South African Open

Only the top 12 quad tennis players in the world rankings on May 23 will qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games, scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from September 9-18. As such, the end of March was a busy season with lots of travel. I just finished competing in two tournaments in Johannesburg, South Africa - the Airport Company Gauteng Open and then, immediately after, the South African Open.

Overall, the two tournaments went really well! For the Airport Company Gauteng Open, I was runner up in singles and won doubles. At the South African Open, I finished as singles runner up and made it to the doubles semi-finals. I am now the number two quad tennis player in the world!

While it was a good series, it was a very emotionally challenging tournament. The first night in Johannesburg, we were robbed at gunpoint by four men in front of our hotel. They had followed us from the airport and approached our car at the hotel security gate. It was a scary time. These men took our backpacks, one of my teammate’s rackets and his clothing bag. We were all uninjured - just pretty shaken up. Wheelchair Tennis South Africa was great. Following the experience, they assisted us to get to American embassy to sort out our passports, replaced our equipment and clothes and medical assistance. Let’s just say it feels great to be back home in the good old United States of America.

Since returning home, I have been back to training. I started a new eight-week training block earlier this week. I had an interview for University of California San Diego Health Sports Medicine. They have been very helpful in keeping me healthy during my training for the Rio Summer Games. It was a really fun interview - they even did my makeup for the pictures! I can’t tell a difference, but I’ll let you be the judge. Here are a few pictures from the interview.

David

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