Saturday, March 18, 2006

Last Night.

Before my match, I chatting with a couple guys about the #3 seed, who was on-court, who was the #2 seed in the last tournament I played, who I managed to beat in said tournament. When my name was called, it turned out I was playing against one of the guys I was chatting with - the other was his son.

One aspect of the older guys (I'm guessing mid-40s for this one) that never fails to amuse me are the "theatrical responses;" when I get mad, I sound mad. When this guy screwed up, it was followed by great reactions like "GUUHH--AAAAHHHHHHHNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!," only not really stated in a furious sort of way, more like a "hearty chuckle" sort of way. He was a very nice guy, though; typically all-smiles during changeovers, and liked to chat.

He was a pusher. And a really scrappy one, at that. Note: the definition of "scrappy" in my mind is really fast, and retrieves 1-2 "I cannot fucking believe he got that" balls per point. Interestingly, he hit to my forehand almost exclusively over the course of the match. This obviously annoyed me since I usually prefer my backhand, but it also has the dual effect of throwing off my rhythm, and I'm a rhythm player. If I receive 20 forehands in a row, and then a backhand, my backhand stroke feels "off" to me when the time comes. Also of note were my volleys, which somehow were at their best-ever last night. For one, I almost never volley; I'm a baseliner. In order to close out points last night, though, I was forced to hit ad-corner, deuce-corner, repeat that 3 or 4 times until he returned a shallower ball, then I'd pound an approach down the ad-side, which he'd slice back with his backhand (as I mentioned, he got to almost all of them), which I was sometimes able to put away with a volley, but oftentimes he'd get to the freaking putaway volley as well, and I'd have to hit an overhead to finish the point. As you can imagine, this was an exhausting process, and my opponent never ran out of energy.

It took 3 hours, but I managed to win, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

My next match is against the #2 seed at 1 p.m. Because it's raining right now and there are limited indoor courts available, I imagine that the tournament will be running behind schedule. I'll provide updates when they happen. Wish me luck!


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