Regional Exhibitions Continue In U.S. This Weekend

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Last week, the UTR Pro Match Series took place on a single hard court at a private residence in West Palm Beach, Fla., spread over two days and was won by Reilly Opelka. This weekend, action shifts to Rolling Hills, Calif., on the west coast with the “California French Open,” billed as an exclusive, intimate clay court tennis event featuring world-ranked players, including Sam Querrey of the United States, and organized by local businessman and philanthropist Scott Douglas.

The California French Open will be held at the Douglas estate in Southern California, a secluded pristine site with a sunken green-clay court that has been used in the past by players to train for the French Open. Besides the 45th-ranked Querrey, others scheduled to compete during the two-day event, May 16-17, are: Bradley Klahn of the United States (ranked No. 126), Zachary Svajda of the U.S. (No. 945), Marcos Giron of the U.S. (No. 102), Ernesto Escobedo of the U.S. (No. 181) and Brandon Holt of the U.S. (No. 488).

The California French Open is closed to the general public due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. It is scheduled to be shown on Tennis Channel.

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Behind The Racquet – Corentin Moutet

Corentin Moutet, a native of Paris, France, turned pro in 2016 while still a teenager. He understands that as a tennis player one learns to be an adult quicker than normal. As he wrote this week in a first-person essay published on the Instagram series Behind The Racquet, “When you are playing Futures at 16 or 17 you are mostly playing against adults, for money. You see what it is like to be an adult early on. You are working from a young age. Other people don’t really start working until around 24/25. They deal with adult problems later. Early on you feel the pressures of winning matches in order to pay yourself and your team. You need to win in order to continue.”

On the ITF Futures circuit, Moutet won five titles and compiled a 63-28 win-loss record. Then, on the ATP Challenger Tour, he added four more titles and went 68-45. On the ATP Tour, Moutet is 14-26 and still looking to lift his first tour-level trophy.

“Tennis has taught me a lot about myself. You’re alone out there and have to figure it all out yourself. You learn to find solutions on and off the court. Even with self confidence, you have to be brutally honest with yourself from a young age in order to grow up and succeed. You are living in a different world than many other kids your age.”

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“I left my parents’ house in the center of Paris, when I was 12, to practice in the south of France. It was a tough choice, even though I wanted to go, I needed my parents but was choosing to be without them. I didn’t know how to cook or clean but I learned. I have always been a part of the federation. I knew that was where I needed to play to practice with the best players. There is less of a focus on school and more on tennis. I knew from the beginning tennis was for me but I didn’t know just how difficult it would be to be away from home. My parents understood but disagreed with the decision. They were telling me I was too young, that I could find ways to play tennis closer to home. They were convinced by my team around me that this was the best option. The first few months were not great. In just a few weeks I broke my leg. They had an obstacle course as a team building activity for all the kids and I fell off the tree. I was just there not able to practice at all. These days were long, only doing school, away from parents. I didn’t know what to do. I had to stay there to build relationships with everyone because if I went home and came back I wouldn’t know anyone. It was unlucky. Even at that time I knew that I would return soon and their was a long road ahead. It was just a matter of having to take a break from a sport I did my whole life. ⁣ ⁣ Once you eventually leave the federation and need your own team, they help you become a better person. I learned from my mistakes during my time at the federation. When I needed to be the leader of my own team, I became more mature on and off the court. I learned to not only respect the players and team around me, but to respect my family more. When you have your own apartment, and ‘home’ is not with your parents anymore, you learn to make every second count. You don’t have time for negative moments, only good vibes.” @corentin.moutet ⁣ ⁣ Go to behindtheracquet.com for extended stories, podcast and merch.

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What they’re podcasting

In the latest “Holding Court With Patrick McEnroe” podcast, host Patrick McEnroe welcomes Chris Fowler, ESPN’s lead tennis play-by-play commentator. Fowler talks about being a long-time tennis fan, how he transitioned from being an ESPN Sports Center presenter into a tennis commentator, how he approaches broadcasting the different Grand Slams and also working with a variety of different analysts including McEnroe and his older brother, John McEnroe, as well as Darren Cahill and Chrissie Evert.

What they’re sharing on social media

Petra Kvitova / Back on court, again …

Elina Svitolina / What is the idea of success?

Johanna Konta / Another day, another cuddle.