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Let me introduce myself to you all. I'm 28 years old, I live in the Netherlands and all my life I have been busy practising sports. Since I was a little child I played soccer and I managed to reach the Dutch third division at the age of seventeen. At the age of 18/19, I stopped playing soccer (too much politics, lost the fun in it) and I started boxing and kickboxing. This also went quite okay and I fought tournaments in different countries, mostly in Europe. I also like running and finished a few half marathons. Despite working fulltime and getting my business degree, I always managed to work out at least 3 or 4 times a week. But then, the injury started...

I started feeling little shocks in my left knee and it got worse and worse. I was training for a kickboxing match in the UK and a 15 km run and since I am stubborn, instead of taking some rest, I continued to workout until it got to a point on which it got impossible. I have an injury called jumpers knee. I started to go to doctors, hospitals, physiotherapist and specialists. After a year and a half of visits, there was no solution for my injury. I started doing fitness to stay in shape and quickly I got huge biceps and a sixpack. But I was missing the competition element.

As a child I watched a lot of tennis. I was a fan of Pete Sampras and later came Federer. Richard Kraijeck and Robin Haase are from my town so I have seen them play a lot. I never had thought of playing tennis until my physiotherapist (physiotherapist number 3!) told me to try it. The impact should be less on my knee and I could slide over the court. So at the end of 2014 I went with a friend to a tennis court and started playing.

This went quite well and my friend, after a few matches, didn't want to play anymore against me, he was tired of losing. I've asked another friend who had played tennis and competion for 3 years a few years ago and so I found a new tennis mate. This also went quite okay for me and I currently have a positive balance with him of 13 wins and 1 loss. Although he has much more experience and technique than I do, I compensate this by fighting for each point and never giving up (something I inherited probably from my Portuguese roots).

To learn the basics, I followed eight classes in the spring of 2015. My coach was the brother of Ysaline Bonaventure (a Belgian Fedcup player). The classes have ended but I'm still learning each week new things just by playing against more experienced opponents. Last Sunday I played a training match against a much more experienced opponent and won by 6-2 6-3. I also watch a lot of youtube movies that I try to copy on the court. Tennis is an incredible technical game so there is always a lot to improve, that's also the beauty of it.

My strongest point is my will to fight. I never give up and run all across the court to get the point. Power is another strong point and my forehand is also quite strong. My (doublehanded) backhand needs a lot of improvement, so does my service and my volleys. I'm most confortable when I play at the baseline but I am trying to play more at the net. I play with a Babolat Pure Drive racket.

After having done approximately 25 matches (losing 2) on the training ground, I feel it is time to test myself in an official tournament. The tournament is an open tournament in my hometown and starts the coming weekend. I've enlisted myself for singles and doubles (with my training mate). I've never played a doubles match so my focus is on the singles matches. I'm not setting any goals for myself but I always play to win. If this goed well, I'll play two more tournaments this summer. For now it is time to train, I'm off to the tennis club and I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'll keep you updated :)
 
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YES YES YES YES :D :D :D :D

Fantastic!

Keep us updated! Or at least me :D Have you got any video of your training?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
YES YES YES YES :D :D :D :D

Fantastic!

Keep us updated! Or at least me :D Have you got any video of your training?
I will! I don't have videos but I'll try and make them, maybe during the upcoming tournament.


Who are you?

Awesome sportsman btw :worship:
Thanks. My name is Ricardo da Cruz but I'm not famous ;)


Today I got news regarding the upcoming tournament. My first singles match starts on Monday and my first doubles match is on Tuesday. Until then 2 more trainings :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good luck!

How strong is this tournament?
Thanks! The level is very mixed. In the Netherlands there is a rating system of 1 until 9. If you start, like me, you get a rating of 9. I've registered for a level 8 tournament where players with levels 7, 8 and 9 can play. I've checked out most opponents and they have played 2 to 4 tournaments for a few years. Of course if they would be very motivated, they would play at a higher level now so it is difficult to estimate their level. We'll see next week! :)
 

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How high do you think u can go? Stay at this level or move up.
I want to move up of course, as high as possible. I don't know what is realistic since my technique is still very basic and I'm 28 years old already but I always strive for the best possible. For now it is 3 tournaments this summer, a lot of practice and I want to enroll in competition next year. Let's see how that goes :)
 

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I want to move up of course, as high as possible. I don't know what is realistic since my technique is still very basic and I'm 28 years old already but I always strive for the best possible. For now it is 3 tournaments this summer, a lot of practice and I want to enroll in competition next year. Let's see how that goes :)
Safe to say your better than me I guess :lol:

Thx for joining TWS btw :D
 

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So today was my first match and it was less exciting than I expected. I won 6-0 6-0 on a smashcourt and apart from one deuce it never got really interesting. My opponent has been playing tennis for 3 years and played in several tournaments (he said) but his only strong weapon was really his first serve. Luckily for me his first serve percentage wasn't very high today and he made a lot of unforced errors. I'm happy to have played my first match but I feel I could have played better, especially serve better.

Next up is the doubles match tomorrow with my tennis buddy (who also won, 6-1 6-1) and wednesday or thurday is the second match, probably against the number 4 seeded player. :)

 

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So today was my first match and it was less exciting than I expected. I won 6-0 6-0 on a smashcourt and apart from one deuce it never got really interesting. My opponent has been playing tennis for 3 years and played in several tournaments (he said) but his only strong weapon was really his first serve. Luckily for me his first serve percentage wasn't very high today and he made a lot of unforced errors. I'm happy to have played my first match but I feel I could have played better, especially serve better.

Next up is the doubles match tomorrow with my tennis buddy (who also won, 6-1 6-1) and wednesday or thurday is the second match, probably against the number 4 seeded player. :)

Whenever I'm in Holland, I'll look you up and we can hit some balls, BTW what court surface is that you're playing on?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You should move up, for sure!
Great win though, I probably could beat that guy though :eek:
The level is really mixed, I saw some pretty good guys playing also, let's see how it goes later this week. And you should sign up then ;)

Whenever I'm in Holland, I'll look you up and we can hit some balls, BTW what court surface is that you're playing on?
Sounds good to me. It was a smash court which is really concrete with a soft layer on it. It's faster than clay but slower than hardcourt. Was the first time I played on this underground.

I think Ricardo is from Portugal, not Netherlands :p ^^
Looks like clay to me
I have Portuguese roots but I live in the Netherlands :)
 

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Intersting surface. Unfortunately I don't plan on going to the Netherlands any time soon, but I'll be fine watching you :p

Do you have any video or anything?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Intersting surface. Unfortunately I don't plan on going to the Netherlands any time soon, but I'll be fine watching you :p

Do you have any video or anything?
That's also fine :p

You can see by the quality of the picture it wasn't taken with the best camera. I'll try to get some vids in the future but for now you will have to do it with my reports ;)
 
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