Cory Parr Pro Transition Blog #10 – Decisions

More year-end stats for Cory Parr, plus a new blog entry below.

Cory played 10 tournaments as a professional this year, beginning in June: 8 ITF Futures events and 2 ATP Challenger Tour events. In singles, he won 11 matches and lost 8, earning $2,416 in prize money.

In doubles, he made the semi-finals or better in all 8 Futures events he played, winning 6 of them, earning $2,807 in prize money.

Here is Cory’s latest blog entry from GEM Tennis:

Hey everyone. I just got home to New York after a few weeks of traveling to Virginia and Tennessee. My last tournament in Tennessee did not go so well. I had to play my doubles partner Todd in the first round of qualifying. Obviously, just like last time, it was very weird playing your best friend and someone you always travel with. This time however unlike in Mexico, I was able to focus on my game and what I needed to do, and was able to pull out the win 7-5 in the third set. It was not fun playing Todd, but I was happy that I played a pretty good match. In the second round of qualifying, I lost 7-6 in the third set after having a chance to serve out the match being up 5-3 in the third set. It was definitely disappointing not to be able to close out that match, but there are so many matches to be played that I cannot let this one bother me too much. It was a little upsetting of a tournament, but overall, I thought it was a successful trip being able to see that level of tennis on the Challenger tour. Everything is still a learning experience for me, so I am happy to take in as much knowledge and experience everything that I can in order to help me succeed on tour.

This time of the year on tour is the off season. There really are not many tournaments going on, so it is a good time to relax from tennis for a little while, and then start seriously training to get ready for next year. Currently I am debating whether I will be traveling for two tournaments in the Dominican Republic right after thanksgiving. It is going to be a tough decision for me, because one side of me wants to go pick up more points, so that I have a higher ranking starting next year. While the other side of me thinks that I have played enough and it is a good time now to reflect on the year, set new goals for next year, and start training and working on my game. I think a really important thing that I have learned, is that you cannot keep playing tournaments every week. Making sure that you set up a schedule where you get good training in with a coach is really important in the development of your game. Traveling to a lot of tournaments and picking up points is great, but if your not working on and developing your game, then its kind of a waste. There are definitely some important things I need to work on, and it is important that I set aside time to develop and get better.

I have been working with a coach in North Carolina who has really began to help me understand the importance of setting goals, and having a plan to achieve those goals. So from now until the end of the year I will be in the gym a lot to try and put on some weight and work on some things with my game that need to improve in order for me to achieve my goals. Being in New York is also a difficult place to train because of the weather. So in December I am going to Arizona with a few friends on tour to train in some nicer weather. That is all for now.

CP

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Cory Parr Pro Transition Blog #9 – Charlottesville Challenger

Wrapping up his first calendar year of professional tennis, Cory Parr played in his first two Challenger level events, in Charlottesville, Virginia and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Below is a blog entry Cory wrote while in Charlottesville. He and Todd Paul ended up losing to Donald Young and Kevin Anderson (a top-150 doubles player), 6-3, 6-4.

After Charlottesville, it was on to Knoxville. In the first round of singles qualifying in Knoxville, Cory beat his former Wake Forest teammate and doubles partner for the event, Todd Paul (#590), in a very close match: 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3), 7-5. He lost in the second round of qualifying to Sweden’s Marcus Sarstrand (who had been ranked as high as #240 in the world in 2005), in another close match, 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-7(5).

Cory and Todd got a wildcard into the doubles main draw in Knoxville, but unfortunately lost to Purav Raja and Somdev Devvarman in the first round.

All-in-all, it was a solid first few months of professional tennis for Cory. He is currently at career high rankings of #822 in singles and #397 in doubles. In a forthcoming blog entry, Cory reflects on some decisions he will be making going into next year.

Here is Cory’s Charlottesville blog post from GEM Tennis:

Hey everyone. It’s been a while since my last blog entry. Right now, I’m in Charlottesville, Virginia for a $50,000 Challenger event. This tournament is a step up from what I’ve been competing in the past couple of months. This is a really tough tournament with a lot of great players, including two top 100 world ranked players. I traveled to Virginia with my doubles partner Todd Paul. Since our rankings aren’t high enough we had both had to play the qualifying tournament to get into the main draw of the event. I played three really tough matches to qualify, fighting hard to win all in three sets and even saving a match point in my qualifying match against a tough player from Romania, Catalin Gard. In Challengers, it’s really nice because you gets ATP points when you qualify, as in futures you dont get any points when you qualify and only get 1 point for winning your first round. Also, Todd and I were fortunate to get a Wildcard into the main draw of doubles because of the success we’ve been having together.

In the first round of singles I played Scoville Jenkins. It was a really tough match that I lost 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. It was definitely a huge adjustment playing a guy like Scoville because he hits the ball so hard, and to be honest I was not used to the pace. That really showed in the first set where I lost 6-1. However, in the second set I started getting used to the pace of his ball and I started to feel more comftroable stepping up on the baseline to dictate more. That was a match where I had to focus extremely hard because any opening that you gave him he would step in and take advantage of his opportunity. It was definitely a different match than I am used to playing, but it was good for me to show myself that I am able to play with these guys. So much about playing with these guys is fighting hard and believing that you belong on the court with them. You can really tell the difference being at a challenger than at a future by how these players act both on and off the court. You can just sense this serious confidence that everyone here has about themselves and their tennis. Being here you can tell that these guys are on a mission to do whatever it takes to be successful. I think that this is something that is very good for me to see and understand this early in my career.

In doubles, Todd and I had a really good win taking out the number one seeds Treat Huey and Harsh Mankad. I thought that Todd and I played a really good and solid match. The team that we played has been having a lot of sucess together, winning a few challenger events in the past. This was also a good match for us to see how good we are together as a team. Treat Huey is ranked 160 in the world in doubles and Harsh Mankad is 103. So it is nice to see that we are able to play with and even beat players at this level. Our next doubles match is tonight against Donald Young and Kevin Anderson. Hopefully, we’ll be able to play well and pull out another win. That is all for now.

CP

Cory Parr Pro Transition Blog #8 – Leaving Mexico, Back in the USA

A posting by Cory on GEM Tennis from October 11th as he was leaving Mexico is below.

Since then, he won the doubles in the USTA Futures event in Austin, Texas with Connor Pollock (his sixth doubles title in eight tournaments as a professional, with three different partners), and recently qualified for the main draw in the $50K USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he plays world #230 Scoville Jenkins in the first round.

Cory and Todd Paul got a wild card into the main draw of the doubles and will face the #1 seeds, Indian doubles specialist Harsh Mankad (world #103) and form Virginia Cavalier Treat Huey (world #168).

From GEM Tennis:

Hi everyone. I’m currently sitting on a bus that is taking me from Monterrey,Mexico to Austin Texas. I think we’re about 30 minutes from the border. This should be pretty interesting!! I’m taking the week off from singles but am going to Austin to play doubles with my friend Connor Pollock who played for Texas A&M. It was a good week for me in Monterrey. Looking back I feel that during this tournament, I played some really good tennis.

After my last post, I had a really good win by beating the number 1 seed Miguel Gallardo 7-6, 6-3. I thought that I played a really solid and a focused match in front of the Mexican fans that were all cheering against me. A few hours after that singles match, Todd and I went on for our semifinal doubles match. It was a really tough match where we had 2 match points but lost 13-11 in the third set tiebreaker. It was a really tough loss, but I think we will be able to use that match and learn from it.

The next day Todd and I had to play each other in the singles semifinals. That was very weird as we are best friends and have never played before in a tournament. We practice everyday together and know one another so well. It was a little weird as we were both staying in the same hotel together and doing everything together. We even warmed up with each other before the match. During the match, we were both playing pretty bad tennis. Todd with his experience gave me a beating 6-2 6-2. It was not fun playing him but it is something that has a great chance of happening as we travel so much together to these tournaments. It was such a mental match, and I think we both had a lot of trouble forgetting who was on the other side of the net.

Anyway I guess the match was a good learning experience as this entire trip was. I’m very happy with my trip to Mexico as I was able to play in a lot of competitive matches and pick up a decent amount of ATP points that should help my ranking in both singles and doubles. It was also a great experience just being out here playing somewhere different. Being in three different cities in three weeks was very cool. I’ve enjoyed my stay.

For now, I’ll be in Texas playing doubles with Connor and will most likely be going to North Carolina to train with my coach there. Hope to start some doubles success with Connor in Austin. That is all for now.

CP

Cory Parr Pro Transition Blog #7 – Mexico, Part 2

A second posting by Cory on GEM Tennis from Mexico, October 9th:

Hi everyone. I’m still in Monterrey Mexico for my last tournament of the trip. It has been a pretty good tournament so far. Yesterday I won my first round in singles after saving a match point in the second set. It was a really tough match against a good player from Holland who was playing with a lot of confidence after last weeks tournament where he reached the finals. It’s definitely a good confidence booster for the upcomming rounds to win a tough 3 set match where we were on the court for three and a half hours.
Earlier today, in the next round, I beat the 6th seed from Argentina Maximilia Estevez. It was a pretty good match where I thought I played pretty well. Tomorrow in the quarterfinals I play the number 1 seed who I lost to last week. I know it will be a really tough match, but I hope to be able to learn from my previous match against him and use that to my advantage.

In doubles, Todd Paul and I have also been playing well. We have won our first few rounds and are now in the semifinals. The weather here in Monterrey has been really hot and humid. I feel like everytime we walk outside we start to sweat. Todd and I are always drinking a ton of water and gatorade to make sure that we stay hydrated. The last thing that we want out here is to be on the court in a long match and start to cramp because we haven’t been drinking enough.

So far I have been traveling and playing tournaments for about 3 months. It seems that on every trip I learn so much more about myself and what I need to do. This trip I’ve learned so much about the importance of taking care of myself. I know that sounds really simple, but trust me from experience, it’s really easy ignore subtle pains and be too lazy to take care of it. During this trip I probably spend a couple of hours a day icing, stretching, taping my body, and even sometimes getting massages. When your out on the road for a few weeks, especially not in the best of conditions, your body tends to break down a little. Whether you are a little sick, and/or sore from playing a lot, you really need to focus on that and make sure you go about getting better as soon as possible. It’s crazy how one little sore shoulder or elbow can lead to something really serious to the point where you cannot compete in these tournaments anymore. I’m saying this as I have ice on my ankle from when I rolled in last week. Anyway, tomorrow will be a long and tough day with singles and doubles. I hope to continue playing well. That’s all for now!

CP

Cory Parr Pro Transition Blog #6 – Mexico

The following wsa posted by Cory on GEM Tennis on October 6th:

Hi everyone. Right now, I’m sitting in my hotel room in Monterrey Mexico. I came over here to Mexico with my doubles partner Todd Paul. Todd and I have been doing very well together, so we figured we would travel together over here to try and continue our success. This is our third and final week here in Mexico. This is the first time in my tennis career that I have competed in professional tournaments outside of the country. Overall it has been a great experience. I have learned a lot from being out here and I’ve had some success picking up some ATP points in both singles and doubles to help boost up my ranking. At these tournaments, picking up ATP points is what everyone is after, not the money. The money is pretty bad. The more points you accumulate, the higher your ranking gets. The idea is to grind through these futures events to help build up your ranking to get into challenger events, and then the ultimate goal, to get into ATP events.

My first week in Mexico was in a city named Leon. Leon is a pretty nice city, however it was almost impossible to find someone in Leon that spoke any english. Thanks to Leon, my Spanish had to improve tramendously. One thing that was very different about playing in Leon was the altitude. Playing in altitude is very different than playing in normal conditions that I am used to. In Leon, we were about 5,000 feet above sea level. Playing in that type of altitude makes the balls fly through the air a lot quicker. I had to string my racquet 5 pounds tighter than normal. I made that adjustment, because a lot of my shots were landing deep out of the court with my normal tension. It took a few days to get used to the conditions, but getting to Leon 3 days before the tournament started gave us a chance to get a lot of practice sessions in. In Leon, I was able to qualify for the main draw by winning 2 qualifying matches. I then faced a Mexican named Antonio Rouiz. Because Antonio is one of the better Mexican players, I played the night match on the clubs stadium court. It was a good experience for me, playing in front of a bunch of Mexican fans that were all cheering against me. I was fortunate to win my first round in 3 sets. My second round on the other hand I fell to the number 6 seed 7-5 in the third set. In doubles, Todd and I had continued our success together by reaching the semifinals, but losing a tough 3 set match. This ended our 4 tournament professional circuit unbeaten streak together. It was a little upsetting, but we were definitely due for a loss. We knew that we needed to learn from the match and use it to get us better.

After being in Leon, we then took a four and a half hour bus ride, to the next tournament city, Zacatacus. This bus we went on was unbelievable. I would have never thought that traveling on a bus through Mexico would have been so nice. I felt like I was sitting first class on an airplane. This bus had reclining chairs that made me feel like I was in bed, and the bus also had wireless internet. Definitely not what I was expecting. I did not have much time to get used to the new city that I was in because since we were still in doubles so late in Leon, qualifying for the next tournament started the next day after I arrived in Zacatacus. I did a little better at this tournament. In singles, I won 2 rounds to qualify and and then reached the quarterfinals of the main draw. In doubles, Todd and I started playing a little better together than the previous week as we won the tournament. This tournament was more of a success as I was able to pick up more singles and doubles points than I did in Leon the week before.

Because I was at the tournament the last day in Zacatacus, due to the doubles final, I had to take a bus with Todd that went through the night in order to get to Monterrey. We took the same amazing ETN bus as we did last week, but we left left Zacatacus at midnight, and then arrived in Monterrey at 7 AM. Not a fun night, but since my singles ranking is not high enough to be directly accepted into the main draw of singles, I had to make it to qualifying. So, I arrived in Monterrey at 7 AM and had to play my first qualifying match at noon. Was not a fun day, but this is part of the grind. I am very happy to say that I was able to get through it with a win. Today I won my final qualifying singles match. I play in the main draw on Wednesday against a guy from Holland named Millian Niestan. Hopefully I will be able to end my trip to Mexico on a good note picking up some more ATP points. That is all for now.

CP