Wimbledon qualifying

Quest to Qualify with Irina Falconi: Wimbledon Wrap-up and Player Party Fun

Follow American tennis player Irina Falconi in this “Quest to Qualify” player blog as she continues her journey through Europe playing Wimbledon qualifying this week. Currently ranked No. 182 in singles and 71 in doubles and traveling the tour most weeks of the year, she’s lost or damaged her smartphone more times than she wants to admit! So she’s glad she can rely on Protect Your Bubble’s Gadget Insurance to quickly cover her every need. Follow Falconi on Twitter for more of her fun insights at @IrinaFalconi! (Catch Parts 12 and 3 of her blog.)

Well friends, what are you going to do?

All it takes is a break in each set, and there’s the match. I have to give it up for my third round opponent at Wimbledon qualifying, Ajla Tomljanovic. She played great! I don’t know if she’ll read this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets to the third round of the main draw, at least.

Anyway, you might be wondering what a player does when their day doesn’t go the way as planned. Well for me, I will tell you how it went.

I got off the court after my loss, went to ride the bike and stretch, and then — I got the heck out of there. I had a sandwich to go and then I was on my way. I had my pity party for about 15 minutes, and then it was back to reality. Why reality? Because at the end of the day:

  1. It’s just a tennis match
  2. There’s still a chance for a lucky loser spot, and last but not least,
  3. There are A LOT of worse things in life than losing a tennis match

Granted, after a tennis match, you can get really upset by smashing your racquet, screaming, crying. But guess what? Life goes on.

So what did I decide to do Thursday after my match?

I went home, showered, did some homework, watched some tv, and then got ready for the Pre-Wimbledon player party. I mean, why not? I had a great time there with a few friends, and a fantastic photo booth that had way too many good props.

Irina Falconi Pre-Wimbledon Player Party_3

So yes folks, it definitely does suck to lose a match, excuse my language, but hey, life goes on! And the great thing about tennis is that there’s always next week with another tournament, and another opportunity!

Enjoy these pictures from the party as much as I enjoyed being in them. Ha!

-IF

Irina Falconi Pre-Wimbledon Player Party_1

Irina Falconi Pre-Wimbledon Player Party_2

Quest to Qualify with Irina Falconi: One Good Week Can Be Life-Changing in Tennis

Follow American tennis player Irina Falconi in this “Quest to Qualify” player blog as she continues her journey through Europe playing Wimbledon qualifying this week. Currently ranked No. 182 in singles and 71 in doubles and traveling the tour most weeks of the year, she’s lost or damaged her smartphone more times than she wants to admit! So she’s glad she can rely on Protect Your Bubble’s Gadget Insurance to quickly cover her every need. Follow Falconi on Twitter for more of her fun insights at @IrinaFalconi! (Catch Parts 1 and 2 of her blog.)

What up world!

Alright, so I am listening to the most intense song right now as I write this. I have to tell you, music really makes my life so much better. I mean, when I’m doing high jumps and working out, how can I not have Eminem and 50 Cent blasting in the background ? I have other favorite artists but those two can really fire you up!

So, I totally tweeted this earlier but here it goes, “One is in da books!” Like I wrote in my previous blog, it’s all about that first win on the grass court. It’s amazing how one match can be the start of something so amazing.

Think about it. Let’s just say you’re 150 in the world. You win your first Wimbledon qualifying match, you go on to qualify, and then win a few main draw matches. Hello cash money, hello top 75, and hello opportunity!

Hence, if you’re around long enough on the tour you’ll hear this phrase more than once: “It takes just one good week.”

And it’s so true. You can have one incredible performance, and it can be life-changing, if I’m not being too bold. I mean, someone can come out of nowhere and beat a top 5 player first round on the biggest stage — hello sponsors! Fan base? Check. Media attention? Check. The list goes on and on. Suddenly, the perks are flowing like the Salmon of Capistrano. Ever heard of an appearance fee, or a free room for your coach? It can all happen in the blink of an eye.

It takes just one good tournament. Or, in the case of this picture of me in my youth (at right), one good article in a local newspaper…(Throwback Thursday? Why not Throwback Tuesday?) 🙂

The bottom line: One big tournament or one great win can change your tennis career and outlook in a hurry, not to mention the number of digits in your bank account.

If that doesn’t fire you up to get on the court, I don’t know what will.

Cheers from the rainiest city in the world (other than Forks, and maybe Seattle…) Hmm, maybe I should just say rainiest tennis tournament city in the world? Does that work? Today it will…

-IF

In Photos: Wimbledon Day One Qualies with Sock, Williams, Rice

(June 17, 2013) Day One of the Wimbledon men’s qualifying tournament wrapped up on Monday, and saw some surprises including top seed Dudi Sela being ousted.

The day’s winners included David Rice of Great Britain as he defeated German Sebastian Rieschick, 6-3, 6-2; Aussie James Duckworth overpowered Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, 6-3, 6-1; American Rhyne Williams worked Victor Crivoi over, 6-2, 6-4; and Canadian Steven Diez had a close win against Fabiano De Paula, 7-6(6), 7-5.

American hopeful Jack Sock and Brit Dan Evans both lost in the first round.

Photos of all these players and more in the Monday gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Christopher Levy below.

[nggallery id=132]

Quest to Qualify with Irina Falconi: Wimbledon Scoop on Qualies vs Main Draw Luxuries

Follow American tennis player Irina Falconi in this “Quest to Qualify” player blog as she continues her journey through Europe playing Wimbledon qualifying this week. Currently ranked No. 182 in singles and 71 in doubles and traveling the tour most weeks of the year, she’s lost or damaged her smartphone more times than she wants to admit! So she’s glad she can rely on Protect Your Bubble’s Gadget Insurance to quickly cover her every need. Follow Falconi on Twitter for more of her fun insights at @IrinaFalconi! (Catch Part 1 of her blog here.)

Happy Monday everyone!!

Before I get started, I want to just suggest a music video for everyone to watch. The name of the song is “Waiting All Night” by Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre. No, they didn’t pay me to promote them on my blog, I just think it’s an awesome video about overcoming a life change. The video is based on a real life-story so it’s pretty intense, but the song itself is super as well.

Now that we’re all inspired, back to a little something called Wimbledon, right?

I’ve been in my place for a few nights now, and I’ve already started calling it “home” oddly enough. The reason why any tennis player has a hotel room is to sleep pretty much. I’m not trying to state the obvious but there can be days (especially during Wimbledon) where you can stay on site the entire day.

Two years ago, I remember finishing a match, and about two minutes after I was done, the rain started. It didn’t stop for three days. How do you think us tennis players possibly deal with that? The answer is internet. And books. Lots of music. And games. Cards, Uno, backgammon, and the wonderful Skype. I mean, how do you say “decline” to a Skype video call from your cat? I don’t think that it’s possible.

Anyway, so here we are, playing in Roehampton. Not in Wimbledon, you ask? Oh no, sir. Wimbledon is so prestigious that you HAVE to be in the main draw (whether doubles or singles) to have access to the Wimbledon grounds. They don’t play around over here. Granted, the Roehampton courts are super nice, but there’s something almost magical about Wimbledon. It’s a combination of tradition and prestige, along with the amount of history and the all-white code. Gets you every time. I have discussed with players before about which Grand Slam they would like to win if they could choose, and a lot of the times it’s Wimbledon.

Roehampton is about ten minutes away from Wimbledon. At first it looks like there is just a huge grass field, and nothing but fields. But if you look past the field, you’ll see these green six foot curtains that hide the beautifully kept grass courts. The practice courts are even past that, and they too, have been kept nicely until us crazy tennis players come, and go nuts on the baseline. The baselines and service lines look like dirt patches by the end of the qualifying tournament.

There are a few differences between Bank of England (Roehampton) and the All England Club (Wimby.) For one, the facilities. Two, the size. And three, the most obvious: it’s NOT Wimbledon.

Now, now, I don’t want to step on any toes here, or make anyone upset, but I have a feeling the fans should know the difference between qualifying and main draw.

The joy of qualifying at Wimbledon is super thrilling. I remember two years ago when I qualified, it was the best thing ever. I had never been so happy. For having only played one pro tournament previous to Wimby qualis that year, it was truly amazing. For me, it was more the idea of being able to be at Wimbledon that gave me the most incentive. The locker rooms are nicer there, the atmosphere is brighter, and you stakes are higher.

As many will attest to, qualifying is amazing. That last match, that last point, is legendary. But think about it, it’s all about that first match! Once you have that one under your belt, I feel that it’s anybody’s game. Why? Because grass is so different from any other surface. Clay can be grindy. You can get it together in the third set if need be, and get it done. Hard can be anybody’s game as well, depending on how fast the hard court is. Grass? I mean, it can change in a second. I know that overall the women’s game is just a game of momentum, but it can go so so quick. There are matches that could have gone 6-2, 6-3, and finished in about 40 minutes. That’s unheard of in a clay court match due to its slower pace.

It’s all about the first match. That first point. That first serve or return. That is when the tension is most high. By the third match, you have found a sort of grass groove, and it’s anybody’s game. But get that first match, and as British recording artist Ellie Goulding would say, “Anything could happen.”

-IF

Quest to Qualify with Irina Falconi: Touched Down in London Town!

Follow American tennis player Irina Falconi in this “Quest to Qualify” player blog as she continues her journey through Europe, playing warm-up events on the grass in preparation for Wimbledon qualifying. Currently ranked No. 159 in singles and 70 in doubles and traveling the tour most weeks of the year, she’s lost or damaged her smartphone more times than she wants to admit! So she’s glad she can rely on Protect Your Bubble’s Gadget Insurance to quickly cover her every need. Follow Falconi on Twitter for more of her fun insights at @IrinaFalconi!

Well, hello there peeps!

It’s been a while! And, YES, I have totally missed every single one of you – promise!

Anyway, guess where I am writing you from?! Yup, “Just touched down in London Town!” What a great song. But I’m actually not listening to that. I’ve been on this Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris thing—yeah it’s been going on for a while, and on repeat really. YouTube has these awesome mixes with great music that you can just listen to all day long. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.

But back to London. I’m here already getting ready to try and qualify for this one tournament called Wimbledon. Yeah, it’s got, like, lots of tradition and stuff. Something about strawberries and cream?? I qualified two years ago and then last year had the distinct honor of drawing Victoria Azarenka in the first round. Quality opponent.

This is random but have you ever had falafel? I’m going to go ahead and tell you that it’s awesome, truly legendary. I’d never had one until I arrived in Paris three weeks ago, and I just found a place right next to my apartment that has AMAZING falafels. I’ve been in London for about 7 hours, and I’m already a regular.

This morning, I left Birmingham which was my first grass tournament this season, and apparently it was good timing because it’s been raining there all day. But then again, this IS England! Rain delays, anyone?

Before I continue, I’ll go ahead and say that I welcome your questions about the goings on of the tour and all that fun stuff. You can expect more in-depth coverage from the insider-scoop book I am working on about all things professional tennis, but these blogs are a great way to just give you some info of what really goes down.

For example, did you know that just like most people, we indeed need to do laundry? Yeah, I was being sarcastic there, but still … I’m pretty sure Roger Federer doesn’t do laundry. He probably has an outfit for every hour of the day if need be. Which, Fed, if you’re reading this — THAT’S AWESOME!

Another thing that the British do well? Television. I think that their  shows are absolutely hilarious, and I have thoroughly been enjoying every single channel. I think The Simpsons over here is actually funnier, although one has to wonder why they don’t have British accents.

Wimbledon starts next Tuesday for qualifiers, so this “Quest to Qualify” blog shall surely be continued!!

-IF