At 6.30 we got our wake-up call, Kai was standing, or rather bouncing (yes, even more than usual), next to our bed. Today we were going to the Australian Open and Kai was ready!
If you are thinking, wait, wasn’t the Australian Open in January? Then you are right, but we are not two months late, Kai was playing a 12 and under (age group) ranking tournament at Melbourne park, home of the Australian Open.
The first match started at 8.30, so we were in the train by 7.30. In this ranking tournament you can earn Australian ranking points if you win a single or two doubles. So goal for today was to do just that. And become one of almost 4.000 tennis players who have an Australian ranking.
Kai did not get a lucky draw though, his first opponent was the number 3 seed (and #1958 on the Australia ranking list), so on paper he is the 3th best of the 64 players who entered.
“Opa en Oma” are in Australia right now and they are experiencing (and enjoying, who would have thought that) our daily life here. And tennis has become a big part of Kai’s daily life, so of course they were here.
They did not bring the luck that they wanted to, as Kai lost his first match 6-1, 6-0. No ranking points for Kai, but there was a consolation round. The round for the people who lost and a chance to get further in the tournament.
The consolation match started at 3.30 pm, but no luck for Kai on that one either. It was a strong match, that lasted for 1 and 1/2 hours but he ended up losing 6-4, 6-4.
So the last hope for ranking points was the doubles, which he entered with his class mate Seba. By now the night was starting to fall, but the flood light kept the courts illuminated.
The night was adding some magic to the atmosphere. The city was lighting up in the background.
Then, after a long wait, their names were finally called and it was time for the doubles. the boys were ready to go.
It was a fair and highly enjoyable match, Seba and Kai played well together and had their own signature move after every game-point, a handshake-dab-move. The first set they just lost with a close 6-4, so in the second set it was full on and even more nerve racking on the (grand-) parents. It was 4-2 against them. The next two sets were won by Seba and Kai, so up to 4-4.
If they would win this set they would have to play a tie-break to decide who the winner would be. Then it turned 5-4 for the opponents. The next set could be the deciding one. Kai’s serve. Deuce. Advantage Receiver. Game, aaaaaah.
They lost, but they have been little tigers fighting their larger prey. At the last second the prey escaped, but next time……!