Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tournament Results.

Summary: I lost in the semis.

Match 1: my opponent had solid, consistent groundstrokes. As the match began, I came out of the shoot characteristically nervous, as has been the standard these days, and was playing pretty badly. I lost the first set 6-4, I think. I could already tell that my opponent wasn't as fit as me, though. When I came out in the second set, I was feeling warm, had some sweat worked up, and felt a lot better about my strokes. That was pretty much the end of that as I closed out the next two sets in short order.

Match 2: I played the #3 seed. Lucky for me, I had only a short delay after the first match, which is good for me because I like to stay warm. I'm not sure exactly what happened here, but I came out firing and just obliterated the guy. From the initial warm-up I could tell this was a guy that hit extreme spin and was likely to go for a lot of angles. I essentially removed his ability to do so by keeping the ball deep, with a lot of spin, corner to corner. He started getting frustrated quickly and was never able to come up with anything that would work against me.

Match 3: As I started hitting with this morning's opponent, it was obvious that I wasn't going to be able to overpower him. This guy rifled the ball. Then an interesting thing happened: right out of the box he started missing a lot. Akin to match #2, I just tried to keep the ball deep, keep him on the run, and make him create shots. I went up 6-2, 5-2 on the guy. Then came the aforementioned power. I think at that point he realized that the match was pretty much over so he started going for broke. The problem was, it started working because he started painting the lines, hitting corners, etc. It was all very frustrating, to say the least. He took the 2nd set and went up 4-0 in the third. I was dead tired but wanted to leave it all on the court, so I fought hard to get back on serve, 4-5 in the 3rd. I was serving. Blistering return to deuce corner, 0-15. Blistering return down ad line, 0-30. Hard serve by me, 15-30. Monster forehand by him where maybe half a ball-hair landed on the baseline, 15-40. I think in the last point, he hit a hard forehand into my body which I sent wide.

I don't want to dwell on the negative because from a generic standpoint, I played really well this weekend. Ultimately it comes down to the same story as it usually is these days - fitness. When I played 3 hours a day 5 days a week as a junior, rocking out tournaments was no big deal. These days, playing tennis for a couple hours a day, twice a week, you get to that third match and your legs are just gone. Now, I was more fit than opponent #3 today, so that's a pretty bad excuse. The bottom line was that he started swinging out at the end which made me backpedal a lot and threw off the entire balance of the match thus far at that point. For tournaments down the road I'm going to have to do a lot more cardio in preparation, and just a lot more fitness training in general. It's frustrating when you wish you could be training for something multiple hours per day every day, but then that whole "job" thing gets in the way. You juniors out there need to soak up all that free time while you have it.

Anyway, I truly believe that I haven't met a 4.5 yet that I shouldn't beat, not to mention my ultimate goal is to win a 5.0 tournament. Of course, 'till I execute, it's all pointless babbling that makes me look like an chump, so I'll be working on getting fit enough to put my money where my mouth is. The next tournament is coming up in a few weeks.


Blogger Robby said...

hire a coach/trainer - best money you'll ever spend imo

12:37 PM  
Blogger Badger said...

Man, you must be making bigger bucks than me, Robby! An hour with a tennis coach is usually $40. Even if I wanted to, that's too steep.

6:08 PM  

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