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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2024, 06:08 
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Day 1 report: Singles

Good news - everyone in my group showed up, so I got my 3 matches. 'Bad' news - they were better than me today, so 0-3 and straight route to consolation bracket. But it was interesting and fun.

German and Swiss dudes get into a nice 5-game match, with German (backhand SP) coming on top. Swiss guy looks 'beatable' from my POV

My first match is against Lithuanian guy - I literally got 1-3 points per game. Nothing mind blowing, just can't find any way to win them.

German takes Lithuanian in 5 games. I think I know what's coming.

Get to a quick 2-0 start against the Swiss dude. Proceed to having at least 3 match points at deuce, but can't close it out. Lose in 5 a very close one... :headbang:

Swiss dude then proceeds to destroy Lithuanian guy 3-0, by slow spinny shots... and I lose to German guy in 3, but in a somewhat respectable manner, at least judging by the scores (after the match he says that he's very good against pips. Yup, I noticed...)

Everyone had fun, though. Souvenirs and phone numbers exchanged ("When you are in Frankfurt/Boston - please call!"). I am handing out little plush lobsters as a memento from Boston this year :) .

Since I played at 9 am, had plenty of time to kill until my club mates played later in the day. Watched quite a few games (mostly women, as there are more defenders there). Played an impromptu match with a Brazilian player in practice area (nice 3-0 confidence builder).

Tomorrow is doubles, almost at 8 pm. Got random pairing with an Italian guy, hope he does not have high expectations... :P

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2024, 06:09 
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Hey thanks for the report. You had me reading closely after "the next one is in Korea"... :D Assuming it's 40+ not 50+ ... I should be eligible :)

How many singles matches can one expect to play, assuming one doesn't make it out of the group? Any consolation RRs going on?


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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2024, 08:56 
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notfound123 wrote:
Hey thanks for the report. You had me reading closely after "the next one is in Korea"... :D Assuming it's 40+ not 50+ ... I should be eligible :)

How many singles matches can one expect to play, assuming one doesn't make it out of the group? Any consolation RRs going on?


It is 40+, IIRC, so you should be good.

In singles you are guaranteed 4 (assuming everyone in RR shows up) - the system is:
* RR groups of 4
* Top 2 from each group go to SE championship bracket
* Bottom 2 go into consolation SE bracket (I'm in the round of 256, which sounds impressive :) )

Same applies to doubles, and this year they also had mixed doubles, but since there were fewer women participants, I did not get picked :(

This translates into 4 guaranteed days of play, although SE brackets can be pretty quick affairs, since it's one loss and you are out. But you can watch others after that ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2024, 01:20 
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Day 2, Doubles

Since I didn't arrange a doubles partner in advance, I got assigned one by organizers, an Italian guy, Claudio. We met about 5 minutes before event started, exchanged pleasantries, and discover that my Italian is at the level of his English (not very high), so we do have a bit of problem. My wife helps with communication (she does speak decent Italian by now), but is a bit hamstrung by not being that familiar with TT terms :) . In the end it didn't matter much, given the level of competition we faced.

We had teams from Sweden, Korea, and Germany in our group. All of them did have quite a bit of experience playing together, had at least one lefty, and a Swedish lefty also played with SP/LP combo, which is when my partner promptly expressed dislike for pips :) . Both Germans were 1850+ TTR (I asked afterwards), which puts them about 2200+ USATT, I think.

We played Swedes first and got about 4 points per game. Since I don't play doubles much, it was obviously hard, figuring out what to serve, where to move, etc. On a plus side I was reasonably positioned to chop a few times, but I did not get too many points (but some), given the opposition level. Also, sent quite a few of them into the net, as I suspect I was a bit too far, compared to my usual distance.

With Koreans it was more or less the same, may be ~6 points per game. By the time we played Germans, we started a mini game for ourselves, trying to get at least 6 points, then 8, and even got to the deuce in last game, but could not get it. My partner was a good sport about the experience - I don't think his level was that much higher than mine, to be honest. We plan to play consolation bracket on Friday.

In retrospect I probably should have put more effort in finding a partner I know (e.g one of the part time coaches in the club ended up with the same situation, and we probably would've done slightly better together). But then there is something in meeting players you wouldn't get a chance to play with otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 13 Jul 2024, 03:09 
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To complete the playing part - on Thursday I quickly lost to a guy from Canada in SE consolation bracket. Was unusually nervous and nothing really clicked (pretty good summary of the whole tournament, the 'clicking' part at least). Spent next couple of hours cheering for my club mate in MS65 consolation, he won 2 matches that day before losing a close one in 5.

Saw my doubles partner who told me he can't make it on Friday, so no doubles consolation match on Friday.

Will be back at the venue on Sunday to watch finals, and then flying back home on Monday

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