Last Friday and Saturday, NB played in another tennis tournament in boy-10-and-under division. On Friday, in the quarterfinal round, he played against Max, an unseeded player. NB was better in all aspects, so he sliced and diced his opponent. The result was 6-0 and 6-0.
He advanced to the semifinal playing against William, the first ranked player who just moved from Maryland.
William, a lefty player, was 10 years and 6 months old. So he's still eligible for the division. Although he's older than NB who was going to turn 9 next month, William was not taller than NB.
They played against each other on Saturday morning around 9:15AM. Wow, we now knew why he was ranked number one!! :)
Before we met William, we'd never seen any players having bigger first serves than NB's. But this little player had strong first and second serves with lots of topspin and pace. On top of that, he had incredibly fast racquet head speed with tremendous topspin at both wings.
NB was stunned in the first set... He'd never played against a lefty with such tremendous, lethal weapons before. During the first 3 game, he got only 3 points from William. NB trailed 0-3. He tried to use arc balls, hitting the ball deep but William still could bring the ball back.... Anyway it seemed to be working....The last 3 games of the set, all of them went to deuces.... Anyway, William got all of those.... He won 6-0.
To be honest, I didn't see any mistake in NB's game... He played as his coach and I asked him to do, playing a high percentage tennis. So he really did that: his serves were fine and very consistent, his movement was excellent, his shots were consistent both forehands and backhands, and his spirits were never low... It's just William's aggression dictating the first set... William seldom made an error from such strong, strong shots.
The second set resumed.... NB hit the ball harder from side to side, hustling more and more to return the ball back.... Larry, his coach who was also watching, and I had never seen NB playing in such a high level.... He never gave up, never gave William anything... His opponent had to earn every single point, by that he had to go for more and more... That caused him more errors....
It was 3-4 favoring William...
The degree of their competitiveness in this court was so intensed. That attracted some crowd... The more people are watching, the players might have noticed, the more tenacious and fiestier they played... Clapping, cheering and applaud ensued. Almost all of the games played went to deuces. They moved each other from side to side, slammed the ball down the line and crosscourt with brutal highly kicked topspin, and battled each other at the net.
However, NB was broken once in this very-fun-to-watch set... So that's about it.... He lost the second set, 4-6. And, the match was over. It took around 1 hour and 20 minutes for this match... William advanced to the final.
After the match, William told NB that, with the way NB played, he was really nervous that NB could catch up and win the second set. My wife and I met his mother, we exchanged our phone numbers. We would meet again maybe during weekends... So these two guys will play again that what NB needed---practicing with a tough opponent regularly.
Although NB lost the match.... But he played with a fighting will, never gave anything up... He not only won those hard-earned points, but he also won our trust... We believe that he could step up to another level with this kind of attitude and mentality.
This is a result that we would like to see---a strong, mature man inside a little boy. I'm so proud of you, NB.
================================= Note: My life has been intertwined with works and many others. New responsibility has emerged, resulting less and less time for my ordinary life. Although, a love to write is still intact... But having less time is related to having less imagination.... Therefore, I could not come up with new writings for quite some times.
It might be a good time for me to leave this forum for moment.... Please take it as Mr. A.T. is having a sabbactatical leave or something like that....
As noted above, my love to write is still the same... and will not be changed. Sometimes somehow, I hope I could come back and give some thoughts in this blog once more.
Cheers, Mr. A.T. June 6th, 2008
My pen-name in Pantip is amatuer translator. Actually, I'm a lousy translator with lame translation. My pen-name is somewhat misleading, I have no background in linguistics what-so-ever. Anyway I love to read, write and communicate with people...
Reading is my most favorite hobby. I read everything from shopping bags to articles in theoretical physics. I do research and teaching for my living. So, reading, writing, thinking and doing research works are my everyday routine.
I would like to define myself as a person who is accepting new ideas and adopting those into my way of life.
I believe in power of knowledge/education. I think every society can be a better society with knowledge. Ignorance can be dispelled by it. Humanity can live sustainably and harmoniously with each other along with its biosphere with understandings in the nature surrounding it.
Apart from my philosophical thoughts reflecting who I am, I can tell you something I like or love in particular;
I love dogs.... Particularly, labradore retrievers.... One day, I would like to spend my time and life with them as a big part of my family.
Zhuge Liang is my hero. With his wisdom and faithfulness, he led a tiny army to a mighty and formidable kingdom. He left his humble residence with a hope to come back. But, sadly, he had never returned and died far far away from home in a horse carriage in a battle field. If I could choose where I would, I would say where-ever my lovely wife was nearby.
I value happiness and my family as my first priority. My profession and my philosophy come in the second. Pursuit in wealth has never been in my desire.
I'm glad to be your friend, and look forward to seeing you around krub.