Firstly, let me thank everyone who has written to me, commented, tweeted, shared and sent positive messages my way over the last few months via my Facebook Fan Page and Twitter page. I read them all and I really appreciate it so THANK YOU once again.
2014 has been an interesting year so far and I am really excited about the upcoming weeks and months. Each day, week and month on the tour is filled with exciting moments and challenging moments and I am expecting plenty more to come!
Some of the high moments for me this year involved playing the qualifying of The Australian Open, Indian Wells, Roland Garros (all for the first time), getting some solid wins over players like Alex Bogomolov, Guido Pella and having the opportunity to meet and learn from some great people, players and coaches. It has been a dream of mine to play these tournaments and now I am focused on reaching the next level.
Davis Cup was also a great moment this year when we managed to defeat Egypt in our Group 2 relegation match in April which was held at my home club, Castleknock L.T.C. (Thanks to everyone who came out to support)
Some of the challenging moments involved a few 1st round losses, competing without coaching support at the first 7 of 9 tournaments this year, financial concerns, some minor injuries, missed flights, dodgy food and a few tough heart-aching losses etc. There are so many things that occur on a daily basis that are out of your control and I think it helps to live by the phrase, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it that matters”
Check out some pictures from this year which will give you a better idea of what I’ve been up to:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the families and friends who have reached out to me over the past 5-6 months and provided housing for me across the world while I’ve been training and playing at tournaments. I’m always amazed at the generosity I receive.
The schedule this year has been hectic which has involved multiple cross-continental flights, constant time-zone changes and climate changes. Adapting to a new surface, balls, altitude, humidity and general environment on a weekly basis is part of the job and I can safely say after almost 6 years on tour, it is still a constant challenge. I have competed in 15 tournaments so far this year as well as one Davis Cup appearance Vs. Egypt in April (which we won!) and now I am preparing for the upcoming grass-court season, followed by the hard court season in North America.
I attained a career-high ranking of #206 on May 5th and I am working very hard on improving this over the coming months. I’ve reached the last round of qualifying of Roland Garros and Memphis ATP event this year as well as having a few Challenger Semi-final (Noumea, Tallahassee) and Quarter-final (Dallas) appearances this year. My focus now is to continue creating these type of opportunities for myself over time and I believe I will start coming through more of these matches. My first Australian Open in January was a thrill to say the least as well as competing at my first Masters Series 1000 event (Indian Wells Qualifying) in March-phenomenal tournament!
During the Australian Open, I had an interview with Ben Rothenburg who writes for The New York Times and you can read the article HERE
Also, I had a short T.V. interview with ABC News during the Australian Open which you can watch HERE
When I haven’t been on the court or in the gym or hauling my bags around airports, I have spent the greater portion of my time looking for sponsorship opportunities. It has been a lengthy, arduous process and like all things that are worth anything in life, it takes patience and perseverance. As I explained in a previous blog post, the tour is very very costly and even though I am almost ranked top 200 in the world, I still require the assistance of sponsors to continue my journey.
I would like to sincerely thank Ezetop for their support and also to Tutti Frutti in Barcelona. I would also like to thank The Irish Sports Council and some other private individuals for their generous support this year.
That’s everything for now. I look forward to updating you later in the summer!
Love reading your updates, James! Keep fighting – every day finds you a step closer to attaining your goals!
Way to go James !!! All the best ! I hope to see you at the US Open this Fall !
btw Great pic with Rusty there 🙂
James, I saw you play a Challenger in Savannah Ga in April. You had a tough day put you pushed on. You did the Irish and yourself proud. Keep up the good work and enjoy every day.
ps: close the net when your opponent is stretched out.
Best of luck cuz
Congratulations on your year so far. You have looked at home playing at a higher level and obviously a few more wins will mean a few more opportunities. I’m interested to know whether you think a Challenge tour event in Ireland could be a runner as opposed to a futures event. Would sponsors give a bigger buck for higher ranked players and a better attendance,
Thanks and best of luck for the rest of the year
Watched you during first round of the US Open. Well done and what a superb interview you gave with Mark Petchy. You truly deserve that sponsorship you so desperately need. Come on Ireland and do the decent thing for this outstanding sportsman. The best of luck for the future James.
You were darling in your interview at the
US Open!!! I loved Ireland when I was there …before you were born!! I wish you all luck in the world!!
Love from Sarah, an ole’ lady from Santa Barbara, CA and my papillion: Gilles Cybelle. 🙂
Congrats on reaching the main draw at the US Open! Too bad you couldn’t get through to the second round. Keep going James, I wish you all the best and hope to see you play the ATP tournaments on a regular basis.