• thelittlegiant

Titles are Sweet

When I returned from AO Qualifying in Dubai, I knew I had to assess my career as a whole. The few days in isolation (at home) helped me to gather my thoughts in terms of how I wanted to handle my tennis for the rest of the year. It was clear to me that I needed to do things differently and make adjustments to my preparation.

With a few additions to my team, a fresh environment was created to help manage me from a physical, mental, and emotional standpoint. Together with my team, I put in five weeks of solid training leading up to Newport, and this time around I felt the preparation was aligned with who I was and how I wanted to do things. Practice intentions were more organized, workload was managed, and a mindset was solidifying.

When the week of the tournament rolled around; I felt a little mental fatigue from all the preparation, but worked to reframe the feeling as nerves and eagerness to finally compete. I could have left this bit out from my blog post, but I think it's important to note that an athlete is not impenetrable just because they have a solid team and preparation in place.

After a weeks worth of driving 100 miles per day roundtrip to Newport Beach, being rained out one day, and doubling up on singles matches on the next, I found myself still in it on Sunday. It has been a while since I've competed this many back to back days, but I was pleasantly surprised with how fresh I felt on finals day. (Quick shoutout to Leo who is not pictured here for building my fitness for the past 3 months.)

To say the least, it felt freeing to compete in a space where I trusted the work and accepted all the imperfections the sport has to offer me. I try to refrain from letting results gratify me, but I would be lying if I didn't say it was an amazing feeling to raise my arms up at the end of the final battle.

Aside from being immersed in a long focused week, I got to spend lots of quality time with my mom during our car rides, rain delays, and before/in between matches. By finals day we had a great routine down and I felt like I filled her in on the latest layers of my tennis journey. With all the potential risks and travel restrictions from the pandemic, I wasn't sure when she would be able to see me play in person again, so it was pretty sweet to have this event local. At the end of it all, it was super special to string together back to back performances while being supported by someone who have been there from the beginning.

Off Court Corner

I haven't gotten a chance to write about one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. Midway through the pandemic, I received an email from Picky Bars asking to be the next wrapper star on their newest flavor Mint Condition. A part of me couldn't believe it. I truly love the Picky Bars products and am a fan of everything their company is about, so it was super hard for me to keep this a secret until the launch date (6 months later).

To be featured on their latest product exceeded any expectations I ever had since we started this partnership. In a way it was somewhat a dream come true to be the face of a product that I genuinely identify with.

Here's the picture that inspired the wrapper art and a promo video shot with the help of my sister, boyfriend, and Riley. It's been such a cool experience to be a part of this Mint Condition project and I am so excited to see what's next for Picky and me in the future!

Click here to try out Mint Condition and use promo code: DANIELLESENTME at check out to get 20% off your purchase!

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