Saturday 16 January 2016

MHTT World Champs Buildup Diary: Day 6 Tournament!

Today was the first real test for me. Since returning to the USA I haven't performed in tournaments very well, lacking a desire to compete or even to be there. With my new mindset and motivation I was hoping today would be a turnaround point. I entered the Open Singles. Usually I find myself in 3rd seed position in the groups with 2nd players like Amy Wang and Judy Hugh from the US Women's team, never an easy draw. To date I had performed ok in rating events but had failed to qualify in the open singles time and time again.

Jessica winning u1600 and u1800! Amazing :D

Today I was 3rd in the group again. My opening match against the top seed for the tournament was a cold start and I played too loose with too many errors, it was 3-0 before I knew it. I wasn't in the zone for that match at all but took it as a warmup. Because of the schedule of other events my second match was against the number 2 player.

I got off to a confident start winning the first game 11-5 with simple serve and control setups. Now here's where the problems started leaking through. In the second set I was far too comfortable and all of a sudden points just started slipping away left right and centre. Before I knew it I was down 6-0 and I didn't even know what had happened. I switched on and tried to wrestle my way back in but lost the set. Third set I tried to get off to a good start, again 7-0 down what on earth was going on! My execution had gone out the window and I was down 2-1.

I had to really focus back onto my gameplan, cut the errors, tighten up and reduce the opportunities for my opponent to attack and start winning points from the very first moment of the set. I knuckled down and pulled out my more third and fifth ball oriented serves and tightened up on my receives, never giving away an easy ball. The shift in control was instant and I won the set 11-6.

I knew in the 5th set it would be a real test of nerves and of who could mark their ground first. I didn't look back, I knuckled down and made sure I structured all my points well and played with stability and intelligence. I took the final set 11-2 after a very decisive performance. I beat the 4th player in the groups but was knocked out in the quarterfinal by Li Jian, a very experienced and high level defensive player with OX long pips, in straight sets.

All in all my performance was a good start, I didn't give up 2-1 down in my important match and I settled and problem solved even with such terrible runs of losing points. A good day.

Topping it off, Jessica, one of the students I have been working with an hour a day mon-fri, won two rating event categories and swiped two trophies, only losing one match over the course of the day! Awesome :D

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant stuff. Good display of mental toughness. Well done.


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