Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The A-Level lesson of a lifetime

For any of you reading this that don't know, I'll repeat a statement I said about 10 days ago.

I said that Donald Young made a ton of his own mistakes, and that most anyone could get a couple of games off of him based off his own errors. I've been torn apart over that one, but I refused to back off till I was proven wrong.

I got that lesson tonight. A 6-0 7-5 lesson.

My match with the athlete, Eric, was canceled, so I went in the directory of our tennis center to see if I could get anyone. I called about four people, and one guy, Bill, answered the phone.

He said he'd play about 6:00 tonight, since it was ridiculously hot all day. We get there and it's still insanely hot(94 on the court), but we'd go on and play. In warmups, I noticed he hit such a beautiful ball, but I didn't think much about it because my opponent yesterday hit such a beautiful ball too, and I beat him.

His serve really didn't have a lot of power, but it had a crazy kick, so I couldn't really direct it at all. It'd come right to him. No matter, I thought I'd just run everything down like I always do.

*BZZZZZZZZZT* WRONG! I'd catch up to it all right, but he was right there and he didn't make one mistake. Game after game. Soon enough, he had me 6-0 in 28 minutes.

I was absolutely flabbergasted. I could not believe a guy that's like 18 years old than I was controlled me like a marionette doll. He made probably 4 errors all match. Did not have a clue what was going on. I asked the guy what level he played.

"Oh I'm Low A level, but dropped to B5 because of my knees"(Basically, the equivalent of a 5.0/5.5

Well, that explained the complete domination.

There was one good thing that came out of it. We had another set.

He forced me to change my game up completely. I've been so used to directing the flow and the pace of the match, and he was doing it to me. Now I had to go for winners.

Remember in my last blog where I said I was going to switch to a two hander because my one hand technique was all over the place?

BZZZZZZT! That didn't happen either.

Very first point of the second set, I nail a backhand winner right down the line. Been a month of Sundays since I've done that. Soon enough, I had four backhand winners, both down the line and crosscourt. This had been my weakness forever in a day, and that first set forced me to say "screw it, nothing to lose". My forehand was really coming alive too. I had eleven winners in the second set, and four from my backhand.

We're trading service games in the second set till he goes up 6-5. Alas, when you go for the winners, you take more risks, and I had three errors that service game. It was over after that. 7-5 in the second.

Everything is new for me in this crazy venture. My fitness regimen has had to change, my way of playing has had to change, and now my opponents have had to change. The 6-0 6-1 match with Christoph in the tournament  didn't even change my way of playing because I know that guy and I will have some classics in the future.

This guy forced me out of my comfort zone, then he made me take chances tonight. For that, I'm thankful.

The Kennworth tournament in Acworth, GA is in ten days, and I believe my chances are fifty times better right now than before this match tonight. I have real confidence in my strokes right now(although I cannot wait till I get a coach to smooth out the wrinkles).

Oh, and about Donald Young? I got my taste of crow for tonight. If a fifty year old A level is doing that to me, what would he do? I've always told people that it takes a "proof in the pudding" lesson for me to eat crow, and I got that. Now time to work on my game.

Onto Destin, FL. Lots of good tennis there.

1 comment:

  1. Just a quick comment. Being low A does not make someone a 5.0 / 5.5. I played low A Alta and I am on the very very low end of 5.0. I lose to 4.5's fairly regularly. That said, I was one of the better players in the league and arguably the best on my team.

    Good luck with the project, I enjoy reading about it.