August 3, 2010
I started writing this from 30,000 feet on the flight to Washington, DC, and I’m finishing it after an incredible White House visit today.
What an amazing month in SoCal! When we arrived home from Wimbledon, Mike and I were disappointed, but highly motivated to get back to work and get better for the upcoming Farmers Classic at UCLA. The LA tournament definitely is of special importance to us. We have many great memories from that center court. Besides winning the tournament six times now, it is where we were inspired by players like Andre Agassi, where we have played countless junior matches, where we won the NCAA championships for Stanford, and the one place all of our friends and family can gather to watch us play live. There have been times at UCLA when we’ve had to request over 100 tickets.
After we arrived in Camarillo, we got together with our long time buddy and trainer, Gary Paul, and spent hours doing Gary’s intense “Navy Seal” workouts. On our wall in our home gym, we wrote the #62 as motivation. For a few years now, Mike and I have been answering questions about breaking the record of 61 for most career doubles titles set by the Woodies. We were flattered, but ,truthfully, would just chuckle whenever a reporter would bring up this topic. 62 titles seemed like some magical treasure in a faraway land. But as the titles kept coming, that distant land started to slowly come into focus. Last fall after we won our 56th in London, we shifted our sights to breaking the record in 2010. With each title this year came a little more excitement and a little more pressure. Luckily, Mike and I were playing well in finals and weren’t getting stuck on any number for an extended period of time. This is one reason that this looming record stayed a small monkey on our back and didn’t become a silverback gorilla.
Sunday was incredibly emotional. Before the match and during the match, we were feeling the nerves. We didn’t sleep well as we didn’t want to ruin this “storybook” ending for all our friends and family. The chance at 62 on our home court? It felt too good to be true!
But after brushing aside some nervous times, Mike and I were able to string together some solid returns and get across the finish line victoriously.
To finally break the record for most titles was incredible, and to do it in our backyard with people who have supported us since the beginning, made it that much more special.
After celebrating in the players’ lounge with our friends, including Gavin Rossdale and Jon Lovitz, we flew out the next morning for Washington, and we just left the White House today where we met President Obama at an event organized by the USTA. Sam Querrey also attended, along with Ken Solomon from the Tennis Channel, who is always getting things done for tennis behind the scenes. Photos coming soon!
We know we will be waking up from our fantasy week very soon because this is a tough draw in DC. Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonovic are playing, so that means No.1 and No. 2 in the world in doubles (according to the most recent rankings), are both in the draw.
Back to the real world of practice on the public courts in Rock Creek Park where the tournament is played. Our first match is Wednesday night.
A huge thank you to all our fans, who have supported us all along the way.