Short Memory Leads to a Big Victory 342

Our quarterfinal match today was against a tough Canadian team. On paper it was a tossup match. Capt Brent Abel once again stepped in at second singles and won in three sets, doing a great job of shaking out early match nerves. My match was against a guy that I had played and beaten on the grass a couple of years ago. Not having been tested for the first three days, I had gotten by each of my opponents by playing tennis that I felt was a bit passive. 

My opponent, Tim, would have no part of getting into extended rallies with me and he attacked over and over again, putting lots of pressure on me to pass or lob. My play was just not aggressive enough and he player really well taking it to me. I wish I could report that I made adjustments early in the match but that was not the case. The three days of playing steady from the baseline were like anything else. What you do regularly becomes habitual and changing the habit becomes difficult in the moment. Brent asked me what my story was and I told him “I don’t miss a ball.” It wasn’t the right story because it kept me playing too neutral. 

IHave no regrets though as I competed with high levels of intensity from beginning to end. He just outplayed me and he deserved the win. I was confident throughout and and continued to play gutsy while behind and had quite a few chances to break his serve but could not quite close the deal. I felt great that I did finally adjust in the last three games, playing much more aggressively but Tim was settled in a fought off each charge. 

I was disappointed that I had let the team down when they were counting on me to close out the match victory. Brent told me to get ready for doubles because he wanted me on the court for the all important tie breaking match. We needed the doubles win to advance to the semis.

I needed to shift from thinking about the singles match, the past and preparing for the doubles which would be played one hour later. I hit the locker from for a shower and almost immediately let go of all thoughts of what had just happened. I used the story “I have a short memory” to let go of thinking about the loss. I thought about the exciting challenge of playing a winner take all match, of what I would do to be more aggressive in the doubles and discussed with Brent our match strategy. Within minutes I was in the present, having incinerated the singles with no traces remaining.

Brent and I played a flawless first set winning 6-0. The second set was a little closer but we won it 6-2. It was a huge victory and has moved us into the medal round against Denmark. We will be playing in the stadium on Thursday and the matches will be live streamed at Central Court.

Brent will be starting at 10AM Croatian time (4AM ET, 2AM MT). My match will start around noon Croatian time (6AM ET, 4AM MT)

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