Friday, June 17, 2016

Winning, doing what it takes

Having attained a year-end USTA ranking in Dec/2015, of #1 in North Carolina Southern Division in the Men's 4.0, 70-74,  I was seeded #1 this year and got a bye in the first round.
In the past, I had preferred not knowing who I would be playing. I believed, I would be restless the night before the match, thinking about who this person might be; and thinking about game strategy to use against them, and how well they played, and therefore not be rested and sharp the next morning.
Since my opponent was seeded # 2,  we were expected to meet in the Finals, which we did.

Having won this tournament--beating the same opponent-- last year in a tie-break, I felt my opponent Ron Keiger would remember I don't serve, or hit hard; but that I use a lot of psychology: laughing, using futility body language, muttering to myself at my errors, or applauding their good strokes.
Usually, my opponent don't suspect I'm trying to make them become over confident.
Drop-shooting on my return of serve to mix up my returns, as well as moving away from the center service mark to serve, which pulled him farther off court, making my angle volley easier, was some of the strategy I gleaned from two of my favorite tennis books now out if print. "How to beat better tennis players," and "Use your head in tennis;" but I'll admit it opened me up to some sharp down the line winners I could not prevent.
Having watched my opponent play the day before and having made notes, which I keep in a binder court side, I took the first ball of our warm up rally to go to the net to get focused, worked on my eye, hand coordination, timing and footwork.
This was intended to show my opponent that I volley consistently, and it would not be a good idea to bring me in to the net.
Thankfully, he didn't test my overhead which is suspect, and not totally reliable, because of my bad pain in my hip from prostate cancer, it's difficult to retreat from the net.
Many balls I would have retrieved in the past, I had to concede to my opponent, though they would have been reachable in the past.
I've not played or practiced since Saturday as my arm seems to be taking longer to recover since I may have unwittingly played harder, and with more intensity in the tie-break wanting, and desiring to win, but I should soon be back to exercising as instructed by my therapist.
P.S. Getting ready to do my annual reading of the Declaration of Independence at my teaching facility: Lake Park Swim, and Tennis. This year I'm trying to introduce Fencing.

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