#6 Playing the national 12&U finals in Great Britain
I loved the day when I received the confirmation from the LTA ( British Tennis association ) that I had a direct qualification for the 12&U summer national finals in Bournemouth.
Twice a year the best 26 players in the country gain a direct qualification to the Summer or Winter finals. The final draw is 32 players which then includes Wild Cards.
At the same time I was nervous about the event. What if I lose all my games? I don't like losing at the best of times. However at the same time I was proud to play the event. I had worked very hard to get the necessary points to make sure I was "in". Last but not least, it was fun to see all my friends who would mostly also be at the event.
Over the summer I played two Tennis Europe events in England and Germany, so I felt reasonably well prepared.
We travelled to Bournemouth the day before the event & I had daily trainings with my coach Ben Haran from Reeds Tennis School along with other friends from there. Ben is very motivational and I have learnt so much from him.
I did not mind who I was playing against at the event - looking at it - everyone is good - hence I was excited when my first match started.
Overall I played OK but lost the game 3:6, 4:6. I had a difficulat start trying to overturn a 0: 3. In the end I managed to win a few games but was not able to turn the set.
The second set started better with me leading 4:2 but then somehow I lost my ways and mistakes became more frequent. It was a very frustrating experience & in the end I lost the set 4:6
Finally I won my first game with 6:3, 6:4 which was a great feeling. Unlike the day before I played agressive from the start and made fewer unforced errors. My tactic to open up the court going to his backhand worked well.
In the last eight of the consolidation draw I lost again - which meant that I was out of the tournament.
Now looking back, while preparing for my first 14&U season I think that I learned three things from this experience:
1.) It's OK to lose - it's not the end of the world
2.) I learned how it feels to cope with the pressure such a event brings with itself
3.) I had lots of fun hanging out with my friends
With that in mind I'm now starting my winter season here at the Reeds tennis academy..more on this in one of our next blogs.