Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rocky III

So from last post you can see that I survived a tough three-setter last Saturday to get to the semi-finals of the club tennis Plate championships. It was so tough that I aggravated a mild tennis elbow pain somewhat into a more painful injury. The semi-finals were scheduled for tonight.

On Sunday I had a usual Sunday morning doubles fun match and it was obvious that the tennis elbow was sore and also my muscles were still aching generally. Yesterday I did a medium 300 calorie workout on the gym treadmill to help my aerobic fitness and also some mild sit-ups. I avoided any arm exercises and later got some deep heat and other cream to help the tennis elbow.

So tonight I had the semi finals. The guy I was playing had just wiped out a fairly good player in the quarter finals (6-1; 6-2). My opponent was older than me (for a change!) and his style of play is very much error-free tennis and great placement. Certainly not a super fast guy or even a big hitter. But he would frustrate the soul out of you by keeping rallies going forever until you would make a mistake, tire out, or he would place the ball very well to beat you. He is notorious for giving good players a lot of trouble.

Anyway my plan was to hit harder and come into the net when appropriate to volley and shorten the rallies. After rubbing plenty of deep heat cream into my sore elbow we got going. The first set was tough and long but after a lot of concentration and effort my strategy largely paid off and I took the set 6-3.

I was feeling good now and that's not always an ideal emotion. He took a nasty lead in the second set to go 3-1 up. Mentally I was now struggling with self belief. I had to try to psyche myself that I could successfully hit big shots. I knew raw power with good placement could trouble him. I gradually got a bit better and went into a 5-3 lead and I was serving for the match. I blew that opportunity and he was serving at 4-5. With a bit more self belief and effort I managed to break him back and won the match 6-3; 6-4. It was long for a two setter at about 90 minutes.

So, I'm in the finals on Saturday...yippee!!! I don't even care if I lose the finals now, it's a great thrill to get this far. But I'll give it a good try anyway!

I also know who I'll be playing in the final...a very tall and fast lean guy who is about 6 years younger who loves to volley at the net. He's not a very big hitter and his serve is quite average. He is very tough though with his long arms at the net and his mobility and good placement. We shall see! At least I'll have a bit of finals glory with spectators watching and a party afterwards!


-Ann said...

Congratulations! Whoooo. This is all very exciting. I've been enjoying your match descriptions and I sympathise on the tennis elbow. I picked up a case this year, from camogie, funny enough. Nurofen, ice, and switching to a lighter hurley have helped.

Good luck on Sunday!

John of Dublin said...

Thanks a lot Ann! Good tips on tennis elbow too.

Grannymar said...

You show them John.

All the best for Saturday and Sunday as Ann says, hope the head is clear after the party.

John of Dublin said...

Thanks Grannymar! Yes Saturday is the day, a bit of fun just.