RELATED: Christina McHale Future Fed Cupper Diary
Day 8: Monday, Feb. 4, 2007
Today was our last day here. We are really excited because Lindsay won her match this morning with a convincing score of 6-1, 6-2, giving us a 2-1 lead. Then Ashley took to the court and played a great match to clinch the victory, 6-4, 7-5. She stayed steady the whole time and ran down every ball to defeat Lisicki. She was down 5-3 in the second set, but she used her smart play to come back and win.
Although the tie was already determined by Ashley’s win, Lindsay and Lisa took the court for their doubles match and won, 6-2, 6-0. We joked with them afterwards that they had no problem with their opponents because they had practiced doubles with Christina and me during the week.
After the win, we celebrated in the team room, and everyone is already looking forward to playing against Russia in April. Most of the team left to drive and catch flights out of Los Angeles, but Christina and I stayed for one last practice with Laura. We had a good, intense hour of drilling, and we have definitely seen our fair share of tennis this week.
We had dinner with Jean and packed tonight because Christina has an early flight in the morning. I am flying back to Florida later in the day with Lori.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog this week. I have had such a great experience here in La Jolla and have learned so much. Zina, Mary Joe, the players, Lori, Jean and the entire USTA Fed Cup staff have been so great, and I miss them already. I am definitely going to take a lot away from this week and work hard so that one day I can be a member of the U.S. Fed Cup team and represent my country! I can’t wait! Go USA!
Day 7: Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008
It’s Christina’s job to tell you about the morning, so I am taking the afternoon.
After lunch, the weather was looking pretty bad, but Lindsay and Ashley stayed focused so that they would be ready to go on court if it all of a sudden cleared up. It actually stopped raining for a little while, but at 2 p.m., the captains met with the ITF and made the decision to postpone play until tomorrow because more rain was expected, and there was still water coming up from underneath the court.
Lindsay and Zina were happy with the decision because they did not want to start a match and then have to come back and finish it the next day, as it gets dark here early, and there are no lights on the stadium. We were happy with the decision, as well, because it means we get to stay an extra day and cheer on the team!
Once the decision was made, we could focus on the Super Bowl. We are not the biggest football fans, in general, but nonetheless Christina was pulling for the Giants, and I was pulling for the Patriots. We were happy to do something different, and at 3:15 the Super Bowl party started for the USTA and ITF staff.
We were there for awhile and then went to Zina’s room, where she had a smaller, yet extremely vocal group, including Lori and our designated host, Henry. Almost everyone there was a Giants fan, so I did not fit in with the crowd. We watched the last part of the game in our room, and I was very disappointed with the result, but Christina is quite happy with her home team, the Giants, winning the Super Bowl.
We did some more schoolwork this evening and just made a trip to the lounge to get a power bar because it seems as if we are always hungry! The matches start tomorrow at 10 a.m., and Lindsay is up first. The team is ready to go play great tennis tomorrow, and Christina and I are ready to cheer the U.S. onto Fed Cup victory!
Day 6: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008
The Fed Cup matches started today, and Christina has told you all about our live TV interview, practice with Lisa, and Lindsay’s match against Sabine Lisicki.
After the first match, we had 15 minutes before Ashley Harkleroad went on court, so we ran and grabbed a quick bite to eat in the team room. We wished Ashley good luck as she headed out the door and returned courtside to cheer her on. Chuck told us to get her going with our cheering, so we were on our feet, clapping before the match started. We really wanted to win after Lindsay lost so that we could end the day on a positive note.
She played great from the start and looked calm and collected for her first Fed Cup appearance. It was a great atmosphere in the stadium, with a lot of support from the home crowd. Ashley won the match, 6-1, 6-3, so at the end of the day, we were 1-1 against Germany.
We had another team meeting after the press conference, where we went over our schedule and the plan for tomorrow. We had dinner in the team room, and then Lindsay and her husband came to our room for a few minutes to borrow my phone charger. The rest of our evening wasn’t very eventful, and I think the training throughout the whole week caught up with us today because we were really tired. The matches start at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, and the forecast isn’t promising, but we are crossing our fingers and optimistically anticipating a great, dry day of tennis.
It is also Super Bowl Sunday, so hopefully everyone will come and cheer on the U.S. before the big game starts! Christina is from New Jersey, so she will be cheering for the Giants, but my friend, Ashley Weinhold, has converted me to a Patriots fan, so Chris and I will have a rivalry going tomorrow afternoon. Our main priority, however, will be focusing on one point at a time and cheering the U.S. to victory!
Day 5: Friday, Feb. 1, 2008
Hi Again! This morning we had an early start with practice beginning at 8:30 after we had breakfast with Zina. We played for two hours and continued to work on a lot of crosscourt and down-the-line drills as well as volleys and good movement.
In the middle of practice there was a slight scare when one of the ladies playing club doubles on the court next to us fell backwards and hit her head. We rushed to help her but she was fine after a few minutes and the club doctor came to check on her. We resumed practice and played more situation points with certain rules set up by Lori to make us work on specific things.
After practice, we quickly changed into our USA Fed Cup Team track-suits and met the team in our player’s lounge to go to the draw ceremony and official press conference. We were introduced to many people including the President of the USTA, Jane Grimes Brown, and sat down to watch the draw procedure. The ITF representative picked the names out of a bowl to determine who will play first tomorrow, and the first name drawn was Lindsay Davenport.
The draw ceremony was followed by the press conference where members of the media had a chance to ask the US Fed Cup team some questions regarding this weekend’s anticipated match-ups. We stayed to listen to the German interview to see if we could pick up on anything and the German captain, Barbara Rittner said, “I know we are underdogs but watch out, dogs bite!” While the team did some interviews for the Tennis Channel next to the beach, we had to run to the pier and back from the hotel at a decent pace. It took us about 15 minutes and we found out afterwards that it was a two mile distance. When we got back, the team was still doing their interviews so we quickly showered and headed to lunch. Chirstina will tell you all about the rest of our day.
Day 4: Jan. 31, 2008
This morning, we did some schoolwork after breakfast and then headed out to the courts around 10 a.m. Christina and I had a solid two-hour practice with Lori McNeil, Jean Nachand and Wade McGuire. We went through a lot of drills, working on changing direction with big targets and good footwork and then implemented those things in some situation points. We can definitely feel that we are getting better at the things we have worked on this week.
It has also made a big difference watching the pros practice and talking to them about how they went about their tennis and what they suggest for us. At the end of practice, we talked strategy with Lori about our big afternoon. I am sure you are anxious to find out what happened at 3:45 after reading my last blog, so click on Christina’s diary about the afternoon.
Day 3: Jan. 30, 2008
Hi! Once again, Christina has blogged about the morning, and now it’s my turn to tell you about the afternoon.
After lunch, we had an intense hour-and-a-half practice, and then Christina and I went to the team physio, Amber, because we are both sore from our training. We showered and then met the team at transportation, where we rode in the van with Zina, Lindsay, Lisa, Laura, Ashley and Mary Joe to the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. We were there to participate in a clinic for the local kids. It was fun, as I have played numerous national and local tournaments at the Barnes Center as a junior, and the crowd loved Ashley Harkleroad because she was a finalist at the national 16s held there.
After we met the board members, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our team dinner. We ate at a really nice steakhouse called Donovans, and I sat across from Lindsay and Lisa and next to Mary Joe. It was so much fun listening to their stories about the tennis, and we got the inside scoop of all the gossip on the WTA Tour.
The highlight of the night was when Mary Joe went to our team board and wrote down everyone’s schedule for the following day. She had a big treat for us, but you will have to wait until tomorrow to find out what is going down at 3:45 at the Fed Cup in La Jolla, Calif.!
Day 2: Jan. 29, 2008
Today was a really busy day! Now that you have heard about the morning and our practice with Laura Granville from Christina, I will tell you a little bit about our afternoon.
After lunch in the team room, we had a meeting with Rita Garza, who is in charge of media for the U.S. Fed Cup team. It was interesting to learn how many things go into tennis off the court! She told us about the press and its role in Fed Cup as well as American tennis as a whole. After lunch we practiced, and Mary Joe Fernandez gave us some great advice for our games. Christina and I were proud of ourselves because we finished the one-minute drill of deep alternating balls past the service line on our second attempt! According to Jean and Lori, that was really good!
We had a great practice and hit the gym afterwards for our second workout of the day. We did an intense workout on the treadmill and some additional weight training from a program prepared by our trainer at the USTA Training Center. Our legs could feel those extra 17’s we ran in the morning!
While we were working out, Lindsay Davenport arrived, as well as Lisa Raymond and Ashley Harkleroad. We were introduced to them at dinner, and Lindsay had her son Jagger, who was very cute. There is a definite team atmosphere here, and it is so unique – comparing individual tennis to a team event is like comparing apples to lemons!
Day 1: Jan. 28, 2008
My name is Julia Boserup, and I am really excited to be a part of the U.S. Fed Cup team as a future Fed Cupper. I am 16 years old, and I train at the USTA Boca Training Center in Florida. This is the first time that Fed Cup has been held in Southern California where I grew up, so for me, it’s great to come back for this event. I feel honored to be here and have the chance to learn from this experience.
Lori McNeil and I arrived in San Diego today after a long day of traveling, so we were happy when we finally pulled into the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. I met up with Christina McHale, the other future Fed Cupper here with me, and we were introduced to the U.S. Fed Cup team staff. Everyone was really welcoming and friendly!
After unpacking and discovering that the heater in the room was broken and managing to break the handle while trying to fix it ourselves, we called Jean Nachand, who came to our rescue and fixed it. We then had dinner at a restaurant called Barbarero’s in La Jolla Village, where we were greeted by the owner who was very enthusiastic, to say the least, about Fed Cup and Davis Cup history. Christina and I had a great time listening to the stories that everyone shared about recent and past Fed Cups and Grand Slams. It was tough getting used to the lingo, but we finally figured out that a story about “Andy” was indeed a conversation about Andy Roddick. We just aren’t used to being on a first-name basis with the big names!
Tomorrow is our first day of practice, and we are hoping for some warm weather! I think we have a chance of practicing in the new stadium in the morning, so we are really excited!
Future Fed Cupper Diary: Christina McHale