Sixteen-year-old Louisa Chirico of Westchester, N.Y., 16-year-old Rima Asatrian of Tenafly, N.J., and 17-year-old Denise Starr of Brooklyn, N.Y., each train at the USTA Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Under the guidance of USTA National Coach Jay Gooding, the three talented athletes are traveling this weekend to compete in the qualifying draw at the $10,000 Koser Jewelers Pro Circuit Tennis Challenger in Landisville, Pa. This is the first pro tournament for Chirico and Asatrian, while Starr has competed in a handful of pro events previously. The girls will be sharing their experiences from Landisville in a blog they are writing for USTA.com. Check back daily for updates.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Hi guys!! I won my singles today, 6-4, 7-5. The girl was pretty tough, and she was a fighter, but I played pretty well and stayed solid throughout the match. Unfortunately, Louisa and I lost are second doubles match today. We played two doubles matches because yesterday the girl who we had to play had to play singles really late, so we didn't go on. We really like playing with each other, though, and will pay together in the next two tournaments, for sure. I am really looking forward to playing tomorrow against yet another Russian girl. Wish me luck!!! :)
Hi everyone! Sadly, today is going to be my last day blogging because I'm leaving Landisville tomorrow morning. It was a really fun experience, and I hope this blog was interesting to read!
Today was tough, I lost my match, 2-6, 6-3 1-6. Denise and I won our first round of doubles, but then we lost in the quarterfinals. This tournament was a great learning experience for me, though. I know now what the level is like in these kinds of tournaments.
I would really like to say a big thank you to Wilson, the tournament director, and Bunny and Missy, the tournament supervisors, for making my first professional tournament such a great experience! Everything was so professional and well run, and without all of the sponsors and all of the people that put in work for this tournament, it would not have been possible.
I'm leaving tomorrow morning for the second tournament of our three-week trip -- another 10k -- in Sumter, S.C. Wish me luck!! :)
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Today was my birthday! I had a good day -- I won my match, 5-7, 7-5, 6-0. We finally got to play outside again, which I was really happy about. It was another hot day, and I think my opponent got a little bit tired towards the end of the match. Our doubles was canceled, so when I was finished with my singles, we went straight back to the hotel so I could do some homework… (and take a nap.) Then I took an ice bath in the hotel room, which was painful and freezing, but it felt really good after! After that, we went to dinner at our hotel, and I got to celebrate my birthday! I'm really looking forward to my match tomorrow.
Today was a great day! I won, 7-5, 6-1. It was a good match cause I played well and aggressive. I felt really good, finally playing outside. It was kind of humid, but it was still better than indoors. I had a bit of an adreneline rush at the end of my match but was able to pull through. After my match, we went back to the hotel to do some homework and have an ice bath. It feels just as bad as it sounds. Today was also Louisa's birthday, which was exciting! We had a great dinner and some dessert. I had a good day and am really looking forward to playing my match tomorrow.
Today was a good day. I warmed up with Denise. Denise and Louisa both played on the same court, so Jay (our coach) and I sat in the same seat for four hours! After that, I had some, lunch then I practiced with Jay for two hours. Right after that, we went to get ice, and we took ice baths. It was terribly cold, and I was trembling afterwards. I fly out tomorrow to Sumter, S.C., in the afternoon. Wish me luck in my next two tournaments!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I won my final round, 6-3, 6-4, and qualified. The girl that I played today was very different. She would hit both righty and lefty serves, and she hit two- and one-handed forehands. I'm glad I didn't really let it affect me that much and stayed solid throughout the match. Tomorrow I play second match on against a seeded player, so I'm very excited. After a great steak dinner at Longhorn, I feel full and ready for tomorrow.
Today my match was the definition of a grind. I won, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6. I'm really thrilled to have pulled that one out, and I'm really excited to start the main draw tomorrow! Denise and I finished our matches pretty early today, so we didn't have to stay at the club all day, like yesterday. When we went back to the hotel, I did a little bit of homework and attempted to take a nap. We went to Longhorn's for dinner, which was really good and a lot of fun! I don't know anything about the girl I'm playing, but I'm really looking forward to playing my match tomorrow!
I had a good practice today, I got to warm up Louisa and played a practice set later on. I had a tough fitness workout. I had to do sprints, even at the highest speed of 13.5 mph! Other than that, I was just watching the girls matches, and I was very happy that they had good wins. I had a nice steak for dinner at Longhorn's. Getting some rest now for another day tomorrow... a pretty average day in the life of a tennis player.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Today we spent 11 hours at the club. I warmed up in the morning outdoors before my match, but it started raining, so we had to move inside. It was really hard to find a time to warm up because the rain delayed my match a lot, so I ended up warming up more than once. I ended up winning my match, 7-6, 6-3. I played pretty well, and it was a grind, but I still have to win one more match before qualifying. Denise and I won our doubles match too, so we're in the main draw now, which starts on Wednesday.
Today we also went to the player party/dinner, which was a lot of fun. We all got up and introduced ourselves, and we got to meet a lot of the other players and sponsors, which was exciting. I really like this tournament so far. Everything is so professional.
What a day! I played first match on at 9 a.m. indoors, which was a surprise. We actually started out outside, and two minutes into the warm up, it stated raining. I won my match, 6-2, 6-1. It wasn't the toughest match, but every match has its benefits. I'm really looking forward to playing tomorrow. Louisa and I qualified for doubles today, so we don't have a match tomorrow, and hopefully we won't stay at the courts for 11 hours, like today.
We also went to the player party/dinner, which was really nice. The food was great, and the speech that the girls and I made was interesting. We were all a bit nervous, but it was fun, anyway. This tournament has been great so far.
I had a rough day today. Unfortunately, I lost, 4-6, 4-6. The girl played well. I had my chances, but I didn't take them. I didn't get into doubles, so I'm out of the tournament. It was a good first experience, so now I will know what to expect, and hopefully next week in South Carolina, I will do well and be better prepared. With the great tournament directors, Wilson, Missy (Malool) and Bunny (Williams), the standards will be set very high for the next tournament.
There was a great player party/dinner today. The food was delicious, and it was run very well. We had to make a short speech in front of everyone, and all of the girls were very nervous. I'm terrified of public speaking, so I was shaking and fidgeting while giving my speech. Louisa and I got recognized by one woman earlier today, so we were very excited that people are reading our blog! I have practice tomorrow morning, so I have to bounce right back up after a tough day. I'm looking forward to the next tournaments, as well.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I had a great day today, winning my first match, 6-4, 6-0. The weather was a bit warmer than I'm used to, but it was really nice. I felt like I was playing well today, very solid. I'm looking forward to playing the second round of qualies tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't rain so that we can keep playing outdoors.
Today was a tough day for me. I won my match, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. It was definitely a grind, but I'm happy that I could pull through for a tough first-round win. I'm very excited to get out there tomorrow and play well. We're most likely going to be playing indoors, so it will be a little more what we're used to, even though I like playing outdoors more.
I had a good first round today. I won, 6-1 6-0. It was really hot, but I actually really like playing in the heat. Tomorrow it might rain, so matches may have to move indoors. Hopefully the weather holds up, though, because I was really looking forward to playing outdoors. I guess this is all part of traveling, and we just have to adjust to whatever happens. I'm really looking forward to my match tomorrow. Hopefully I can continue to play well.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
We rented a huge car and drove out with all of our stuff from New York yesterday morning, and we arrived in Landisville in the afternoon. We had very good practice on court for about two hours. Then we worked out for a little bit in the gym and went back to the hotel to check in and get settled.
Today, we all hit together in the morning again for an hour and played some practice sets in the afternoon. We also did a light workout in the gym between practices. We just came back from check in, and we're about to go to dinner.
We're all really excited for the tournament to start. This is the first professional tournament for two of us (Louisa and Rima), and one of us (Denise) has played a few before. We don't really know what to expect in terms of level of play in tournaments like this, but we are definitely looking forward to playing tomorrow. The schedule hasn't come out yet, so we don't know our match times or opponents yet.
The facility looks very nice, and it feels great to play outdoors. We have been training a lot for these tournaments, so we are really looking forward to starting the matches tomorrow.
- Louisa, Rima, and Denise