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.
I’m checking in with you after an exciting week full of highs and lows. As always, being back on the Stanford campus was an incredible feeling. The rich history of the event paired with my personal history with the campus always makes for a truly magical week.
My first round match was a fairytale display of competition, grit and crowd engagement. With the clock nearly reaching midnight, I finished off a 2-5 in the third comeback to win the match 7-6 (5) in the third against the extremely talented young Claire Liu.
Yet again, I was blown away with the support that comes with being a former Cardinal at Stanford. In tough moments, the crowd lifted my spirits and helped me to the finish line—a match I will never forget.
In the second round, three days later, I had a less than perfect followup to Monday’s excitement. I came up against an inspired CoCo Vandeweghe who was hitting her targets from all areas of the court. Although I took a thorough beating in front of my home crowd—something that’s rarely enjoyable—I took pride in my composure and lack of panic.
I’ve been here before and it wasn’t the end of the world, I thought to myself, reflecting back to a 6-1 6-0 feature match loss to Garbine Muguruza in Miami last year. While it wasn’t the result I had hoped for, I had the maturity to realize that my game is still moving in the right direction and I had still given myself something to build on.
I decided to withdraw from Toronto due to some nagging issues with the left leg injury I picked up earlier this year in hopes of being entirely healthy for my next tournament—Cincinnati. While it’s been almost a decade since I’ve lived in Ohio, it will always be home to me, so this tournament has a very special place in my heart.
I’m already back to work in the gym and on court in preparation and am excited to continue this stretch of “home” tournaments. I feel great about the base I’ve built for myself and can’t wait to compete again at the end of the week.