NTRP 4.5 Singles Tournament results from 8/13/17

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NTRP 4.5 Singles Tournament results from 8/13/17

If you follow along on my YouTube channel, you may have seen that I was preparing for a tournament this weekend. I played the men’s 4.5 draw at the Mansfield Summer Sizzler.

First Round Bye

I got a bye first round which was nice because, as the name says, the heat and humidity were brutal. I knew one of the players was a 5.0 bump down from last year and was very solid. He lost and I had to play an unknown guy who, evidently, was good enough to beat a 5.0 bump down.

My First Match

My first opponent was a full-on serve and volleyer. Decent serve but excellent at net. The first set hinged around me not making returns low and not getting my serves in. I double faulted too much and played to his strengths. I lost the first set 1-6.

The second set was close the whole way. I was getting more first serves in and to his backhand which was weaker. I made fewer errors and my returns were dropping consistently at his toes. I realized I was trying to crush the returns and I needed to take some pace off. I wont the second set 7-5.

We played a 3rd set tiebreak that was pretty tight the whole way. We were on serve at 7-7 and I got a mini break. I got my next serve in and he barely missed a shot wide. I served an ace out wide (having previously been hammering the backhand all set) for the match. I think the long match and tough conditions made his style less effective as he relied heavily on the explosive first step and getting low for volleys.

In the Finals

This is a small draw so with a bye and win I made it to the finals. My opponent was a really consistent grinder that could pass me at net if given an easy ball. This is a tough task at any level.

The first set was tight and we both held serve until 4-5 when I broke my opponent for the set. I was moving the ball around nicely, dictating with the forehand and putting balls away at net. My first serve percentage was really high and it helped me hold easier. With this opponent, it wouldn’t matter if I hammered flat serves… he had more trouble with spin serves.

The second set was more of the same. I broke and was up 3-2 when I got broken back. I lost my legs sometime around there. My serves lost pop, my defense was slow, I wasn’t coming into net when my opponent was pulled wide, and I was getting low for volleys. We exchanged breaks to 4-5 and I got broken for the set.

My legs were shot for the 3rd set 10pt tiebreak but I put together a few mini-breaks. I was trying to stay aggressive but his consistency and defense was giving me trouble. I fought off a couple match points and benefited from an ill-timed double fault to get me a match point at 11-10. I got a short ball to the forehand and instead of getting up to it quickly and being aggressive, I pushed it long with forehand slice… brutal. I ended up losing the next two points and the match.

My Assessment

No elbow or wrist pain! I couldn’t be more pleased with being able to play a match without golfer’s elbow or a really sore wrist. Not only that but I played pretty well. I wouldn’t say it was my top form but it was still pretty good.

I realized I either need to do some heat training or just wait for cooler weather tournaments because I was drained. My legs nearly cramped up while getting in my truck after the finals match. I really blame my fitness for the loss in the finals. I just got out worked.

My forehand is very solid now. Not nearly as many errors or shanks. I’m placing it well with pace and spin. I’m loving it. My backhand slipped in it’s steadiness in the finals. My opponent didn’t give me any pace on the backhand side and today I struggled with it. Usually, I don’t have any problems but timing it was tough today.

I’m happy with the results and the way my game is going but disappointed I lost. I think I had a really good chance of winning this tournament but it slipped through my hands. I’ll get the next one!

Here is a link to my tournament draw so you can assess the players/results for yourself.

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