Redfoo participating in the Pro-Am event at the Party Rock Open.
Redfoo of the hit group LMFAO is the sponsor of this week’s Party Rock Open, a women’s $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event taking place at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas. Redfoo blogs about his experiences this week from the tournament, his coaching junior player Ayaka Okuno, his own game and more.
By Stefan "Redfoo" Gordy
LAS VEGAS – We made it to the final round of the Pro-Am last night, and I had an awesome time playing with my player, Ayaka Okuno. It was running late, and we didn’t want some of the pros who were playing on Wednesday out too late, so I think we’re going to try and play the finals of it later in the week.
I can’t remember hitting any aces against the pros, but I came close, and I did get my fair share overall against the amateurs. But some of the pros said I had game, and they started calling me "Mr. Kick Serve" because I was getting them up there pretty high. They didn’t see my full potential because I’m still working on my forehand, so I hit a lot of home runs, and I missed some returns. The players were actually showing me some new dances, and we just had an incredible time playing mixed doubles.
I just love competing and watching these girls play. I would watch every match if I could. I got to watch some of Petra Rampre’s match and was surprised she beat our top seed, Edina Gallovits-Hall, so easily, 6-1, 6-1.
The tournament has just been going great, and the player party at the Marquee at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas on Monday night was a blast. Our Cox Kids' Day on Sunday was the biggest in Pro Circuit history with more than 500 kids. I’m just glad everyone is having a good time.
The reaction from the players has been really great. They keep saying, "We wish you could come to every tournament." Some of them have said this is the best tournament they’ve ever played and they’re having so much fun because the atmosphere is so great and the people are so friendly.
As Ayaka and I have been watching the matches together, I’ve just been trying to have her watch the focus these players have. And the different things that can de-focus you, the things that can start to get you down, like dwelling on a missed shot or line call. My goal with her is to channel everything into focus and play for that point or that game. Just try to focus on a game plan and what you’re trying to do. Her strokes are there. We’re working on some technique, as well, but we’re watching and seeing how these girls are on the court and how much energy they bring.
What we’ve been seeing is that every player who has the most energy is winning. Last night, Petra had the energy. She’s hopping around and just seemed to bring more of her personality out. She was just really spunky and more aggressive, coming to the net more. Out here, you’ve got to feel 100 percent comfortable in your own skin. That was a match between two veterans, and Petra just seemed to bring the energy. You’ve got to play as many tournaments as you can where you like the pressure. You love it. You want it.
I want to just keep working on my game. I want to play at a high level on the men’s side. I just want to compete. I want to do whatever it takes to get me out there and go head-to-head with the best. I want to play mixed doubles with Ayaka, and I want to keep playing USTA events. That’s why I’m working so hard and studying my game. I think I can still compete at a high level. I’m working on my footwork now, and I know my style: It’s always going to be aggressive. It’s going to be serve and volley, coming in, taking the ball on the rise. I know that. Now, I just have to match my strokes with my style.
The Party Rock Open is presented by Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, Las Vegas’ premier orthopedics group. Other sponsors include: USTA-Nevada, CourtThink, LLC, Agent Atleta, Ltd., WG Communications Group, Cox Communications, ESPN 1110 AM, The Point 97.1, 98.5 KLUC, Marty Hennessey Foundation, Ryan Wolfington, Solinco strings, Western Cab Company, Marquis Aurbach and Coffing, www.10sBalls.com, ASICS, and Perrier water.