I really could have won the second set. In fact, I really could have beaten this guy.
But guess what? The universe decided to fuck me over today and conjured up the worst possible weather conditions for me to play in. It wasn't that it was overcast; in fact, the less sun there is, the better, because squinting into the sun makes it hard to see the ball.
No, the problem was this: the wind. And then, as I was serving to stay in the match at 6-5, the heavy rain. And a few minutes after I lost, the rain stopped.
Thank you, English weather, for conniving against me. It was so windy that I really didn't care anymore; I just wanted to get off the court as soon as possible. It wasn't even that I gave up because I was losing; it was that I could not handle the bloody wind and every time a huge gust of wind smacked me in the face, I wanted to cry. I kept it close in the second set, could've broken for 5-4 and then serve for it, but oh my god, I kept missing these returns and the wind kept coming at me and it was just awful.
I know that my opponent had the suffer the wind too, so I'm not making excuses for losing. Still, I really hate playing in these blustery, crazy windy conditions. I hate it. It gets into my head and stays there until the match is over. I tried to stay positive (indeed, I wasn't even losing in the second set until the end), tried to play through the wind, but NO, I simply couldn't handle it.
Apart from that, I love how my groundstrokes take turns to desert me. In my first match, I had no rhythm on my backhand. Today, I didn't hit a single forehand in the sweetspot. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is, I couldn't find my range on the forehand at all. My backhand did all the work today, for which I am grateful because I was getting really frustrated at my poor timing on the backhand when I played with Jay last Saturday.
Above all else, though, I really struggle with players who don't hit conventional shots, who are able to just get the ball over the net. I like playing from the baseline; I don't like having to run forward every other shot. My opponent kept drawing me to the net, where I really don't want to be, because he was able to get the racquet on the ball and send it quite weakly over the net. But that's the only thing we have to do when we play tennis, is it not? Get the ball over the net, keep it within the boundaries of the singles lines. That's it. So why did I keep hitting my returns into the net? Such an idiot, I am. But the point is, unconventional players can beat me quite easily by just getting the ball back and letting me self-destruct. My plan today - my default gameplan, really - was to be aggressive. Hit the ball hard, go for the return winner, just go for it. But I am also awfully inconsistent. I would hit a gorgeous backhand return winner down the line, then hit the next one into the net. I would hit a forehand winner down the line, then hit the next one into the net. You get the idea.
I honestly don't feel very often that my opponent has beaten me. Sure, today's opponent played some good shots, but I think, in theory, my tennis is at a higher level than his. So it was basically me fucking shit up, letting the stupid wind get into my head, being overly-bothered by the wind, not wanting to stick around because of the wind, and making all these dumb-ass errors. Fubbing an easy overhead, as always; indeed, why go for the overhead even? Why not let the ball bounce and put it away with the forehand? Oh right, I forgot, I played without a forehand today.
When am I gonna bridge the gap between what I know I should do and actually doing it? Despite all this, I still love tennis, so I'm gonna post this entry now and set up the next match, then go to the library and finally finish the paper, I hope.