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Tournament 4 - Summer Training

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I had another good tournament last weekend. I played another 3.5 in Vancouver, WA. My arm felt a lot better this time. I think I will be able to serve normally very soon. It's SO exciting.

My first match was really low quality. I was exhausted after last weekend, and hadn't hit a ball in five days. I used the first match as a warm up, basically, and was owned 2 and 1. My serve was all over the place. The guy I played said after the match that my groundstrokes were really impressive, and that my serve was off.

My second match was much better quality. I decided to basically tap my serve in ("spin" isn't even accurate) and try to control rallies. My opponent served for the first set at 5-4, but I came back to win the set 7-5. We were on serve (well, on break is probably more accurate) in the second. He was serving at 3-4 and double faulted three times to go down 0-40. Then he retired, saying his legs had given out. He said he was tired from a previous match, but was fairly gracious in saying that I had worn him out. Don't like grinding, eh? Anyhoo, I'd never had someone retire against me before. It was a little odd because he was five points away from losing anyway. I win 7-5 4-3 40-0 (ret).

My third match was pretty good. I played an old guy with odd strokes who actually loved getting pace and could change direction well. He hit a lot of lines and won the first set 6-2. For the second, I decided to use as much topspin as possible and make it a more physical match. I was using so much spin that there were about four shots that he made no attempt to hit because he thought they were going out. Ha! I won the second set 6-1, and we moved on to a super tiebreaker. At 8-8, it's my turn to serve. I miss the first one. Eek! I get the second one it, this time with a medium amount of spin, and he misses the return. Match point! He serves, and we start what is probably one of the longer points of the match. He keeps hitting lines, and I keep lunging and throwing up lobs to restart the point. After 16 or so shots in the rally, he finally misses a risky down the line shot. WOOOOOT! I win 2-6 6-1 10-8.

My fourth match is the consolation final. The guy I'm playing has a monster serve. I decide my only chance is to serve big. I don't. I get waxed in the first set 6-0. Then get down 3-0 in the second, two breaks. I realize that I'm an idiot and that my groundstrokes are probably better then his, so I should stop making it a serving contest. Duh. We start having some great rallies, and even though I'm not getting a lot of his serves back, I'm hitting some good passing shots. I end up losing the set 6-3. Not bad.

So I'm now 4-4 for the summer while serving overhand. It's pretty exciting, because in two of those losses I served a bajillion double faults, and in one of the losses I was on the verge of collapse. The wins are especially exciting, because I lost the first set in two of them, and my opponent served for the first set in another.

I think these last few weeks have been a big breakthrough for me, because I have never been able to play up to my level in a match. I ALWAYS choke to an insane degree. I'm finally learning what my game style is (aggressive topspin from the baseline, treat coming to the net like the plague, only go for winners on passing shots, and get a lot of first serves in. I'm basically a clay courter), and I'm finally learning how to keep my cool and play one point at a time (it's so much harder than it seems). Go me!

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  1. oohsalmon's Avatar
    Bien fait!

    I'm uber jealous of all this. Know I'm playing vicariously through you, living and dying with every point.

    No pressure.
  2. munchin's Avatar
    Wow, sounds like we play exactly alike. I'm not a fan of the net even though my volleys have improved. I just don't know where to hit them when I have the chance. I love hitting passing shots. I even use Roger's short slice strategy frequently just to set the other guy up. And I've always thought I'd be good on clay. We're gonna have to hit around one of these years, Charlie.
  3. JTContinental's Avatar
    Wow, sounds like you play exactly the opposite of me! I like to hit a big serve, maybe one or two groundies, and then take the net. I'm 6'2", so it's tough to pass me, and that's where I win most of my points.

    Even though I'd probably suck comparatively, I'd like to hit around with any of y'all someday.
  4. mrjiggyfly2's Avatar

    Nice job. You're a man trying to live his life. When you say that you plated an old guy...How old are we talking?
  5. Charlie02123's Avatar
    The old guy I was referring to was probably 60ish.