Luckily the travel from Nantes to Alghero went as best hoped for this time.. All the luggage arrived in one piece. Perfect for the anticipated warm/up one ahead of the draw…
The practice with home town team mate Christer Jansson was as fun and useful as always. Focus was on constant movement and relaxed strokes. I sadly still have a tendency to hit the ball a bit late and to rush towards it too soon and too head-on, leaving little time for adjustments or even a thorough follow/through. This would turn out to be significant..
I had hoped for a re-match against Peter Tatschl, but that was not to be. Instead I was up against the no. 1 Italian, Marco Innocento, known for perfect placements and an expert in making you look foolish as he just places the long returns outside your reach close to the lines. A tough one…:-) 2-6, 1-6. Some nice returns and placements, but not being relaxed enough is of no benefit…
The first game in consolation was easy, but difficult in an odd way, against Oliviero from Italy. No speed on his returns put focus on my own follow-throughs (and my serves as the lost game tells you)… Head-coach Rodhborn had pin-pointed the lack of forehand-shot follow-throughs as the main reason for many misses of obvious easy winners against Innocenti. My game felt way better when my shots turned more distinct, with the help put in practise.
Later on in the consolation semi against Jansson I had hoped for a better score than last year. I played way better, had longer rallies (longer returns…), more winner-returns, got several easy returns at me, after powerful forehands on his backhands. Sadly my mistakes at these seemingly easy lay-ups, out-numbered my winners. In short, the conclusion is that I need to secure more time for me, to avoid stressed shots that become more complicated than necessary, thus increasing the risk of a mistake. Simple, but distinct play is required.
2-6, 1-6, with promises of better results once I move in order to stay relaxed, focus on the follow-through, and secure my margins.
Grazie mille, Sardegna!
All for now, over & out!