Consolation semis. Was up against my friend but latest Nemesis from two weeks ago, Peter Tatschl (AUT).
My plan was to focus on strong serves to his backhand and relaxed forehands with spin to the back of the court, adding a determined forehand slice whenever a looser return turned up.
It started OK, me having the oppportunity to go 2-0, but my problems started early…
I wish someone would have alerted me of what I was (not) doing. We had some very close games with many advantages points my way (especially at 2-3), but I failed to deliver.Lost the first set 2-6.. 😦
In the second set, I started being more agressive with the slices, with some excellent points with ”swift killer points” in his serve, as I also moved better in order to receive more on my forehand.
I had a really great game (winning with a strong serve and slice killers with no point lost) at 1-5 to 2-5, and saved a lovely match point just afterwards.
After the game sadly ended (2-6, 2-6), my coach’s simple question, made it all clear to me, what had been at fault all along. He asked: ”Why did you play so aggressively, with serve and volley? No one in wheelchair tennis can get away with that in the long run. You leave too many options for your opponent.”
Of course…I had been to eager to kill off the points, being afraid of his strong lefthanded forehand. But in doing so I had not focused going back, circulating behind the baseline to regain momentum, and to give myself some time, to approach towards his strong shots with speed in a relaxed way on the second bounce (which is allowed in wheelchair tennis).
Silly me, rookie mistakes…Sitting there by the service line realizing my return was to ”nice”, and the sudden feeling ”Darn it, now what?”, just before you get passed by a well placed forehand.
Looking at the world no. 1 Shingo Kunieda yesterday, I should have put to practise ”Always go back to 5 feet behind the middle of the baseline, and never stop moving”. Obviously way easier in theory…
Go home and do your homework: Get snatchy serves, and create a comfort zone behind the baseline to enable relaxed approaches at all times. Don’t overdo it…
As if I didn’t know this already…But practise makes perfect…
All for now, over & out.