We have all been talking about the Washington D.C., San Jose, and Los Cabos event, but the tournament that will be the most exciting to me is the local Girls Junior event that starts on Wednesday and runs through Sunday.
This tournament will be a new challenge for me as I will be playing against girls older than myself, and this is the first time I will be taking them on. In my previous tournaments, other than school matches, I have played girls either my age or one year younger. This tournament will be a really good experience for me, and I will use this as every opportunity to learn as much as possible.
The tournament will be held at the tennis club where I practice, and several of the girls participating in the tournament are from the county where I am from. I have even played some of these girls in the past and know of their games. Many of the other girls who are playing in the tournament are from the State I live in, and are from surrounding counties; most of them I have never seen play, and if I come up against any of them it will be a new experience for me. There are three players coming from the surrounding States; all three of them are seeded in the tournament and two of them are the top two seeds.
The make up of the draw is 32 girls with 8 seeded players. I am one of the unseeded players; I was not surprised that I was unseeded as the majority of the girls that were seeded are older than me, and glancing at the draw, if there would have been a 9th seeded player, it would have been me.
I am the type of player that does not watch my upcoming opponents matches for scouting. If my coach wants to do that then he can , but after my match I leave the court and go home and relax and just be a kid. I have always been told that tennis and regular life need to be separate, so once I am done on the court, I start doing my teen stuff until the next day when it becomes tennis time again. I know several kids who have grown up playing tennis just like myself and were pushed to play, and now they hate the game. I was never pushed and always told to live a balanced life and I still love the game. So that is how I approach each match. Once the match starts, I play my game and adjust in game as needed.
It is only two days before the tournament begins, and tonight there is the Tournament Ice Breaker Party that I will be attending. I am looking forward to the fun I will have there and meeting some new girls and catching up with others I haven’t seen in a few months.