The Highs and Lows of the @USOpen Qualifying Opening Round Steve Fogleman in New York
The 128 match-strong first round of the 2017 US Open qualifying tournament is finally in the books, some 34 hours and two different climates after it began yesterday morning. Joris De Loore became the last player to join the 127 other hopefuls to advance shortly before 9:00 p.m. tonight.
That means 128 singles players were sent packing, and that means that 128 dreams live on tonight in New York.
One of those who lives on to dream another day is Vera Zvonareva, who’s already achieved more in her days on tour than many of the qualifying crew could imagine. She’ll face Jamie Loeb tomorrow.
Generally speaking, I don’t interview players who step off a court after a loss. They usually don’t speak freely, they’re in a bad mood, and you get the feeling that they’d rather be anywhere else. The tours usually don’t require press conferences for the vanquished at the main draw of smaller events. But Conny Perrin used to contribute to Tennis Atlantic, and she’s the highest ranked player with whom I am a Facebook friend. I have watched her ups and downs and all that she has given to be here, and she was so close to the upset of the qualifying tournament today. In the end, Perrin was narrowly defeated by the #3 seed, Danka Kovinic, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.
Kovinic said it best after the close match today. “Oh my god, tennis is so difficult. Everything can change in a minute,” she said. She’s been to the big dance twice already in New York. Winning here is obviously contagious, because you see a lot of the same faces advance year after year. For every two of those, there are players who hit their emotional Nirvana when they qualify for the first time, and those moments are the greatest displays of the magic of a slam that I’ve ever seen.
To wit, Antonia Lottner. The German waxed poetic about last year’s US Open, her first and only run into a slam in her career.
How about Mitch Krueger? The American has never been to a US Open main draw and he’s never even reached Friday’s third round. He scored the comeback of the qualifying rounds, down two breaks in the third set before escaping with the win today. With an 0-3 second round record, making it to the 3rd will be his 2017 season takeaway memory. He had to find a way to get to that pesky second round by outlasting Canada’s Braydan Schnur in a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 thriller.
I know that the pro tours have done everything they can to contrive a Road to Singapore or some other far-flung metropolis into a fifth grand slam, but to this old fan, it isn’t working. The US Open will always be the last big stop in a season. For most American fans, the buck always stops at the US Open. These players know it, too. They won’t be in on the big fun of the year-end finals, and they appreciate everything the US Open has to offer. I always call the tour the traveling circus. Well, this my friends, is the Greatest Show on Earth, since the other one folded after 146 years.
There’s something surreal about New York and US Open qualifying and all that’s at stake, and the players– who hail from all over the globe with their hopes and their racket bags and their moms and their dads and not much else–know it.
Life On Tour with Conny Perrin: March 2015 “My Reality Of Life To The World” Conny Perrin, Tennis Atlantic
For Her March Update, Conny wanted to share this free-writing piece that she wrote from her heart, we hope you enjoy!.-The Editors
Have you create a life for yourself where you are free to discover all your sweetest and darkest fantasies? I have, I’m beautifully broken in my own way, free & blessed because I think that life is a beautiful – sad adventure that needs to be discovered to the fullest, just so you can learn & try to be a better person day by day along the way & simply just grow. I’m blessed to feel everything so very deeply, to give & receive LOVE without any expectations. I’m just very passionate about emotions, perfectly imperfect beautiful souls, this amazing fucked up world we are living in & just so in love with this interesting thing called LIFE, I’m just mad to live. I’m also addicted to the wild side of it from time to time, wouldn’t be able to survive without it, cause life gets way too boring without a touch of “danger”. When I say danger, I don’t mean it as an auto destructive one, I mean it in a good way with BALANCE & CONTROL. That’s also I guess a protection for the things & people that aren’t meant to be or that aren’t really on the same page as me & my own reality, but I will always respect them as they are, their opinions & choices, cause remember hate isn’t healthy sweetie.
I think it makes totally sense, because have you ever heard about the word BALANCE? I think life is all about it, without this powerful value, I think you can never truly find the peace of mind, which goes together with HAPPINESS & this important quality will make you able to stay stronger, clearer & wiser when some unfortunate series of events happen along the way. Which will always be cause as we all know, you can’t control everything in life, u just never know. I was wondering, what is actually good or bad in this life? Well, I think it all depends about our own reality, experiences & only you know it, because at the end everybody is different, even though some people have similarities of course & I think that’s where chemistry grows.
Have you ever heard about the word CHEMISTRY? This weird but beautiful power that connect us all in different ways. Some in a friendly way without benefits, some more deeply with benefits, passionate & deep love but still with a touch of FREEDOM. Unfortunately too less souls are able to feel that kind of connection, most of them get too emotionally involved or get hurt while losing their balance. The sad part even if you have been honest to them from the very beginning, so I think only those who can truly deal the right way with their emotions & usually the beautiful broken ones are able to do so. But at the end, I think HONESTY is one of the most respectful value you can have & whatever happens always being honest is a sign of maturity, ststrengthor yourself & others, because I know what it feels like to be hurt or suffer for any kind of reasons & that’s also why I value it a lot. If people hurt themselves because they can’t really deal with their emotions, that’s different as long you have been real & true to them, it’s the most important & it will not have any bad impact on your conscience, if you are honest to the world.
Then there is the complete opposite those that u will be unable to connect, even with all the efforts in the world & then there is the very few ones with this magnetic connection that I call true love. To me true love still needs to have a touch of freedom & just being able to be perfectly imperfect together, cause life is just too short to be stuck in a cage for someone, to be someone that u are not or to live as a sheep for the rest of your life, that surely isn’t true love to me. I also think that no love is twice the same, that’s why I wanna believe in forever, even though forever seems scary & beautiful at the same time, forever is still a paradox to me, because I think our needs change along the way & we should just be able to deal with it the right way to keep this special fire burning between two souls, which isn’t always easy, but surely possible & worth it.
I simply just think that the SOUL doesn’t lie, the soul is true, you should feel, be blessed & cherish for the ones that you truly go along with, as you should respect the ones that you don’t. I just think that this life is too beautiful & short, as it is too cruel sometimes to be unlived & that’s what make the beauty of it, so don’t wait until an unfortunate series of events happen to realize it. We all know that sometimes life doesn’t always go the way we want it to, but that’s what makes everything so interesting & it might be too late to realize it, so just fuck it, make mistakes, get back up, learn, grow & just LIVE!
I’m surely not the only one who thinks like that, but unfortunately too less people do & I think they are just affraid to break the routine, afraid of the new or maybe they fear life too much? I don’t really know, but if they just knew… And tell me what does it cost to explore the new, the mysteries? But hold on, I guess they think I’m insane to think that way which is ok for me, because that’s what make us so different from one another, but that’s also why this world will never really change for the better, because people are just affraid of the new & their own life. Remember, the ones who are mad to live are usually the ones who are crazy enough to change the world, but at the end we all know that they will not even be noticed, remembered or maybe yes as “BLACK SHEEPS”. But at the end is it wrong to be different?
I don’t think so, I really don’t think so for me it is a gift & I go along with it, with the strive to always get better in every way of my personal life & the right people around me. Because what you call the “BLACK SHEEPS” or the “CRAZY ONES” are usually the strongest most sensitive people with a heart of gold who has an understanding for life due their past scars, which make them vulnerable & who usually hide the deepest secrets. Isn’t it fascinating to carry a beautiful broken soul? I think it’s very special & the people who will understand you, take you as you are will bring the best out of you, those are the ones to be blessed for & to cherish cause those are the right ones. They think & love similar in many ways, while the rest can’t really figure out who you truly are & at the end it doesn’t really matter because remember the soul doesn’t lie, the soul is true & it will carry you to the ones who will light your path.-Conny Perrin
An interview with @Conny_Perrin from ITFGlasgow Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
During my time in Glasgow I met and caught up with our own Conny Perrin. I managed to get her thoughts on a few things including her career, ambitions and influences.
WTA Professional Conny Perrin
How are you enjoying your stay in Glasgow so far? “It’s my third time here, so I have already been here before. I really like the venue, it’s near the hotel and the city, so you can do lots of things outside of tennis and find ways to have fun. Also the organisation is really good, so I am very happy to be back here.”
What would you say is your career highlight thus far? “I played a few years a go in Birmingham at WTA level. It was my first time on grass, so I didn’t expect much, but I qualified for the main draw. It was very nice to be there and take part. Other moments I would say when you have important matches and win, but I enjoy every part of tennis so I am really happy.”
What is your main goal for the 2015 season? “My goal is to play at Roland Garros and make qualification there. I am currently ranked around 270, and need to be around 210, so that’s the goal I focus on at the moment with my team. My long term aim is to make the top 100 at some point however.”
I read that you idolise Stan Wawrinka. Can you explain how he has influenced you so far? ” He is a very hard worker and very dedicated, so for me he’s a great inspiration and a great player to watch.”
So how did you feel when he won the Australian Open in 2014? “I was so happy for him, and how hard he has worked it’s such a great feeling. He deserved to win it.”
What other players have you taken inspiration from? “I love Serena Williams. In every way as a player and person, she is very impressive and strong. So definitely Serena.”
Do you prefer to play singles or doubles? “I love singles, because you have to find a way by yourself. I love to compete and finding a way to win, so it’s an amazing feeling as a player. I also really love doubles when you find the right partner, because you can have fun and you are not alone all the time, so it’s a great mix to play both.”
What areas of your game would you like to improve the most? “I actually have a pretty complete game, sometimes it’s difficult to pick a specific area. But I can improve everywhere in my game, and my team are working very hard on that because there are always areas you can improve.”
How are you finding writing your blogs for Tennis Atlantic?
“It is really interesting, because I also like to write. It’s great to share my experiences with people, because many don’t understand what life on tour is like for someone in my position. I also like to write for myself, because I think about stuff I won’t think normally, so it’s great to get it down and make things clearer to myself too.”
Any thoughts on the recent Australian Open tournament? “For the women’s final, it was amazing to see Serena win again. She is so strong mentally and physically, so she is really tough to compete against her. Maria played a great match, because she hung in there and tried her best, but Serena was just too strong in the end.
For the men’s, I really like Novak Djokovic as he’s good player and personality for the sport. But personally I would have liked to see Andy Murray win because of his partnership with Amelie Mauresmo. They have been working hard, so I think Andy would have deserved it. There aren’t many women coaches on tour, so it’s nice to see women can do a great job too. As for the match itself, I feel the first two sets were very good, but Djokovic is just a step better and he was better physically and mentally, so he deserved it.”
Thank you again to Conny for participating in this wonderful interview with our on site journalist in Glasgow, Niall Clarke!
2015 Glasgow Challenger Day 3 Report: Bemelmans fends off Pavlasek, Naomi Broady advances Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
Another cold day in Glasgow meant another day of tennis for me to enjoy. Despite the freezing temperature outside, there was a lot of hot action in the Scotstoun leisure centre today.
Firstly I went to court 4 to see our own Conny Perrin take on the number five seed Ysaline Bonaventure. It was a fairly hot tempered affair, which contrasted nicely to the weather. Bonaventure’s lefty serve and flat groundstrokes were enough to see her take the lead in the opening set, but at 5-3 the Belgian failed to serve it out. Perrin tried to use her variety to wrestle control from her opponent, but soon enough the Swiss found herself a set down. Bonaventure continued that momentum in the second set securing an early break whilst her coach cheered her on next to me. Both players were very much amped up during the match. Both players threw their rackets to the floor in frustration, and had words with the umpire about questionable line calls. Bonaventure however managed to keep her cool enough to serve out the match. 6-3,6-4 being the final result to the Belgian who was a bit too powerful for Perrin.
Speaking after the match Perrin told me that it was a ‘difficult’ match and that Bonaventure adapted well to everything she tried. Conny also told me that the courts are playing very slow, so it was difficult to hit through her opponent.
Next up was the number one seed in the mens singles Alexsandr Nedovyesov vs Peter Torebko of Germany. The Kazakh’s possessed the bigger weapons, but he was also wildly inconsistent. The German had his own struggles on serve, with his percentage being 35 for the whole match. There were plenty of breaks in this one, as both players struggled to really get a grip on serve, the most significant example coming at the end of the first set. Nedovyesov served for the set but couldn’t convert, and then in a reverse of fortunes Torebko had his chance to serve for it at 6-5, but the German also failed to close out the set. Therefore we were treated to a tiebreaker, which was largely dominated by the Kazakh, who’s forehand and ability at the net proved too much for his opponent. Tempers flared during the match with both men getting visually frustrated because they couldn’t hold on to serve and build an advantage. In the end Nedovyesov gained the upper-hand and earned the chance to serve for the match. In what became the familiar theme in this match, the top seed struggled closing it out, but In the end he got the job done to take the match 7-6,6-4.
It was back to the women’s for my second viewing of young Brit Isabelle Wallace. The 17 year old however fell easily to fellow qualifier Chloe Paquet 6-1,6-1. A big lesson for the young Brit.
I stuck around to see an all British clash as third seed Naomi Broady faced Tara Moore in the women’s singles. The big serving Broady raced into a 5-1 lead in the opening set, and was looking like she was going to run away with the match. Moore had other plans however, and she battled back to get the score to 5-3 before eventually losing the set. The second went pretty much the same, with Broady’s aggressiveness getting the better of her more defensive opponent. The third seed raced into a 5-2 lead and a chance to serve out the match. What proceeded was by far the longest game of the match as match points and break points came and went like the sun in Britain. Broady remained strong enough to seal the match 6-3,6-2, but it wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests.
Speaking post match Broady said: “Tara is a really good player, and we know each other’s game really well. So when it gets down to the last few points and you know you are close, you start over thinking it a little bit. She also had nothing to lose in the end, so she decided to go for her shots a little more and it made it difficult for me”
Broady made the main draw at Wimbledon in 2014, making it to round two before being defeated by Caroline Wozniacki. She spoke of her experience: “It was amazing. Caroline is the same age as me, and I have known her since juniors, and she’s such a great player, so I was happy we had a reasonably competitive match. I managed to play on court 1 too which was incredible, as I had the home fans behind me. Most players think Wimbledon is the best grand slam, but it’s a bit more special for the British players.”
The final men’s singles match on court six was an interesting match between Adam Pavlasek and Ruben Bemelmans. Pavlasek competed in the Hopman cup for the Czech Republic, and Bemelmans competed in the Australian Open, losing to Ivo Karlovic in the first round. The Czech was under pressure in his first service game, but he pulled through and broke his Belgian opponent in the next game. Pavlasek held serve for the rest of the set to secure it 6-3. You got the sense that Bemelmans was working his way into the match more and more as the first set went along, and in the second set he started to turn the match around in his favour. The Belgian took it 6-3 with some impressive shots helping him level the score. Pavlasek however didn’t let losing the lead get to him, because he soon re-established it in the third set; breaking Bemelmans to love at 2-1. The Czech held out to serve for the match, but Bemelmans kept fighting and soon found himself level on the scoreboard. It was only a few games later when the turnaround was complete, as he took the third set 7-5 to complete the closest encounter I have witnessed this week.
Whilst Pavlasek and Bemelmans were going at it on court 6, an upset was brewing on court eight. Number two seed, Michal Przysiezny was in the top 100 a year ago, but 12 months on, he has found himself losing in the opening round of a challenger event. France’s David Guez came from behind to defeat the Pole 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in what looked like a thrilling encounter.
Other results in the men’s singles included Britain’s Daniel Cox beating Matwe Middelkoop in straight sets, 6-4,6-1. Axel Michon also finds himself in the second round after Yan Marti retired from a set and two breaks down. There were also wins for Julian Reister, Niels Desein and Jonathan Eysseric.
In the women’s, there were victories for top seed Maryna Zanevska and number two seed Kristyna Pliskova.
I’ll be back for my final day in Glasgow, hoping for some more great tennis.
Life On Tour With WTA Pro Conny Perrin: January 2015 Conny Perrin, Tennis Atlantic
January 2015 Update-Switzerland
Tournament Action in Germany and France
My season has finally started again. I went for my first tournament of the year in Stuttgart 10k on hard courts (Germany). I was very excited to be back and compete again after the hard work I put in during the pre-season for 7 weeks with my team: Joachim Weibull (tennis) & Johann Widenmark (fitness).
I lost in the second round there (in Stuttgart) to a girl (Sina Haas) who was just better than me that day & deserved to win, Of course I wasn’t satisfied with this result, but as we all know the first tournament of the year is never easy & can be tricky. I still felt pretty tired there of all the hard work I pulled off during the pre-season, but most important even though I lost against a player who was better than me that day, I gave it all & could learn a lot about myself from this tournament where I was with my tennis coach Joachim Weibull who helped me a lot, too.
In Stuttgart, I could play at least 3 matches (singles and doubles) before leaving home to Switzerland to have a few days off, reload, be as fresh & well prepared as I could for the next tournament, which was in Andrézieux-Bouthéon 25k on hard courts (France).
I arrived in France mentally & physically feeling fresher & rested, which was the plan. I had to play qualies there, which was also ok because the goal was to play a lot of matches & get back to competition better & better. Which I did. I won both of my qualies matches in straight sets & qualified for the Main Draw, where I won first round against 168 WTA & seed number 7 also in straight sets. I also passed the first round of doubles that day (Conny beat Apolline Rassat and Fiona Gervais in singles qualifying, then beat Naomi Broady in the main draw. In doubles, she and her partner Olga Doroshina of Russia beat a pair of doubles teams before losing in the semifinals).
I unfortunately lost second round of singles to #202 WTA Elista Kostova. I wasn’t able to take my chances that day & my opponent was just tougher than me in the important moments so she deserved to win, but again this match could bring me a lot to improve on, especially mentally. In doubles, I continued to win in the second round, but lost in semis later on. I finished the week with 7 matches (singles & doubs), a lot of positives to take with me and most importantly a lot to learn & improve for my next tournament which will be at the Glasgow 25k on indoor hard courts.
Before that, I will go home to Switzerland to get some rest, positive energy, calm down, go as fresh & clear as possible to Glasgow where I play singles & doubles again.
My thoughts on the Australian Open
I was really happy to see Murray make it to the final, first because I think he’s a great athlete & inspiration in general, but also because I think that his collaboration with Mauresmo shows great benefits on & off court. In my opinion, people underestimate too much the power of womens in sport or in general.
I think women have the right personality, a deep understanding for life + sport & who emotionally knows how to proceed + adapt to the person they are working with which isn’t always easy of course, but there are surely more strong women than we think out there who can do that & she’s definitely a great example, so I think we should make it a try more often & be more open about it.
There will always be some critics but that’s how life is. I still think people should understand more the fact of changing coaches whether it’s a man or woman doesn’t matter. The process of a great understanding between a coach, athlete & team takes time & sometimes for some reasons doesn’t work. Otherwise, it would be way easier to be surrounded by the right people, but it’s not always easy to find. There are so many factors who needs to be at the right place for the most perfect environment for the player to feel good & play great tennis in a consistent way.
Otherwise, I was happy to see Rafa Nadal back out there. He’s my biggest inspiration along with Stan Wawrinka in this sport for their hard work & fighting spirit. In the women’s, it was great to see Azarenka back & definitely I always like to follow Serena Williams, one of my greatest inspirations.
Life On Tour With WTA Pro Conny Perrin: December 2014 Conny Perrin, Tennis Atlantic
Greetings from Swiss WTA Pro Conny Perrin
December 2014 Update-Göteborg,Sweden
The 2014 season is now over for me. This season has been like a roller coaster with some positive and negative experiences. However, the negative experiences generated a very positive outcome. I have won more tournaments than ever before this year, both singles and doubles titles (4 ITF singles titles and 5 ITF doubles titles) . More importantly, I feel stronger, more positive, more energetic and more eager to go for it. But perhaps most important, I am blessed to have found a team – a tennis coach and a fitness coach and more good people around me, which isn’t always easy to find in the industry and especially when most of the time I was alone without much financial support beside my parents and other generous personal friends and connections until I was 19. It’s so important for an athlete to find people who truly understand you and know how to proceed – and therefore I know that some of the very difficult pieces in building my career are in place.
Conny won 9 ITF titles in 2014
My main goal right now is to qualify for Roland Garros qualies in 2015. I am currently working hard and preparing the best I can for 2015 with my team in Göteborg, Sweden. My other goals include playing Fed Cup for team Switzerland, reaching the WTA Top 100 and playing in a Grand Slam Main Draw. Most of all I, always want to give 100% effort and stay positive throughout this upcoming season.
Conny Perrin December 30, 2014
Conny working hard to prepare for the 2015 Season
Information about my coaches and the training facilities I use
In May of 2014, I got in contact with Joachim Weibull. Joachim is 48 years old and worked internationally throughout his career. Joachim has spent most of his time in Germany, USA and Sweden.
Joachim, together with my fitness coach Johan Widenmark, also a Swede with a solid base in tennis, and I have found what I know I have wanted for a long time. As a friend says: “You only know three things: You start off with nothing; you know what you do not want. you know what you want.”
Conny training with her coach Joachim
This Team – JWTA – is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and linked to PTBK which is a club renowned for its atmosphere and friendliness as well the rising tennis club with perhaps the most wanted staff in Sweden. JWTA base at PTBK provides me with a fantastic opportunity. Here, I am able to practice on perfect indoor and outdoor hard courts and also on clay indoors. JWTA is committed to focus on the individual and Joachim and Johan lives the dream of what they are doing. PTBK, as a club, is very personal and not at all a massive stadium. Moreover, some more people are linked to the efforts of JWTA and those are Mr. Pierre Dicksson, Ms. Nichole Wolf and Mr. Thomas Hoersman. They all have a passion for the sport in combination with their managerial skills from the legal, financial and corporate world which in combination with their international contacts and experience gives me further support.
Conny and her team
The setting of JWTA’s Academy in Gothenburg, right by the coast, is highly inspiring as well as meditative. All in all, the conditions, including housing etc. is well provided for me when I am in Sweden practicing. In addition, JWTA’s acknowledgement and willingness to travel with me is a blessing, something that will start in 2015.
Conny is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to help her secure additional funding so she can continue her quest to reach the WTA Top 100 in 2015. You can support her financially by clicking here (website in French)
Editors Note: Conny sent us a pair of writings, the first her December 2014 blog update, and the second about her coaching team and training locale. The two posts were combined.