A good call

January 29, 2009
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It was game point. If I had lost this match, I would have lost this whole game. It was my serve. The serve would have been my 10,000th serve since 9th grade. I stood behind the line and served as hard as I could. It was a spin serve and the ball hit the upper right end of the serving box just as I practiced it for four years. It was in! Due to the spin, the ball hit the ground and bounced to the outside of the court. My opponent ran as hard as he could to receive my serve. He jumped, laying his body horizontally in the air like a flying carpet and barely hit the ball. The ball crossed the net like a falling leaf. I thought, 'this is my chance to win this game.' I ran toward the net to hit the ball. My body responded automatically to the weak ball due to so many simulations in practice. I volleyed the ball to his right shoulder, and it seemed a very hard shot to receive. I thought that I won as I hit this ball. However, the opponent lay his shoulders back and amazingly put his racket below his knee and lobbed the ball. I could not believe that he hit that difficult shot, but I had to win the game. I ran back to the end line to hit the lob, but it was too late. I just hoped that the ball was out. The ball hit the ground and bounced off. Was it in or out? Losing this point would lead to the loss of the trophy. I hesitated and stood silent.
'Was it in or out?' my opponent asked as I hesitated to answer.
Since the 9th grade, I had always hoped to win a trophy. I gave up all my free time and school studies and practiced only tennis. This is my senior year, the last chance to win the trophy. Images of two mile jogs and rigorous weight training flashed in my mind.

'Is it out or in? I think it was in,' my opponent irately shouted again.

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