When You're On The Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida
Re: Johnny Groove rematch vs. Victor Haddad (last match 3-6, 7-6(8), 7-5)
From the GM thread:
Started off well, got the break in the opening game, 1-0, held to love, 2-0, broke again for 3-0. Then got broken for 3-1, then broke again for 4-1, then held for 5-1. As he served at 1-5, 0-30, I admit I thought, briefly, about winning the set by 6-1. So mentally I relaxed ever so slightly and he ended up holding in that game for 5-2.
A little bit of back story, I realized that the biggest thing holding me back is my oblique muscles. This was barely a few days ago, and I went hard on the obliques on both Wednesday and Thursday. Normally I don’t lift in the gym on the Thursday before a Saturday tournament match, but this time I needed to make the gainz, brah. And it really helped. I felt so loose, so free in the first set up to 5-1.
Then, slowly, gradually, I started to have pain, here, in my not as faymoose ass, on my right side. My right oblique was so fucking sore, still is. I could not finish the rotations on my shots. As a result, my glute muscles began to have to do more of the work. 5-2 I served for the set, hit 2 DF, as I was starting to feel it. 5-3. He serves, and holds for 4-5.
I knew I needed to hold here to have a chance of winning the match. If I take the first, I can gut it out for the win. I somehow found a way to hold serve for 6-4. 2nd set was something of a disaster. He served in the first game, I think I might have had a break point but I’m not sure, but he holds for 1-0. I try to stay in this mentally, but physically I am getting worse and worse. He breaks me for 2-0, and holds for 3-0. I am hurting pretty bad now, every step is painful. I think, for like a split second, about retiring. Fuck that. I’ve never retired from any match in my life ever, and I’ll be damned if today would be the first.
I am there on the changeover, massaging myself, stretching myself out, trying to get something going, but now he is playing much better, he is more confident. He sees that I am not moving well at all, late to every ball on the backhand side, and I am slicing too much. He plays to my backhand more. Not only this, but my balance is hurting along with my leg. Again he breaks me for 4-0, and now I am starting to lose it mentally. Some curse words.
When he served at 4-0, I had a break point to get back in it, but I slipped and fell, busted my ass, again, and he hit the winner past me. “Of course you gonna fucking slip and fall on break point, Jesus Christ. If I can make it through one match on a clay court without busting my ass, that’d be great” I yell. He holds for 5-0. I am pretty much toasted at this point, and toss in 2 more DF to give it away, 0-6.
I mentioned at the start that I thought the match would be 3 full sets, and I went to the desk to get a new can of balls for the third, but it turns out it was the 10 point TB to decide it. Ok, no problem, I think. With my leg as it is, I have a better chance in the shootout anyways.
I break him in the opening point, then hold for 2-0. Maybe I can find some type of way to get through this match? 2-1. 2-2. 3-2 to him. DF by me, and now 4-2 to him. Fucking A. But still I fight back. A good serve, he misses the return, 4-3. He plays a strong point for 5-3. At 5-3, he serves, we have a rally. Eventually he fakes like he will hit a drop shot, I start running forwards, he ends up slicing it deep, I stop, try not to fall over, get into position, and smack an inside out FH winner for the point.
“YES!” I yell. “Get back in this shit, motherfucker!” I yell. The last two words I said in a much lower voice, however. 4-5 now, me serving. It was getting to the point where I was really hurting in the rallies and I end up telling myself just to go for the winner on the first serve, why not? My mentality was one of a servebot in that TB, never thought I’d see the day lol.
At 4-5, I serve, we have a rally, and eventually I hit a forehand less than an inch long. He calls it long. I question. It is a tense moment in the match, and even though we are friends and sparring partners, I still want to slit his throat, metaphorically, of course. So I jog over there and check the mark, he was right, the ball was just barely long. “The margins that decide matches, eh?” I say, with a smile. “Oh my God, I know ha ha”, he said.
Now, 4-6. I serve bot. Big serve down the middle, he misses the return into the net. At 6-5, he hit a double fault! As we switch sides again, this time a 6 all, I tell myself to keep going, keep fighting, don’t give a fuck about anything else that happened earlier in the match, all that matters is this next point. At 6-6, he serves, we have another big rally, and he hits into my BH. I hit a backhand that I thought off the strings was going to land right on the line, but it ends up drifting juuuuust wide. Fuck. 7-6 to him. I serve at 6-7, we get into a rally.
What happens on this point is a microchasm of the entire match. I can’t tell you how many times the exact same scenario played out earlier in the match. We are in a rally, his ball drops ever so short, I blast my forehand inside out into his BH corner. He hits a shorter ball, one I can attack into his FH corner, and he is way off the court. This is my moment…And I set up to hit it, and as I go into my FH motion, I feel my obliques holding me back. I feel them tightening up. I feel my leg and arm having to do more. And of course my forehand lands right at the top of the tape. 6-8. “OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!!!!!! SORRY FOR THE CURSING!” How many times did this exact scenario play out? A fuckton.
At 6-8, I hit a good serve, he hits a good return, but I have no desire to engage in another long rally. I go for the big FH winner DTL, it was open, it was there, but again I feel the obliques holding me back. I am unable to swing with the ferocity I was to swing with, the control that I need. I end up hitting it midway in the doubles alley, wide, out, 6-9 now. He served at 9-6, we have a rally, eventually he hits to my BH wide, I am too late to the ball, my core is unable to turn, and I slice it into the net. VAMOS! He shouts on the other side. AGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I yell in agony at the same time. You can’t make this shit up. I recall trying to write a screenplay about my life and career, and I would try to come up with epic plot twists of matches but then I’ll go out and play a match like this that you just can’t make up.
“God damn it, I hate losing so fucking much, Fuck, fuck, fucking shit, god fucking damn it, fuck man” I say as I walk up to the net. “Well done, man, good stuff, good win,” I say, as I shake his hand, trying to be sportmanslike. “Thank you, was such a close match, man”, he said.
No matter how pissed off I was, and I was, and still am, the image of his 2 year old son walking from his wife’s arms and into his as he lifted his son up and started bouncing him on his arm, I just had to smile. My mood lightened. Slightly. Temporarily. I still lost another fucking match, again from a set up, and again in the 10 point Russian Roulette. But the scene with he and his son is something I won’t forget.
On the positive side, this is the first time in a long time that I finished a match with no arm pain, which is great. But I still have pain in my not as faymoose ass, and still do. I cannot really walk at all. I am stretching, icing, massaging all day today and tonight to be ready for consolation tomorrow.
Haddad looks like he put up a good fight against Barone in the next round, 7-5, 6-2 loss. Barone, who went 2-6, 6-4, 10-8 against Wojcik a few weeks ago in Fort Lauderdale, which is a great result for Haddad. Wojcik, who went 1-6, 6-4, 1-6 vs. #1000 ATP in Delray 250 Qualies last month. So it is not all terrible. Besides, even if I had won, I may have gotten destroyed by Barone considering my leg/oblique/side injury.
Hopefully I am healthy enough to play well in consolation tomorrow.
Originally Posted by Nathaliia
What do you like doing on MTF most?
Reading Johnny Groove threads.
Originally Posted by tripwires
Johnny blurs the line between grandeur and grandiose
Originally Posted by Humphrey Bogart
The only thing you owe the public is a good performance