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Days 17-whatever - Summer Training

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It's been awhile!

Since my last blog, I've played in three tournaments.

Tournament One:
I'm serving underhand the whole time, which turns out to be WAY more of a detriment than I expected. I basically suck it up in my first match, and lose 2 and 3 to some old guy who likes to chip and come to the net, making my underhand serve perfect for him. Then I get to play a consolation match. This one went a lot better. I lose the first set 6-2, but then I wake up and start thinking about tactics and stop worrying about my serve. I win the second set 6-2. We go into a match tiebreaker (first to 10) and he jumps out to a quick 5-1 lead. I bring it back to 8-8, and then get a match point at 9-8. He saves it with a good return off my lousy underhand serve and wins the next two points, closing it out 11-9.

Tournament Two:
Organizationally, the worst tournament I've ever seen. I look at the draw and see that my first match is at 4 PM on the first day of play, which I assume to be Friday. The tournament director calls me Friday morning to tell me that my match was on Thursday and that I missed it. Thursday!? What kind of a tournament starts on a Thursday!? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. I play a consolation match on Saturday on no sleep and play awful. AFWUL! I lose 1 and 0. Meh. At least I got a T-shirt out of it.

Tournament Three (this last weekend):
Here's where it gets exciting. My first match was Friday night. I had a physical therapy session that afternoon, and we finally start working on rotator cuff (serving) exercises. My PT tells me that I can start attempting to serve in practice as long as I'm careful. STOKED! I try some serves before I have to leave for the tournamet. They didn't exactly work. I can't swing my arm very fast. What I did was bring my racket up ahead of time and use an abbreviated motion, ala Roddick. I focus all of my energy on my legs and my snapping my forearm. The serve kind of works. Not great, but better than an underhand serve. So I get to the tournament and play my match. The serve is fairly bad, I'm hitting a lot of double faults, but I'm winning more of the points that get to at least three shots. Still, there aren't a ton of those to choose from, and I lose 0 and 1. I'm not too bummed because I felt like I would have won with a serve. I was in every one of his service games, breaking once. My opponent tells me afterwards "If you get that serve down, you'll be a real threat." Lol. Thanks, old guy.

Saturday I came back for the consolation draw. The guy I'm playing is young, for once. He's probably my age or a few years younger. He obviously isn't too experienced, but hits some decent shots. He slices everything, which I HATE, but is not very consistent overall. I win 2 and 3. He was up 3-1 in the second, so I was happy to close it out with an easy looking scoreline. My serve definitely felt better.

Sunday I went back to play in the consolation semis. I win the spin and elect to return first. I get to 30-40 on his serve, but he saves the BP with an ace and follows it up with a few more huge serves. I hold easily. His next service game is deja vu. I get to 30-40, then can't do anything as he bombs some serves at me. Serving at 1-2, I get a little nervous and he starts finding the range on his groundstrokes and breaks me to go up 3-1. We both hold for the rest of the set, despite me having several more BPs, and he closes it out 6-3. Balls. Then I am broken to start off the second set. Crap. Still, I keep a positive attitude and adjuct my position for returning. It works well, and I break back! Then we both hold in a lot of LONG games until we get to a tiebreaker. I win the tiebreaker 7-2, and then win the match tiebreaker 10-5!!! It's probably the best win of my life. 3-6 7-6 10-5. The match was a little over 2 hours.

Then the asshole tournament director and my next opponent start telling me I need to hurry the hell up and get ready to play the consolation final. I'm basically too tired to stand up for myself and take 10 minutes instead of the 30 I should be allowed and get absolutely killed in the final. I could barely run, or think. I kind of felt like I was drunk. The douchebag I was playing wins 1 and 1.

All in all, a very exciting tournament! I can kind of serve now (I probably busted out a few 70 milers! ) and the rest of my game is going well. My mental attitude is much better. I figured out how to concentrate on the next point and stop thinking so far ahead. My passing shots down the line were awesome, and I hit some killer lobs. So yay!

I may not have lost any weight (), but I've gained some muscle and my tennis game is at or close to the best it's ever been, so I'm in high spirits.

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  1. mmmm8's Avatar
    Yay, you won some matches!!

    Just don't overwork your arm!
  2. munchin's Avatar
    Nice job. What level tournament was this? There are some real characters who show up to these things. I'd say some the all-around worst people I've ever met, I've met at tennis tournaments. But that's a great motivator for me.
    And ugh...super-tiebreakers. They make me so nervous. Good job winning that one.
  3. nelslus's Avatar
    Congrats on your continuing rehab, Charlie.

    AND- next time- tell 'em they can damned well wait until you are ready to play. You had every right to take a 30 minute break. I've learned not to allow myself to be pressured into anything when it comes to tennis. Especially when it comes to recovering from injury. And- I also agree with mmmm8- be careful not to press yourself too hard.
  4. Charlie02123's Avatar
    Thanks gang! I'm definitely taking a few days to rest after that crazy weekend. I'm still going to physical therapy twice a week, so I'm not too worried about messing myself up. If something hurts, I don't do it. Mostly my shoulder and back will just get sore because the muscles are still building themselves back up. I had a session today and my PT said she's surprised with how quickly my arm is getting better.

    The tournament was 3.5. I played 4.0 and Open last summer, but moved down for this summer because of my shoulder issues. I'm playing another 3.5 in Vancouver this weekend. If it goes well, I might think about playing a 4.0 or Open sometime before the school year starts.
  5. Jay's Avatar
    Awesome to hear that you're winning matches again!
    And I have to agree with M8, don't overwork your arm. It's good to hear that your arm is getting better fairly quickly!

    And what happened, no more diet blogs?
    eat too much bad food?
  6. mrjiggyfly2's Avatar
    Atta boy Charlie!!!
  7. oohsalmon's Avatar
    OMG this sounds so far up my alley. I totally need to start playing tournaments.

    Anyone know where I can find some for DC-area in August and Ann Arbor during the school year?