prague (via Norwegian Airline, our favorite in Europe) on Friday 9 January without getting sick (lots of echinacea and vitamin C) but it caught up with us in Prague.  We had a good practice in Prague with Daniel Velek.  After that, it was about, tea with honey, ibuprofen, echinacea, vitamin c, sleep, etc.  To be sure, we got a much milder version of the crud than Jan, my version my have been totally different in fact, more like a mild cold and Sasha’s young fit body fought it off bravely but it definitely impacted our preparation for the first event.  While on the ITF Jr. tour we have been very lucky to avoid getting sick or injured (knock on the wooden table I’m typing on).  But it’s inevitable.

Sasha played his first match yesterday and lost 6-1, 5-7, 3-6.  He actually played extremely well for 2/3’s of the match.  Very much the way we have practiced and tried to get him to play.  Then the flu took over.  So best to say the flu won.  Today he feels much better, but of course we are here in Prerov with not much in the way of practice courts available since the tournament is played on 4 courts and is both a girls and boys event.  Sasha will focus on school today and we will do some physical training and tomorrow practice and play doubles.  He is playing with Dominick Starry and they are the 5 seeds in this event.

Our schedule for the next month takes us back to Prague after this event to play the Safina Cup.  Sasha won that event last year and will attempt to defend that result.  The we move on to Ukraine (the safe part:)), the Switzerland, Copenhagen and Lithuania.

Here is the pointer to the pictures for this year.

Off to Wichita Falls tomorrow morning

September 26, 2014

We are off to Wichita Fall tomorrow morning after a loss to Ryan Storrie. We’ve had some good practice time here, both drills and competitive play. We will continue that in Wichita Falls since Sasha is not playing doubles there either. We also decided to go to Osaka Japan after Tulsa for the Grade A. We are looking for our first solid performances in 1s and an A.

Worth noting that next week represents one year since we started playing ITFs. At Wichita Falls last year, Sasha needed a Wild Card to get into qualifying and due to an administrative error–he actually got a wild card into the main draw. He drew the #1 seed and lost 4 & 2. Fast forward one year he is inside the top 225, has won a grade 4, gotten to the finals of several other events and has a LOT more playing experience. He is a very different player than he was a year ago. Now we need to develop the confidence to use the weapons he has to play the top players at top events. He has come close recently, but still has to walk onto the court knowing that he represents a solid threat to anyone in Junior ITFs. Our planned schedule through the end of the year is:

Wichita Falls, TX ITF Grade 4
Tulsa, OK ITF Grade B1
Osaka, Japan ITF Grade A
Mexico City, Mexico ITF Grade A
Yucatan Cup, Merida, MX ITF Grade 1
Eddie Herr, Bradenton, Fl ITF Grade 1
Orange Bowl, Plantation, FL ITF Grade A

ok, I don’t write here I get ten emails saying where is the info :)

September 24, 2014

We are in Waco Texas for yet another ITF Junior event. We have a great hotel (Spring Hill Suites)–really good room, actually two, a bedroom and sitting/work area, great breakfast, and a nice gym. Found a good market so we have eaten after a disaster of a meal on the first night.

Sasha is the #1 Seed here, so the pressure is on. We’ve been practicing and warming up with Alexandre Rotsaert. Good practice on Sunday after we arrived and good warmups each day.

Sasha won his first match yesterday 6-3, 6-3. He played ok–not great, but ok. We have a good schedule here since he isn’t playing doubles. We were back in the hotel yesterday by noon. That was good, we had been up since 5am since he played at 8am. Sasha did a lot of school. He is way ahead in school. So we went to bed quite early to get a good nights sleep for a “not before 10am” start today. Well, he followed a girls match that went 3 long sets so didn’t get on the court until just before noon. Today, Sasha played better. Not as well as he will have to, but much better. Good thing, he needed to. He won 6-3, 6-2. So it was a bit later by the time we got back to the hotel. We had lunch and dinner here–more school and now to bed early again for a 9am match tomorrow.


ITF World Ranking Event – Montreal

September 8, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Sasha is in Montreal after a great week of practice at Notre Dame. He is there on his own (with some guidance from my friend Andrea a coach from Toronto). Below is the draw and order of play for the tournament.

The draw is here:

The order of play is here:

It’s a little weird for Sasha and I to be talking on the phone about the match instead of getting ready for it together, but, we did talk tonight by phone and will before the match as well.

He is playing doubles with Eli Ogilvy. The doubles draw will be out tomorrow around noon and there will be doubles play tomorrow afternoon. This tournament is a 32 draw being played in the 5 day format.

I will update you tomorrow!

Labor Day update

September 4, 2014

Time for a Blog update. After the Canadian Open, Sasha and I headed to our respective homes on opposite coasts for a bit of time off. More time for me than for him though. He is in South Bend at Notre Dame now practicing with his future teammates. His parents are visiting Notre Dame this weekend then he heads off to Montreal again for the Grade 2 ITF World Ranking event. He will be doing that tournament without me. I had a previous engagement that I could not change. Sasha will play doubles with Eli Oglevy from Canada and his coach Andrea will tend to anything Sasha might need. Thanks Andrea!!

This week I’ll post an update about the past year and the year to come.

Another close match against a top 100 Player

August 25, 2014

Somewhat a repeat of last week, Sasha lost a close match against Benjamin Hannestead of Denmark. 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Sasha and I have discussed many times over the last year and a half the fact that you must remain focused, you must capitalize on all the opportunities, and you cannot change a winning strategy or keep going with a loosing strategy. In matches against lesser players Sasha is talented enough to win more than his share of matches, but when you are playing against top players, focus, capitalizing on opportunities, not letting players back in, being brave and going for your shot are all mandatory. Matches wins against top 200 players are more routine now. Sasha has the skills and will win against the top 100 players, but it will take some absolute focus and no distractions along with believing that he is a top hundred player and thinking like one.

Doubles soon!!

No pictures for a while

August 23, 2014

So here are some:

Canadian Open Draws and Order of Play

August 23, 2014

Here are two links to the tournament. They are both updated often. Draw will out around 8pm tonight.

For results–look here

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 23, 2014

While we were here practicing for the Canadian Open, Sasha was nominated by Ivan Liskov. Click on the link to see the video.

An incredible match today

August 20, 2014

Sasha played a great match today against the 4 seed Chan Yeoung Oh from Korea. The match began at 9:30 and ended shortly after 2:15. This is one of those matches that was so well contested and so well played at such a high level that people come away saying nobody deserved to loose. Oh the number 35 player in the world won the battle 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3.

Honestly this is one of the best matches Sasha has ever played and I’m sure he will take a lot of confidence from this battle. On to the Canadian Open!! I’m so proud of him. We will post some pictures tomorrow. We will take a few days off and be back on the practice court on Friday!!