R1: Hollie Naughton (Can) 3-1 Tessa ter Sluis (Ned) 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 (32m)
A sort of Christmas party that was between the two girls who only played once, wait for it, here, exactly a year ago, match ending with the same winner, but with scores like 13/11 and 16/14…
Why Christmas you may ask? Because both were offering free points to the other quite generously. Tessa, getting more and more frustrated, ended the second game commented to herself how delighted she was about the quality of game… I don’t understand a word of Dutch but trust me, I got the gist of it!
Still, when she came back on court, despite a bad start 4/0 down, she stopped the errors, and truly put her opponent under a lot of troubles, pushing her to make several errors in the middle of the game, taking a well deserve third game, 11/9 in 7m, having won 8 points in two hands…
A bit the same terrible start for the Dutch in the 4th, 7/0 down, but slowly getting back in the game, and from 2/8, managed to level 8/8. But a bit too little too late, and it’s 11/8 in 6m for the Canadian.
I think that when I’m ahead in the score, like I was in the 3rd, 7/3 up, I’m getting ahead of myself, thinking oh, this is over, taking the foot off the gas, then getting tenser and tenser, back at square one, but with so much more pressure.
Today I was trying to feed of the court, trying to get as comfortable on there as possible, knowing that she is very talented when she’s got the ball in the racquet, but knowing that I could expose her movement.
So even when I was losing, I was telling myself, come on, make it as difficult as possible, and she might give you a few errors when she gets tired. And luckily enough, she did at crucial times.