Ile de Ré, 2013 – In Summary

The draw was interesting, could’ve been worse, as well as way more easy. I was up against Sophie Fraioli (FRA). As most of us Quads neither have all muscles nor all coordination in place, the lack of pure power and the specific focus on tactics among most players makes it ok to play women against men…

I lost to her in Belgium not too long ago (being up 5-2 in the first set), so I wanted to do better this time… Sadly, her flat power forehands got the better of me from the start. I didn’t have the speed I know I can have, and my head was honestly not in the right place.

I had my mind too focused on the wheels not rolling smoothly and on me sitting a bit differently than any normal day… With my wheels on a 20 degree tilted angle, the axis not fitting perfectly make the wheels roll unevenly, and even wobble when turning. This time I had to borrow the wheels from a Frenchman, the axis from a Suisse and the cushion from an Italian. Air France had managed to leave my tennis bag and my wheel bag in Amsterdam.:-( Avoiding Paris to avoid lost luggage, wasn’t such a smart move after all…
Luckily at least my tennis chair frame arrived…
Anyway, not moving as smoothly as intended, and forcing me to adjust out of the ordinary, lost me the first set 0-6. My head not feeling confident, didn’t help…
In the second set I picked it up, and moved more to the back of the court after each stroke, moving a lot better in general. This meant more relaxed strokes, and fewer attacks on me being out of my reach. We were neck-and-neck most of the way, as long as I kept aiming for the back of the court whilst moving. I lost an important game to 3-5, but my win to go 4-5 promised a lot more with some lovely forehand slices..
I couldn’t keep it simple enough though in the next game losing 4-6.

In the doubles, me and Richard Green (GBR) played against the Brits Johnson/Field. As Field will play the doubles masters this year (the 8 best doubles players each year), I knew it would be tough. We kept it simple and moved ok, trying to move a lot, confusing them. We knew they would aim at our weakest link (me), so it was tough. Given all this, and quite a few advantage points, a loss 3-6, 3-6 isn’t too bad… I just need to stop standing still when high loops come towards me, like a deer staring at head-lights…:-)

In the consolation draw I was seeded second, and met a new French player De Meillere. He has yet to be officially classified but entered on a temporary license. His forehand was very strong, so my focus was clear and simple: high shots on his backhand. My serves and return shots were too weak, though. The sidewind (all week) prevented the strong power shots I had planned for. Some really nice rallies, with nice loopy saves and strong forehand slices now and again. A few too many stressed out shots on some high returns though. Those, where you should move away from the ball and create space for a relaxed top-spin, but instead very often stand still and miss a difficult volley/smash. I was up 5-3, but lost the first set 5-7 as I served him too many easy forehand returns.
In the second set I tried to speed up my moves, which made us be neck-and-neck (he also improved). I moved a lot, but perhaps not as much to the back as I would have needed, but more from side to side, not providing more time for relaxed shots. A surely amusing game to look at, with some really nice rallies with excellent saves/winners on my part, but sadly a few too many difficult shots and too easy serves. 5-7, 4-6, was a huge disappointment, although it promised a lot more…I had after all done saves and winners never before performed in competition. As Jerome then went on to beat Johnson (GBR) in the consolation finals 7-5, 6-0, I felt a lot better about myself.
A lot to learn from this week: timing to produce power, determined shots (even low effective backhand slices), mental focus (sleep more!), and keeping your play simple but effective…

Merci! À bientôt!
All for now, over & out!

Annonser