Karvina Open, 2015

The Quad division at the Karvina Open was quite small (6 players).
This tournament normally does not provide a Quad division, but as some friends and me requested a Quad draw, and reached the number of entries required, there was a singles draw, as well as a round-robin doubles draw.

Many tournaments in the Czech Republic use venues with tennis courts and the hotel in the same complex. So happened this time as well. However, the 3,5-hour transport from the Vienna airport made up for some of the convenience..:-)
My draw seemed promising albeit challenging. Tight matches and lots to learn, hopefully…
In the first round I was up against Jerome De Meyere (FRA). When we met last year I lost in a tight three set match, so it would likely be tough and fun, with lots to keep in mind for improvement (as for most tight matches).

Jerome’s serves, low, forced and flat/sliced, made it tough for me on the soft Plexipave surface.
However, once I secured relaxed returns with follow-through (many slices), the rallies started.
The longer the rally, the better I moved back and forth. My movement to the back of the court secured relaxed targeted shots. However, I was apparently too nervous to miss, since my follow-through was somewhat reduced (note that follow-through is even more important when you’re nervous…). This caused my shots to be a bit too relaxed and not aggressive enough to move him around as much as desired.
Very often a long rally with saves from me both at back and at the net, ended with me trying to use the angles while a bit too close to the ball (too eager?). The result wad then often a (too) short, easy lay-up in the centre of the court. A good angle requires a full, stretched-out, relaxed swing to be effective. Lessons-to-learn…
In summary a fun match, but I failed to capitalize on my chances at the net, giving away the upper-hand at the end of the rallies: 3-6, 4-6. It is tough to not perform as one feels one can…

The first double (with my good friend Peter Tatschl (AUT)), was the intented final, against Fraioli/Meyere (FRA).
Peter’s strong left-handed straight forehand was well complemented by my (left-handed) centred forehand slices and angled forehand loops.
I got many shots against me (being the weaker link), but I used the depth of the court better than in the singles. A very tight game was the result. I will never forget the forehand save I made after Peter had given up one point.
I hear him saying ”nice shot”, just as I dive for the ball, make the save, and crash into Peter (he was alright). The boost from that play helped us, but sadly not enough, losing 4-6, 6-4, 9-11 (super tie-break).

We won the other double against Craciun (ROM)/Pramendorfer (AUT) comfortably, 6-4, 6-0 (resulting in a secomnd place position).
In the first set, Peter requested we played a lot on Craciun (to prepare for his next singles game against said player). That made it a bit more difficult at times, but also resulted in very nice rallies.

I won the singles consolation game against Pramendorfer (AUT) quite easily (0, 0). I focused on placements and keeping rallies going, as all games have something to offer, if you are willing to learn (in this case: security and confidence).

A great doubles experience, with a somewhat sour taste of disappointment from the losses (not reflecting what I feel I can do).
Learnings from this week: Use your stamina, work on security & confidence, and spice up your mind-game…;-)

In the men’s division, the fellow Swede Dan Wallin performed great, after a long break from competition due to surgeries. He reached the doubles semi´s, and the singles final (losing to Sommerfeld (GER) 2-6,2-6).

All for now, over & out!