Can't wait for more info
First tournament since the disaster in Boynton, mere days after graduation.
I’ve had time to settle back in here. I am back at Dominos and remembering the nights. In fact tonight I am delivering from 630-2 AM. Yeah, we are open until 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays now. Son of bitch.
During the week, I was able to play a practice match with Nico De Fraia over at Evert.
He won by 6-1, 6-2, but in the 2nd, I was playing much better. I was serving 2-4, 40-0, but was unable to hold serve. Still though, I need more practice matches vs. quality players mid-week.
Got off work late last night and only was able to muster 3 hours or so of sleep, I really need to change this. I am going to ask the boss for a schedule of Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday close to have Thu/Fri/Sat off to properly prepare for the weekend tournaments. This working until 1-2 AM and having a match at 9 AM, it is less than ideal, to say the least.
Regardless, I took the court this morning vs. Andrew Ely.
I knew him from before, when I worked at the Tennis Center on the East side of town summer 2012. That was around the time he was around 650 in the world in juniors. We hit a few times, so I knew sort of what to expect.
At the tourney site, there was a delay because a massive swarm of bees gathered in the back of the court, and one match had to be moved as the bees were gathering at the fence for what looked to me like a massive orgy with the queen. “You are practicing at your own risk,” the referee said.
“Yeah, yeah,” my casual reply. I had to warm up. I don’t care about no stinking bee orgy. It was around this warm up that I felt my right knee starting to hurt. Fuck. The maintenance guys come by and police rope off the area and knock us off. They called a bee expert, but I don’t know what the conclusion was.
They moved us to the other site, where we were able to play the match. I even gave him a ride to the site! We came out, and in the first several games, my knee was ok. I was getting to 30 and deuce almost every game. My serve is no longer the weakness it once was, I now at least can get into a rally consistently. I should have held at least 2 games where I led 30-15, and one game where I had 40-30. At 0-5, I had that 40-30, couldn’t get it, and by the end of that game, my right knee gave. I served up 2 DF to lose the set and considered retiring from the match.
But I had never retired from any match ever, and I wasn’t about to start. I trudged on. First few games of the third, I just tried to slap winners and not move much. On serve, I could not put ANY weight on my right leg and was just arm serving it, really. On one occasion, I rocked back on my serve and stumbled and almost fell, being unable to put weight on the knee. Still got to deuce. 0-3 down after he holds to 30.
Again I consider retirement. But I can’t. At 0-3, I just slap some serves and FH and I am up 40-30. I am massaging the knee during the changeovers, stretching out the various hip/leg muscles to loosen it up. At 40-30, I serve, we into a rally. He hits wide to my FH, I struggle to run out there, in pain, and hit a slice FH squash defense shot. He hits his BH into the open court and closes the net. I dash over there and place a slice BH DTL, threading the needle past him at net to hold for 1-3!
“Now that’s what I’m fucking talking about man!” I yell.
Now I am in the game. His next serve game, at 30-30, we have a long rally, and I get a short ball to attack, but I am just one step slow to close the point to get a BP. Instead he holds for 4-1. At 1-4, I have 40-15, but again am unable to hold. At 5-1, he serves 40-0. I hit a BH winner. 40-15, I hit a FH winner. 40-30, I play a beautiful point, get the ball at the net…and smash it into the top of the tape
GSM Ely, 6-0, 6-1.
I thought I played not too bad considering the circumstances. My week of training was very good, but just the unfortunate knee injury was unfortunate. I was back in the gym this week and went hard. I felt much stronger on the court, but I felt a bit too heavy, on a lack of sleep, sluggish, and then the knee. But when I was actually able to get to the ball, I was right there with him. We had many very solid rallies and even he told me post match that I was playing much much better than 2 years ago. Well I certainly hope so!
I think he can do well in this event. No consolation today, as I want to work on this knee. My belief is the injury came about due to soreness in the hamstring muscles from Monday’s leg day. I did not massage my hamstrings enough. The back was fine, the elbow was fine, though I am concerned about both the chest and the wrist. Just have to get stronger and in better shape, bottom line. My game is right there in terms of groundstrokes. My serve is enough to get into the rallies but needs to improve. Just need to keep getting better.
Gotta get that schedule changed at work, that is the most important. Sunday-Wednesday I can do, I still make enough money to cover everything, and I can have Thu/Fri/Sat off to properly prepare and compete. Gotta find a way, gotta make it happen, man.