Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bummed About The San Diego District Tennis Championships

Boy, was I ready to go yesterday morning. Bags packed, all stretched out and limber, strong after a great hitting session with Simon The Great the day before, I was all fired up for my first match at the SDDTC. The Jess was totally behind me, getting stuff together and psyching me up. Just before I went on court, she helped me think through my reminders for the match and sent me out there.
I got on the court yesterday morning at Balboa Park and felt pretty nervous, but I expected that. My opponent and I started warming up and I felt really good about my chances. I'm a slow starter and definitely a rhythm player, so it took me awhile to get on track. I was pretty tight and was rushing a bit, and before I knew it, I was down two breaks at 0-4. I knew the first set was getting away from me, but I knew that I would get settled into my first tourney match in 5 years.
I held serve and had a break point at 1-5 when I started feeling a twinge in my right gluteus muscle (basically my right butt, see the double entendre in the title?) I've pulled many a muscle, and was really starting to feel good about the match. I was putting pressure on my opponent and could tell he was starting to press, so even though the first set was over, I knew I was in prime position to really get rolling. I was getting the range on his serve and felt comfortable with mine after a few wobbly games, and best of all, he couldn't sniff my forehand.
I held serve easily to start the second set, but my right leg was really getting sore and I was having trouble pushing off it. I had two break points in the next game, but couldn't get on top of his serve. From there, the match really got away from me as my leg got more and more tender. My gluteus muscle had pretty well seized up, and my hip flexor was hurting as I tried to compensate. I had no explosiveness and couldn't push off my right leg, so my rhythm totally fell apart, and so did the match. By the last two games, I really couldn't run, but I stayed on court until the bitter end of a 6-1, 6-1 loss.
I knew when I got home and could barely put weight down that I had no business playing today, so after a hot shower, some ibuprofen, and a session with the heating pad brought no improvement, I called the tournament desk and withdrew from my second match.
I'm pretty disappointed about the outcome here because my preparation was solid and I was playing well. I've never had to withdraw from a match before and I hate backing down from a challenge, so things felt a bit strange. Overall though, I'm really happy about this whole process and am really excited about where my game is heading. There's good lessons to take away from the SDDTC, and in a few days, I'll be back out there building my game and confidence for the next time.

No comments: