Sam Groth and Nicole Gibbs are giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the world of professional tennis all year long in My Tennis Life. To read more updates from Sam and Nicole, go to tennischannel.com.


After a "taper" week in training—spending more time on recovery and less time on physical training—I'm extremely excited to kick off my Bank of the West tournament on Monday at Stanford. I will open against Claire Liu, a promising American junior who just won Wimbledon and is ranked No. 1. It will be a tough test for me, but I couldn't imagine a better setting to take on the challenge. We will play during the Monday night session, following Maria Sharapova vs. Jennifer Brady, so I'm hoping for a big, pro-Stanford crowd.

My tennis has been improving every day and my body is feeling the best it has all year. With a focus on aggressive play and commitment to my game plan, practices have been positive and constructive. And, most importantly, I've been enjoying the process and competing well.

I feel that Stanford has always brought out the best in me, and this past week has been no different. My boyfriend, Jack, even remarked that I seem much "lighter" than I normally do during tournaments. While I care deeply about the tournament this week, it's hard not to feel relaxed and "at home" in this environment.

I'm fortunate enough to have Jack's family about 10 minutes from campus, so my time off court is mostly spent relaxing with family and friends. The departure from hotels and Airbnbs is a welcome one, and not something I take for granted.

Beyond that, the fans at Stanford are incredible and have already made me feel so special. I always joke that I sign more autographs at Stanford than the rest of the year combined. I love meeting so many diehard Stanford tennis fans and always take care to spend as much time with them as possible. I can only hope that I live up to the Cardinal standard and put on a good show this week.