Novel Name : God of Tennis

God of Tennis - Chapter 1.2

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Chapter 1.2
TL: Pineapple
Editor: Isalee
The NK coach officiating the match asked if both of them were ready. Han Woo Jin and Lee Jin Seob both nodded their heads. They both knew the rules of the match for this exam.
“The game will only go on for one set. Please note that there will be no changing sides and no deuces. To decide who serves first, just do rock paper scissors.”
Han Woo Jin went scissors and Lee Jin Seob put out paper, so he decided to serve first. Momentum was very important in tennis and the serve was a very powerful tool that one could use to increase their advantage.
“Alright, then Han Woo Jin will serve first.”
The referee blew the whistle.
At the same time, Han Woo Jin tossed the ball up.
Han Woo Jin’s racket hit the ball in the air and the tennis ball flew to the other side of the court, right on the line. Maybe Lee Jin Seob didn’t expect a serve that fast but he didn’t move a single foot and let the ball go right past him. Han Woo Jin easily secured the first point.
Han Woo Jin caught the ball that was thrown at him and went back into position. His confidence went up as he saw the first serve score without a problem.
‘I will win! An overwhelming victory!’
Although Han Woo Jin wasn’t a famous player in his past life, he played as a pro for ten years. Returning to his 23-year-old body didn’t mean that all his experience would just disappear. He was much stronger than he was before.
He threw the ball up once again in the air. It was a normal overhead stroke, but the serve was the most fundamental shot in tennis.
And Han Woo Jin was someone who was confident that he wouldn’t lose to anyone in the basics.
“Damn it!…”
Lee Jin Seob ran as soon as he saw Han Woo Jin hit the ball, but the ball was quicker this time and he failed to reach it. It was the second-serve ace.
This was easy. His opponent couldn’t even return his serve. From his physical fitness to his tennis skills, it was impossible for Han Woo Jin to lose.
Han Woo Jin’s serves hit the other side of the court in rapid succession while Lee Jin Seob was unable to return a single one as he lost the match with a depressed look on his face.
“Game! Han Woo Jin!”
How long had it been since he won such a one-sided match? Every time he won a difficult match by the skin of his teeth, earning such an overwhelming victory was an ecstatic feeling for him.
As if congratulating Han Woo Jin for his victory, a notification sound and notice popped up.
[Overwhelming victory! First time getting a service ace. Serve level rises by one.]
[Overwhelming victory! Because of your overwhelming victory, you have been awarded one stat point.]
The excited Han Woo Jin clenched his fist and suddenly stopped moving. He stared at the status window that appeared.
[Han Woo Jin]
Strength 48/ Stamina 45/ Agility 40
HP 1730/1800 SP 320/320
Forehand: 9/20
Backhand: 4/20
Serve: 9/20
Volley: 3/20
Smash: 7/20
Special skill: None
‘Did my skills improve just because I won one game? Or is it because I won such an overwhelming victory? Did my skills really change?’
Han Woo Jin clenched and unclenched his hands to see if anything actually changed, but there was no way of checking. He didn’t know how raising one level would affect him. Lee Jin Seob, who just lost the first game, watched Han Woo Jin look at his racket. He went up to him and said in a rude tone,
“Hey, let’s hurry up and play the next game?”
“Ah, sorry. Sure.”
Although his opponent spoke to him in a rough tone, Han Woo Jin didn’t blame him because he just lost a game.
After seeing that the two players were ready, the referee signaled for the next game to begin.
‘I’m serving this time. See if you can take any of my serves!’
Lee Jin Seob hit the ball in the air as hard as he could. He had been weight training every day for a while now and he was confident in his own strength. As soon as he hit the ball, the ball was already over the net.
Yet as the ball crossed the net and was about to hit the other side of the court, a shadow was already in front of the ball.
‘What? He’s there already?!’
Han Woo Jin was already standing in a receiving position in front of the ball as it bounced. It was simple to return as if his opponent was serving it to him on a dish. The ball, which was in a high state of velocity, was so quickly returned back that it furiously went back over the net and hit the other side of the court past Lee Jin Seob.
He just performed a perfect Rising Stroke.
After being defeated by a service ace and now losing to a Return Ace, Lee Jin Seob’s face morphed into one of despair.
If you lost the game to your opponent’s serve then you can accept the fact that your opponent had a strong serve. But what if they had a strong return? And their returns happened to be a Rising Serve?
Unlike Lee Jin Seob’s face that was filled with defeat, Han Woo Jin’s face was blank.
‘I can do it! I can move exactly as I imagine! I can determine the way my opponent will serve and send the ball!’
He was able to read the trajectory of Lee Jin Seob’s serve. Although he was not confident in this ability, he was able to greatly succeed in his return. From a Rising to a return ace was fantastic even for Han Woo Jin.
The current game continued on like the previous game. Every single time Lee Jin Seob served, it was returned with a Rising which he was unable to hit.
In the end, Han Woo Jin was able to end the second game with only eight strokes combined from both players. At that moment, he heard a voice inside his head.
[Overwhelming victory! This was your first time performing a return ace in a game. Serve level increased by one.]
[Your serve level has reached level 10. A special skill has been created.]
[You have learned the special skill: ‘Sparrow’.]
For some reason, returning a serve with a Rising was correlated with the serve and increased his skill level. However, even though he won this game without losing a single point like the last, he didn’t receive a stat point. ‘I guess the achievement wasn’t that big and you can’t repeat actions to earn skill points.’
Han Woo Jin knew that nothing came easy in this world and he knew that he would have to work hard for more skill points until he suddenly focused on the special skill.
‘What? Special skill?’
Serve level: 10/20
Special skill: Sparrow (Serve)
The name of this skill reminded him of a pirate from somewhere. Before he could find out what this skill could do, he first had to focus his attention back on the ball that Lee Jin Seob had hit towards him.
“Let’s hurry this up. You’re going to win this anyway.”
Lee Jin Seob completely lost all hope. He admitted his defeat with a deadpan expression and decided to keep on playing to avoid bad gossip about himself. At this moment, it looked as if a fire was burning in Han Woo Jin’s eyes.
‘… you lost the motivation to play just because you lost two games? Just because your opponent is a bit better than you?’
He knew his skill level very well. He knew that he was at the intermediate level, not even close to the advanced level. He also didn’t have any specialties, so he always lost because of that disadvantage. That’s why he lived his previous life as an unsuccessful pro.
However, Han Woo Jin kept on playing until he was thirty years old and put in effort as if he were going to die. His wrist and elbow joints were worn down because he swung his racket too much. Some days he had to take pain killers because of how much his shoulder hurt since he forced himself to practice. To him, giving up was only an option after he took every action possible. ‘I’ve given up on giving up, so I have to try harder.
‘This examination was nothing more than showing your potential and what you can do to the coaches that are watching. The better you play and the more overwhelming your victory is, the higher your standing will be after the examination. When I recalled my past, I remembered that I was put in the contract with the worst possible conditions than anyone else.
‘You are an experiment.’
He had somewhat of an idea on how to use it. Perhaps that was because of the status window in front of his head.
Han Woo Jin stared intently at the tennis ball that he was holding and threw it up into the air.
Jeon Sang Shik swallowed his saliva as he watched Han Woo Jin overwhelming win against Lee Jin Seob.
‘He’s exceptional. Isn’t he even better than some of those new pros?’
He certainly was. Stable serve, footwork, and well-tempered body. His movements and everything else was derived from his experience when he was a player.
‘His serve speed is 187 km/h. Not bad.’
They were able to use a speed gun to calculate the speed of his serve. His speed wasn’t the fastest but his serve was very textbook-like and the speed of his serve was average.
It wasn’t just enough for Han Woo Jin to win a game with just service aces but to also win a game with just return aces so casually. Jeon Sang Shik swallowed his saliva once more.
‘I might get some decent goods today.
‘No, not yet. What he’s doing now, anyone can do after a few years of experience.’
It was a brutal yet true statement.
As Han Woo Jin continued to show his playstyle, Coach Jeon Sang Shik determined that his playstyle was very basic. He put his opponent in a tough spot and was able to read where his opponent would hit the ball. His playstyle was textbook.
But these were still the basics. Any pro could play like this. Even that idiot of a player of his opponent could play like him with a few years of practice.
There was one important thing that sponsors look for when they choose athletes.
Star quality.
‘You need something special. Something that only you can do and no one else can copy.’
It was something that was necessary in order to attract attention from the audience. Having something extraordinary that makes you stand out from the other players in something you need in this type of industry. Of course, have solid skills are important and having a good win rate is also important. But all of that is insignificant in front of having a brilliant special skill/move.
For example, let’s say that there is a soccer/football player who has a bad reputation for being bad at passing the ball. But what if he dribbled/handled the ball better than anyone else and single-handedly scored a goal? He would attract more attention and be a bigger star than the player who is the best at passing.
The way Coach Jeon Sang Shik saw it, Han Woo Jin was well qualified to become a pro player. However, he didn’t have the attributes to become a star.
‘It would be good if he had a special quality like Choi Yeon Hyuk who came before him.’
Coach Jeon Sang Shik though as he took a look at the large man next to him who was looking at the examination. At a height of 186 cm, with long arms and legs, he wins his games with service aces and is able to quickly return serves with his long legs.
He had horrible reflexes/reaction time but he had a powerful figure and he was quite handsome. Ever since we put Choi onto the team, whenever there was a match, female fans completely filled the audience seats.
He saw Han Woo Jin easily win his second match with return aces and his expectation of him rose.
‘He might only be good in the beginning. He might be able to reach 8th or 4th place in a national tournament. That’s his limit. The things that Han Woo Jin has shown so far is nothing special overall and there isn’t much room for improvement. The level he’s at is something that can be reached with hard work and that isn’t something that can survive in the pro world.’
As soon as the coach made his decision about Han Woo Jin, it was at that moment that he saw something occur on the court.
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