January 21, 2024, 9:57 a.m. ET
Here we go, last update for everyone following the blog. Thank you, everybody, for reading all weekend. I've gotten some really nice comments from people! I came today, Championship Sunday, I did not make it, sadly. I had a super fun weekend but I was able to come and watch my friend, Jack Foster, just play the bronze medal match for singles. He lost a really close match but he did super well. I was able to help him out and cheer him on so that was super awesome. Now, for me, that's it for this tournament, so I'm going to be flying back home and then getting back to training. It was a really amazing tournament. I'm super excited for the start of 2024 and lots more great tournaments. This was really well-run by the APP and the new format was very interesting with ups and downs. I look forward to battling all year with my partners and having a blast. Thank you, everyone, for reading!
January 20, 2024, 3:49 p.m. ET
Update for everybody - now that my day is over I'm kind of just hanging out with some friends, playing some rec games. I stay with my friends at most of these tournaments. For a while we did hotels and hosted housing, but now we pretty much always do an AirBnB. There's usually between five and 10 of us, so it's really a fun experience and I get to train and play with all of them. That's something I would definitely recommend if you have a group of people you can do that with.
That's it for today. I will be back here tomorrow morning to support my buddy so I'll give everyone one last update tomorrow morning!
January 20, 2024, 12:18 p.m. ET
Just finished the quarterfinal match against the number one seed. Again, my partner Jack, played awesome. It was a lot of fun. We had some really good opportunities. They played amazing, we lost I think 12-10, 11-7. It was tough, but a really good learning experience. So yeah, that's it for me playing this weekend. No I get to watch some good pickleball, watch my friends play, excited to cheer everybody on. I'm actually staying today, and then tomorrow my buddy, Jack Foster, is playing for bronze, so I'm going to be here for the next day. So the rest of the day today is more of the relaxing now that I'm done playing for the weekend, maybe even get a couple of rec games, we'll see.
January 20, 2024, 10:52 a.m. ET
Alright, update for you guys - we just pulled out another one and we are in to the quarterfinals. My partner, Jack Munro played amazing, and we played a really good match. It went three again but we were able to take it. It was a blast.
Something some people were asking me about was after points, especially when I missed the ball, I always tap/touch the fence with my paddle. It's kind of my way of resetting after a bad point. You just touch it and it's all gone, you just move on to the next ball and you stop worrying about it. That's something like a little tip that I use. Somebody gave it to me a long time ago.
We have the number one seed next, Andrei Daescu and Rob Nunnery. They're awesome players but we are super excited to get a shot at them. I'll update you guys after the match - really excited though!
January 20, 2024, 9:48 a.m. ET
We're back here on Saturday for men's doubles day. I have an amazing partner, Jack Munro, and we just played our first match today against a really tough team, Johnny Goldberg and Nico Acevedo, and we pulled it out. It was a realy good match. Now we're going to play some good friends of ours, Atlaf Merchant and Andre Mick. They're studs, so it's going to be a lot of fun, we're really excited.
Obviously, as I told you guys last night, I had a tough loss. I went home last night, regrouped, had a late dinner, got my sleep, and got back, got a good warm up today and today's the last regular day of play. So pretty excited to get after it and I'm excited to take you guys with me today along this journey.
January 19, 2024, 9:11 p.m. ET
Wrapping up the day. Unfortunately, we were not able to come through. We played a really tough team, like I mentioned before, and we lost a nail-biter. We had some really good opportunities to win the match and we were unable to close. My partner played amazing. It was so much fun. You know, sometimes those are the tough ones, but that's why I'm here. So I'm really excited to get after it tomorrow. It looks like a normal day, a little bit chilly, but I think we'll have a normal start time, so we'll be back on around 9:00 a.m. and I'm pretty excited.
January 19, 2024, 8:24 p.m. ET
I just finished my first match in the main draw and we were be able to pull it out. It was really tough, we played some good people I know, Eduardo Irizarry and Alexa Schull, and my partner, Amanda Hendry, was amazing, so it was really good. It was a good match, and now we're moving on to play some people I know who are very tough. I think they're like the sixth seeds, Brandan Long and Milan Rane. So I'm super excited to continue bringing you guys along with me and we'll keep you updated after this match.
January 19, 2024, 7:41 p.m. ET
Update! Pretty long break here. Just for everyone reading, we got a text to be here around 4 o'clock, and then because of wet courts and this being the biggest mixed doubles draw ever - they did a pre-qualifier of 40-something teams, then a qualifier of 24 teams - the last qualifying match just finished. So the main draw is about to start and it's 7:41. So definitely a late start time and the draw changed, so the first two rounds are one to 15, no back draw, and then the last three are best of three so it's certainly going to be a really interesting night and I look forward to keeping you guys updated along my journey. Wish me luck!
January 19, 2024, 2:10 p.m. ET
So back here today, Day 2 of the APP tournament. Today is mixed doubles day but when I left you guys last night I went out to a nice Italian restaurant with some friends of mine. That's pretty much what I do most of the days, go get dinner. A lot of times we just do something quick, but last night with the rain we finished a little bit early, so we got a nicer, sit-down dinner, which was nice. Today is a pretty crazy day, we're in a big rain delay. The biggest one - I don't think we had a delay this big all of last year. So we're not starting until three o-clock today. This morning I got up, had breakfast, read a book, played some Uno, did a lot of fun stuff, came here to the venue, ate some more food, and now I'm going to get going on my pre-match routine. I'm going to stretch out, going to get a nice warm up on the core. I'm not really going to eat anything else, I'm kind of going to get ready to go and then in a couple hours we're going to get rolling on the matches. Today is a little bit different on the format side as well, they got rid of the back draw, so it's going to be single elimination. Increased the pressure a little bit, so it's going to be even more fun. Pretty excited for a great day in mixed today with my partner Amanda Hendry!
January 19, 2024, 12:53 p.m. ET
RAINY DAY UPDATE! Playing Uno with the squad while we wait for the rain to clear!
January 18, 2024, 2:03 p.m. ET
I just played a really tight match in the back draw against a friend of mine, Edward Perez. He played awesome, it was a nail-biter, but I wasn't able to close it. I'm definitely going to try and think about the match, learn from it, and now on to the next part of my day.
One of the cool things about what I get to do is I have a lot of friends here, so now I'm going to go cheer on a lot of them. My mixed parter, Amanda Hendry, is still in the women's draw, so I'm going to go watch her. My good friend, Jack Foster, is in the semifinals for the men so I'm going to go cheer him on...kind of take off the players hat now and put on a little bit of a coach's hat the rest of the day, and try to help my friends do better than I did. Then I'll get some practice in later, a good meal, get to bed early, and then get back here and be ready to go hopefully for an even better day tomorrow with mixed.
January 18, 2024, 1:00 p.m. ET
I'm back here after the first back draw match. Like I said, the back draw is pretty new and unique. I fought and battled against a really good opponent and a friend of mine, Eduardo Irizarry, and it was a good match, I was able to pull it out!
I think in this sport, coming from other sports, it's an interesting mentality you have to have, maybe it'll go away if the back draw disappears, but losing and then playing again and having to kind of regroup is something that I think is really important in the sport. I think it's helped me a lot having to play the back draw because it's so easy to like, lose a close match and just give up for the day, but you really can't because there's still a lot on the line and even just for pride purposes. I always want to go out and put my best foot forward, even if I know I'm getting killed, even if I'm down 10-0, I'm still going to try and play the last point to the best of my abilities. The back draw has really helped my mental game, so anybody playing any of these tournaments, if you get stuck in the back draw keep battling, don't give up.
January 18, 2024, 12:02 p.m. ET
I'm back after playing another match to get in to the quarterfinals. I lost to a really good opponent, Roscoe Bellamy, in three. He outplayed me so good luck to him the rest of the day. Now it's on to the rest of my day. I'm gonna get some good lunch here - they always do pro player lunches, so we get food from different places. I had a burger and I'm having some vegetables and that's about it. I try not to eat too heavy hwen I still have some matches to go. So now there's a new back draw, and everyone who loses in the first two rounds will now play for ninth place and there's some money and points or something. That's where I'm at now, and I'm ready for the next one.
January 18, 2024, 10:39 a.m. ET
So I just played my first match of the day against Ronan Camron. It was a really tight match, I won the first game, lost the second, and was able to pull out the third. This tournament is a little weird for all of us because it's the first time for singles with rally scoring, and there's no come around anymore. So if you don't know what that is, if you lose last year, you could come all the way back and win gold. Now, if you lose in the first two rounds, you can only get to ninth place. So these first couple rounds are really big because we all want a shot at medaling, and you only have that if you don't lose in the main draw. So I'm really excited to get that first one. And the rally scoring was pretty weird - scoring a point, even when I'm returning the ball is something I've never done before. So it was pretty cool, and I'm just excited to be moving on. Looking forward to the rest of the day!
January 18, 2024, 9:32 a.m. ET
So I'm out here at the first tournament of the year in Punta Gorda, so I'm pretty excited to get back on it. Last year was a ton of fun, it was my first year out here playing. I'm pretty excited, starting with singles today. I have a really tough opponent in Ronan Camron, who I've played a couple times, but I think that's the fun of it. So I'm pretty excited to just get out there and get after it.
Welcome to the blog! I look forward to taking you guys along with me all weekend!