At the end of May I represented the United States, for the first time, on the Women’s team at the 2013 World Team Cup held in Antalya, Turkey. This year, all of matches were held on clay courts. It was the first time I had played on clay, but after three days of training before the tournament started, I was ready to play some matches.
This year, I was ranked third on the Women’s team so I wasn’t going to see any singles matches. However, I gained some valuable experience from the doubles matches I played. My first match was against the Netherlands. We had lost both of the singles matches so I was put in to play the dead doubles rubber. The Dutch women had won this tournament 25 times before, so it was going to be a difficult match. I got play two top-ten players: Sharon Walraven and Jiske Griffioen (both of them have had a career high singles ranking of second in the world). I played with Kaitlyn Verfeurth and we had absolutely no pressure to win the match. I started off the match strong, and I am very happy with the way I played that day. Unfortunately, we lost 5-7, 4-6. However, that match was a signal that I am getting better and I am getting closer to competing at a top level.
My second match was against Luba Josevski and Sarah Calati from Australia. The singles were won—dropping only one game in four sets. My match wasn’t the best match, and Kaitlyn and I were down most of the time. Our goal was to not lose the match by ourselves. In the end we pulled through 7-5, 7-5. We had a day off before our final match and we practiced twice that day to get all the bad shots out of our systems.
Our final day of play was against Chile. We were playing for 9th place, and the singles matches were close. They were won, though, and I was put in to play the doubles one last time. This was my last chance to perform on the trip, so I gave it my all and played my game. This time I played with Emmy Kaiser. Even though I was nervous the first couple of games, we were able to win an easy match 6-2, 6-0.
Representing the US at my third World Team Cup was an extraordinary experience. I am lucky that I got to compete against some of the top players in the world, and I gained a lot of experience from the matches I played. Now that I am back home, I have a lot confidence that I can move forward based on my performance in Turkey.