Sunday, part 2.
One of the women giving me a 'scouting report' was actually another one of the players in the 3.5 draw who knew my opponent. I had met her the day before, as she was the losing half of the four hour singles match that I mentioned previously. The 3.5 main draw final was going on the same time as us, so she asked if I was okay with here staying and watching my match as well as that one. I was actually delighted. In my first match, my opponent had about 8 people rooting and clapping for her, and I had zero. Made me jealous! Xisbum did come and watch a bit of my match with the Texan, though...and it sounds silly, but I think I play better when I have a 'friend's box'!
Anyway, the scouting report was that she had some really funky and junky strokes, especially on the backhand side. R told me to try to hit high balls to that BH and to hit with some power so she couldn't junk me to death.
That scouting report was dead-on, and then some. My opponent, J, also had some bizarre slice spinny serve that literally landed about two inches past the net. *shaking head* It was all I could do to get it back, and then she'd lob me. And the drop shots! Aiy, aiy, aiy!!! She'd drop shot my serves! MY SERVES. At one point, I said out loud 'You've got to be kidding me.' If I got to the drop shot and returned it without hitting an error then she'd lob me...I was so far in I never had a shot at running down the lob (though I tried!).
Absolutely disgusted, I lost the first set 1-6.
So, once again, I played around with my serve. She only would drop shot me on her BH, so I either went into her FH or hard into her BH. Finally, it started to work. I also starting getting to those drop shots and placing them for either a winner, or something she couldn't hit a lob off of. And then, she stopped hitting them. In a rally, if I stayed patient, more often than not I could draw her into an error. I was down 2-4 at one point, but got it back to 4 all. Broke her for 5-4. Served it out to win the second set 6-4.
My game plan had actually *worked*!!! My fellow player on the side, along with some other players, were watching, and I got applause after winning the second set! Kinda cool!
Because this was consolation, we played a 10 point match tiebreak in lieu of a 3rd set. I got a quick mini-break, and held onto it until 6-5. Then I went on a bit of a roll, and got it to 9-6! And then she went on a roll, and we got to 9-all. I win the next point, 10-9. Rally. Short ball, I attack, come in, she hits a short lob...I put it away. She calls out. I was pretty sure that it was in, but I didn't question and didn't argue. It was her baseline, and I wasn't sure enough to question.
Well, not sure enough until I saw one of the spectators get immediately up and run over to the official to get her to come and watch. Oh man! So, that told me right there...she hooked me, and hooked me bad. Okay, okay...settle down, right? Nope. She took the next two point, and won 12-10.
So. I could rant and complain about the hooked call. The woman who got the ref told me afterward that not only was my ball in, it was evidently way in. Instead of getting hung up on that, I'm trying to focus more on the fact that I failed to put away the match several points ago...it should have never gotten to 10-9 to being with.
So, all in all...a good experience. I got a lot of tennis in, and played four vastly different opponents. And I'm left with some very clear things to work on...(continued...)