Southern California Tour 2012

Benny Lin
Founder & Academy Director

Southern California Tour 2012

Posted at : August 21, 2012

Day 1 (6 June)

Our team has arrived safely to Los Angeles. Before we drove back to our hotel, as most of our kids were hungry, I took them to a nearby restaurant to have lunch.


A few other kids who were flying from New York landed at Orange County airport which is a walking distance from our hotel. After everyone landed we had our first team meeting where coach Yoshida, coach Bhagat and I explained and laid down important safety rules and regulations.


To kill the jetlag I took the kids to play tennis at 6pm and they practiced for about 1.5 hours. Since it’s too early and I don’t want the kids to be falling asleep I took the kids for a run at a very beautiful park near the tournament venue in Newport Beach. We ended up doing 2.5 hours of exercises which was great to kill their jetlag and adjust to the US time zone. Exercise has been scientifically proven to be effective to reduce jetlag.


Although the kids were tired and sleepy they were all in high spirit. They played tennis and did their fitness training without me noticing that they just took 12 hours flight.


Tomorrow morning I will take the kids for a run at 7am and I am sure they all will sleep like a baby tonight J.


Pictures have been posted on our facebook page:


Day 2 (7 July)

Everyone slept like a baby last night. No one woke up earlier than 6 am thanks to the work out that we did yesterday. If we didn’t have that jetlag killer workout I am sure everyone would be awake around 3 – 4 am.


We started our day at 7 am this morning. I wanted the kids to have some fitness workout before we go for tennis practice. We did about an hour of fitness training working on mostly explosiveness and strength-endurance muscles – both upper and lower body.


After our breakfast at the hotel we drove the kids to the battleground (tournament venue). Before we started our training I reminded the kids that this is their battleground for the next 6 days. Everyone has to acclimatize themselves to the surface of the court and its surroundings. Find out where the sunlight is, how and where the winds blow, how the ball bounces, etc, are extremely important elements that our players need to adjust to. Experience players know how to blend in with its surroundings and use it for his/ her advantage while inexperience players blame its surroundings when things are not going his/ her way.


We had a few American players joined our training today and they played a few points against our players. Throughout the whole day the kids played mostly points and worked on their tactics because I wanted them to be ready for Monday. We want them to be sharp for playing matches on Monday. The kids trained from 9:30 to 12:00 noon.


In the afternoon after our lunch we came back to the court at 2:30 and played more singles and doubles points. The kids did well and I must say some of them are in their top form and ready to go on Monday.


Most of them have adjusted to the time zone here which is great! They took just 24 hours to kill the jetlag which I think is amazing. Some of our kids are having some minor injuries and muscle soreness due to the fitness training we had in the past 2 days. I am not so worry because I know they will recover soon and their muscles will be stronger when the soreness are gone.


Pictures have been posted on our facebook page.


Day 3 (8 July)

As the tournament day is only 24 hours away I let the kids sleep longer this morning. They had their breakfast at 8:00 am and by 9:15 am we were on the court for our morning practice. The kids basically just played points, both singles and doubles for 2 hours.


During our morning session I could see some of our players are still suffering from minor pain and muscle soreness. I gathered the kids in the middle of the training and explained that minor injuries/ pain and soreness are part of the game. I recall my days when I was playing on the ATP tour there was no one day I was playing without some kind of pain or injuries. Famous sportsmen such as Le Bron, Beckham, Federer are competing day in day out at the highest level while also dealing with their injuries. I could see some of the kids were too worried about their injury; they had their focus on their pain instead in their game. I know their injury is not serious and it’s also probably because is part of growing.


A few American and Indian players joined our morning session; they played points with our kids, which was great for both sides.


After our morning session we had another meeting about what to expect tomorrow. First thing I told the kids was playing a tournament in the US without an umpire is just like a street fight. I firmly emphasized to them that they will get cheated sooner or later. There will be many tough calls. I also told the kids that once they are in the court and when the match has started they are all alone on the court and they have to know how to take care of themselves and fight for their tennis life!


In junior tennis cheating is just part of the game. Sometime your opponent make mistakes on their line call, sometime they just do it purposely. But hey you need to learn that bad calls are just like unforced errors in tennis. When you play tennis you will make mistake, you will hit the ball to the net or out. When you play tournament without an umpire you will get tough calls – deal with it appropriately and move on.


I told the kids the first time they think they get a tough call they should ask, “Are you sure?” and move on to the next point. The second time around I told the kids to find an umpire and ask the umpire to stand on their court as long as possible. Revenge is not the answer. If you get a bad call do not at all time return the favor because it is a very unsportsmanship behavior. Whatever you did in the court will stay in you outside of the court as well. You don’t want people to know you as a cheater because this reputation will stay even after you finish the game. Whatever you do, deal with it firmly but respectfully, politely and most importantly don’t lose yourself.


Another important thing that we covered in the meeting was fighting spirit and 100% effort. Everyone should always give their 100% effort and fight like a gladiator. If they could do that they would walk out the court as a winner in my eyes regardless the result. I hope every kid takes this advice to his or her heart.


After our lunch we drove back to our hotel and we gave the kids the afternoon off to be fully rest and ready for tomorrow. All of them will be playing tomorrow. The draw can be seen here:



Before we drove back to our hotel we had sometime to kill thus we organized a picture posing challenge as we have kids from Taiwan, Japan, Macau, China and Hong Kong. As you can see later on our facebook page, coach Yoshida appeared to be the obvious winner! 


Good luck to all the kids tomorrow!


Pictures have been posted on our facebook page.


Day 4 (9 July)

The kids were well rested yesterday and ready for their battle today. Most of our players played today but some of them will start their first match tomorrow.

Our Under 18 boys took the court first at 8 am. Mark, Chris, Louis and Marco all won their match. Except for Marco who won in three sets, everyone else won relatively easy and they were not challenged throughout the whole match.


We had a mix day of wins or losses; a few good wins and a few heartbreaking losses and expected wins and losses. Our less-experience players like William, Saya, Alice, Amanda and Mia lost their match in quite a big margin but with the loss they also gained invaluable match experience.  All of them gave their best and tried hard which is the most important thing.


A few of our players blew their opponent off the court. They were just too good today for their opponents and some of them won 60, 60. In the next few days the tournament will get tougher for them as we saw some good players out there.


Our only heartbreaking loss today was from Ellen who is the defending Under 14 champion from last year tournament. She played a very consistent opponent who gave Ellen everything back. The match was so close it could have gone either way. Ellen fought till the end and although she lost Ellen felt she had given her very best. Today although she lost she walked the court as a winner too because she was able to give 100% effort and fought like there is no tomorrow.



A few of our kids told me that they are feeling pressure and nervous for their match tomorrow as some of them are playing against seeded players and some college coaches are coming to watch a few of our players. I told them that feeling nervous is good. It means they care and they should always remember pressure is only for the privileged. I told them with great power comes great responsibility. They must have some kind of special ability to feel pressured because normal people do not feel or never felt what a pressure feels like. They should embrace this pressure feeling and nervousness. 


Kids who did not play today had their morning training and we let them stay on the court to watch other kids and learn something from watching. The weather in Southern California is just perfect, we can play tennis for the whole day without feeling tired at all.


Match report written by coach Bhagat:

Amanda gave her very best and wanted to win badly but her game was easily broken down by her more consistent and steady opponent. But in my eyes she is a winner today as she played extremely well throughout the match.

Adithya played some of her best tennis today. She was able to successfully control the match by using her big forehand and backhand. Her second serve was very effective and the opponent could not return. She won the match and showed to all that she is here to win.

Terence throughout the match was very consistent. He controlled the match which resulted in his victory.

Louis won the match and played extremely well. He had a great advantage by service against the opponent player.

Alice's opponent was just a bit better today. She tried and gave everything she got but her game is not solid enough. She lost the game due to her inconsistent performance. I therefore explained to Alice that consistency is very important to win a match.

Chris won the match today and was too strong for his opponent. He played really well throughout the match and kept his head cool.


Match report written by coach Yoshida:

Marco played against a tall lefty player who has good smash and wide serve. But by the forcing to opponent's weakness, he won the match by 2-1.


Ellen was against also tough player who hit balls back constantly. It was 3 hours tough match and she lost even tried to change the pace of strokes.


Saya had good experience through the first match in US. Her opponent beat Saya by strong serve and forehand stroke. But Saya's effort of hitting balls back makes score 4-6 of 1st set.


William needs more experience of tennis game. His opponent was too good for his step now. We hope his improvement from tomorrow's practice.


Mia lost by 0-6,0-6 against number 2 seeded player. She lost balance many times when opponents hit harder shots, we could see Mia tried to changing the pace by slice shots, also her court recovery was better after she came to US.


Day 5 (10 July)


What a day for our team. Today was a great day for our contingent as a few of our players played some of their best tennis and took their game to the next level to beat seeded players. Adithya beat No. 4 seed, Kyle beat No. 2 seed, James beat No. 5 seed and Jason beat No. 4 seed. However, our players also suffered a few losses but most of the losses were expected. 


As I expected majority of our players today received some tough line calls and had confrontations with their opponents. The worst case was Kyle’s opponent who cheated Kyle in the scoring. Kyle had won the match and his opponent insisted it was deuce so Kyle had to play 2 more points to close the match. Luckily Kyle kept his head cool and closed the match in the next 2 points.


Adithya’s opponent refused to take a picture with her after the match and even her mother said no too and just walked away impolitely. I was shocked but I felt sorry for both the mother and daughter for failing to see the big picture. It shows a lot about their character. Kids should learn how to handle losing as well as they handle winning because both are important learning process. They have to handle winning and losing graciously because in real-life sometime we win and sometime we lose. Most importantly we have to learn from our wins and losses for self-development and to build our character. We must learn how to get back on our feet after a loss and we must also learn how to stay humble after a win. Every win or loss is an important learning process and experience that makes us a more complete, better individual and wiser.


Before dinner I gathered the kids and firmly told them that they have to learn to stand their ground. American kids are naturally aggressive, tougher and more vocal if compared to Asian kids who are much less aggressive, timid and shy. I strongly and repeatedly emphasized that we should not be afraid to our American counterparts if we didn’t break any rules and regulations. Stand your ground, speak up and most importantly don’t be afraid. Nevertheless, this is a great learning experience for all our kids. They will learn to be tougher, more aggressive and more vocal from their American counterparts. And believe me most of our kids really need to learn to be more aggressive and vocal.


Coach Gary from Cal State Northridge and coach Sandy from Cal State LA came to our tournament today to see some of our players. They were here to recruit some of our older players and both coaches are very interested to recruit our players. A few more coaches will be coming in the next few days.


Kyle took his game to the next level. Both coach Bhagat and I had never seen Kyle play such a good tennis. His opponent hit very hard but Kyle was able to return every single shot and forced his physically bigger and stronger opponent to make unforced errors. Kyle also kept his head cool on short balls so he was able to finish those short balls without many mistakes. He fought like a quite gladiator and played his card effectively – didn’t give anything free to his opponent. His opponent couldn’t find any hole today in Kyle’s game.


Adithya didn’t play her best tennis yet today but she was able to find a way to beat her bigger opponent. Her best tennis is yet to come but in a tournament format we just need to find a way to win and in that process we may not necessary have to play our best tennis. Today she played smartly by mixing her game well. She played a tough match today although the score didn’t really reflect the match.


Jason played smartly in his first match. He mixed up his shots really and I could see he is a smart player. He kept his opponent guessing throughout the match and he is one of the few players that can “see” and use the whole court for his game. Having said that Jason made a lot of unforced errors in mid court shots. He could have won the match in 2 sets if he didn’t miss those easier shots mid court. Basically he was able to construct points, attack but failed many times to finish it. It’s like after spending a lot of effort cooking a delicious meal on the way to the dining table he drops it to the ground! Nevertheless he gave a very good effort today.


James is a tough player. What I like about him is his fearless attitude. He likes to be challenged and excels when challenged. He uses his forehand smartly to construct his points and although he doesn’t really know his game that well yet he is able to use his serve and forehand (which are his weapons) smartly. Today he played as I told him how to play; use your weapons as often as possible, attack your opponent weakness with your weapon and hit as many balls back as possible in the first few games (be consistent), and lastly fight like there is no tomorrow. James did just that!


Louis has a strong offensive arsenal but he does not have strong defensive arsenal in his game. That’s what separated him from Mark and Chris. To be playing at the top level we must have controlled-aggressive attacking game and unbreakable-solid defensive game. Louis has to improve his defensive game if he wants to get to the next level.


What happened today on the court to Jason and Louis were my topics today during our team meeting. I explained the importance of finishing those mid court balls and how we should also prop up our defensive game because it is just as important as our offensive game. They both are very important parts of our game.


Kids who are already out of the tournament had 5 hours of training with coach Yoshida. Kids who lost today will get 4 – 5 hours of training under coach Yoshida and coach Lin tomorrow.


Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

Adithya won the match and played well. Today her victory was against the four seed player who was again a tough competition to beat. Her opponent was a hard hitter but she controlled the game easily.

Quentin gave his very best today and won the match successfully. He was able to control the match and exchanged hard-hitting rallies with his opponent.

Vivian throughout the match was very consistent and played well. She had a great advantage by service and ground strokes against the opponent player.

Victoria's match was tough. She played without any rhythm as her witty opponent for the whole match played different kind of tactics. Her opponent was consistent in the match and had good service and solid ground strokes. Unfortunately she lost the match today. She needs to improve three things-The good timing and height of contact points of the drop shot, variations and quick response of the volley when she used drop shot and more accuracy of the ground strokes to wide.

Mickey's consistency throughout the game made her won the match. She kept her cool and remained calm. Her opponent who was the second seed player with whom she fought hard today. She showed a great fighting spirit and will to win.

Kyle defeated the second seed player today. He performed really well throughout and had a good control over the game. Although his opponent was much stronger he didn’t show any fear and was just giving his best to hit every ball back

Terence was confident with his game today. His opponent was not consistent throughout and of which Terence took advantage and won the match.

Jason’s was a battle match since the very first point. He played against a very good player. However, he managed to win the match by winning the first and the third set.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Also we had on-court training for players who didn't have the match. Today's practice theme were correcting and adjustment of technique and balance as well as preparation for the next doubles matches. The first, I showed one sample video about principle of tennis game to make players understand Tennis needs short distance changing directions and court recovery in the most of the situation.
Through the passing shot practice, I tried to make them improve their accuracy and speed of movement. Also I focused on some players’ functional movement, for example eye coordination and body balance for individual. After the lunch, we had doubles match practice for 11th and 12th July. It's very serious and fun because of the good tennis environment and players relationship. We always forget how many hours we play almost without sweating. Because of the good climate and weather. I hope they can keep their attention for practice another 2 weeks over.


Day 6 (11 July)

Three of our players left the hotel at 7 am while the rest of the kids who already lost their singles match were doing fitness training at 7 am too. I wanted to make sure the kids would be ready for the next tournament starting next Monday. Some of them desperately needed to get physically fitter and stronger. A few other kids who are still in singles but later in the day woke up around 8 am. After breakfast we took everyone to the court at 9 am.


Tonight during our daily meeting I talked to the kids about some of the matches that I thought everyone could learn from:



Vivian – She lost her concentration after leading 3 – 1 and lost the first set. I knew she would win but she should have won the match in 2 sets. I told everyone that when we are up 3 – 1 or 4 – 1 it’s actually the most difficult time because we could easily lose our concentration. It’s just our natural habit to relax when we are ahead. It’s funny that when we are behind we never lose our concentration but when we are ahead many times we lose our focus and concentration. So I explained to the kids that they have to double their concentration and focus when they are ahead 3 – 1 or 4 – 1 because after breaking our opponent serve it is actually the most crucial and difficult time. If we lose our focus we are inviting our opponent to get back to the game and we may lose the match momentum as well. Bottom line is double your concentration when you are ahead and never ever let your guard down until you win the match.  


Mickey – She started the match very slowly and she looked lethargic on the court. Her emotion level was too low. Top players always have their emotion level in the middle level – not too low and not too high. Roger and Nadal always keep their emotion level in check which is right in the middle of the chart. Maybe sometime when they win a big point their emotion level gets a little higher but it will get back to the normal level very quickly. One trick to get our emotion level to the normal level is when it is too low is to be physically active such as moving your feet. If we are physically active we may bring our emotion to the higher level. Mickey was the better player but if she played against a better player with a low emotion level she would have lost the match without any fight and she would not know why she lost.


Chris – He takes too much risk. I explained to the kids that Chris is like a basketball player who thinks he can make every single shot from every corner of the court or even when he’s guarded closely. He can’t. Actually nobody can. I told Chris that there is nothing wrong with passing the ball to his teammate first and find a better and open position to shoot the ball. In tennis Chris likes to blast difficult shots such as low balls or while he’s running. He needs to learn that there is nothing wrong with just hitting the ball in first and position himself to attack in the next shot. Chris wasted too many points because he thought he could still hit winners even though he was out of position or the ball is not in his ideal striking zone. I relayed to Chris and the kids that if Chris is in a good position and he’s got the time and space he can surely attack and blast his shots. If he misses it’s fine because he is in position to attack. Chris needs to understand that he should not keep attacking and blasting his shots when he is out of position. In tennis we must take calculated risks and reduce taking uncalculated risks.


Adithya – Her fighting spirit should be a role model for everyone. She takes every single shot very seriously and plays every point with 100% effort. This attitude is one of the most dangerous qualities to have as an athlete. This on-court attitude sometime can help her overcome the impossible.



Kyle – His opponent was tough. A good player with a big forehand. The match was close but Kyle was again not able to take care of himself on the court. So many balls that went out he didn’t call (coach Bhagat thinks Kyle had at least 15 bad calls). When his opponent (not purposely) shouted out wrong score Kyle didn’t say anything and he would just continue playing. I told Kyle from now on when he plays his matches he has to shout out the score every single point. The kids learned today from Kyle that they have to stand their ground and take care of themselves on the court. There is nothing to be afraid of if we follow and play within the rules. 


Mark – Very smart and smooth player. He had a tight match in the first 4 games but after Mark found his opponent’s weakness he basically toyed with his opponent for the rest of the match. His opponent had no chance to come even close. Mark was using his finesse and great hands to construct his points and did not waste any mid court balls. He was too good for his opponent today. Mark basically had a correct answer for every shot his opponent hit to him.

Jason’s opponent was just too strong for him today. He tried everything but he was simply outplayed physically and technically.

James played another good match. He was just going for his shots and kept using his forehand and serve to win his points. I could see James is lacking of match experience but he makes it up by being a fearless competitor. He is like a young tiger who isn’t afraid of anything and just enjoying the battle and the experience.



The rest of the kids who are already out of the tournament were training for 5 hours today with coach Yoshida. We wanted to make sure that they would improve their game and fitness and most importantly get ready for the next tournament.


The kids are getting along well with each other although the kids come from different background. Saya and Mia from Japan are getting to know Adithya from Sri Lanka and Amanda from Hong Kong. I am pleased to see the kids are getting along and the older kids are helping the coaches to take care of the younger kids.


Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

Today was one of the best day for our team so far. We got six players in the semi finals. The rest too performed to the best to their ability and gave their best.

Adithya continued with her winning streak. She played extremely well. However, I would like to highlight that her opponent had an advantage of height and weight over Adithya. But Adithya surpassed her opponent's fast strokes and controlled the game. Adithya won the game with her high spirits.

Vivian's match was tough. Her opponent was the local player of the same academy and gave Vivian a tough time and won the first set. After losing the first set Vivian took over the game and played like a champion. She had a good control on the game and served really well which made her win the match.

Mark Hung Chao had a really good match with his opponent. His opponent was equally strong as him as he was returning the balls like a ball machine but Hung Chao played big and didn’t hesitate to go for his shots on big points. What Hung chao did right today was he played his aggressive game and still went for his shots although it was during crucial moments. I was very happy for his victory.

Louis gave his very best today however, he could not manage to win. His opponent had a good control from the base line and was consistent throughout the match.

Chris's opponent was strong.His opponent had an extremely good forehand, backand and a big serve too. Chris also played smartly by mixing high balls with some slice and topspin shots. His opponent was not as consistent as him which led Chris to take control over the game.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

In the morning training session, we had speed training including changing direction and anticipation. Those training looks easier than aerobic endurance and explosive speed training, but also it's very important phase of fitness training for tennis. And this practice will improve eye coordination which is very important for top athletes. Also in the last of session, core stability training which is used for the top pro players. This training method will help players independence. In the afternoon session, our practice was more focused on volley and court recovery of doubles match. As you know, in doubles match players need good quality of volley and court recovery. Those small and particular movements not always look hard in practice, but players can feel more stimulation to improve their technique properly.


Day 7 (12 July)

Another great and fruitful day for our team. Our older boys and girls dominated the Under 18 event as Mark, Chris, Vivian and Mickey won their respective semifinal match. Tomorrow they will play against each other in the final. Mark/ Chris and Vivian/ Mickey are also in the doubles final so basically our team dominated all Under 18 events – boys and girls.


We also have many finalists in the doubles draw and James is also in the final of Under 14 boys’ singles. Last year his sister Ellen won the Under 14 girls’ singles here so James is very determined to win both his singles and doubles finals tomorrow.


Overall our team had never had this many players in the finals. This year’s result is so far the best since we first started this tour in 2003.


Coach Yoshida and coach Bhagat went to the court at 7:00 am with Chris and Mark to warm up while kids who had lost their singles match did conditioning training with coach Lin and I at 7:30 am.  Kids who were still in singles event later in the day slept till 8:00 am.


Adithya gave all she had and fought all the way thru but strategically she didn’t execute the right game plan. She gave in to her opponent’s game style of moon balling and she played exactly the same which is not Adithya’s game style and strength at all. In the meeting tonight I told Adithya and the kids that win or lose we have to play our game. We must stick to our game style because that’s what defines us, who we are and our strength as well. We can adjust and make changes tactically, but not to our game style. Adithya’s opponent was able to suck in Adithya to her game style which is just moon balling and getting everything back. In the end Adithya basically beat herself by making one mistake after another. Nevertheless, it was a great learning experience for Adithya. Now Adithya and everyone else know that win or lose play your game!


Vivian and Mickey were definitely a class above their opponents. Although their counterparts gave them some tough time in the beginning we knew that both Vivian and Mickey would win the match. The difference was our girls’ level of consistency and shot selections. Tomorrow they will play against each other and we are expecting a good match between Vivian and Mickey.


Mark was a class above his opponent. His opponent who beat Louis yesterday by playing counter puncher style had no answer to Mark’s witty left hand. Before the match coach Bhagat told Mark to hit a lot of angles to move his consistent around and Mark did just that. His opponent stands no chance against Mark today. Mark’s a smart player, he’s great with his hands and sometime he can do magic with his left hand. If Mark could get bigger and stronger physically (especially if he improves his serve) I could see him playing on the pro circuit.


Chris had a tougher time against his opponent. They had a very entertaining match exchanging big forehands and penetrating backhands. Both players blasted balls from the baseline a la Nadal and Djokovic. During big points Chris was the better player as he was able to play smarter and made the right decisions on what kind of shot to hit (shot selection). He took my advice from yesterday to the heart – take calculated risks and less uncalculated risks (don’t blast every single ball that comes).

Those big points were the difference. Chris was able to play good tennis on those big points and that’s all it matters.



James played smartly again today. I told the kids tonight that James’s on-court fearless attitude should be copied by everyone. James loves the challenge and enjoys the battle. James played simple tennis by using his weapons – serve and forehand to win. Most importantly throughout the whole match he was engaged 100% in the battle between him and his opponent across the net. Many kids are not able to do this. Many kids shy away from the battle when things are getting tough. They may be still playing on the court but their heart has surrendered. James would never do this. He would fight till the end of the match.  


In the afternoon the kids took the court for their doubles matches. I must say Terence and Kyle played a great doubles together as a team. Terence was the leader on the court and Kyle being the younger player rose to the occasion. They were pumping their fists and high fiving throughout the match. Regardless the result I must say they gave a great performance and took their game to the next level. Kyle had his revenge from yesterday’s loss because one of the boys he played in doubles beat him yesterday in singles. It was a good match to watch as both teams played extremely well for kids who are not even 12 years old yet.


Quentin and Jason also won their doubles match. They played well together today. I thought their opponents were not as good but their match today will prepare them for tomorrow’s final. James and Ronaldo also made it to the final. Their doubles opponents were not as strong and it was good to see James helped Ronaldo play better tennis.


Saya and Mia’s doubles match was postponed due to rain. In my 10 years coming to this tournament this is the first time a match was cancelled due to rain! They were playing against two sisters and one of them beat Adithya today in singles. Although Saya and Mia had a tough match they learned something invaluable today.


Kids who didn’t have singles today trained with coach Yoshida for 2.5 hours in the morning. Kids who are still in singles tomorrow also had some light training in the afternoon.


Pictures have been posted on our facebook page.


Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

Two of our players left the hotel at seven in the morning as they had their respective matches starting at eight. The rest of the kids who are still in singles but later in the day woke up around eight. After breakfast we took everyone to the court at ten.

Chris's match was a battle match today. His opponent had a good forehand, backhand and serve. The match was quite tough in the beginning. But soon Chris took control over the match by using his forehand in the right way. He was consistent thereafter which made him won the match.

Mark had a match today against the same player who beat Louis yesterday.In another way it was good for Mark because he already knew about his opponent's tactics. He was well aware that his opponent is good from the baseline. Mark started using quite a lot of short angles. Perhaps using this tactic became fruitful for him ahead. He took over the game and won the match.

Vivian knows that she is capable of winning but her aggression at times becomes a hindrance for her. Like today, when just a couple of minutes after the match started the umpire informed Vivian that she is playing too slow and needs to buck up. Vivian got hyper thinking the umpire said intentionally to her and started hitting balls outside the court. I went up to her and calmed her down. I explained to her that if she gets panic she will loose her match which was rather easy for her to win by just putting a little effort. I was happy she understood what I wanted to convey her. She played with her cool head. She grabbed the opportunity and won the game.

Adithya and Amanda played their doubles together for the first time. Adithya was good with her hitting game and Amanda controlled the entire game. By applying this tactic they conquest the match. I must add here that today they both did a good job together.

Terence and Kyle's doubles was an interesting match to see. Kyle's opponent was the same player to whom he lost the match in singles. Terence and Kyle played extremely well together. They played from the base line and controlled the game without making any errors. Hence they procure the match to their names.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Today's practice aimed for winning the point at the net. When it comes to winning doubles match, net play is very important key point. Especially, today players practiced conclusion of volley around the center, and smash to wide in the alley court. In those case, they need explosive movement, stable racket face position, and sensitive touch at the over head. Players were so nervous about hitting smash to the alley court under the rule with some restriction. This is also really important not only for technical phase but also mental phase. They must know that tennis has plenty of significant tips (information) which is over 1000 or 2000 more.
In order to win more matches, players must be more sensitive about their movements and situations. Needless to say, they need more concentration and quality of practice with the imagination of game situation. I expect they are going to willing to know the those information by another 2weeks.


Day 8 (13 July)

Today was the final day of the Newport Beach tournament. Our results today exceeded all our results from previous years. Our team today won the U18 boys and girls singles, U14 boys singles, U18 boys and girls doubles, U14 boys doubles, U12 boys and girls doubles. Not to mention in the U18 boys and girls singles, and U14 doubles the finalists were also from our team.


Kids who were not playing singles or doubles today woke up at 7 am for their daily morning physical training with me. The rest of the kids who had either singles or doubles finals woke up around 8 am.


Mark and Chris took the court first for their U18 singles final. There was a lack of intensity from both players. It could be because they are close friends but on court they should not be friendly to each other. Having said that they played a good match. As usual Chris played his attacking style and Mark played a la lefty Andy Murray. The difference between Chris and Mark is only in a few points. Mark won because he was more solid and steady when playing big points. He is also mentally more stable than Chris and more likely can come up with good play during big points. I wished they were playing like a sworn enemy and pushed each other to the next level, but it didn’t happen. They played a good match but not a great match.


Mickey and Vivian played against each other more intensely compared to the boys. The match could have gone either way but Mickey had a better day today. Vivian was just unlucky in the big points. Vivian kept attacking Mickey throughout the match but Mickey being a good athlete was able to return a lot of balls back to Vivian and forced her to make unforced errors. Great fighting spirit from both girls. I feel these two girls can beat each other on any given day.


James saved his best tennis in the second set. He played a good lefty player who plays like a small Nadal (uses his heavy forehand a lot). After winning the second set quite comfortably James was down 0 – 3 and everyone who were watching thought the match would go into the third set. However James picked up his game and kept pumping his fist and yelled c’mon after every single point that he won. He slowly crawled his way up point by point. His fist pumps and self-talks finally got into the head of his opponent who later played poorly after James was able to even the score. James never looked back after he caught up and leveled the score in the second set. I must praise James for his never say die attitude and gladiator-like fighting spirit. James was armed with a good serve, a good forehand and a big heart!


Amanda/ Adithya saved their best play in the final of their doubles. Both girls played well today as Amanda was blasting her big serves and Adithya took care of the backcourt completely. Before the match since yesterday coach Bhagat was working very hard on their serves to make sure they would not make any double faults today – it worked. One of the reasons they played well together is because they are good friends.


Kyle/ Terence played another great doubles together today. With the way they played together they deserved to be the champions today. Kyle’s game fits Terence’s attacking style. Kyle was able to play consistent tennis from the backcourt while Terence was prowling on short balls. One of the best thing for Kyle is he got to learn to be more aggressive on the court (as a person) and take care of himself (stand his ground) from Terence. Terence was the leader of the two and he took the role really well. It was a great team effort by both players.


James/ Ronaldo played against Jason/ Quentin. Although James did most of the work but Ronaldo played an important role as well. Jason and Quentin did not execute the right game plan when playing against James/Ronaldo. James was the stronger player of the two and thus Quentin and Jason should have taken advantage of the situation but they failed to do so. Quentin needs to learn to be more focused and intense when playing a match. They need more chemistry together. James did a great job being a leader on the court. He took charge of the match and his game plan worked.


Chris/ Mark and Vivian/ Mickey had an easy doubles final. Their opponents had no chance of even coming close in the match.


Saya/ Mia had a tough match today. Their postponed doubles match was continued today but their opponents were too good for them today. Nevertheless both girls learned something invaluable and now have one more match experience under their belt.


After we finished all our matches I took the kids to Boomers where the kids spent 3.5 hours. They rode on go-carts many, many times and some of them did rock claiming as well. They had fun there.


Tomorrow we will be taking the kids to the Universal Studio for a well-deserved day off. I am sure they will enjoy the park.


Day 9 (14 July)

Today the kids had a well-deserved day off...that is after our 6:30 am morning conditioning training J. Before we take the kids to the Universal Studio, as Costa Mesa tournament is in 2 days, I wanted to make sure the kids maintain their level of fitness.


All the kids were excited and couldn’t wait for Universal Studio experience. We arrived there at 10 am and didn’t leave the park until 9 pm. The kids had a lot of fun and time of their life, but some of them missed one of the main attractions of the park – Studio Tour!


The park has some of the most advance and state of the art rides in the world. Transformer and Studio Tour (no matter how long you have to wait – it’s worth it) must not be missed.


Tomorrow I will give the kids longer sleep (no morning conditioning training) until 8:30 am. After breakfast I will take the kids to the second week tournament venue in Costa Mesa.


Pictures have been posted on our facebook page.


Day 10 (15 July)

The kids slept till 8:30 am this morning after a tiring day at Universal Studio yesterday. I decided to skip our morning work out to give the kids much needed rest. After breakfast we practiced at Costa Mesa Tennis Center for about 2.5 hours mostly to acclimatize to the new court condition. Before they got to hit some balls coach Bhagat gave them on-court fitness session.


One thing about Costa Mesa Tennis Center is their courts were positioned facing South East and North West therefore some of our younger kids were having trouble serving facing directly to sun light.


In the afternoon I gave the kids a break so that they can be fresh and ready to go for tomorrow’s tournament. I took the kids to play and swim at world-famous Laguna Beach. Lucky for us Laguna Beach is only 15 minutes from our hotel J.


Mark, Chris, Louis and Mickey will not be playing in this week’s tournament because they are going home on Thursday.


Tomorrow’s matches and draws have been posted here:


Day 11 (16 July)

Today is the first day of our second tournament – Costa Mesa Junior Open. Most of our kids played their first round today while a few kids will play their opening singles tomorrow.


There wasn’t any big upset today and our players won or lost as predicted. James played against a player from Mexico whom he beat last week while Ellen who waited for a whole week to play her second match in this tour did not disappoint by taking her opponent off her rhythm to win in straight sets.


Victoria lost in first round again today and she was rather upset. I reminded Victoria that she’s not here to win a tournament, but she’s here to learn and gain invaluable match experience. She was too hard on herself today because she hasn’t trained as intensive and played enough matches as other players here to win a few rounds here.


Vivian and Mickey went to California State University of Northridge with coach Gary Victor today. Coach Gary took both girls to meet the academic advisor for international students and to see CSUN campus. CSUN is well known for its business school and coach Gary has a strong tennis team as well.


One of our boys, Terence, for some kind of reason is very popular with the girls here J. A few girls asked Terence to take pictures with him today and this also happened last week at Newport Beach! Terence being a shy but quietly confident boy was happy but he tried to stay cool. He’s a funny kid J.


Today after dinner we celebrated Ellen’s 17th birthday. We bought two cakes from a famous bakery shop in Irvine because they didn’t have a big cake enough for 20 people. Ellen wished for 3 things before she blew the candles. One of her wishes was to be able to hit a forehand like coach Bhagat J.  Everyone enjoyed Ellen’s simple but fun birthday party. As I thought they finished both cakes in ten minutes!


Kids who did not play today trained 2 hours in the morning and 2.5 hours in the afternoon with coach Yoshida and coach Lin at nearby Orange County College.


Tomorrow some of our kids will play their first round match and doubles will start as well.


 Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

James opponent was the same player with whom he had a match last week. However, James played a better match today than the last week. James backhand and forehand was quite consistent throughout the match. His overall game was very good. He won the match by 6.3,6.1.

Aditya looked fresh on the court today after having a good outing to the beaches and the Hollywood. She seemed to be confident throughout the match today. She served well without any errors on her part. Her forehand and backhand was correct. Aditya did not give any chance to her opponent to win a single point. Aditya won with 6.0, 6.0.

Victoria's opponent was quite tough for her today. Her opponent was an experienced player and had a good control over her game. Though Victoria tried to perform her level best today but unfortunately could not win. I therefore explained to her that she is here to learn more and if victory comes on her way that will be great. However, winning is not everything for her at the moment.

Amanda's match was against a Korean player. The opponent had a good stroke but at the same time she was not consistent in her game. I therefore told Amanda to keep the ball into the court as much as she can. She followed my instructions and played extremely well. Amanda did a good job and won the match.

Marco’s opponent was a hard hitter but without any control over the game. The opponent could not keep the ball in and was consistently hitting the balls out of the court. Therefore, Marco won the match easily. His score was 6.1,6,0.

Ellen’s match was tough today. Her opponent gave a tough competition to her. The opponent knew how to play against the top spin players. So Ellen applied the tactics of slice from forehand and backhand and the drop shots. She conquest the match by keeping her head cool and therefore performing extremely well.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Mia lost 2-6, 1-6 at the 1st round. But obviously she improved each strokes. Especially speed of the forehand strokes much faster than last week tournament.  

Saya also lost at the 1st round.
But today's much we could see her intensity of each movements. Next tournament, I want to see Saya's expression and intensity on the court more.

On the practice session, we focused on the control of the service and next shot. Playing efficient is very important for saving energy on the court.  The tactical mind and control skills can be developed at early age. This practice doesn't look dynamic all the time and too sensitive so sometimes kids don't want to do. But this practice is also basic phase through the feature of this sport.

Also some kids had practice of moon ball situation. Especially 12 & under age category tournament some players use high topspin shot. I hope our players can get solution against this moon ball situation.


Day 12 (17 July)

Today was another day for our kids. I was really happy to see all our kids who took the court today played well and fought hard. Some of them made a great improvement but most importantly today I saw our players engaging themselves in the battle with their opponent. I could also see they are improving and playing better, smarter than last week.


Quentin came back from one set down, Jason beat a much physically bigger player by playing smartly, Adithya used her power game to beat a player who made semifinal at Newport Beach and Kyle was too solid for his opponent today.


Terence and Vivian were too good for their opponents today. Both players were more consistent and solid from the backcourt.


Amanda’s opponent was the better player today. She made more balls back than Amanda today. After she finished her match I asked Amanda which stroke did she think was not up to the level played by the top girls at this tournament. Her answer was her serves. She thinks her groundstrokes are up to the standard and equally strong as other top girls in this tournament. She’s right and today she proved that she lost the match because she made too many double faults. How could she win if she’s already lost 2 points before her opponent even hit any ball? Her serve was a big liability for her. The good news is her technique is getting better and for an 11-year-old girl, her technique is very good.


A few of our players were beaten quite badly too today but they gained some experience. Most of them who lost today did not have enough match play to begin with before coming to the US. Some of them would need a lot of work on their technique, fitness and mental when they return home. Ronaldo needs a lot of work on his fitness and court coverage. He can play but he can’t move. A player’s stroke is only as good as his/ her footwork.


Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

Today the weather was quite chilly during morning. After having breakfast we left the hotel at seven. Kyle and Terence had their respective matches scheduled at eight. Coach Bhagat and coach Yoshida accompanied them for their warm up sessions. Other kids who had their match later in the afternoon were accompanied by me to a different location for their warm up sessions.

Kyle won the match easily today. His opponent showed no energy in the game and was putting the balls off the court. Kyle lost the first game of the first set but won all the next games by controlling his game. His opponent was a counter puncture however Kyle too returned all the balls back. By applying this tactic Kyle won the match by 6.1,6.0.

Terence’s match was quite an easy match for him to win. His opponent had a good forehand but a weak backhand. Terence therefore attacked most of the balls on his backhand and by applying this tactic his opponent could not control the game. However, Terence could have finished the match early but he missed a lot of balls on the court. Terence won the match by 6.0,6.0.

Marco’s opponent was not as strong as Marco both in terms of physically and mentally. Marco’s match was an easy match to win from the beginning. But Marco made many unforced errors and a lot of double faults which made his game a difficult for him to win. Marco managed to win by 6.1,6.0.

Quentin’s opponent was not tough. His opponent’s backhand was not strong. Quentin took control over the game by hitting on his opponent’s backhand. He used the same tactic throughout the match and won by 1.6,6.4,6.3.

Jason played extremely well today. Though his opponent seemed to be very confident since the beginning of the match Jason managed to win. The opponent had a good serve and forehand but at the same time a weak backhand. Jason was very consistent throughout the match His opponent made many errors. However, Jason’s backhand needs to be improved which I told him we will be working on it now onwards.

James won the match by 6.2,6.1. His opponent was not too strong for him to win the match. His opponent used serve n forehand all the time during the match. James backhand was not good so he played mostly by his forehand.

Aditya’s opponent had a good control over her forehand. Aditya therefore attacked her opponent’s backhand. Aditya’s second serve was very heavy spin today and her opponent was struggling to return her second serve. She therefore won by 6.0,6.0 with her very good performance on the court.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Terence's 1st match of this Costa Mesa tournament was started by perfect plays.

His understanding of the balance between consistency and taking risk.


Kyle has also good sense of control the balls. I really respect his achievement of this tour as the one of the youngest player of this tour. But I think he needs more emotional intensity, even his match start at early morning.


On the training session, we had the practice by 3groups.

Today, players had tried their practice through different speed and situation by the players' position on the court. Space realization and proper racket movements improvement make players more smart player on the court. I want players more understand coordination and technique are absolutely inevitable for young age tennis development.  And also I think it will help them to create the good imagination not only on the tennis court but also their social and business life in the future.


Day 13 (18 July)

There were some great matches today, happy and sad moments. A few of our kids took their game to the higher level and played out of their mind while some of our kids suffered heart breaking losses but our team’s saddest moment was saying good-bye to Mark, Chris, Louis and Mickey.


Four of them left last night to catch their flight back to Taipei. Everyone was sad especially the younger kids because they have been good friends and big brothers to the younger kids. There were times I saw Chris, Louis or Mark helping Kyle finish his food or play/ joke around with Terence or Quentin. The younger kids really look up to them and they get along well. Mickey was also very sad leaving one of her best friends and doubles partner in this tour – Vivian. They got really close and they may be going to the same university in the future.


Kyle played extremely well today. Today he took his game to the next level and what we liked most about his match today was his fighting spirit and fearless attitude. He played well because he was more focused and less afraid today of his opponent. He was just engaging himself in the battle and tried to play his best tennis. We all know Kyle is a talented player but to see him being fearless and fully focused on the court are the biggest improvement on his game today.


Adithya rose to the occasion. She played against the girl who beat her last week and in less than 6 days she took my advice to the heart (play your game/ style) and beat her opponent in straight sets. Adithya’s match was a strong proof that with the right strategy and mind set we can beat players that we think we can’t beat. Just 6 days ago she lost to this girl in straight set by playing her opponent’s game style (she was sucked in to play moon ball) but today she played her game (attacking style) and she won. I told everyone tonight during our daily meeting that by just changing your game style and smartly adapt to the situation you may beat players that you can’t beat before.


Marco’s doubles was a thriller. In the third set Marco and his partner was up 5 – 1 in the super tiebreaker. I knew that they would lose their concentration and they did just that. Their opponents caught up to 5 – 5 but luckily Marco came up with a few good volleys and smashes to close the match. I told Marco and the kids tonight that they must double their concentration when they are ahead because it’s very easy for us to lose concentration and focus when we are ahead. Remember kids, double your concentration when you are ahead because it is our nature to relax when we are ahead. We don’t relax or lose our concentration when we are behind.


While some of our kids were playing I took Mark, Chris, Louis and Mickey to Azusa Pacific University to meet coach Bohren – the head coach of Men’s and Women’s team at APU. APU is a division 2 school (private Christian school) but they have scholarships for both teams. Coach Bohren was really impressed with our players and will be in touch with me in the next few months for possible recruiting some of them.


According to coach Bhagat, Jason played well and gave everything he had but today his opponent was better. The match could have gone either way if Jason didn’t make those easy unforced errors during big points. After the match Jason told me he made too many unforced errors and he could have played a little bit better during important points. Jason could be a dangerous player if he would be physically stronger because I could see that he’s got a good base and technique. He plays smartly and he knows how to construct points but he lacks power (body strength), especially in his serve and forehand. He could hit great shots but at his age with the boys he’s playing against he got over powered a lot.


Ellen’s opponent was a lefty and Ellen being a lefty couldn’t read her serve for the entire match. Although Ellen didn’t play bad and she thought she played OK the entire match was controlled by her opponent. Ellen tried to play her game but it wasn’t enough to win the match. Ellen learned today that playing against a lefty player requires different strategy and tactic from her.


Quentin lost his match but I could see he had already lost before he step his feet on the court. He gave his opponent too much respect because he was seeded high and thus he wasn’t afraid to lose but he was afraid to win, which is worse than being afraid to lose. During our meeting I explicitly explained to Quentin and the rest of the kids that we should never give our opponent too much respect. Sometime kids are afraid to lose but if kids give their opponents too much respect they are afraid to win. If they are afraid to win how can they win?


Kids who did not have any match today or just singles/ doubles had their training in the morning and afternoon with coach Yoshida at nearby Orange Coast College.


Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

It was a bright sunny day. We had four matches lined up today starting at nine. Kyle, Terence, Marco and Quentin left the hotel at 7.30 for their warm up sessions with coach Bhagat and coach Yoshida. Later the remaining kid’s wake up around eight followed by their breakfast went for the warm up sessions with me.

Kyle played very well today. His opponent had a good serve and forehand. Therefore the opponent used his forehand more to attack Kyle's backhand. However, his opponent did not have a good backhand. Keeping this in mind Kyle mostly hit the balls on the opponent's backhand. Kyle applied this tactic throughout the match and won by 6.1, 6.4.

Terence’s opponent had an advantage of being lefty. His opponent was very consistent throughout the match and knew how to control the game. Although the opponent mislead the match at times but Terence did not understand his opponent’s strategy. Terence showed no consistency in the match and therefore lost by 6.4,6.4.

James had a really good match with his opponent today. James continued with his winning streak. His opponent was not strong enough to face James game since the beginning of the match. I was surprised by his never say die attitude and fighting spirit while on the court. James beat his opponent by 6.1,6.2.

Quentin’s match was tough. His opponent gave Quentin a tough time and won the match by 6.0,6.1. Quentin’s opponent was quite strong and had a consistent game throughout the match. Quentin attacked mostly on the opponents backhand but the opponent always managed to hit the balls in the court.

Aditya’s match was against the same player today who beat her last week. The opponent was strong but Aditya played extremely well and gave her very best. Aditya was well aware a day before that she is playing with the same girl again. So we prepared her according to the opponents game. She therefore applied the same tactic which was taught to her. I was kind of speechless because today Aditya fought like a warrior. It made me proud and happy. She won the match by 6.1,6.4. 

Marco won the match by 6.7(4), 6-1, 6-2. He played well and remained calm throughout the match. Marco took some time to analyze his opponent in the first set which later helped him to control the match. His opponent was not too strong and did not attack most of the balls.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Today's practice was focused on recovery situation when players were stretched their body. On the most of the tennis practice, players and coaches tend to rally in the stable position. And people generally believe that it's good practice for making their confidence. But we know tennis is the sports that each players try to lose opponents balance on the court. Of course this is the negative thought, but by the based of the principle of this sport, our practice should be carried under the more negative situation. By above reasons, players tried to reach against on coming high bounced wide ball and low trajectory top spin close to the net. Through this hard practice, I hope players also can understand the importance of physical training especially plyometric and reaction speed.


Day 14 (19 July)

Today our team suffered many losses in the semifinal, both singles and doubles. Only Vivian and Victoria advanced to the final. Vivian won both her singles and doubles match while Victoria tasted her first victory in this tour. Victoria and her American partner played in synch as a team to win their semifinal match.


Although our team didn’t do so well today in terms of results, our team and players learned a great deal of invaluable lessons that they could only get from playing matches. They learned the importance of fighting spirit, playing smartly and controlling their own destiny. I must say everyone learned a lot today from his or her own match and from peers’ experience.


Kyle played below his standard today. He did the exact opposite of yesterday. Even with such a low level of fighting spirit the match was very close. Kyle was definitely the better player today but he failed to fire all his engines today, which is very worrying for his future development as a competitive player. Today he probably gave less than 50% fighting spirit and while on the court he seemed like he didn’t want to win (most likely he thought he could not beat his opponent). Even his opponent’s father said if Kyle would just fight a bit harder his son would stand no chance. Kyle lost 57, 57 and the match was close. If Kyle would just fight like there is no tomorrow Kyle would beat his opponent possibly in straight set. During our daily meeting Kyle admitted he only gave less than 70% of his effort. I told Kyle that this is unacceptable and it should never ever happen again. I hope Kyle has learned invaluable lesson today. If he does and if he changes next time, today ‘s match is the best thing that ever happened to him.


Adithya played against a good player. Her opponent found a way to neutralize Adithya’s attacking game by just keeping the ball in play. Although Adithya lost today she played well and she played her attacking game style. Some shots that came off Adithya’s racket were just amazing, as her opponent couldn’t even touch the ball. For the entire match she played her aggressive baseline game and she lost today mostly because her opponent was the more consistent player. Adithya played great but at the same time she also played poorly. She put a lot of efforts in winning 1 – 2 points but then she would lose 3 – 4 points easily (unforced errors). However what I liked today about Adithya’s match was the fact she controlled her own destiny in the match. She lost because of her own mistakes and because she was going for it. On the other hand her opponent was at the mercy of Adithya because if Adithya made her shots she would have most likely lose the match. I told Adithya and the rest of the kids later in the evening that we have to control our own destiny. Win or lose, play our own game and go for our shots.


Vivian was nervous at the beginning of the match and she was down 1 – 4. After making a lot of mistakes by hitting the frame of her racket while trying to play attacking game Vivian changed her game style and played more consistently. She played less attacking game and increased her consistency, which worked like a magic. She went on to take the next 5 games and never looked back. In the second set her opponent basically just gave up. What Vivian did in the middle of the first set was very smart. If our strategy is not working we have to recognize it and make adjustments.


James won his first match but lost badly in his second match against a boy from Mexico that he beat last week. James was bothered by his ankle injury but I could see that’s not the main reason. Although he had ankle injury I could see James did not give his full effort and most importantly he didn’t want to fight with this kid. He knew in his heart that to beat this boy he has to fight like a gladiator and today James decided that he doesn’t want to fight. I confronted James after the match and he admitted that he didn’t want to fight, partly because of his ankle injury. I told James and the rest of the kids that what happened today to James was very much not acceptable. To not fight or not engaging in the battle is simply not acceptable and it should never happen again – ever. If James is only 60% fit, he should give 100% of the 60% he has. Today James is only 60% fit but he only gave 20% of his 60%. I firmly told James that today he walked the court as a real loser and I hope he learn from today.


Kids who did not play singles had their training with coach Yoshida on and off the court for approximately 4.5 hours today.


Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

Our team had their breakfast today around 6:30 as we wanted to arrive before 7:00 so we could get enough courts for warm up and practice.


His opponent was a hard hitter plus had a strong forehand. Kyle was not able to control his game today. He therefore lost the match by 7.5,7.5. According to me Kyle has improved his game, especially on his fundamentals but he still has a lot to work on his fundamentals. Another thing he needs to work on is adding power to his game by working on his muscle strength.      

Vivian won the match today by 6.4,6.0. Her opponent was strong but Vivian played very steady and kept everything simple and basic. Vivian had a tough few games against her opponent but she controlled her game and showed to all that she is definitely one level better than her opponent.                         


James opponent was the same kid who lost the match against him last week. But today, James was mentally defeated before the match even begun. His mental defeat was mix with a few big shots from his opponent in the first few games. James could not even put two rallies on the court because he was mentally intimidated. In reality the opponent was not better than James. I was quite disappointed to see that James could not win the match today. 

Aditya’s match was a tough one and it could have gone either way. Her opponent was strong and controlled the game consistently. Aditya tried every opportunity to grab the victory and turn the game her way. But unfortunately she lost by 6.1,6.4.However I must praise Aditya’s effort and fighting spirit today. I am pleased to see that she has given her very last breath to the match. 


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Today, we had the chance to realize that tennis is the independent sports. The end of the tournament session, of course not all players can play the tournament. In this case, players who lost the match tend to be boring to spend the time this period. But, we have to know, for the match what is the important thing is "Preparation". If on the match situation, tennis players should fight against opponent without any assistance from coaches and parents. In this case, only players independence can help players themselves. So, in the training session, players should be more sensitive and concentrate to improve themselves. If players don't understand meaning of sensitive, just they should be hard worker on the training session. Most of players feel sad when they lose the match, but before the such of sad emotion I want you ask yourself, "Have you tried your best before match start?” I want to see players more positive attitude for training even it looks tough practice.


Day 15 (20 July)

This morning Vivian and Victoria played against each other in the U18 Girls’ Doubles final that started at 9:00 am. The match was quite one sided as Vivian and Christine (from the US) was too strong for Victoria and her American partner. It was obvious that Vivian and Christine have had more playing hours and match experience than Victoria and her doubles partner.


After Vivian finished and won her doubles match she had a short rest and had to get back on court for her singles final. She played against a very solid and complete (all around) player who had an answer for everything Vivian threw at her. Vivian tried everything from playing aggressive tennis to high percentage tennis, but nothing worked for Vivian today because her opponent was able to neutralize Vivian’s attacking shots, took advantage of the short balls and most importantly (what hurt Vivian the most) hit one more ball back than Vivian (which resulted in repeated unforced errors from Vivian).


Compared to her opponent, Vivian had only one game style, which was aggressive baseliner. Her opponent, on the other hand, played so many different game styles depending on the situation (think Federer). Sometimes she would play aggressive baseline game other times she would be at the net finishing high volleys. She knows how and when to attack and she also knows how and when to defend. She’s truly a complete player and today she was the better player.


Vivian gave her best but today she had no chance. Vivian lost in the final for the second consecutive week, but she has learned a lot from her last two finals. Vivian has to improve her net game and learn to be more aggressively consistent when playing against higher-level players. She also needs to learn how to change pace because most of the time she’s only playing with one pace (learn how to use backhand slice) and lastly but equally important she has to urgently improve her court coverage (footwork). Be faster, leaner and meaner on the court!


Kids who did not have any match today trained in the morning with coach Yoshida and watched Vivian’s final. In the afternoon, after Vivian’s match, I let the kids visit Raging Waters ( They had a lot of fun at Raging Waters.


Tomorrow the kids will start their third tournament in Lakewood area. This tournament is only played on the weekend (21, 22 July & 28, 29 July), therefore there will be a lot of players in the draws. Draws can be seen here:


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Today, players tried to improve their forehand with more penetration feeling and movement. That practice was very simple. Players have to hit oncoming dead ball.

Dead ball, it's almost meaning of no topspin slow ball. It looks easy but not so easy to deal with it. Against the dead ball, players must have the power such like penetrate something against opponent's tennis court. Power and speed are not most important phases of tennis, but it's hard to imagine that players win the tournament without them. Also this practice will help players feel their instinct movement more. I hope they can understand more sensitive and aggressive feelings through this tennis tour.


Day 16 (21 July)

Today was a very hectic day for our team especially for the coaches. Our kids played in 3 different venues which are located approximately 20 minutes apart from each other. With a large number of participants Lakewood Open had to be played in 3 different places using almost 45 courts from 8 am till 7 pm.


I signed up Ronaldo, Victoria, Alice, William, Mia and Saya for Satellite event (equivalent to Novice in HK) so they could have more competitive matches against similar level players. The rest of the kids played in the Open category.


Our team had a mix result today. Some won and some lost, but according to what I saw and what other coaches observed everyone gave their best despite playing under a very hot and dry condition today. We were no longer close to the beach area therefore the weather inland was at least 10 degree Celsius hotter.


Adithya played well and won in straight set playing against quite a solid player. She kept her attacking game and played high-level tennis today. Her doubles partner Amanda wasn’t so lucky today. She’s still struggling with her consistency. She made too many mistakes out of nothing (basically her opponent just hit the ball back and Amanda would miss). However, I believe Amanda’s consistency level will only get better from this point because she’s got good techniques.


Terence played well today. What I liked about Terence today was his fighting spirit. His opponent was an OK player but quite consistent. For the entire match Terence mixed his shots well between attacking and defending and won in straight set. Actually Terence is a fighter on the court. He fights no matter what; he just needs to learn to keep fighting when he’s down. Sometime when he’s down he forgets or fails to keep fighting and trying.



Kyle did well today. Maybe because of our team talk this morning where I told the kids that they only have 8 more days before they go home and this will be their last 2 tournaments. Most of our kids didn’t realize they have been here for more than 20 days and they are about to go home in 8 days. Kyle lost the first set against a very consistent player. His opponent did not do much except keeping the ball in play. After losing the first set Kyle fought the next 2 sets and won the third set 61. During the third set 10-minute rest the only thing I told Kyle was to fight, fight and fight. I know he knew how and what to do to win but I also knew the only thing that could help him win today was his fighting spirit, not his strokes. For Kyle this could be a breakthrough experience because he usually shies away from battling with his opponent. 


Ellen played poorly in the first set because she was annoyed with her opponent’s bad call. However she gathered her composure and won the next 2 sets quite comfortably. Ellen uses a lot of slices either from her forehand or backhand but I told Ellen if she wants to play at higher level her game needs stronger support from attacking forehand and backhand. All her slicing and dinging game is great but if she was playing against players for example Vivian she would just laugh at those slice shots. Therefore, she has to improve and uses more her regular attacking forehand/ backhand from backcourt.


Ronaldo fought hard today but he was a bit unlucky during big points. He gave his best and he enjoyed his match. After the match he was happy because he said he played well and most importantly he gave his best effort today.


During our daily meeting I explained to the kids the importance of solving problems on the court. Every match we will face many problems. It could be your own forehand that is not working or the court is too fast or the wind is too strong or even your opponent is cheating you – all sort of problems. But what you are going to do and how you deal with those problems is what matters and what defines you as a person. Everyone can and knows how to give up because that’s the easiest thing to do and that would just make us weak. My goal is to teach our players to excel in problem solving. I don’t have all the answers and the coaches can’t do anything when the kids are playing matches anyway. Therefore they need to learn to face and solve their own problems on the court. After all real life is full of problems too.


Pictures have been posted on our facebook page.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Jason was against very consistent player. In addition, windy weather made him lose his balance. When it comes to playing at the net, Jason had advantage but he couldn't make his game situation. And also his ball control lost by too much hip rotation.


Quentin played 3sets. Today's his match was best one what I have seen ever. Especially in the 3rd set, his quality of concentration and control were quite good. His good control made his own game on the base line. But he needs to improve volley around service line area to get more points.


Saya tried her best and we thought she has chance. But what's the problem was opponent's balls was too slow and tricky. It's hard for her to adapt against those ball situation. She needs more footwork against hard situation.


Mia's match score is getting better since last 2 tournaments.

She almost won the set by game 5-7 and over 1 and half hour she struggled with her plan. She tried to use a lot of drop shot because she found her opponent weakness against short ball. By this trip, she has learn how to find players weakness by each players.


Victoria played well because she was keep on controlling to open space, it is the basic tactic of this sports. It sounds not special but very important to win the tournament. I want to see she can do same thing for tomorrow.


Alice had tough match by playing 3sets, her opponent was consistency also but Alice was patient to hit the ball back. She needs more conclusion shot such like strong forehand stroke.


Day 17 (22 July)

Another hectic day today as our kids were playing at different venues. I wasn’t able to see many matches today due to our team’s hectic scheduling. Most of our kids who played in the Open division had to play 2 matches because Lakewood Open has big draws and runs only for 4 days. Players who won today will play their next round this coming Saturday and Sunday. Doubles will also start this coming Saturday.


Tomorrow a new tournament will commence – Southern California Junior Open. This will be our last tournament before going back home. All the kids are pumped to do well in this tournament especially those kids who already lost at Lakewood Open. I would say Southern California Junior Open is not as strong as the first three tournaments due to number of participants. Every year for the last 10 years Southern California Junior Open received fewest participants compare to the first three tournaments we played. Nevertheless, there are some good and highly ranked players playing in Southern California Junior Open.


James’ opponent put a lot of pressure on James throughout the whole match with his forehand. He’s a fighter just like James. The two kids battled it out but James’ opponent played better tennis on big points. He was able to utilize his forehand to move James around (James being unable to run as fast as he could due to his ankle injury) and kept James under pressure the entire match. James gave his best but I wish his ankle was 100% so that he could have given his opponent a tougher battle. Great learning experience for James today.


Adithya played against a strong attacking player. Being an attacker herself I was surprised to see Adithya played high percentage tennis too today. She found a way to win the match, which is great. She found out that her opponent was a strong hitter but lack of consistency and adapted to the situation. Today she tried different strategy that worked perfectly for her. She played smartly and she was able to identify and solve her problems on the court.


Victoria had a 3-hour battle with her opponent. Her fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude kept her going for the entire 3 hours. She refused to lose in a match that could have easily gone either way. Both girls really gave their very best today and I must commend Victoria’s effort and performance. She gained so much today I could feel she will be a better player after today’s match.


Coach Bhagat has come down with the flu in the past two days (he’s already on the court today) therefore he will write today’s report tomorrow. I will send today’s report from coach Bhagat together with tomorrow’s report. Coach Bhagat saw many matches today.


Players who had no match today trained with coach Yoshida at nearby Long Beach City College.


Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

By watching James's match, I think our players need to watch other players’ difference in their playing style and balance. And also we have to know ourselves.  If we want to increase the percentage of winning, players need more information and knowledge. In order to win this kind of big tournament, if there is no information will not give players good result.


Day 18 (23 July)

Most of the kids knew that this would be their last tournament so everyone who took the court today fired all their cylinders. Some played well, some struggled and overall our team had a mix result. Luckily for coaches this week’s tournament is played only at Lakewood Tennis Center.


Amanda although she lost today I could see a major improvement on her game. Compare to 2 weeks ago she’s playing much better tennis now. In the past she couldn’t get more than 2 – 3 balls in the court and today I saw her played high percentage tennis and she was able to rally up to 10 – 15 balls back and forth against a very consistent opponent. This she could not do two weeks ago. I would say this is a major improvement in Amanda’s game. After she won the first set she lost her concentration and focus because she thought wow I won the first set now I can relax a bit. Fatal mistake because the match is not over yet after the first set. Nonetheless Amanda played well and only lost 8-10 in the third set tiebreaker. The match could have gone either way and Amanda was just unlucky today. Although she lost she did well and she had her major breakthrough in her game today.


Quentin gave his best but for the entire match he looked like he didn’t care about winning or losing. It’s his personality but if he could be tighter mentally and show more fire and be hungrier on the court he would be a much better player. Quentin played against a smart player who knows how to win. Quentin learned a good lesson especially about the importance of being a fighter on the court, which his opponent showed him perfectly today.


It seems to me that Jason is just going through the motion today in his match. He beat his opponent in the first tournament and today I would say he failed to fight for his life on the court. Jason has similar problem with Quentin; lack of fighting spirit and intensity on the court. I am not saying they don’t want to win, they want to win and they do fight – but they don’t want to win bad enough or sometime when they play their match they are just going through a motion. Jason is a very good player and as I mentioned before he’s smart too. However, he’s physically small so to make it up he has to have a big attitude and be fearless on the court. He can be small physically but not small mentally. Mugsy Bouges was only 160 cm when he played as a point guard in NBA.


Marco had nothing to kill his opponent. Marco always gives 100% effort and my heart goes to him but his game is not equipped with any deadly weapon that can make the kill! Even when he’s trying to make the kill he most likely will miss after 1 – 2 shots. Marco has to add some weapon to his game and when he returns to Macau he needs to take his serve and forehand to the next level. Otherwise it’s tough for him to be playing at higher level.


Some of our kids will start their match today. For the draws please click here:


Today after our dinner we celebrated William’s birthday. He turned 12 today. We had a bigger cake today as we pre ordered the cake last week. The kids sang a happy birthday and enjoyed the cake.



Tomorrow morning Vivian will be going back to Hong Kong so everyone took pictures and said good byes to Vivian. Vivian has been an important member of our team and most of the younger girls look up to Vivian. She’s a good player, very obedient, respectful and likes to shower everyone with her smile. She will be missed.  


Pictures have been posted on our facebook page.


Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

James had two matches today. The first match he won by 6.0,6.2. His opponent was an easy one to beat. James made use of his forehand and hit the balls harder. James opponent could not control the game and therefore lost. His second match went opposite for him. James lost the match by 3.6,6.3. It was a tie break. James opponents serve was very good which made James miss most of the balls.


Ellen was too strong for her opponent today. Ellen tried to hit every ball in the court and was easily able to attack her opponent’s game. Ellen played really well throughout the match and had a good level of concentration in the game. She therefore won by 6.0,6.0.

Marco’s opponent today was just a level better than Marco. His opponent had a strong forehand which troubled Marco in the first set. Marco’s opponent did not have a good backhand so marco kept hitting the balls on his backhand. Marco could not control the ball and played without any rhythm. He made many unforced errors which resulted in his loss. His score was 3.6,5.7.

Aditya won the match rather easily today. Her opponent was physically heavy. So aditya took advantage and made her opponent run most of the times. Aditya’s opponent was struggling throughout the match with no consistency. Aditya on the other side was very confident with her game and won by 6.0,6.0.

Additional report written by coach Bhagat (from Day 17):

Coach Yoshida and I left the hotel at seven in the morning for the warm up session of Terence and Kyle. They had their respective matches starting at eight in the Lakewood Tennis Club.

Terence played two matches today. In both the matches he controlled the game applying the good tactics and understanding. His opponents were not too strong for him to win the matches. I was happy to see that Terence played extremely well today and won both the matches. His score for the first match was 6.0, 6.3 and for the second was 6.2, 6.2.

Kyle too played two matches today. In the first match Kyle took control over the game by hitting on his opponent’s backhand and used the same tactic throughout the match and therefore won by 6.1, 6.1. But unfortunately Kyle lost the second match as his opponent was a hard hitter and also controlled the game by his strong forehand, backhand and serve.


Victoria’s match was quite interesting today. Her was the longest match which took 4 hours and 10 minutes to complete. Her opponent was a counter puncture so does Victoria was. In every single point they shared 15-20 rallies. However, Victoria had a few tough games against her opponent but she controlled her game and showed to all that she is definitely one level better than her opponent. Victoria won the match by 3.6, 6.4, 6.4. 


Ellen lost today to her opponent by 7.6,1.6,3.6. Her opponent was consistent throughout the match. Ellen tried to hit the opponent’s backhand but could not control the game. Ellen complained about her opponent of doing cheating at times but it could not help her and was mentally defeated.                 

Day 19 (24 July)

Today was just another day. All the kids who took the court today played well and gave their best efforts. It was great to see them improving not only their tennis strokes but also their mind set and mental toughness. Today was also a great day for Mia and Ronaldo as they tasted their first victory. Both players have been working hard in the past weeks and today they played well and deserved their victory. Mia won a lot of hearts today because although she is small physically she was fearless on the court.

Terence played smartly today. He didn’t play his best tennis but he found a way to win. What I admired about Terence’s match today was his fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude. I could see that Terence was a bit physically drained from his matches last weekend. He told me that today he wasn’t feeling 100% fit. I told him this is normal and will happen often that he’s going into his match not feeling 100%. What important is how much efforts is he willing to give? And today I could confidently say he gave 100% effort of what he had in his body and min today. Terence had some problems with his serve and he needs to urgently fix his serving technique and court coverage if he wants to be playing at the highest level. He hits the ball clean but he’s lower body is not supporting his upper body especially when his opponents are moving him around the court.

Kyle gave a great performance today. After we talked to him in the past 2 days after his last loss he transformed himself for the better. It’s like watching Transformer movies where a car changes to an auto-bots J. Today he was fighting for each point and calling the score after each point. Kyle got cheated a lot because he doesn’t talk back but today at least he called the score after each point and most importantly he engaged himself in the battle/ match. Coach Bhagat and I were pleased to see such a big improvement in his attitude and we do hope he will continue to do the same going forward.

Adithya played well today and had no problem dismantling her opponent. She went for her strokes and blasted a few powerful strokes once in a while from the baseline that made some spectators drop their jaws J. The biggest improvement that I see from Adithya’s game is her ability to adapt, change pace and play more efficiently when needed. In the past she only knew how to hit the ball under any circumstances, now she has a better understanding in how to deal with each incoming ball differently. Although she still needs a lot of work but I could see she has added another dimension into her aggressive game.

Kids  who didn’t have any match today trained in the morning and afternoon with coach Yoshida at nearby Long Beach City College.

Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

Kyle played one of his best tennis today. It’s not that the first time we saw him winning a match but this time he seemed to be very confident on the court. As a coach I was extremely happy for Kyle for one of the reason being that he call on every point and kept scoring. I have seen him in past remaining quite in the court irrespective of the opponent misleading the match. Kyle’s opponent was strong and lefty. Regardless that Kyle managed to control the ball and hit back to the court. Kyle used his forehand to hit the opponent’s backhand. Applying good tactics throughout the match Kyle won today by 6.1, 6.1.

Terence won the match today by 6.2, 6.3.His opponent had a good forehand but a weak single hand. Terence’s point was to play a heavy top spin to his backhand. His opponent was attacking mostly on Terence backhand. Terence therefore made many double faults and unforced errors. Terence strategy was to keep all the balls in without hitting a strong backhand.

Aditya won the match today by 6.2, 6.0. Her opponent was a hard hitter. Aditya tried to hit the balls hard in the first game but could not manage to control the game. In the second set Aditya applied heavy top spin and it worked this time that is why it was 6.0 not 6.2.

Ellen’s opponent was strong today. Her opponent was playing extremely well and knew how to attack the opponent’s game. Ellen could not control the game since the beginning of the match and therefore lost by 4.6, 3.6.

Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Today, Mia won the under 12 satellite 1st round by 6-1,6-1. Her faster footwork and strokes give her the first winning of US tournament. Ronald won by the straight sets. Around service line area, his forehand stroke's quality better than opponents. If he can improve more rhythm of footwork, he will win more matches. At the training session, we divided 3 groups by players’ demands. Practice theme were as below; 1.Forehand conclusion shot  2. Backhand passing shot situation 3. Zone and eye training of forehand stroke. Especially, zone training is very useful idea for all players who want faster anticipation and movement on the tennis court.


Day 20 (25 July)

Today two players advanced into final round. Adithya played her best tennis yet in this tour and she took her game to the next level. Ronaldo had to battle his opponent in the U12 Satellite event but he held his composure and played smarter on big points. Kyle and Terence’s opponents were simply too strong for them today. It was obvious our boys were a class below their opponents. They have a lot of work catching up.

Additional report written by coach Bhagat:

Ronaldo played really a good match today. Though his opponent was strong Renaldo managed to take control of the match and played consistently throughout. It took 3 hours to wind up the match which was quite a long duration. But it was worth watching as Renaldo played one of his best tennis today and I appreciate his hard work which made him won the match.

Aditya’s opponent was strong and had a good serve. In the first set Aditya was at 3.1 down. Aditya started hitting on the opponent’s second serve and therefore control the match. Thereafter Aditya won 11 games in a row and won the match by 6.3, 6.0.

Kyle had two matches today. In the first match Kyle took control over the game by hitting on his opponent’s backhand and used the same tactic throughout the match and therefore won. But unfortunately Kyle lost the second match as his opponent was strong and had a good forehand, backhand and serve. The opponent was quite a complete player and therefore Kyle lost the match.

Terence’s opponent was strong and had a very good control over the match. Terence lost the match today by doing unforced errors and missing balls. Terence was not consistent throughout the match which was a little disappointment for me.

Additional report written by coach Yoshida:

Ronaldo had overcome almost 3hours tough 3sets match.
They rallied minimum over 10rallies for each points. We were so nervous until Ronald finished the match point as well as players. This will be a good experience for Ronald's tennis life.

Mia, lost against No1 seeded player by straight set. Her opponents covered court wider than other opponents. There were long rally situation most of all points. But for the next step, she needs more accuracy of each shots.

William had his own effort even he lost the match. His feedback of match was little bit negative, but I think he had some good shots and rhythm of play.Tomorrow also he has chance to get match experience more.

Saya couldn't beat her opponent even she had prepared for this match from yesterday.
Saya's idea and tactic were simple and  right. But losing control couldn't make true them.
Also I think she could realize that she can do more effort on the court. I want to see her 2 grades higher intensity for the match.

Terence had good feedback even he lost the match. By his feedback, his opponents' play style was too much defensive. This is not his excuse, just he analyzed about the match by himself and learn from opponents play style. And it's really appreciate that Terence learn from even tough result.

Day 21 (26 July)

This morning I took the kids to visit one of the most renowned tennis academies in Southern California – Advantage Tennis Academy. Approximately 10 minutes from our hotel, Advantage Tennis Academy is located inside the Racket Club of Irvine, Irvine. RCI boosts over 25 tennis courts (10 clay courts) and a nice clubhouse. Currently the academy has over 30 fulltime players and one of the most successful tennis academies in the US in placing players into colleges all around the US through its tennis scholarship program.

Ronaldo and William didn’t visit Advantage because they had to play their match early in the morning.

After visiting Advantage we drove to Lakewood Tennis Center. While Adithya was warming up for her final match the rest of the kids had doubles training with coach Bhagat and coach Yoshida. The kids did about 2 hours of doubles training as to prepare for this Saturday’s Lakewood Open (continued from last Sat/ Sun).

Congratulation to Adithya for winning her first tournament in the US!


Ronald, although he lost, played very well today. I could see he made a lot of improvement in the past 2 weeks. He has some technical flaws in his game and his footwork is a liability for him but Ronaldo is a silent fighter and smart player. He played against a hard hitter and today his opponent was just better than him (he’s got a big forehand). Ronaldo knows how to play the game but I wish his techniques and physical ability were better/ stronger because his techniques and physical ability have not been able to support his game to execute his game plan and tactics. There is some kind of disconnection between his brain (what he wants to do) and his technical/ physical ability (what he can do). If Ronaldo can improve his techniques, fundamentals and most importantly his footwork, he could be a very good player. Regardless the outcome of today’s match, Ronaldo deserves a lot of praises for his performance and fighting spirit. He gave everything he had today. 

Adithya was ready for her first final today. I could see she was waiting for this day to come and she was very determined to win. Before the match I could see Adithya’s intensity in her eyes. The first four games were a battle as she played against a very competitive player who played a similar game to Adithya. Both girls came out strong in the first few games and exchanged many powerful strokes from the baseline. The difference was Adithya was able to demonstrate higher level of consistency even when playing aggressive and attacking tennis. Her opponent was able to cope with Adithya’s power game in the beginning but her game broke down after the first four games because Adithya didn’t make any mistake and didn’t give her any free points. Although Adithya made some easy unforced errors towards the end of the game because she was a bit nervous the entire game she played consistently and controlled aggressive tennis. In the past two weeks Adithya has improved her consistency level tremendously. In the past she could only keep 4 – 5 balls in the court due to her high-risk and aggressive game style and she had only one dimensional game (attacking) but now, as she demonstrated today, she was able to keep as many balls as needed – even when attacking – to win a point and was able to mix her shots well between attacking, setting up and defending. She didn’t just go for all her shots anymore, rather she was able to make the best decision for each shot. Her opponent, after the first four games, had no chance. Adithya took the first set in 30 minutes and she never looked back and won the second set also in 30 minutes. She played well and fought like a young tiger today.

After Aditya’s match we took the kids to South Coast Plaza for some shopping (they had been bugging me for the last 2 weeks about going to shopping J). The kids enjoyed one of the biggest malls in Southern California.

Tomorrow we will be taking the kids to Disneyland. Most of our kids have been desperately waiting to visit Disneyland J.

Pictures have been posted on our facebook page.

Day 22 (27 July)

Today is the day the kids have been waiting for since day 1 – trip to Disneyland.  We left the hotel at 8:30 am. Everyone was excited and couldn’t wait to reach the happiest place on earth. We bought tickets for Disneyland and California Adventure and I thought if we stay for 10 hours we would be able to cover all the attractions in both parks. I was dead wrong as some of us waited for 4 hours just to ride on Disney’s latest attraction – Carz. It was one of the best rides in the park and relatively new (only a few months old). Great ride and so much fun, but the line was so long we even saw some people having a picnic in the queue.

We went home just on time to see part of firework show. We also saw the firework when we were driving our car on the freeway. The kids had a great time at Disneyland and California Park and by the end of the day while I was dead tired the kids didn’t feel tired at all and were still playing and sharing stories with each other J.

Tomorrow we will continue our tournament from last weekend. Only Terence, Adithya and Victoria are still in the singles draw. The rest of the kids will play doubles.


Pictures from Disneyland have been posted on our facebook page.     

Day 23 (28 July)

This morning the kids continued their matches from last weekend’s Lakewood Junior Open and Satellite tournament. Adithya, Terence and Victoria played singles but unfortunately only Victoria advanced to the final round (U16 Satellite Event).

Today’s match was a battle for Victoria and her opponent. Both girls gave everything they had and played a great match. After losing the first set Victoria quickly changed gear, discovered her opponent’s weakness and played higher percentage tennis than first set. She stepped up her intensity level and increased her consistency while also keep attacking short balls. Her plan worked as her opponent started to make a lot more unforced errors in the second and third set. Victoria fought hard and she deserved a lot praises for her fighting spirit and effort.

Terence played OK today. Not great and not bad. He was a little bit flat mentally and I thought he wasn’t able to give his 100% effort today. He tried hard physically but mentally he wasn’t 100% into the battle and at times during the match the coaches could see him relapsed mentally (he lost concentration and focus here and there during the entire match). It was quite obvious because today Terence gave up a lot of easy points and we could see that Terence could play better and not miss those shots if he didn’t have mental relapses. Nevertheless, Terence did try and he wanted to win. Hopefully he learned from today and cut down on his mental relapses because if he wants to be a champion he can’t afford to lose concentration and focus at ALL during entire match.


Adithya gave her best and played well. She didn’t play her best tennis especially in the beginning as she made more unforced errors than usual, but it was mainly because of her opponent didn’t let her play her best tennis. She played against a girl who is one head taller than Adithya that can hit the ball well. When she played against Adithya she was consistent but what got Adithya today was she was able to utilizes the court well (hit to corners, make Adithya run, etc). She was mixing her game really well against Adithya and had a much better cover coverage than Adithya because she’s physically bigger and stronger. The girls exchanged a lot of good rallies from the baseline but I could see Adithya was putting much more effort than her opponent on every single shot which quickly burned Adithya’s energy storage much faster than usual. The fact Adithya had to put more effort on her shots as played against a bigger opponent coupled with Adithya’s opponent constantly making her move around the court really drained Adithya’s energy storage much faster than usual. Her opponent didn’t give Adithya anytime to relax in the entire match. Regardless the result Adithya fought all the way through and she learned a great lesson today.

Tomorrow Victoria will be playing early in the morning and Saya/ Mia and Adithya/ Amanda will be playing their doubles.


Tomorrow evening after all our matches we will be driving the kids to LAX airport to catch our flight in the early morning on July 30.  This year’s tour went so fast. Some of the kids told me they thought they’ve just arrived a few days ago and now they have to go home already J. Coach Yoshida, coach Bhagat and I are pleased to see each player improved their game and personally gained something invaluable from this tour. Each kid will go home as a better tennis player and more matured individual. 

Day 24 (29 July)

Victoria saved the best for last to win the U16 satellite event and Amanda/ Adithya played some great doubles to win their second doubles titles together.

We left our hotel at 7pm and arrived at LAX at 930pm. Before we drove to the airport we had our last meeting where I summarized what I think of each player. What are their strengths, weaknesses, what they did well and most importantly what they need to improve when they get home.

It has been my honor and pleasure knowing, coaching and taking care of all the kids. They are talented, respectful and fun bunch of kids. I had a lot of fun taking care of them. Some of the kids I will continue to see when we return to Hong Kong and some I will not see for a long time, but I wish everyone the best and I hope they will use what they’ve learned from this trip to find greatness in them.

Last but not least, I would like to thank my coaches for working extremely hard in the past 3 weeks: coach Yoshida, coach Bhagat and coach Lin. They worked tirelessly and took great care and special interest in each kid. I could see that each day they woke up because they wanted to make a difference. Without them this tour will not be as successful, smooth and fruitful for the kids. All of them worked super hard to ensure the kids improve their game and learn new things everyday!

See you all in Hong Kong!

Posted at : June 04 2016, 11:48 AM by Woodruff

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