Why I train: Because ONE point can decide a match
Up until last year, I wasn’t all that big on training for tennis. I thought that I got more value out of being on the court, practicing my shots and “playing my way into shape”. I changed my attitude on that last year when I wanted to exercise more in the off-season and make sure it didn’t take the whole season for me to get in shape.
I played my first tournament of the season earlier today and the little bit of training I have done this winter paid off. At 6-6 in the 3rd set (10-point) tiebreaker, I had to chase down a lob and then chase down a drop shot to force and error on an easy put-away to win the point. I went up 7-6 and then won the next three points to close the match. I was sucking wind big time, but there is no way I would have been able to win that point unless I had been hitting the gym this Winter.
All of this came after starting incredibly slow and going down 4-0 in the first set. After that, I won 10 out of the next 14 games to force the 3rd set breaker. Here in Colorado, where the 3rd set tiebreaker is prevalent, one point can easily decide a match. I saw it happen many times last year.
My reward for winning this match? A 6:30am start tomorrow morning.