God of Tennis - Chapter 16.1
Chapter 16.1: France!
Since they had decided to compete in the Metz open, they had gone through hell.
The previous training that Coach Jeon gave them was child’s play compared to this.
Their weight training decreased and the time that they spent rallying on the court greatly increased. Their bodies were constantly exhausted.
While sweating bullets throughout his entire body, he felt like trash completing his work out. That was what Han Woo Jin felt. The only good thing in his current situation was the wind blowing through his short sleeve shirt and shorts, touching his skin.
They continuously ran for a long period of time, so it felt like their feet were practically stuck to the ground. Han Woo Jin unconsciously stopped moving his feet.
“Han Woo Jin, get your act together!”
Han Woo Jin just missed a serve that was sent to him. He couldn’t even understand what Coach Jeon was saying as it was just a loud unintelligible noise to his ears.
Han Woo Jin was currently practicing his serve and receive. He was playing against two people.
‘Good, it seems his potential is being squeezed out.’
Coach Jeon was yelling at him but he was content with the way that practice was going. On the opposite of Han Woo Jin’s court were two players who were serving at him on each side. They weren’t telling him which player was going to serve and he had to move his body immediately to respond to those serves.
That kind of practice pointed out the weaknesses that Han Woo Jin had. Coach Jeon wanted to fix those weaknesses that he had.
“Serve again! No rest for ten seconds!”
As coach Jeon ordered, the two players threw up the ball at the same time.
However, only one ball was served towards him. They had a secret signal to determine who would serve. Han Woo Jin had no way of knowing who was serving next.
This made it so that Han Woo Jin couldn’t use his specialty.
‘Which direction will they go this time…? Right? Left?’
If he couldn’t read which way the serve will come then he has no choice but to use his reflexes to return the ball.
Of course, compared to the past, his agility has increased which allowed him to respond faster to plays and strategies that he wasn’t used to.
If his mental fatigue reaches its limit then his physical capabilities will increase. That’s why it is said that your mental ability controls your physical ability.
He has no time to think about anything and his five senses were all sharp and focused. He had to focus on where the ball would land.
Han Woo Jin’s body immediately responded to the left. If the serve came from the right side the ball will land on the left side of the court.
He was correct. Han Woo Jin’s backhand successfully returned the ball. The more he practiced returning the serves, the higher rate of success he had.
There is a reason why Coach Jeon exhausted his body. When he no longer has time to use his brain, the body needs to spontaneously move and act with instinct.
Jeon Sang Shik looked at Han Woo Jin with a satisfied expression.
And he looked at the other court where Choi Yeon Hyuk was running. Choi Yeon Hyuk was also doing high level training like Han Woo Jin.
Compared to Han Woo JIn, Choi Yeon Hyuk was at an even higher level of reflexes and physical ability. However, that’s why he had higher expectations from him. But he shouldn’t think that, for someday his physical ability will reach its limit.
When he enters the world stage, there will be many players with the same level of physique like Choi Yeon Hyuk. Instead of physical ability the game will come down to their techniques and strategy.
Choi Yeon Hyuk was also playing against two people. In contrast to Han Woo Jin, who was only receiving serves, Choi Yeon Hyuk was continuously doing serve and rally.
*Poong! – Pang!*
His racket swung through the air. The ball dropped next to Choi Yeon Hyuk’s shoes and flew outside the court. Return ace. Coach Jeon shouted at Choi Yeon Hyuk.
“Choi Yeon Hyuk! Where is your volley?! Do it again!”
“Ha, yes! Hoo!”
Barely able to respond, Choi Yeon Hyuk breathed heavily and went back to practice. He never knew the difficulty of playing two versus one.
However, the two people’s’ skills were lower than his. If it was a one versus one, then Choi Yeon Hyuk would win.
But because it is a two versus one, he couldn’t attack and had difficulty defending.
‘Of course, even you will have a hard time with this.’
Coach Jeon never changed his expression, seeing Choi Yeon Hyuk who had perfect victories so far and seeing him have a hard time right now. He looked like he already knew this would happen.
In tennis one versus two is very difficult.
In soccer/football, the high level attacker will have a hard time against two defenders. And in the case of baseball, It’s easier for the pitcher to do three strikes than the batter to hit the ball once.
However, in tennis, it’s impossible for a single person to beat two people.
It’s a simple concept, because the two people have less room to manage and have less distance to travel to reach the ball. And regardless of which direction the ball goes, it’s easier for them to return.
But Choi Yeon Hyuk was able to win one point. He hit a high speed serve between the two people without hesitation. He knew that that was one of the methods for him to score a point.
If he served at a speed that no one can return then it won’t matter how many people are there to oppose him.
However, that method is only temporary.
“Choi Yeon Hyuk, switch from serve to receiving now! You two guys, don’t worry about the rules and just focus on hitting the ball back!”
The two people answered with serious voices but Choi Yeon Hyuk was gasping for air and wasn’t able to reply. He thought that it would be more difficult for him so he prepared himself to go through hell.
He wasn’t at an immature age where he would get angry and frustrated because practice was hard. The only thing he couldn’t accept was giving up.
You could see that this was all planned out by Coach Jeon.
The two players were sweating heavily and kept on running around the court.
Their break time finally arrived when it was lunch.
They breathed exhaustedly during their break. Their muscles and metabolism doesn’t recover that quickly.
Han Woo Jin who exited the court was still extremely hot. Even if he moved a little he would sweat a lot.
The reason he couldn’t finish his lunch of chicken breast steak was because his body was too hot and he was too tired to eat.
Han Woo Jin turned his head and looked at Choi Yeon Hyuk.
‘We’re two peas in a pod.’
He also looked like a beggar in his current condition. More than Han Woo JIn. Compared to Han Woo Jin who was only training against serves until the end, Choi Yeon Hyuk received both the serve and receiver role and played over fives sets.
After they finish their meal, an hour later they need to go back to practice.
Thinking that Han Woo Jin couldn’t get up from his chair. It was his first time feeling this exhausted and tired since he started tennis.
His confidence in his physical abilities was completely destroyed through Coach Jeon’s special training. His HP dropped over half in just three hours. Although he recovered a little bit during lunch but it was still only a little over half.
He looked at his status real quick.
[Han Woo Jin] [Exhausted]
Strength 58(-4) / Stamina 62 (-4) / Agility 51 (-4)
HP 1310/2480 SP 570/570
Drop shot: 5/20
Special Skill: Sparrow (serve), Slug (Smash)
The first thing that he saw was the increase in his lob and backhand level because of his futures tournament. He was happy that his total skill levels were almost above 60.
The next thing he looked at was his new special skill called Slug.
‘What kind of skill is this?’
The first time he got the Sparrow he received a strong power so he was very expectant about this new skill.
Because it’s a smash skill it should also involve a power stroke right? Or direction change?
He continued to think about it while his rice went cold and Choi Yeon Hyuk was laying down on the table unable to get up.
Their hour of break passed by like that.
“Okay, so the two of them both chose the Metz Open?”
The President of the NK company Jo Kang Hoon asked Coach Jeon with a smile on his face. He really liked the two players and their confidence. However, President Jo knew that Coach Jeon wasn’t happy with their decision.
The president spoke to Coach Jeon while guessing his thoughts.
“You think that it’s too early for them to play in the Metz Open right?”
“You’re right. I wanted to train them for half a year longer.”
He had no need to lie to the president because he was a person that he could speak on equal terms about tennis to. He spoke frankly to the President about the two players’ weaknesses.
But President Jo quietly listened to Coach Jeon and raised his hand and stopped him.
It meant that he had something to tell him.
As soon as Coach Jeon paused, the president spoke.
“So what do you think of their outcome in that tournament?”
Coach Jeon contemplated for a bit then made up his mind. He already analyzed what could happen. In fact he already calculated perfectly before they even chose to enter the Metz Open.
“Woo Jin will fail in the preliminaries and Yeon Hyuk, if he’s lucky will reach the top 16 or fail right after the preliminaries.”
President Jo closed his mouth and it felt like the atmosphere in the room became serious. Coach Jeon knew that he was thinking about something and stayed silent. President Jo hated when someone interrupted his thoughts.
After nearly ten minutes of thinking President Jo opened his mouth.
“You’re worrying that they will give up after that tournament, right? The two of them are still newbies, and you’re worried about their mental and that they will lose motivation when they meet the world wall?”
He was definitely President Jo.
Jeon Sang Shik admired the amazing intuition that President Jo had about people. Although they both had much of life experiences, how could the difference in their thoughts be this much? Is this why he was able to create one of the top companies in South Korea?
However, President Jo had different thoughts from Coach Jeon. He was significantly older than Coach Jeon and his body was becoming more frail. Therefore, he liked the confidence that the young people had.
“I don’t think like that. The two of them aren’t people who will give up that easily.”
That was what he read from their history. President Jo knew practically everything that the two players went through and knew how they will react in poor/negative conditions.
Han Woo Jin who adamantly never gives up regardless of the situation. And Choi Yeon Hyuk who began tennis with bad family problems. The two of them experienced many hardships to reach where they currently. So they aren’t afraid of more failures and hardships.
“Also, you didn’t oppose them to choosing Metz Open? Isn’t that you saying that you will trust them?”
“That’s just something that a coach must do.”
President Jo laughed at his response.
The person who believes in themselves no matter what will be able to accomplish great things wherever they go. It was the same when President Jo first met Coach Jeon. That was why he supported him.
President Jo pointed at the wine inside of the cabinet and told him.
“Do you want to bet with me?”
“What are you talking about?”
President Jo explained.
“About who will go farther in the Metz Open. If you win I will give you that wine that you like.”
“Ho, are you talking about the 62 year old La-La tache wine?”
Coach Jeon had extremely high taste only for alcohol as his eyes went wide. Romane Conti La Tache 62 years old. In terms of cost there are over 7 zeros attached to its price tag.
He swallowed his saliva and President Jo allowed him to choose first.
“Alright, who are you going to choose?”