Novel Name : God of Tennis

God of Tennis - Chapter 17.1

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Chapter 17.1: &#lt;1st Round Qualifying&#gt;
Translator: Pineapple
Editor: Oer
Since they arrived in France, everything went by quickly. As soon as they arrived at the Charle de Gaulle airport they rented a car and drove to the hotel.
In contrast to the Andong Futures, there was nowhere nearby for them to practice tennis. That’s why Han Woo Jin and Choi Yeon Hyuk, just practiced lightly near the playground. Because they were still exhausted from their strict training from before, they still weren’t able to practice intensely.
The Metz Open was occurring at the same time as a festival in the city, so after they practiced, they toured the festival.
August 21, the day before the tournament.
They went to indoor courts where the Metz Open will take place because they wanted to check the schedules for their matches.
Han Woo Jin also unconsciously opened his mouth in amazement.
He knew that the Metz Open would be big but he didn’t expect the place where the tournament would be held would be that huge. You simply couldn’t compare the Metz Open stadium to any of the Korean tennis stadiums.
His amazement was short-lived and they soon arrived at the front of the entrance. There were a few Asians that stood in front of the desk as interpreters for the receptionist.
“ [For what reason did you come here?] “
Choi Joon Sung answered the question. He spoke in good French.
“ [We are here to look at the match schedules for these players.] “
“ [Oh, your pronunciation is pretty good. Did you bring your application with you?] “
The receptionist asked him back fluently in his native tongue.
Even though they were used to speaking in English, because they were in France, they needed to speak French, as French people have strong pride in their language.
“ [Of course. Choi Yeon Hyuk, Han Woo Jin. Please check.] “
“ [Please wait a second.] “
The receptionist entered their names into the computer and he printed something out a short while later. He handed him the paper.
It looked like a ladder that showed them the preliminaries schedule for the Metz Open.
“ [Thank you. Is there anything else that needs to be submitted before the matches?] “
“ [Yes, please give us information of where you’re currently staying for the duration of the tournament and your contact information.] “
It was for possible incidents where they might need to contact them. The tournament could be delayed or the schedule might change due to sudden unforeseen accident, even though those things rarely happen.
They walked away from the entrance and Choi Joon Sung looked at the schedule. There were only 12 peoples’ names on the tournament ladder and Choi Yeon Hyuk asked with a curious voice.
“Coach Jeon, why are there only 12 people? There’s no way that only 12 people entered the preliminaries.”
“Didn’t I tell you? The ATP preliminaries are difficult.”
Coach Jeon replied with a heavy voice.
They got nervous just by listening to his voice. Choi Yeon Hyuk was filled with nervousness for an unknown reason. Han Woo Jin was nervous because he’s never attended a tournament like this before, but he knew how to handle situations in the preliminaries.
Jeon Sang Shik continued speaking about the preliminaries.
“First of all, these twelve people on the list are the most bottom tier players in the tournament and the worst six out of the twelve will be eliminated from the tournament.”
They expected that. Choi Yeon Hyuk and Han Woo Jin nodded.
However, Coach Jeon continued speaking.
“After those six players are decided, then, they are added with ten more players who didn’t have to go through the preliminaries and then a second round of preliminaries begins with players that are higher ranked than those six players that passed the first round. Then how many people will leave from those 16 players?”
“Shouldn’t it be eight?”
How lucky if that were true.
But Han Woo Jin already knew the answer. In this ATP league only four people are able to stay from the second preliminaries.
“No, only four people can survive and stay in the tournament. But do you know what the scariest part is?”
Choi Yeon Hyuk gulped and shook his head. Since he debuted as a pro, he never had to go through preliminaries and always played starting from the top 36 in tournaments, so he never had any experience with preliminaries and its harshness.
“The second round of preliminaries ends in the same day of the first preliminary round and the top four of the preliminaries move onto the main tournament. Therefore, if the two of you make it past the prelims then you guys will be playing two games in one day and then playing in the main tournament the very next day.”
Even if they get past the preliminaries, they will need to play against the top 32 players the next day. It was an incredibly difficult schedule that gave them no rest.
Like this, the world of tennis was harsh against players that played in the preliminaries. How many games can a pro player play in a row?
Even reaching the top 32 is enough for them. That is why in famous tournaments, the players who played from the preliminaries almost never win the tournament.
Those top 32 rankers were already higher ranked than those in the preliminaries and even if those players get past the preliminaries, their stamina will already be completely spent during their previous matches.
That’s why Coach Jeon didn’t expect the two of them to even reach the top 32 players.
“We should head back first. But they only have 12 people scheduled? I want to know the schedule for after they pass the first round of the preliminaries.”
“Mmm… I think they will draw lots to decide the next opponent. That’s why we won’t know who they will be playing in advance.”
After they finished their conversation, Han Woo Jin and co left the stadium to go back to the hotel. As they were leaving, Han Woo Jin saw a man that looked bothered.
‘… Why does he look so familiar?’
His forehead and hair looked like the shape of an M with bright brown hair. He had a large face and handsome. The tennis bag on his shoulder identified him as a tennis player. He had a solid build that was quite impressive to others looking at him.
However, he wasn’t someone that Han Woo Jin knew.
But he still had a feeling of curiosity towards him. It was the same feeling when he first saw Coach Jeon’s younger face since he returned to the past.
This is deja vu.
A face finally popped up in his head.
Wouldn’t this man look like this if he was ten years younger? He also remembered the moment he caught a glimpse of his name in Choi Joon Sung’s notebook while on the airplane.
He felt uncomfortable speaking that name out loud as if he shouldn’t do it. Han Woo Jin couldn’t speak at all. His team/coworkers already walked five steps ahead of him. Han Woo Jin stopped in his tracks to look at that man.
Han Woo Jin mumbled the name of that person under his breath.
“Andrew … Murray.”
A famous British player who debuted in 2005.
“Why have you been like this since yesterday?”
Choi Yeon Hyuk asked him with a curious face as Han Woo Jin came to his senses.
Han Woo Jin, had a blank expression ever since they got their schedule. If that person he saw yesterday was indeed Murray, then it would definitely be a surprise to see him here.
Currently, in this world, this was something only Han Woo Jin felt.
Seeing a top player from his past life made his mind go into disarray.
“It’s okay. There’s no problem.”
“It looks like something is wrong…”
Choi Yeon Hyuk had no idea what was going on in Han Woo Jin’s mind. He looked at him with worry but then decided that there was nothing that he could do for him. He thought it was because Han Woo Jin’s “first” preliminaries were right around the corner.
‘Ah, it’s finished.”
Choi Yeon Hyuk looked at the court and mumbled. One player, lowered his head in defeat and the other player raised his hands in victory.
He didn’t understand what the referee and players were saying but he could understand what was going on by their motions.
It was now Han Woo Jin’s turn to go up.
“Han! Mr. Han from Korea!”
“Hey, they’re calling you.”
The blank faced Han Woo Jin, didn’t answer and only answered when Choi Yeon Hyuk hit him in the back.
“Uh… I’m here!”
“Get your act together and go up there!”
Choi Yeon Hyuk looked at his friend’s back with worry.
The always sharp Han Woo Jin seemed very nervous for some reason. If he stayed in his current condition, then he might not even get past the first round of preliminaries. He didn’t want to see his friend do badly.
Han Woo Jin spoke up late with his broken English and the audience all stared at him.
‘Let’s just focus on this game first. Can’t I worry about Andrew Murray later?’
If it really was Andrew Murray then he will most likely have the chance to watch him play in the future. At least he didn’t see his name on the preliminaries list.
Although, it has only been a year since Andrew has debuted as a pro he was high up in the world rankings. It wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t have to play in the preliminaries.
If he was too worried about playing against him then he will lose focus and lose to the opponent in front of him.
Han Woo Jin gripped his racket and saw the stats of his opponent.
[Robert Fabian]
Strength 65 / Agility 57 / Stamina 55
HP 2210/2280 SP 490/490
Forehand: 10/20
Backhand: 8/20
Serve: 9/20
Volley: 8/20
Smash: 9/20
Drop Shot: 2/20
Lob: 3/20
Special Skill: None
‘It seems like he’s a power type. Other than skills that need a lot of strength, the rest of his skills are a complete mess.’
He was very bad at skills that needed high control such as lobs and drop shots.
Han Woo Jin now knew why his strength was at a high number of 65. His strength was much higher compared to his speed. Because of that it will be difficult for him to control the sensitivity of his strength. Solely focusing on one stat isn’t a wise decision.
If Fabian’s strength level was 60 then his drop shots and lobs might improve by a lot. If his stats were the roughly the same then it would be difficult to find weaknesses because of his well-roundedness.
However, that is a big ‘if’.
Han Woo Jin saw a large opening towards Fabian’s side and he thought that he had pretty good luck for his first opponent.
It was the sound of the coin being flipped up into the air. The referee caught the falling coin and showed it upwards on his hand.
Fabian spoke first with his decision. Han Woo Jin guessed randomly because the coin toss was up to luck and just randomly chose one side. There was no matter who chose which side first. If someone complained about their decision then they will move onto rock paper scissors which was annoying and wasted time.
The referee lifted his hand and showed the coin. It was tails.
Han Woo Jin chose to serve first. Everyone knew that serving first gives you the advantage. Fabian had an ugly expression and went back to his side of the court. It seemed he disliked the fact that he didn’t get to serve first.
A player who easily shows their expression on their faces is easy to read while playing against. Han Woo Jin, felt his mind and senses becoming focused again as he prepared to play. Of course, a player is still a player when they’re on the court.
The referee looked very old but he spoke loud enough for everyone in the audience to hear.
“Woojin Han on my right! Robert Fabian on my left! Woojin Han to serve!”
After that he waved his flag. It felt like he was watching a play.
Han Woo Jin picked up the balls that were rolled to him on the ground and waited for the referee’s signal.
“Love all (0:0)! Play!”
Han Woo Jin threw up the ball before the referee’s voice disappeared.
He only saw the bright ceiling of the indoor court of the Metz Open. Just the fact that he was standing on an ATP league court was enough to make him feel ecstatic.
‘Should I just get a point first?’
He twisted his body widely. He didn’t have any place to hide his special skills on the world stage. It’s better to use his skills actively because people will discover his skills sooner or later.
The ball that was dropping slowly suddenly flew at an incredibly speed as soon as it hit the racket. Nobody could believe that that ball was hit by an Asian with such a small body.
There was no time for his opponent to react as the ball was already flying out of the court. It was a splendid service ace.
“Fifteen love (15:0)!”
With a surprised and confused expression Fabian had no idea what just happened and looked at Han Woo Jin with wide eyes looking back and forth at him and where the ball landed.
It was the Metz Open first preliminary match’s first point.
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