Rising sophomore and All-American Irina Falconi has agreed to blog for RamblinWreck.com this summer. She will keep Yellow Jacket fans up-to-date on her training as she prepares for her second season on the Flats.
July 13, 2009
Greetings everyone!!! I am currently in an airplane to Atlanta, for the next tournament at the Sugar Creek Tennis Center. So as you may or may not know, I didn’t pull through in Saturday’s match against Stephanie Dubois, the No. 1 seed in the Grapevine, Texas 50K Tournament. As usual, my morning started off with my fantastic breakfast followed by a thorough mental preparation for the match. I had the pleasure of having one of my housing “brothers,” Will Patterson take me to the tournament. He agreed to stay and watch the match which was even more exciting!
When I arrived there, I did my very funny-looking mobility drills, and then I was on the court warming up with another semifinalist, Valerie Tetrault. We managed to practice on centre court which was awesome! After the warm up, I changed into my outfit, and was ready to get on the 120 degree weather court! Once we started warming up, the crowds of people began to fill up the stands. The match started off with both of us holding serves, and then at 2-2, I get the first break. After that, we continue holding until 5-4, where I get my first chance to serve for the set. She plays a tough game, and I lose the game, but I come back and break her with some good points. Once again, I am faced with another chance to serve for the set. I manage to lose it as well, which results in a first set tiebreaker. I make one too many unforced errors in the tiebreaker, and manage to get one measly point to finish the first set.
On the changeover, she goes to the bathroom and I stay outside with a giant ice pack in my neck. I had some thoughts about how I was going to come back and win the second set just like I had done with my three prior matches. I get back on court and I manage to get out of the gates quickly—up 3-0 in about 10 minutes. She manages to come back with some strong points to level it a little to three all. Once again, I break and bring the score to 4-3. I hold and she holds right back to bring the score to 5-4 for me. And once again, I have a chance to win the set by breaking her. She serves a strong service game, and after several dueces, she brings the score to five all. She now puts pressure on my serve to get the hold, and she puts just enough for her to get the game. It then becomes 6-5 for her—she’s serving for the match. After a couple of big serves from her part, she manages to win the match with a wide return error from my part.
Well, as much as it was a disappointment to have lost such a close match, I was very pleased with the way I had played all week. I learned a lot, the belief in my game grew, and I became a better player, on and off court. Atlanta is next!!! I am in the Main Draw of this tournament as well, so I will start playing on Tuesday or Wednesday! Till then my friends!!!