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 18, 2009
Greetings again everyone!!
Alright, so today was the semifinal round at the Norman Wilkerson 10K Tennis Tournament. I played against soon to be a Vanderbilt Student-Athlete, Allison Riske. The day started off with a new good friend of mine, Yasmin Schnack of UCLA, agreeing to warm me up for my match. Luckily I was playing second today, which meant I would be able to sleep in, as well as she!
When we got to the site, the courts were packed! Not only were there team league matches going on, it was also Kids Day which meant that the site was filled with a ton of kids playing and running around the courts! Jennifer Elie and Lindsey Nelson were the two players that played in the other semifinal match at 10.
After watching their match, it was time for me and Allison to grind it out on the court.
The match started off with me serving and holding. After two breaks and a hold later, I’m up 4-0 in the first set. After a couple of tough points, I have a chance to hold my serve for a 5-0 lead, but fail to execute. In about two minutes, I found myself at 4-4, with triple break point that would have allowed me to go up 5-0. After a couple of strong serves and down the line winners from my part, I found myself with my first set point. I break her and win the set with a cross-court winner return— 6-4.
In the second set, the momentum stays with me, and I find myself up once again by a couple of breaks, 4-1. After a good service game from her and a strong hold from me, the score is at 5-2. Yet again, I’m presented with the opportunity to break to win the set. As mentioned before in previous blogs, the pressure is obviously on her to hold her serve now, which means I have to go and attack as much as possible.
After losing my two match points chances, I have the opportunity to close the set out by holding. After a couple of winner and good serves, the match is ended from a return error from her part. I get to play in the finals tomorrow.
After my match, I sat with Coach Shelton and his family to discuss my match more in depth. After our conversation, I went to watch my USTA teammates, Yasmin Schnack and Amanda Fink, play in the doubles final. They played against Lindsey Nelson and Kaitlyn Christian. After a tough first set, and a comeback in the second, the girls weren’t able to make the cut and lost 7-5, 7-6.
Due to the fact that I am playing the finals of this tournament, this means I won’t be able to play my schedule tournament in Lexington, KY, a 50K. This just means I get to hang out in the ATL for another week—what’s wrong with that? 🙂
Follow Falconi’s progress at the Norman Wilkerson Tennis Experience by clicking here.