Novel Name : God of Tennis

God of Tennis - Chapter 13.1

Prev Chapter Next Chapter

Chapter 13.1: Andong Futures Finals
Translator: Pineapple
Editor: Isalee
On the day of the finals, it was the 26th it began raining at dawn.
Han Woo Jin looked up the gray sky filled with clouds and was prepared to play. He would soon be playing in the finals of the Andong Futures tournament.
“Mr. Woo Jin, are you close with Player Choi Yeon Hyuk?”
Shin Sae Yeon’s voice brought Han Woo Jin back to his senses after staring blankly into the sky. He felt embarrassed after hearing that question.
“With Yeon Hyuk? Mm…”
Han Woo Jin thought about it for a moment. What was his relationship like with Choi Yeon Hyuk? Maybe he had a friendly relationship with him, but calling him a friend would be a bit of a stretch and it would be kind of awkward. He remembered what Choi Yeon Hyuk said to him at that time and he told him that they weren’t finished.
There was only one word that accurately described them. Rivals.
“Well, I guess we’re friends.”
It was a little awkward saying that they were friends even though they weren’t. Han Woo Jin hid his thoughts away before he spoke. Then Shin Sae Yeon asked him curiously, “But why aren’t you asking about Player Choi Yeon Hyuk’s results? Are you getting that information from someone else?”
That did seem a bit strange. He didn’t seem to have any curiosity regarding a man he considered his rival. That was because Han Woo Jin already knew what kind of results Choi Yeon Hyuk would have during his first tournament.
Han Woo Jin spoke in a confident voice.
“He probably won the tournament.”
Shin Sae Yeon was slightly embarrassed and surprised by his response showing that he already knew the outcome.
“Mm… You’re right.”
Hearing Shin Sae Yeon’s answer, she didn’t have anything left to say.
If it was like this, then that would be enough. Although his racket wasn’t the best, he was in good condition. There probably wouldn’t be any trouble during the game.
In two hours, he will be on the blue court. He will be playing the first finals in his life against a player who was very popular in his previous life.
There were many things he wanted to say, but they wouldn’t come out.
Those things could only be solved on the court.
Two hours passed by quickly.
It wasn’t a long time to wait but it went by quickly because he had been waiting for a big event like this for a long time.
Han Woo Jin arrived at the tennis court and sat on the bench, looking at his surroundings.
Excitement lingered in the air at Seogwipo Tennis Courts.
‘The final is usually the highlight of the tournament, but not today. Because I am up against a Japanese athlete, the mood is a bit awkward.’
Korea and Japan were bitter rivals and when these two countries battled against each other in any sport, there would be fierce cheering from the audience for their country’s player.
‘It’s an advantageous atmosphere for me.’
Han Woo Jin didn’t like to win in these types of situations where the loud noise involved national pride, but it was still acceptable.
Moreover, the audience’s cheering and booing could just be ignored. A player with good focus can play to their full capacity even if they are booed, but some players cannot.
It ultimately came down to the player’s individual skills. At least that’s what Han Woo Jin thought.
“[… I feel bad.]”
Sitting on the bench, Han Woo Jin heard a voice. He knew who it was without turning back.
It was Okuta Ryusuke.
‘Did he say that he felt bad?’
Although he knew very little Japanese, some words in Japanese and Korean were very similar regarding the speech patterns and meaning. That was why Han Woo Jin was able to somewhat understand what Okuta said.
What kind of player would feel good and want to play in this kind of environment where the audience was constantly booing him and wanted him to fail?
Han Woo Jin sneakily grabbed his racket while Okuta was looking away. He wanted to check his status quickly before the game started.
[Okuta Ryusuke]
Strength 47 / Stamina 56 / Agility 53
HP 1980/2240 SP 550/550
Forehand: 13/20
Backhand: 4/2-
Serve: 9/20
Volley: 6/20
Smash: 7/20
Drop shot: 7/20
Lob: 9/20
Special Skill: ??? (Forehand)
Looking at his stats, Han Woo Jin saw that he had slightly improved from last time. He didn’t care about his stamina that went up by one, but he was concerned about the skills that had leveled up.
‘His backhand level increased?’
It even went up by two levels. Leveling up a low-level skill twice was easy, but doing it in such a short amount of time was difficult. Anyway, he believed that Okuta put more effort into improving his backhand skill instead of completing his forehand double.
He imagined playing a rally with Okuta using his backhand. He played out the rally and reached a conclusion.
‘He’s not that dangerous. Okuta’s style’s strength is the forehand double, so when is he going to use the backhand?’
It was quicker for Okuta to switch his hands and use his forehand double rather than prepare for a backhand. Han Woo Jin thought that he should have focused on his forehand strokes rather than his backhand.
Of course, he did not know about everything that would occur on the court or how Okuta had practiced.
There will always be unexpected events in the world, and Okuta might pull off a surprise.
However, there was nothing Han Woo Jin could do. His standard style wasn’t suitable for adapting to other people’s playstyles, and he just played with his own rhythm.
[Starting now! Andong Futures last match! Let’s begin the finals!]
The referee’s loud voice hit the two players’ eardrums. They made eye contact without any words and stood up from their seats.
It wasn’t that they couldn’t talk. They just didn’t have anything to talk about to each other. They’d be able to ‘talk’ with their rackets on the court.
The two players stepped onto the blue court.
“Yes, they just started.”
Shin Sae Yeon was speaking to someone on the phone while in the audience. She watched the referee toss up the coin asked the person on the phone a question.
“Coach Jeon, what do you think?”
The person on the other side of the phone was none other than the NK company’s Coach Jeon. And he spoke back to her with a deep voice.
[Woo Jin will win.]
“Can I ask why?”
Shin Sae Yeon was still a beginner agent who only had book smarts. Although her specs were so impeccable that not even Coach Jeon could say anything about them, she was still inexperienced in terms of tennis skills and the finer details.
She wanted to learn the know-hows of being an agent from Coach Jeon.
[Mm… because the Japanese player, Okuta, is still lacking. Woo Jin has great fundamentals. That’s why a player with incomplete fundamentals cannot beat Woo Jin.]
“Is Mr. Woo Jin strong enough to score points?”
According to what Shin Sae Yeon thought, Okuta Ryusuke’s switch move had high defensive capabilities. The fact that he could return the ball on either side with a forehand stroke with very little time was impressive.
Coach Jeon replied to her worries.
[There’s a reason why Woo Jin was chosen to be in this project. If he was only good at the basics, he wouldn’t be here.]
Then he briefly stopped. It was really difficult to express the hardships to find a player like Han Woo Jin even with Coach Jeon Sang Shik’s experience. He had solid textbook basics but he sometimes played with a surprising style.
[Hm, his serve is special and he has a strategic mind. You’ll understand when they start playing.]
Shin Sae Yeon remembered that weird serve he used last time. If he used that serve against Okuta, even he would have a hard time receiving it. Also, fifteen days ago, Okuta wasn’t able to score a point off him.
She clenched her fists after hearing Coach Jeon’s words and looked at Han Woo Jin who was preparing to serve at the baseline.
While she was speaking on the phone, the tension was like that of a volcano that was about to erupt on the court.
“On my right Han Woo Jin! On my left Okuta Ryusuke! Han Woo Jin to serve!”
The referee’s voice silenced the audience and Shin Sae Yeon quickly hung up.
“Coach, I’ll call you later.”
[Alright. I’ll wait for your call to tell me about his victory.]
Coach Jeon’s confident voice slightly eased Shin Sae Yeon’s worries. She put her phone on vibrate and put it in her bag. She did it to focus on the match.
The referee moved both his arms and spoke in a loud voice without a mic.
“0:0! Play!”
Although the referee spoke to start, Han Woo Jin didn’t immediately serve. He simply thought about how he should serve.
‘Should I get the first point or should I observe his playstyle first?’
If he used Sparrow first, he would definitely get a service ace. Even if he could receive the ball, it would fly really high.
Han Woo Jin was confident that Okuta would lose that point.
However, Han Woo Jin knew that a genius could complete the training, which took a normal person months, in just fifteen days.
He didn’t take long to think about it.
Before the referee told him to hurry up, he threw the ball up. Anyway, he just decided to try it once.
It was a strong flat serve. The ball flew straight and as soon as it hit Okuta’s side of the court, it flew up. It wasn’t that special except for its speed.
Okuta easily moved his racket to return it which meant that they were roughly on the same level. *Pang!*
However, it was the same as last time. The serve and return weren’t a problem, but Han Woo Jin beat him during the rally last time.
‘I wonder how it will be this time.’
Han Woo Jin raised the speed of his return. It wasn’t to score a point but to pressure him into becoming serious during the rally. The ball that was heading over the net flew over at a high speed.
Han Woo Jin looked at Okuta’s expression as he was biting his lip. Okuta still hadn’t perfected the time lag after switching hands.
Han Woo Jin purposely curved his racket while swinging.
He moved his body forward and hit the ball straight towards Okuta’s left side.
According to Han Woo Jin’s expectation, Okuta wouldn’t be able to receive the ball because he couldn’t respond fast enough. He thought that Okuta wouldn’t try to swing through and block it with his racket, but Han Woo Jin widened his eyes in surprise at his action.
Okuta’s body was turned halfway to the right.
He almost let out a sound. Okuta hit the ball with his racket which looked like a backspin blow.
Okuta’s right-handed backhand hit the net. He looked at the ball that rolled on the court with an angry face. Han Woo Jin realized why Okuta’s backhand level had increased.
‘Was there this kind of method?’
The method he used to quickly switched hands could not be achieved in such a short amount of training time. But if he used that kind of backhand correctly, he was capable of receiving all balls.
Han Woo Jin began to get excited. Okuta didn’t develop his talent, but he focused on a new skill and came up with a new strategy just for Han Woo Jin.
He tossed the ball up for his second serve.
This time, Han Woo Jin’s upper body scarily rotated in preparation for his serve.
Prev Chapter Next Chapter