Without a singles match to play, I was able to sleep in and get to the courts around 11. Though I hated not being out there, I was able to watch a couple matches before getting in a hit.
One match in particular was entertaining — both players were very emotional and mouthing off to each other. My opponent from yesterday was able to win in 3 sets again. Did I mention that it killed me not to be playing still?
But, the fact is that I was still in the doubles, and I expected a tough, close match. In fact, it turned out to be just that!
I woke up again this morning hoping that my leg would hold up to give me a chance to compete. After a decent warmup, I felt as ready as possible given the circumstances.
My opponent was a very good young player who has committed to play for Virginia next year. He seemed flashy at first, playing quick and going for shots. I had a scouting report from a friend and thought it might be pretty accurate.
I started off the way I typically do — a little nervous, tight, yet focused. We were both striking the ball well and making aggressive plays, as well as unforced errors. He had a pretty good serve, and we kept holding til 5-5. I was playing fairly solid, and again pleased with how my leg was feeling. I even was running hard after tough shots and making defensive plays, which I hadn’t been able to do for about a week. Still uncomfortable and with the leg in my mind, I noticed that my footwork was hesitant at times. I was able to make some clutch plays to break and hold for a 7-5 win.
After being very apprehensive about this match, I knew that I wanted to make it to Thursday (at the very least), and would do anything I could to get the win today. I was ready to play through any pain and play my game.
I did an extensive warmup in a field, and then prepped the leg as best as I could. It felt ok, and I tried to forget all about it.
It was quite windy today, so I knew it would be extra important to be focused and play high percentage tennis. My opponent had a big serve and forehand, so I wanted to be ready to play defense and get lots of shots in the court. I started off not serving very well for a couple of games but despite that fact, fought back to win them. It continued like that as I took the match in a very game-by-game manner. As a result, I was winning all of them, even on his serve and when we had tight 30-30 points.