I have traveled to a different city on a different plane almost every week this year, so I’ve had my fair share of experience dealing with airfare bookings. If you have a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees: you’re in luck. If you don’t, time to get one! Read More
After a tough week in Landisville, Pennsylvania, I made the decision to fly to Cincinnati for the second premier tournament of the US Open Series. My partner (Kaitlyn) and I, were the second alternates from the initial entry list, and decided to take a leap of faith and head to Ohio. This was a risk, because you never know what can happen during on-site sign in (where singles players can pair up together thus making the cut-off much tougher), but our guts were telling us to take the chance.
This is the tale of a classic cinderella story— we were down and out, quite literally, with a wildcard mishap, and on the third day of first rounds, still the first alternate. Things didn’t look promising with each hour wilting by, and our hopes to even set foot on a match court were slowly diminishing. Suddenly, 3 hours before her scheduled match, Ashleigh Barty withdraws from her doubles match. We felt incredibly lucky and thrilled to even get the opportunity to play. Around 4:30pm, the Players Desk called our names to be escorted onto Showcourt #11. Unknowingly, we stepped foot onto the Western & Southern Open stadium, and commenced a journey that would see us upset two top seeds, a handful of skilled doubles specialists, and reach the semifinals of one of the biggest tournaments of our careers.
*Last call for Norwegian Flight DI7094 to London* I boarded my Norwegian flight on April 16, en route to Helsinki via London. I always like to give myself a couple days at my base in Helsinki to acclimate to the European time change and clay-court conditions.
I landed in Helsinki on April 17th, to prepare for the long 3 month tournament schedule I had planned for. My schedule would see me jump to a couple countries and two continents, while being on the road for 5 weeks in a row before a break. Tough, but certainly not distressful. I was excited, motivated, and ready to gain more points to climb to new career highs. May was filled with new challenges, and new opportunities, which eventually ended with a $100k Doubles Title to propel my ranking into the WTA Top 100.
We thought January was a great start to the year… but things elevated to even better results in February!
After jumping so many spots in the WTA Doubles rankings, my partner and I felt that it was time to start playing bigger events with more points and prize money at stake. For the month of February, we decided to sign up for two $25ks in the U.S., and taking the risk of signing up for the WTA in Acapulco. We were itching to keep playing as many tournaments as we could, and especially wanted to keep our winning streak ablaze. Despite the first tournament coming to a second round halt, we were able to get back to our winning ways in earning the $25k Rancho Santa Fe doubles crown and the WTA Acapulco doubles finalists.
After coming off a high from reaching our first WTA Semifinal, it was time to refocus, regroup, and re-pack for the next week in Midland, Michigan. When tournament planning, we all seek to play the higher events, so my doubles partner and I decided to make the trek to the frigid Midwest. With our warm coats, long pants, and prepped mentality to deal with the cold (we are Southern Cal girls after all), we were ready to go… but all did not go as smoothly. On the surface, we were eventually crowned $100k Midland Doubles Champions, but here’s a look into what actually went on behind the scenes. From enjoyable community outreach to logistical nightmares and a crazy last day, our experience in Midland was one to remember.
*Happy New Year* Ah, the start of a new year with nearly all tennis players eager to begin their 2018 campaigns. Last year, I started my tournaments in the $25ks in Florida. While it was great competition, there were a few things I didn’t want to go back to this year: the long red-eye journey to the other side of the country, cold and gloomy weather, and steep competition (even in qualies) in a lower prize-money event. For me, it wasn’t worth the journey to travel there for a week, awaiting fervently to return back to California to play a much higher event in Newport Beach. With this in mind, I thought it was best to start in LA’s backyard– at the WTA $125k in Newport Beach. Little did we know we’d reach our first WTA semifinal!
A much anticipated trip– we were all itching to see Dubai for the first time. As professional tennis players, we are super fortunate to be able to travel all over the world for tournaments, and this week we chose to compete at the $100k Al Habtoor event at the Al Habtoor Grand Hotel in Dubai, UAE.
Greeted at the doorstep was another brown box, one of twenty that awaited my return from my tournament swing in Asia. A look inside revealed a sweet note from Behrman Communications, and a couple of my favorite COOLA organic products that were sent my way. It’s no secret that tennis players are constantly in the sun every day— from practice and fitness, to matches, there’s no escaping the scorching calamity of the sun. That’s where products like COOLA Suncare come in – to protect our faces and bodies from the harsh effects of sunburn and aging.
In a spur of the moment decision, I had less than 24 hours to get back to LA from Macon, Georgia to make my first Asia trip for tournaments. With excitement and anxiousness, I couldn’t wait for this new adventure of tournaments to start. Little did I know, we would hit some bumps along the way. From rushing to different cities, battling food poisoning and stomach issues, to unknown WTA deadlines, and an unfortunate visa situation, our 3 week journey through Southeast Asia was one to remember (AND especially to learn from).
With a round-the-world, hectic schedule such as mine, it’s highly unlikely that I get to take a road-trip to a tournament up the California Coast. The week of September 20th was the exception. An overdue recap of one of my favorite trips this past Fall.
After going through qualies, I had two tough first round main draw matches in both singles and doubles, making my run in the $60k Templeton event come to a close on a Wednesday afternoon. With no rush to go to another tournament (off-week), my friend and cross-town PAC-12 rival, Robin, decided to make a 2-day venture through the Central Coast’s vineyards, to the winding mountainous terrain and salty-scented beaches of the Pacific Coast Highway, to enjoy all that the Golden State had to offer on the way back to LA.
Take a peak into our wine tastings at Sculpterra and Cass Wineries, a little history lesson at Hearst Castle, and our expedition down the Pacific Coast Highway.
My tournament schedule in July landed me in the beautiful Czech Republic. These tournaments were a tale of two cities: one being most famous for its touristy attractions and petite old town, while the other is regarded as a quaint small town, with its sports complex being the mecca of the city. Nonetheless, I had an amazing time in both cities, while yielding some success on the court.