A Summer in Spain with Guillermo Gomez

July 15, 2008

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Rising Sophomore Guillermo Gomez of the Georgia Tech men’s tennis team has returned home to Spain this summer to participate in various Futures tournaments as he gets ready for his second season on The Flats. The Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year recipient will share some of his experiences throughout the remainder of the summer with Tech fans on RamblinWreck.com.

Guillermo Gomez Tennis Blog Part I:

Since I returned home to Spain a little over a month ago, I have been playing in Futures Tournaments. At first I went to the Canary Islands where I participated in two tournaments on hardcourt. After that I came back home and played a third future on clay. Since that tournament, I have taken some time off to rest my shoulder, but I’ll begin playing again this weekend.

My first two tournaments this summer were on hardcourts in the Canary Islands. These courts are the same as what I play on at Tech. Most Spanish players are not used to hardcourts so this was an advantage for me. In the first tournament, I reached the quarterfinals with wins over two pro players ranked in the top 600 in the world. Unfortunately, my shoulder forced me to retire in the quarters and then once again forced me out of the second tournament after I made it past the qualifying rounds.

The scenery is beautiful in the Canary Islands, however most people travel to the islands to relax. There are no movie theaters, malls, shops, or anything else I can do to occupy time. The only things that I was able to do were play tennis and watch other matches.

After returning home to rest, I entered my first claycourt tournament since coming to Georgia Tech. The surface is so much different then hardcourts. It requires many changes in my game as well as my movement. Playing on claycourts takes a lot more endurance than playing on hardcourts.

At the claycourt tournament, I once again had to go through the qualifying rounds to make the main draw. In my final qualifying round match, I defeated my opponent after playing for two hours in 110 degree heat. With my confidence up, I once again reached the quarterfinals of a tournament here in Spain.

Since returning from the claycourt tournament, I have been practicing at home with some friends that are playing pro. Because I am living so far away from Spain, I want to be with my family and friends too. There just isn’t enough time to compete and enjoy time at home. It is great to be playing tennis back at home again. It is very different to play these tournaments than college tennis, so I am trying to take advantage of the experience and take what I have learned so far and use it when I get back to Tech.

At this point, with my results, I have put myself back in the pro rankings and I am close to breaking into the top thousand. This is a huge accomplishment because it has only been three weeks of tournaments.

While at home I was able to watch fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal win his first Wimbledon title. Since Nadal won Wimbledon, to be a good tennis player has become more difficult. He is 22 and has won so many huge titles that it seems that other very good players are just not good enough. His winning Wimbledon has been such a big thing in Spain because Spanish players are known around the world as bad players on grass. From now on, Spanish players are going to believe that they can win on grass and on hardcourt surfaces. Before Nadal winning Wimbledon, Spain won the soccer EuroCup. That was very big. Nadal’s win at Wimbledon just became a continuation of the nationwide party that was going on all over Spain. It was very good too because of the fact that the match was one of the best in history. I think is better to win in a match like that than in an easy match. I think that everybody would have liked to live an experience like Rafa did that night, it is a dream.

Speak to you soon,

– Guillermo

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