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Martin's Weekend Diary

Oct. 3, 2007

USF sophomore Mylene Martin, a 2007 WCC Women's Tennis Honorable Mention selection and native of France, gave her insight on the three-day Cal Nike Invitational which concluded on Sunday to USFDons.com. Martin finished the event second in the consolation bracket.

This past weekend, the Dons and I kicked off our season with the first tournament of the fall. It was really exciting for all of us since we haven't been playing competitively for several months.

There were a lot of really tough teams out there ready to compete. Northwestern flew all the way here; Cal, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Fresno State and Long Beach State made the trip, among others like our "rivals" Santa Clara and Saint Mary's.

On Friday morning, at 6:30am everybody was ready to go and pumped up for a really long but thrilling day. The doubles were first as usual. Emma Taylor and freshman Cecilia Gratian, also known as the energizer bunny, were the unfortunate first ones to lose in one of the many matches we had with Arizona State University. Then Jessica Kapoor and Nisha Dixit lost against a team from University of Arizona. To finish the doubles part of the day, Jenny Sperry and I won against another team from Arizona State.We were really happy to win because we have barely played together.

Furthermore, Jenny had the great idea of telling me right before we got on the court that this team might have been in the finals last year as well as possibly being ranked. So great start! As we walk out of the court, she says,"Maybe I mixed up them up with another team." We both laughed. Anyway this victory was nice for us and we had all the girls cheering for us as they got back from their own matches.

Then the singles came. I was really excited because we haven't competed in so long that it feels really great to be back into it. For my part, I finished at 9:50am with doubles, went to the second site, and jumped into my singles match. At least I didn't have to think!!

As the match went by, however, I thought, "This is do-able". But after the gain of the first set, my opponent just started to hit winner after winner. I couldn't get myself back on track and lost 6-2 and 6-1 in the second and third set. This was really frustrating. But I had to regroup and focus for the consolation.

I had an hour to relax, forget and watch some of my teammates' matches. Jenny Sperry got a great win for her first match and played really well. Unfortunately, I couldn't watch everybody because they played at the same time as the main site. (Who had this great idea of doing two sites, anyway???) Even though it was freezing, you could see it as Hilary had her very famous down jacket and two layers of pants on. Everyone was cheering for each other with their hot Starbucks in their hands. Then everybody got back to business for our second round of singles.

Only Jenny had won her first round so we all wanted to bring back some more wins. As I went back on the court my only thought was not to leave the court until I had won. I was happy as I got an easy win that put me back on track. Unfortunately, the energizer bunny couldn't do anything against this huge girl from Fresno State, who, by the way, won the consolation.

As we were watching Cecilia, Jenny got back from her second round with her famous saying,"I got pissed in 10 minutes." The girl, just to give an idea, was twice Jenny's height and width. Joana, who came to help us, came back and said, "I didn't even know what to tell her. She was insane." Nisha, and Emma put up really good fights but couldn't close it out. After 11 or so hours, everybody got back home to enjoy a good night sleep.

The next day, at 6:30am, (again!) everybody was back, this time with soreness. So we could hear all over Berkeley, "Aren't you sore? Yes, I'm soooo sore!" But as doublse started, the soreness was forgotten. And to help, the sun was back in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, everybody lost either in consolation or in the main draw. I played pretty well with Jenny, but we couldn't put it together which was a little frustrating.

Only Nisha, Jessica and I were left with singles. As I got back on the court, although I was sore, I felt pretty confident. The opponent was pretty good so I was happy to close it out in two straight sets. Unfortunately, Nisha and Jessica didn't get the same luck. After less than 10 hours, I was the only one to come back for the final day. But those two days with the team were good to build back the bond, and have fun with them.

For the final day, we still took the big van, which felt too calm, as only Hilary and I were in it. I was pretty anxious for my match. The girl I faced, played well and she is a lefty. So, as I won 6-4, 6-4, after a really physically challenging match, I felt really released. So does Hilary.

For the last match, I expected another match against Arizona State. But this time around, the dual doesn't go my way. So, after an hour and a half of trying everything, my nice trip through the consolations ends with a hard 6-2, 6-1. I'm disappointed to end such a nice weekend that way, but overall the whole tournament was a success, considering this was our first. Although some of the girls didn't get a chance to show everything they had, they all put 100% in every match and I know that their chance will come soon enough.

Thank you everyone for those long hours on and off the court, for those memorable words, laughs and pictures!!!!!

Lastly, take note. We have Saint Mary's in two weeks. Go DONS!