I started my monthly recap from December 2018, since that is when all the preparations for 2019 start and end at November 2019, because that is when the season ends. All in all; here is an honest reflection on all the ebbs and flows that happened throughout my season.
December: I finished 2018 on a great note and was looking to make great gains in 2019. I had big plans and great motivation to work. My team and I were putting in the hard yards to prepare for the swing down under and we couldn’t be more excited to get after it.
January: I played in my first Australian Open qualifying. It was incredibly gratifying to participate since I missed the cut by one spot the previous year. Falling one win short of main draw hurt me though. I felt as if I needed to work harder; do more to be more; and although at the time that seemed like the answer – I would find out later down the road that it was not.
February: I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to grow from my loss in Australian Open. I had no points to defend during this time of year, so there was also this desire to take advantage of this time to improve my ranking. All these thoughts came from a passionate place, but definitely the wrong place. It wasn’t long before I started to enjoy the game a little less, and my body started to acquire unexpected aches and pains.
March: The bad energy carried on to a part of the year that I have the most regret. Being a California native, I have always dreamt about playing in the Indian Wells tournament. When finally given my first chance to play the event, I felt unprepared mentally and physically to compete. Going there and giving a subpar performance was the most disappointed I had ever been at myself.
April: I hadn’t won a match since January, and finally got a W at the beginning of the month. As much as I try to not focus on “stupid stuff” like losing streaks, they are a real thing on tour and can be a poisonous part of a player’s psyche. Luckily for me, I finally ended it here.
May: This month represents my very short clay season. With clay not being my favorite surface, I didn’t build too much expectations on my results and decided to make the most of my experience at Roland Garros. I got to take my mom around Paris and have some cool picture moments with her. I knew it is not every day you get to share a special part of the tennis year with someone who’s been there from the beginning, so I did my best to maximize my appreciation for that.
June: This was the start of grass season. With very little tennis momentum all year, it was nice to play on the surface that allows the natural strengths in my game to flow. As fast as the conditions are during this part of the year, I was pushed to stop thinking and start doing; no fear, just feel.
July: Playing my first Wimbledon qualifying was another incredible milestone. I’ve talked about playing in all white since I was a kid and finally got to the point where I could participate in the tradition. Falling one match short of the main draw was devastating. Not qualifying for Wimbledon broke me physically and mentally. My family, friends, and long time coach flew a long ways to support me and to not get it done in front of them was [almost] more than I could handle.
August: There was a lot of fragile training and practicing, because I was still managing my elbow injury that I acquired from Wimbledon. It was mentally wearing to be doing all I could for my body and still not be able to get out there and freely compete at the level I envisioned. To add to it all, it gave me great anxiety to not have the amount of matches I wanted to prepare for the US Open. Losing first round in qualifying there was a tough pill for me to swallow. I had qualified for main draw in the past two years, and to not even come close was a stab in the gut. I couldn’t help but think: was I going backwards?
September: This was the “find myself” month. Despite not being match tough, I had to get some momentum going to build confidence for what was left in the year. For the first time all season, I went to a few tournaments alone to see if I could lean on myself and think independently again. The solo trips made me tougher on and off the court – it was exactly what I needed.
October: Finally putting the elbow injury to bed and having some matches under my belt, I found my stride and competitive edge that had disappeared for a while. Three semifinals back to back to back put me well inside Australian Open qualifying, but more importantly reminded me that all the struggle, work, and hurt was not all for nothing.
November: I finished my last event of the season in a tough first round loss. Of course it was not what I wanted, but I was in a good place. After all this year had put me through, I was grateful to be physically healthy and still in love with what I’m doing.