Last year, I participated in a very well-organized tournament about an hour from where I live.
This past weekend, I just got done playing this tournament for the second year, this time as a 3.5 playing in both the singles and doubles divisions. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the draw had more than 3 people in it (unlike my last NTRP tournament!).
A bit of background...I'm trying to transition to singles after three seasons of mostly doubles. I just spent my first season at 3.5, and it is an understatement to say that it did not go how I had planned. *eyebrow*
I started my singles matches Friday evening against a woman that I could find nothing about...she was not in Tennislink in leagues or tournaments. So I had no idea what to expect. There were a few first round singles matches going on that evening for both men and women, and as we were gathered while the ref told us some basic rules, you could totally tell that people were 'sizing' each other up. My opponent was taller and stockier than me...but I was expecting someone with no tournament and league experience, so I was hoping to have the advantage in that respect.
I was so wrong.
I lost 1-6, 2-6. My game plan these days is pretty simple...keep it in the court, go corner to corner, stay patient, and attack the short ball. Well, let me tell you, that is hard to do when you're getting blasted off of the court. She overpowered me and just never seemed to miss. I had a bit of success bringing her in...the only thing she seemed a bit uncomfortable with was volleying, but more often than not I didn't get that far in the point to exploit it. She had a great serve, which didn't give me trouble (I blocked it back), but it also put me in the defensive right off the get go.
An easy way to sum up this match would be to say...she controlled everything. I made her work for it...I managed to keep her out there for an hour and a half, and it was hot...but I couldn't find a way into the match at all.
Later I found out that she had been a pretty successful high school player and this was her first competition back. Her coach is a player that I met at a tournament about a month ago, and he told me that he expected her to win the whole thing and end up with a 4.0 rating. He also took no credit for her game...said she pretty much came to him with strong strokes on both sides, good movement, and a great serve.
After me, she took apart the #1 seed 1 and 0. She then took out a player that beat me earlier this summer in three sets, which put her in the final. Incredibly enough, she lost the final in three sets to a woman who had a four hour first round match! As you may have guessed, that woman was a backboard. She just never missed.
And I have to wonder...how to get to be a backboard?
The draw was big enough that the organizers decided to have a consolation draw, so I did have that to look forward to the next day.