Hello again Everyone,
Life on the tour over the past few months has been fun, difficult, interesting and just a fantastic learning experience. Even though I’ve been playing for years and have plenty of experience by now, I find myself constantly learning new things. Sometimes small, sometimes big but I have to say I am enjoying the experience and am extremely grateful to be living this life. I never take it for granted, that’s for sure.
Consistency is my focus this year. It’s a real challenge to remain consistent throughout the 10-11 month tennis year but that’s the name of the game. A lot of it comes down to preparation and I am doing everything in my power to be the best I can be on a daily basis. The quality and depth in men’s tennis is remarkable now and you need to be at your best in order to keep progressing up the ranks, it’s as simple as that. There are so many things to manage-your game, schedule, finances, fitness, mindset, injuries and it requires being very organised and clear on your objectives. Even though there are obstacles everyday, I take inspiration from overcoming them. No one said this sport would be easy, it’s bloody tough but in a strange way, I like the fact that it’s hard. I like the fact that it requires full focus and commitment in order to succeed.
My last tournament was the qualifying of Indian Wells Masters 1000 last week. It was my second time playing in Palm Springs and it has just about everything a player could want-impeccable weather, great staff and organisation, mixed tournament, plenty of space for the players to move about, fun atmosphere amongst the fans and just a really nice vibe wherever you go. I had a solid win in the 1st found over the 14th seed Colombian Alejandro Falla but got knocked out in the last round to the Aussie Alex Bolt, who really played a great match on the day. It was tough not to qualify in but the experience itself has just added more fuel to the fire.
Before Indian Wells, I was fortunate enough to be awarded a Wildcard into the main draw of the Dubai Duty Free ATP 500 event starring the best players in the world. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and many other top players were playing and it was great to spend time around these guys. It was interesting to see how they all went about their business, both on and off the court and it was good just to get a better sense of the type of individuals they are. I spent time chatting with Roger Federer at the player’s party and he was very open and willing to share his insight. He was engaging and respectful which was so nice to see in a champion.
The tournament itself was incredible and has been voted the ”Best Tournament of the Year” in the ATP 500 category for the 11th time! There wasn’t one thing out of place at the event and it was so nice to show up and see that the way the organisers care and pay attention to all the little but important details.
I was disappointed with my performance in the first round of the main draw and would have liked to have played to my full potential but looking back on the match and the overall experience, it was invaluable. I had played similar matches to that at Challenger Level and won, and it was good to find out that I can’t get away with that type of play at the highest level. I took so much from the match and have a much better idea of what I need to do moving forward which is all positive. To get to play the world’s biggest events against the world’s best players and to play on Centre Court on SkySports TV is all part of my dream but I envision winning the next time. The only way to do that is to keeping improving and get back to work!
My next event will be San Luis Potosi $50,000 Challenger in Mexico which starts the week of March 30th. I’m excited to get back training on the red dirt..now I just need to find my clay court shoes!
As always, thank you for your support and positive energy.
For more frequent updates, you can follow me on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE
James, keep up the good work. Hope to see you in Savannah this year.
Thats great james!!!!, keep it up, we saw u play at Newport last year and us open
Dave and Ellen
Excellent article James. The very best of luck in upcoming tournaments. #irishtennis
Hi James .keep up the hard work you are an inspiration to young Irish tennis players. My daughter Lucy and I avaidly follow your progress. You will do it. Warm regards Collie ( castleknock tennis club)..
Best of luck today. Rooting for you from Prague. Hope you can play at the Prague challenger in June. If you need accommodation we would be delighted to put you up. Best wishes James