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post #252 of (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New blog post by Amir Weintraub (204#) (6/2/2012) "Sick? Get a Grandma Remedy!"

A New Blog Post - "This Movie is Oscar Worthy" - about DC win.

Really emotional stuff.

I don't know if it's possible to write it any better than how things happened.
It was just written from the heavens. It all started when I flew abroad for 3 months and didn't take a break after the USO because of Davis Cup.

I've never flown for 3 months in my life and to be honest – by myself - I'm not going to do that again. I never imagined the 'peak' would be this way, at the end, and to be honest – I didn't even want to play this DC tie.

I played excellent in the USO and from there I flew to Bangkok to a challenger event. I got there with so much confidence and expectation, and I lost the second round after 6 match points and I totally lost all my confidence, because I should have won that match. I was very scared of the upcoming Davis Cup, especially due to my form in Bangkok, I felt mentally done after 2.5 months abroad, I felt burned out.

Every day I walked around anxious, fear eating away at me. I was afraid of embarrassing myself during DC. I had another competition in Shanghai a week afterwards and I lost the second round again, but I played a little better, and it calmed me down somewhat.

We arrived to Japan. Dudi, Harel and I are all in the same flight, but I get upgraded to business class for some reason. They picked up at the airport and treated us like Japanese angels. Everything we needed, the Japanese took care of us.

Dudi and I trained every day and I've felt catastrophic. Everything was just going badly. Nothing worked, as simple as that.
I remember Dudi and I had a little practice match, and I lost to Dudi 1-6. Nothing was working. Eyal (Ran, captain) and Noam (Bar, coach) were trying to help me mentally. Actually the entire team came to my aid.

A day before the beginning of the tie I practiced again with Dudi and we played a match again. Dudi won again, this time 6-0. My racquet didn't stay in my hand for very long, this is how furious I was.

The tie is here, and suddenly they tell us Nishikori isn't playing and I'd play against Ito, a player I've lost to twice before. Dudi played against Soeda, and I waited in the room completely tense. Dudi lost and all I could think of was to play well, I didn't even think about the result.

The match is starting, and he started very strongly, I give everything and says 'whatever will be will be, just play".Things started coming together and I got confident. I started flowing on the court and started to feel like I could win. I didn't look right or left, I didn't get excited after points, nothing. I stayed focused and showed no emotion, just doing what I needed to do. It's over. The team is overjoyed and I'm a little shocked, suddenly a wave of optimism washed over us.

On the second day it was Andy and Yoni's turn to play, and we already knew that Andy had a leg problem, we didn't know exactly what or how bad it was. They lost the first set and we stressed out a little when we realized Andy was injured, and in the second set our heart was in our throats and at the bench we've realized how serious things are. We didn't exactly understand how Andy can go on, but on he went. Then Yoni took over the court and eventually they won the match. We saw how much heart and soul they had, and it recharged Dudi and I toward the third day.

The third day has arrived. I prayed so hard Dudi would win so I wouldn't have to play. I nearly didn't sleep the night before. Suddenly they told us Nishikori WILL play and I told myself "This is going to be a very, very long day"

Dudi started his match and I sat in the locker-room. I stared at the TV and prayed Dudi would put it all out there. After the fourth set, which he lost, he came to the locker-room where I sat. I couldn't look at him, he was overcome with exhausted and was agitated, he was cramping, too. Out of respect for him I didn't get near him and let him have his space. I didn't know what to tell him or what to do. I almost puked from the stress. He played a fifth set and lost it 7-5. At that moment I sank on one of the chairs which was in the room and almost passed out. The Japanese room was next to ours. You cannot imagine the screams coming out of that place. Music, dancing, everything. They thought this is it, they had won. At our room it was quiet, sadness and
appreciation for Dudi for his war and sacrifice.

Suddenly I heard music. I don't know who put Music on, but it lifted everyone's moral. The players gathered around me and started hugging me and dancing.

I went to play the second match, and I'm thinking again "Just play tennis, whatever will be- will be." Unlike the first day, the stadium was almost full, the noise was incredible and I got Goosebumps. It was one of the most beautiful moments in my career. I got to court and knew that in Israel it is Rosh Hashana (Jewish new years eve) and that the entire country was watching me.
I felt the country is crying out for some joy. We didn't do well in soccer, no medal in the Olympics, and everything was up to me.

The match started and I continued exhibiting the tennis I showed in the previous match. I felt really good. I prayed inside I can keep it up. I took the first set. Such joy, I looked at the Japanese bench once every 2 games and could see how they're looking at me. I could see in their eyes they were asking themselves where they hell I came from. To be honest, everyone was asking the same question.

Soeda broke me back and I knew I had to win the next set. I took it at the end, and continued to concentrate on myself. I continued to pray that this match would be over. At the end of the third set I could feel my muscles beginning to contract. I told this to captain Eyal Ran and we realized I had to win the next set because if this match would continue I won't be able to hang in there. The cramping was not due to the tough match, but due to the huge amount of tension I felt while Dudi was playing.

At the end of the third set I already gave up on many balls and only hit second serve. I couldn't move.
The set is over.
I take a break and treatment in the locker-room. All of my muscles were cramping and I knew I was done. All of the team have also known it.

The fourth set is beginning and all my muscles are cramping again. The Japanese had 4 BP and I asked for treatment. Suddenly it started raining. I told the umpire I'm not willing to take the court, I told him the surface was too slippery. The head-umpire suggested to shut the roof but we said no. We told him that if the rain stops – there's no use.

Honestly – we didn't really want the rain to stop. We wanted it to wet the entire court and then it would take longer to dry it. The rain gained us 5 extra minutes and all of this time I took treatments.

After 5 minutes we saw the rain was going to stop so we went to the head umpire and told him that we agree to shut the roof, and he agreed. Due to that action we gained 20 minutes during which they worked on me. I guess someone upstairs was thinking about me.
I went back to the treatment room and I was in agony. I couldn't move. I laid down on the treatment bed and just closed my eyes. I'm telling you, this helped me to fight to the end.

Dudi, who finished a 4.5 hours match before I started playing and was also aching all over came to me and started massaging my hand. He knew exactly what I was going through. While the trainer was working on my groin, Andy and Yoni changed my clothes, Eyal did my neck, Harel did my calves and my Quadricep, Noam fed me and the doctor made sure I had water with salt and minerals.

Do you know how much pride I've felt. The team made me feel like I belong to something money or anything else can't buy, and that's what's makes us a much better team, and ranked much higher than where we should have been.

We started the fourth set. I asked not to participate in the warm up. I don't think anyone in history ever done it but I just wanted these 5 minutes to rest. The Japanese warmed up with another Japanese player. I didn't put my ankle braces or sweatbands; I just wanted to feel lighter.

The match was renewed, I won the next game and the bench started screaming and cheering me up. I kept playing and I could feel my body loosening up, and how the treatment and food and everything helped. I knew to give up the really far-away balls and gave 'extra' in the most critical points.

I broke him to 4-2 and held for 5-2. I could see the ecstasy on our bench. Everyone was hoarse and I've prayed to take it. Match point. I got my first serve in and won the match. I felt exhausted. Completely drained. Beyond that I can't remember much, just that they picked me up. I didn't really realize what I've achieved.

We finished the match at midnight and on 4 AM I was already in the plane back to Israel. Dudi flew to Bankok, Yoni flew to France, Harel to New York and Eyal to Phoenix. Noam Bar and Andy flew with me to Israel.

Could this movie have had a better script? I'm not sure. I feel obligated to thank several people that if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't reach this accomplishment. To the tennis federation who took care of us none-stop, took care of anything we might have needed, from shampoo in the locker-rooms to flights and everything we wanted, they just took care of everything.
To Dr. Yoni Yarom and Avihai Soroka who took care of every blister or muscle we had, to Michael Klien, the father of this team in Japan, a huge thank you to any player, coach and captain on this team. Andy, Yoni, Dudi, Eyal and Noam – I'm proud and honored to be a part of you.

To my family who have been supporting me all these years and now can finally be a little content, to my girlfriend who suffers all day because of me and I won't specify because it's just hard to be the girlfriend of a tennis player, not much you can do about that.

And last of all – you. I feel your love for me anywhere I go to, in the streets, facebook or wherever.
Thank you so much for everything, see you again in February.

Last edited by Or Levy; 10-06-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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