A great set! Savour this!
I met first seeded Adam Field (GBR, world no. 16). Focused on long returns and moving the chair. I was up 2-1 and had an advantage point to go 3-1. Adam however picked up to 2-3. I then had additional advantage points to go 3-3 (two I think..). Instead, Adam picked up his great serve and went up to 2-5. An advantage point for me to go 3-5, was sadly a missed opportunity.
I eventually lost, as Adam didn’t miss much when he got more into the game. Second set was not much to write home about, except for two missed advantage points.
All in all, 2-6,1-6.
However, 6 (!) additional advantage points against world no. 16, feels promising.
Maybe I should practise staying cool and keeping it simple at crucial points?…😉
Doubles was initially an easy game with my new friend Marc Mclean (USA), against Sappino (FRA)/Pramendorfer H. (Aut). The odds weren’t really fair, ‘cause of Pramendorfer’s inexperience and severe disability. We tried to play relaxed and not to kill off the points too soon. We had a fun game for us all, as a result, preparing as best we could for the hard game tomorrow (if you win easily, why not get the most plays out of it?…) 6-2, 6-0 in our favour.
Top seeds await us tomorrow…
All for now, over & out!
Ps: Post-game info from the badly played double against my great Friends Field (GBR)/Hard (SWE), 0-6,0-6. I got some useful pointers from my partner though, such as: ”Where are you now?”, when I missed a long return, ‘cause I’d forgotten to circle at the back of the court (being too eager). I had ended up just inside the base line, or sometimes too close to the net, too close to the ball, preventing powerful returns. (Lessons to be learned on my volleys).
Calm and collected, and yet frustrated…
I was up against Sappino (FRA).
I lost to him here last year 4-6, 1-6, as I was making too many mistakes and shooting at him rather than past him (too afraid to miss), so a feeling of revenge was close at hand.
Focus was on strong serves and calm and collected shots, as well as the attitude ”you’ll get this”, no matter what.
It worked. Relaxed forehand slices, once his serves (or frequent short serves returns) so permitted, and straight top-spin forehands when he was out-of-reach.
It was frustrating that I didn’t get to use my longer forehand top-spin more often (to put more pressure on him), but his his either well placed or very short slices and tricky serves made it difficult.
However, I felt confident enough to hit my serves hard, and to stay relaxed.
I won some, but lost a few really long and tight advantage games (especially at 3-3 in the second and 2-2 in the third set, if my memory serves me right.
However, I managed to break back in the third set, and keep my serve, to boost myself for a win, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, after 2,5 hours…
It’s starting to show even in competition games now, that a strong serve and relaxed lay-away’s are do-able, even for me. Keep it up! 😃
The number one seeded player, my friend Adam Field (GBR) awaits next. Tough, but fun and educational I hope…
All for now, over & out!
Back in Prague.
After months of fuss, the protest handling and the re-classification, Prague this time last year, was my first tournament as an official ”quad” (the class for ”lower mobility”). It was also here where I first met (and sadly lost 4-6, 1-6), to my Nemesis Patrick Sappino.
The French elder with tricky twisted serves and a bad temper on court (a nice guy off court, though) that you seemingly have to figure out before you can move on, tennis-wise.
Sure enough, I got drawn against him later today. Time for revenge…Have my tennis moved on, since a year ago?… one wonders and wants to prove one-self…
All-in-all, this place will always be a bit special to me. The courts in the same complex as the simple but nice hotel, the great food next door, and the lovely ”old town of Prague”. All these add up to me enjoying this tournament, despite the soft tough-to-push-your-chair courts with high bounces.
Had some nice warm-up with a Dutch friend when I arrived, and two hours of practise yesterday with my pals Adam Field (GBR, seeded first being world no. 16), and my Swedish team Marcus Jonsson (who won the tournament last year). We played alongside the very sympathetic (also left-handed..;-)) American and soon-to-be my doubles partner Marc Mclean from Fort Myers, Florida.
Stay focused and it’s going to be a nice week.. Wish me luck! 😃
All for now, over and out!