Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lots Of Promise, Plenty To Work On

Sunday afternoon tennis in San Diego, let me explain how wonderful this is. Blue skies with a few clouds, warm but not roasting. A sea breeze rolling back and forth in time with our shots, and even a few gulls flying overhead as I toss the ball to serve.
This is why playing tennis is heaven.
I just got off the court after playing a match in my quest to get ready for the San Diego District Championships. I lost 6-2, 6-2 to a really good player, but as I dissect how I'm playing in my head, there's plenty of positivity as well as weaknesses identified.
On the positive side:
-I'm serving really well; a heavy, flat first serve I can put into both corners, or a solid kicker out wide. My second serve has good movement and is coming in quite deep. Best part was only two double faults.
-The fitness is definitely better and the knee feels good
-When I'm focused on my movement and taking the ball early, my forehand is pretty damn strong

To work on:
-I'm a slow starter. In both sets I was down 0-4 before getting on the board. That's tough, because I started to get a bit frustrated
-Too many gifts. The guy I played was good, but not that much better than me. The biggest issue was, as Brad Gilbert puts it, too many gift points. Too many backhands dumped in the net or second serve returns sailing long. When we got into rallies, I was right there with him. As Simon the Great always tells me and I have to remember, nothing in the net.
-Not serving first. I need to give myself a game to get settled, so if I win the toss, I'm gonna elect to return from now on
-No pagers on the court. This is an easy fix, but damn, that thing was distracting
-Taking my time after a tough game. I broke him to get to 2-4 in the first set and he was frustrated. I was a bit winded after two tough points, but instead of taking a beat, catching my breath and getting focused, I just cruised to the service line. 3 unforced errors later, and I'm down 0-40. There was an opening there, I just need to find a way to keep the pressure on.
Lots to build on and lots to take away. Best part was still Sunday afternoon tennis in San Diego.

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