After a "taper" week in training -- spending more time on recovery and less time on physical training --I'm extremely excited to kick off my Bank of the West tournament tomorrow at Stanford. I will open against Claire Liu, a promising American junior who's coming off a great stretch of tennis in Europe. It will be a tough test for me, but I couldn't imagine a better setting to take on the challenge. We will play during the Monday night session, following Sharapova vs Brady, so I'm hoping for a big, pro-Stanford crowd.
My tennis has been improving every day and my body is feeling the best it has all year. With a focus on aggressive play and commitment to my game plan, practices have been positive and constructive. And, most importantly, I've been enjoying the process and competing well.
I feel that Stanford has always brought out the best in me, and this past week has been no different. My boyfriend, Jack, even remarked that I seem much "lighter" than I normally do during tournaments. While I care deeply about the tournament this week, it's hard not to feel relaxed and "at home" in this environment. I'm fortunate enough to have Jack's family about 10 minutes from campus, so my time off court is mostly spent relaxing with family and friends. The departure from hotels and Airbnbs is a welcome one, and not something I take for granted.
Beyond that, the fans at Stanford are incredible and have already made me feel so special. I always joke that I sign more autographs at Stanford than the rest of the year combined. I love meeting so many diehard Stanford tennis fans and always take care to spend as much time with them as possible. I can only hope that I live up to the Cardinal standard and put on a good show this week.
About My Tennis Life Series:
In February of 2017, Tennis Channel launched its first multi-platform content series My Tennis Life featuring two professional tennis players, Nicole Gibbs (USA) and Sam Groth (Australia), as they traverse the globe in search of valuable ATP and WTA points. The series gives you a behind-the-scenes look of the professional tour. Tennis fans across the globe will witness Sam and Nicole’s efforts to break through respectively on the ATP and WTA Tours, and the challenges they face while trying to improve their game and career earnings.