When the Fall semester ended, I was lucky enough to be able to go home to see my family and friends for only a short 3 weeks. However, those 3 weeks were filled with good times. Skiing in the French Alps in week 1, Christmas and birthday celebrations in week 2, and my girlfriend flying over to visit me in the Netherlands in week 3. It was great to see and spend time with my parents again and to see the rest of my family. The break flew by quickly… 3 weeks is the shortest winter break I have had in my time in college, and that is what it felt like. However, there are worse things in the world than traveling back to Austin for my final semester and final season of college. Mixed feelings come in when thinking about graduating. On one hand, I am ready to take the next step and to finally get my diploma, but on the other hand it is weird to think about not playing competitive tennis anymore. I have played tennis since I was about 5 years old and have dedicated my entire childhood to tennis, so it is a strange thought to all of a sudden not have to think about practice, matches, and my physical conditions anymore. For now, I am trying to enjoy my final season, and not to think about it too much.

As I got back to the States after winter break, I started the season by getting a cortisone shot in my ankle. My ankle had been increasingly bothering me over the fall semester, and a cortisone shot was apparently needed to get me through one more semester. My ankle has been feeling surprisingly good since, so I am not complaining so far. After having a couple of weeks to acclimate, our practices started and we were slowly starting to get ready for our first match, against Saint Edwards. St. Ed’s is a ranked D2 school, which is obviously a tough opponent for a D3 school like us. However, the team had been practicing well, and there has been a lot of competition for spots on the line up, which is always good to have in your team. As St. Edwards is located in Austin just like we are, we played at a neutral sight in Austin. Starting off with doubles, we lost 2 out of the three doubles, including mine. However, our nr. 3 doubles had a great win. We went on to play some tough singles matches. Our nr. 1 played a good match and won impressively, while our line 3-6 lost. I was the last match on, and played a thriller. After being down 6-2 4-1, I managed to come back and win the match 7-6 in the third set, which gave me a great win.

Not gonna lie, after that match my body was extremely tired and I had never felt older, but after some recovery days I was fine to keep going. A week later we had our second match, against Schreiner University, a D3 school that we should beat, and did beat. We had some issues figuring out doubles, but were able to take all the singles matches and won the match 7-2. I played nr 1 in that match and played decent enough to beat my opponent 6-0 6-4.

Right now, we are getting ready for our next matches. We have one more weekend off followed by matches every weekend. We have some good schools ahead of us, such as Trinity, who are ranked in the country in D3. However, our team is looking impressive and we should be able to do some damage this year. In March, we have our spring break, and we now have finalized plans to go to Portland Oregon for a part of our spring break, to play matches up there, so there are a lot of exciting things ahead of us, and things to look forward to for me in my last semester!

Besides tennis, I am enjoying my time in Austin a lot. I wish the weather would be better, since it has been fairly cold here, to a point where we even had snow in Texas, which is kinda special. The weather has been very on and off, as I have felt snow, and already laid down by the pool in the same week. We have been able to somewhat relax in the beginning of the semester before tennis started, but now we are getting very busy, and sightseeing in Austin will have to wait for a bit.

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