Sam's Rome Blog: Over The Hurdle
Published May 15, 2013 12:00
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Ciao from Roma again!
So my match with Peng Shuai today was an interesting one. I got off to a really good start, then lost four games in a row, then got it back, then she got a break up and served for the set. So it was a good fight for me to come back and win that first set. From there I played a little bit better and obviously 6-0 in the second set was a lot easier than 7-6. It was nice to get a straight sets win in the end.
The crowd was pretty good for the singles but it was MASSIVE for the doubles! It helped playing with an Italian, and the court next to us was two Italian guys playing, then two Italian women playing another doubles match, so certainly lots of noise and lots of atmosphere out there. It's a little bit different to be playing out there when there's so much noise, but it makes it even more fun. I really enjoyed it.
Doubles is obviously a much different game than singles, you have to be at the net a lot more, and that's always something I'm trying to improve upon in my game - and there's probably no better time or place to do that than in a doubles match! But there's still lots of room for improvement there...
I'm looking forward to playing a couple of more tournaments with Francesca, and hopefully we can do a little bit better next time. We're actually going to play the French and Wimbledon together.
Between the singles and doubles matches I had some food, got retaped, showered and that was about it, really. I watched a little bit of the Raymond/Robson doubles match when I was waiting to warm up, and that was about it. It's a quick turnaround when you play singles and doubles in one day.
Tonight I'll have dinner at the courts, which I don't normally do but it's quite late, so I'll have a quick bite. And then back to the hotel and do some physio work, and just try to get ready for tomorrow.
Thanks for all of your support - talk to you again tomorrow!
How is your calf doing? Utkarsh, India
All good! I don't feel it anymore and don't even think about it. I think I'm over that little hurdle now, so now I just have to worry about practicing and playing, and getting back to 100% fitness.
I know you have Polish roots, do you know any Polish words? Sophie, Poland
Unfortunately, not really. When my grandfather was still alive you could pick up maybe one or two words here and there, but not really. Unfortunately it wasn't something my dad passed down to me.
I can't hit a smash to save my life, can you give me any tips? Mia, South Korea
It's hard to give tips on that straight away, but definitely use the non-hitting arm to track the ball, and always watch the ball, and try and always move forward when you're hitting the shot.
When did you learn to hit your kick serve, and how much time do you practice it? Maurizio, Italy
I was probably 11 or 12 years old when my coach at the time thought I may have potential to be able to do it. Obviously when you're that young you may not have the strength to do it, but he got me using the correct technique, and as I've gotten bigger and stronger it's probably become one of my biggest weapons. And I still practice it every day I go out there - there's always room to improve things.