So yesterday I watched 19 year old Heather Watson come incredibly close to beating Maria Sharapova in the US Open. Watson fought hard, but lost in three sets to Maria.
I couldn’t help but think of when something similar happened to me this past season during one of my high school matches.
Our school’s team isn’t too hot in our district. Two of six schools in our district go to states every year, while our team consistently grabs on to fourth, fifth, or last place. (With the exception of freshman year, when we got third)
Anyways, we were facing the school that hasn’t lost a match (as a team) in six years. I got demolished in my singles match, 1-10. Moved on to doubles.
My parter and I played the two spot that match, and we were pleasantly surprised. We took the other team to 9-6. We were one game away from upsetting one of the best schools in the state. I was up to serve for the match. I’ve never been more nervous. It’s almost like a poison was expanding inside of me, jerking my muscles, putting this huge weight on my chest. Expanding, expanding.
I double faulted three times, losing that game. After that, the other team went on to win four straight games in a row, beating us 11-9.
I’ve never been filled with more frustration, regret, and anger (at myself) than any other time in my life. My partner played equally as bad, if not less. But I know for a fact that my service game could’ve decided the match. On the bus ride home, I didn’t say a word.
What I learned from that match is to not hesitate at all. I second guessed my shots, changed the way I was playing, and played too safely. If anyone is reading this, especially if it’s someone who plays tennis, take my advice. Don’t be afraid to lose.
Today we crossed over to Yvoire (Ivory), France. It’s like a half hour drive from Geneva, it sits right along the lake that connects the two. Probably the most scenic place I’ve been in years. I loved it- the food, the atmosphere, the people and just the overall vibe. First day here, and it’s turning out to be one of my favorite places in the world. I’ll post pics when I get home.