On Home Soil

It came and went awfully quick. A little too quickly for our liking as we weren't able to take advantage of a weaker draw. A little frustration with my own poor play ensued. But I'm calming down and getting ready for our next event here in Stare Jablonki, Poland.

Looking back at the event, I can't stay too upset. I got to see and spend time with a lot of familiar faces. All over the city we had family, friends and fans supporting us, it's a shame we couldn't do more for them, but a shout out to all of you nonetheless. Thanks for coming out, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves. The venue itself is awesome,  easily breaking into my top 5 favorite places to play to date. I may not have seen as many venues as most, but Quebec city really went above and beyond their expectations for a first time event host. Even though many European teams didn't get to experience it, Canadian fans certainly did, with huge crowds even during the early days of the tournament and continuing on to support the 10 Canadian teams (6 Women, 4 Men) in the Main Draw of the event. I know Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney certainly appreciated it en route to their career high 7th place finish.

Another positive was I got a little free time before Quebec to get out to BC to see the ever popular Vancouver Open, one of my personal favorite events. Even though I didn't get to play in it, and even though the weather wasn't quite optimal, it was still a grand old time, and congrats to Maverick Hatch and Sam Schachter for taking the crown for men, and the two American women I don't know for the women. It was nice to get a little time to myself after almost a month straight on the road. 

So after a week in the home country, I'm recharged. The next phase of Euro events starts right now, and we hope to do even better this time than the last.

Ben Jammin


Getting over the hump

This is kind of a follow up from last weeks blog. After being so frustrated from another weekend getting 25th in Stavanger, Christian and i finally broke through to the playoffs in Gstaad, Switzerland. Turns out bitter might be better after all. After a couple months of climbing uphill, we've finally pushed past pool play. The next step will be to get some playoff wins, and we'll finally be at the greener grass on the other side. Once the confidence that we can get, should get, and have gotten results, the downhill will finally get started, and results will get picked up along the way.

What better setting to talk about moving up and downhill than Gstaad? A small tourist town right in the midst of the Swiss Alps. This is one of the only places this year that I've I actually been somewhat of a tourist. It's hard not too, when everything there is oh so Swiss. Swiss cheese, Swiss chocolate, Swiss banks, Swiss army knives, Swiss Alps, Swiss dairy cows, a Swiss Chalet and whatever else Swiss that I can't even think of right now.

The most notable moments aside from getting through the qualifier yet again, and finally getting out of our pool:

1 - Cheese Party with the Canadians in our chalet:
Say Cheese!
2 - The View

3 - Jumping off a Mountain:

4 - Last but not least, Having lots of Swiss Chocolate bars to take home with me. Let me know if you want one before they're all gone!

Ben Jammin


On the Brink

We're so close to getting some big wins its frustrating.

This past weekend, Christian and I qualified for the 3rd time to play in our 4th main draw of the season. We're succeeding in that area at least. As long as we keep making out of the qualifiers, our seed will increase little by little. Getting passed this weekend's qualifier, was no small accomplishment, don't get me wrong. We took a couple big wins in the pouring rain against two higher seeds, one of which being Georgia who've beaten me a couple times in the past. But in order to start making big jumps in the pecking order, we're going to have to start winning some of the money matches.

We're on the cusp of being great at the moment. We missed out on beating this tournaments eventual champions (Ricardo/Marcio) by less than a handful of sideouts. And did the same later that day against the Russians (Semenov/Likholetov) while they pummeled their serves into the heavy wind. Only to stumble on Canada day against an American team (Rosenthal/Gibb) that could do no wrong.

One or two more breaks could have made all the difference. Unfortunately, we weren't quite able to turn them in our favor just yet. Once we get that first big win, others will follow, but right now the hardest part is getting over that little hump. Our patience will only get us so far, once we hit that moment, the win won't be handed to us, we'll need to take it. But we will, and soon, because I'm getting sick of losing the close ones. As our coach, John Child, tells us - Bitter means Better. Meaning the more pissed off you are, the more likely you are to make something happen out of spite. I might not fully agree with the concept, but I do like the end result, so let's go for that.
Ben Jammin