Kai has been attending his new school for almost two months now, playing tennis for more than 10 hours a week. It is amazing at what speed his game is improving and great to see how much fun he is having at the same time. And while he has team competitions almost every Sunday, it was time to step up and enter one of the many youth tournaments held on a regular basis throughout Victoria.
Which is what he did at the 5th tournament of the 2016 Boroondara Winter winter series, held yesterday.
One of the big advantages of living in Melbourne is that tennis is a very popular sport here (just think of the Australia Open happening every year). This means that there are a lot of tennis venues strewn throughout the city, holding a lot of tournaments every weekend. It also means that travel times are relatively short.
Boroondara was no exception, being just 20 minutes away from home.
As this was our first tournament as well, we were not really sure what to expect or how things would work. Luckily the modern age has also found its way into the tennis world, meaning that we were able to find match times and opponents online before we even got there.
Armed with a printout of the schedule we arrived at Boroondara shortly past 12pm, to be on time for Kai’s first match at 12:30pm. We signed in at the tournament hut and were told that Kai’s first opponent was already on site and they could start right away. A promising beginning to the day.
The games were played on synthetic grass, which was new for Kai. It took him a while to find his rhythm.
Unlike previous games in his weekend competition, matches here consisted of one set to eight games (instead of the normal 6). Another learning experience.
With the first game over, it was time to wait for his second match… and wait… and wait… for almost two hours.
It turned out that his second opponent was also playing in another tournament being held at the same time, and his matches were running over. So in the end, Kai’s agenda was switched around and he played is third match first so that his second opponent could finish his games.
After he long wait Kai was completely out his rhythm. No wonder that the second game did not go well and Kai lost 0:8. – We later found out that the other kid has been playing tennis for four years and tournaments every weekend for the entire season. So, in hindsight, this result was to be expected. Chalk it up to experience.
When the third match finally came around, the tennis courts around us had started to empty out. But Kai had found his energy again and was ready to go.
Kai was able to win this final game with 8:5, to round out a long day on the courts on a positive note.
All in all it was a great experience for Kai and for us. Kai is full of enthusiasm for his next tournament, as he feels that this is a great challenge from which to learn.
To be continued…