Lost: 6-2, 6-2, but…

October 26th, 2006 – 1:07 am
Tagged as: Tennis,University

I LOVED IT!

Ok, I’ve been promising myself since I got back to write a review of my first match for The University of Gloucestershire, against UWIC, played today (25th October). When I got home I set my MSN thought message name to:

The best day of my tennis life! I lost but Ahh! I loved it!

and after that, at least five different people (if not more) messaged me asking how I got on. It was at this point that I could not explain, as it was the most enjoyable experience I’ve had in a long time in a losing sort of way?! Read on to find out why.

Just as a quick reference, should you read this and find you are a sporting type of person, I’m sure you are aware that within a competitive environment, you are likely to witness some sort of nerves or choke from time to time.

For those who have been through that feeling (like stress), whether in a sporting situation or possibly the workplace – having it happen to you after five years of never feeling it, seriously makes you want to welcome more of it! What is “it”?

It – this is what you feel. You feel estatic, excited, fullfilled, determined, inquisitive, happy, smiley-facey-lots and questioned. You feel unknown, worried, frightened, irritated, quick-decision-making and pressurised. You feel strong, confident, ballistic, intelligent, fast-paced and mysterious. You feel everything within the time you set foot on the tennis court, until the time you set foot off it.

That is what it felt like for me. It was like everything hitting me in all directions. Several of those feelings at the same time, whilst others at particular points during the game.

So what was the game about?

It was a unforgettable battle against my opponent, named Josh. It’s been a while since I fought against an opponent who’s unknown to me. I was evidently nervous, but personally – I felt this didn’t show much in my performance. I look back at some of the shots I did and I’d estimate 40% of them I did not concentrate on. My attention span was very eratic.

However, the quality of the 60% that I did hit in court was of a high standard. Of that 60% I’d say 50% of them were of VERY high standards and the other 50% were simple shots just to get over the net.

I hit some very big shots today. My main weapon was my serve. Filed in at approximately 100+ mph (I’m only estimating – I didn’t get an actual speed, but from experience I kind of know what it’s like), and it seriously shook my opponent up! My first serve was very inconsistent however. I dealt a few pacey ones, (of which I can recall) – he only returned three of the nine I got in the court (that means I won nine points by just hitting first serves).

In total I must have done about 15 big, pacey serves. Therefore, six of them went out or in the net. This was throughout the whole game. This is also NOT the total number of first serves I hit out. I did too many double faults come to think of it (about 10), which accounts for two and a half games in terms of points! A stupid give away.

Consequently, my first serves slowly migrated back to a second serve (so I felt the need to deal two second serves at my opponent to ensure I actually started the point off and not do any more double faults). My second serve acts as an extremely consistent, and powerful weapon. I was very pleased when I resorted to two second serves all the time. I feel it’s like my backup plan should my serves go terribly wrong. They are just as good as my first serves, however my first serves are much faster.

My forehand, as usual, was the main shot used throughout the game. I hit most of them in the tennis court fast paced with LOADS of top-spin, although, a few sailed sky-high or at net-belt from time to time (choked! Eek). Nevertheless, I hit one of the most memorable shots ever done in my history of playing tennis:

A “crosscourt grass-cutter” from the right-hand-side of the court, after being pulled out wide. I was on the FAR left-hand-side of the court at the time, so I had to leg it across to the pressurised out-wide-right-hand-side position in order to return the ball. Very difficult in other words – but I made it.

The backhand I rarely used. I made plenty of mistakes on the backhand, yet resorting to going round the shots (or doing slice) made it a bit easier to return. It’s still usually classified as a choking/escape method should you go round a ball or do a defence slice. Possibly how I felt at the time, i.e. I just didn’t want to play a top-spin backhand. Hence, the inside-out forehands.

I did no volleying (oops?).

Finally, one other point I need to realise is the pace of the game. Although I enjoy fast paced games at the baseline, it’s more or less imperative to change rhythm at some point during gameplay. This could mean slowing down the opponent’s serve by chucking in a few apoligies via hand signals to say “wait there mate!” or actually tell them via talking, or if you want to keep more self-concious about yourself, merely show your back to the opponent indicating you’re sorting yourself out, before you actually want to return their serve.

It’s pretty much the same with every shot that comes at you. Use all the time you have, but be active! Something for me to remember – I just have to slow the game down from time to time! Play at the pace I want to play, not the one of your opponent.

Most of all though – I just loved it. And I want to do it again (which will be in two weeks! Yay!)

Overall, the men’s team lost all their matches. I played the singles match only. Three other team members played singles (four singles in total) and they too, lost, followed by two doubles (so a total of six matches), which they also lost! I’m not sure how the scoring system works when it comes to totalling up the scores.

However, final score: Mens lost 10 – 0, Ladies drew 5 – 5.

2 Comments

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  1. Norm!! says:

    LEDGEND!!! MR.J great man, great tennis player! top spin fanactic!

    Comment made on October 29, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  2. Norm!! says:

    forgot 2 say ‘crosscourt grass-cutter’ haha!!

    Comment made on October 29, 2006 @ 11:05 pm

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