A loss today

Sasha lost his match today.  6-2, 5-7, 4-6  Although by ranking Sasha should have won the match, one thing you learn on the ITF Junior tour is that ranking doesn’t mean a whole lot.  There are some very good lower ranked players–some don’t play a lot of ITFs, some have just started playing ITFs. Generally, everyone is dangerous and you must play your best all the time and through an entire match.  Today, Sasha played very well until the second game of the second set, then he had a bit of a let down and the other player seized on the opportunity.  While Sasha had broken his opponent more times than he had held, the break made Sasha start to reconsider a working strategy.  By the time Sasha was back on track, his opponent had developed a sense of confidence that allowed him to play better–specifically to get more of his big first serves in.  With that renewed confidence, the match became much closer and while the third set was extremely close, it slipped away to Sasha’s opponent.  So, lessons learned:

1.  At this level of tennis, you cannot afford any type of dip or let down

2.  When you let an opponent back into a match, they may be a different player with the benefit of additional confidence

3.  A player must be  able to go back to what was working against an opponent if they stray away

I’m sure there are additional lessons to be learned here and that’s what we focus on when there is a result that we aren’t happy with.  We always hope a lesson learned will result in a mistake not repeated.  But as we all know from experience in whatever we do, sometimes, you must make a mistake more than once to learn from it.

So, we will practice a few times here between now and Sunday and school will dominate the day.  Sasha has mid term exams in AP History, Calculus and English (actually a lot more to do to finish English).  He’s done a good job catching up on school since early December and it looks like he will finish the semester very close to on time.  (And with excellent grades–good first semester at Laurel Springs).  On Monday morning we will travel to Prague where we will stay in an apartment owned by a friend of Sasha’s family.  Prague is a beautiful city (less so in January than in June, but beautiful nonetheless).  The club looks very nice and we look forward to the challenge that tournament will bring.

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