God of Tennis - Chapter 20.2
Chapter 20.2: Andrew vs Choi Yeon Hyuk #2
The first set’s score is 5-5. It has only been 14 minutes since the match started.
“Andrew serving! Play!”
Andrew breathed heavily as he stared across the net. He knew that his opponent was good but he didn’t know that he would be this good. It seemed like his opponent got through the preliminaries by hiding his true skills. At least, he had never showed a serve that went over 220 km/h.
‘This is pretty fun.’
His lips slightly curved upwards. You couldn’t tell if he was smiling or biting his lip.
Andrew threw up the ball at the ref’s signal. He needs to win two games in a row because they arrived at deuce. If they keep on going like this, then they will be at a tiebreaker.
He needs to win his serve game and aim for a chance to return his opponent’s serve. Andrew hit the ball with a sharp speed.
The ball’s speed was still the same as from the beginning of the match and was like lightning. Choi Yeon Hyuk quickly ran over to the ball.
‘This game is my chance.’
Up until now the game has progressed just how Coach Jeon planned. It was a game that depended on the player’s serve. It was basically a chicken race on who can return a serve first.
They were currently at deuce and this situation was advantageous for him because he can try to break first. It is difficult for the player whose serve is broken to break again.
The two players’ exhausted all of their physical energy and the victor of this game will be determined by who wins this deuce set.
Choi Yeon Hyuk mumbled as he bit his lower lip. Andrew’s facial expression wasn’t great either. Just now, he noticed that Choi Yeon Hyuk’s racket was very close to the ball. This means that if he moves a little bit faster and more precisely, then he will be able to return the ball.
The both of them were full of nervousness. Andrew and Choi Yeon Hyuk’s anxiousness made even the referee get goosebumps on his skin. It seemed like they weren’t on a tennis court but in the colosseum.
For his second serve, Andrew changed the quality of his serve. He was confident in high speed serves, but his opponent was also the sam.
He twisted his wrist and his shoulder to do a slice serve.
The ball hit the racket in a weird direction. It went straight and then curved to the side. The speed decreased a bit but the ball went in a different direction than expected.
However, this time, Choi Yeon Hyuk hit the ball with his racket in a scary posture.
Andrew’s face turned ugly. His opponent ran over as if he expected his slice serve. Nobody could predict how a person would serve after just ten games.
The answer was quite simple.
‘… They effectively analyzed my previous games. If his flat serves weren’t working on his opponent, he had the tendency to switch to slice serves.’
Yesterday, Choi Yeon Hyuk watched the videos of the games that Andrew participated them. Many, many games. He even watched them in slow motion to try to analyze his movements. This return ace was the product of that analysis.
The situation of the game suddenly shifted. Andrew stepped back a bit and Choi Yeon Hyuk stepped forward. Their games have so far only progressed with service aces but now the games will become rallies.
Andrew’s situation wasn’t great which made him angry. He was a high ranker so he was able to serve first but it was useless. Furthermore, his secret serve was returned with an ace. He was so angry he could hear how tightly he was gripping his racket.
“Andrew! Serving play!”
Andrew was told by the referee to hurry and stared at him. He began to get annoyed because he was in a bad situation.
But it wasn’t that stressful of a situation, so he just looked forward and threw up the ball.
‘He can go faster…?!’
That serve was faster than expected and was faster than the previous balls. That’s why when Choi Yeon Hyuk went to swing his racket, he hit nothing but air.
Whether he got faster because of his anger or he wasn’t using all of his strength. Choi Yeon Hyuk didn’t know. He just did his best and played. He prepared for the next serve and lowered his back.
‘Is he going to do a flat? A slice?’
He couldn’t read his moves. He couldn’t read his moves on the previous serve either. Those videos that he watched were from last year. A year has passed, so it is possible that his skills went up.
Andrew once again hit the ball. It was a flat serve, in which he had no intention to put spin on.
Again. The timing of his serves are different now. That small difference in timing made Choi Yeon Hyuk miss hitting the ball.
If this was one of his skills, he might have practiced many times. But this was pure talent. He is just hitting the ball on instinct.
Choi Yeon Hyuk couldn’t read the timing of the serves and lost this game.
The score was now 6-5.
Choi Yeon Hyuk was now in a corner. He got the balls to serve and felt his neck wet.
‘This isn’t good.’
The game was fierce. Choi Yeon Hyuk’s group was watching from the stands with sweaty palms and sighed heavily while seeing Andrew win the game. This one game changed the outcome of the match.
Han Woo Jin spoke out his name as he heard Coach Jeon curse.
“The game got to deuce, was that all of your guys plan?”
“Of course not… but this is still different.”
His probability of winning just dropped to 8:2. But Han Woo Jin thought if Choi Yeon Hyuk wins this set then it can possibly be 5:5.
But Andrew’s skill is greater than he thought. His last three consecutive serves was like a bad dream to Choi Yeon Hyuk.
Choi Yeon Hyuk and Andrew’s match was basically a messy dog fight. They were both attacking each other without regard for their own condition. The dog that was biting the other dog’s rear end was winning.
And right now, Andrew was biting Choi Yeon Hyuk’s rear.
Because he made a situation where if he wins one more game, then he wins the set.
“Game 12! Yeonhyuk Choi serving play!”
This game was full of pressure on Choi Yeon Hyuk. If he loses this game, then he gives the set to Andrew and if he wins, then he faces another deuce and has to win two more right after. If he takes a step back he will fall off a cliff and if he steps forward, then he will be fighting a bloody battle.
But he gripped the ball tightly. He knew that it would be difficult to win. However, he still wanted to win. That’s what it means to be a pro.
Choi Yeon Hyuk took a quick glance at the side. He saw his coach and his friend watching him. He didn’t want to lose in front of those two.
‘Alright, let’s do it.’
His fighting spirit came back. He was exhausted but he was still able to keep up the intensity.
He knew that the mind breaks before the body. And that the body can keep on going even though the mind wants to stop. He threw up the ball.
The light green tennis ball went up into the air and dropped back down slowly due to gravity.
Choi Yeon Hyuk softly moved his body. It was different from his previous serves.
A flat serve is fast like lightning, but when the ball is hit high and then spins and curves down to the ground is called a topspin. That’s how Choi Yeon Hyuk won that point.
Choi Yeon Hyuk wanted to rely on his technique more than speed. But his opponent is Andrew Murray.
He is a genius that is adept at controlling the speed of his serve with his senses. It’s enough for him to see it once to fully analyze it.
He hit the ball that flew from Choi Yeon Hyuk’s racket. He aimed precisely at the sideline and made a beautiful drive shot.
Choi Yeon Hyuk let out a sigh. He had no intention of giving up and served right away.
Since he can’t win with tricks then he will resort to speed. The serve that he hit reached speeds of 210 km/h.
Geniuses are unfair.
Andrew returned it.
Andrew’s eyes shone brightly as he was able to serve that was 215 km/h. It was because he was able to read the direction that Choi Yeon Hyuk sent the ball. Choi Yeon Hyuk was an amazing opponent that stimulated Andrew to improve during the match.
This was the first time that Choi Yeon Hyuk met someone who had talent greater than him. He felt as if he met a large brick wall and was in despair.
‘Did you feel like this also?’
This time he wasn’t the one giving this feel, but instead receiving this feeling. Choi Yeon Hyuk who lived his life as genius felt a strange feeling.
It was a frustrating feeling, like he was trying to breathe underwater. He felt like his body was moving through a swamp. He just wanted to drop his racket.
No, I won’t give up.
He gripped his racket with reinforced strength. The racket made a ugly noise when his hand tightened his grip on the rubber handle.The thought of giving up and the will to continue were fighting in his mind.
However, the situation was already in Andrew’s favor. Andrew’s concentration was at an all time high since the game began. He could now return any serve that Choi Yeon Hyuk threw at him.
In the future, Andrew Murray’s play style will now become more perfected and have better defense.
He once again did a return ace. His crazy reflexive nerves allowed him to return the ball that was over 200 km/h. Andrew’s muscles contracted and relaxed repeatedly.
Choi Yeon Hyuk already knew. That the first set will go to Andrew.
But he gave his all in this last serve. His last serve was at 216 km/h. He didn’t care about his arm’s fatigue and pain.
Andrew easily returned it.
He didn’t care how fast the ball went, Andrew’s geniusness became even more genius during his match with Choi Yeon Hyuk’s genius.
“Game Andrew! Set won by Andrew Murray! 7-5!”
The referee announced the victor for the first set.
“… he lost.”
Coach Jeon who desperately wanted to smoke a cigarette, took out a piece of candy.
He already expected Choi Yeon Hyuk to fail the first break and lose the set. However, Andrew’s rapid growth during the game was completely unexpected.
Choi Yeon Hyuk is the best genius in Korea but Andrew was even more of a genius than him. He was a player can aim for one of the four major tournament titles.
Han Woo Jin who was watching the game frowned. A few years down the road, Choi Yeon Hyuk will also compete in a major tournament and come in second place. However, Andrew thoroughly eclipsed Choi Yeon Hyuk in terms of skill.
Strength 60 / Stamina 61 / Agility 65
Hp 1490/2440 SP 840/840
Special skill: ???. ????
‘…his levels went up.’
He’s a genius that keeps on improving even during the middle of a game. That was Andrew Murray’s talent. Without the system, he couldn’t compare to Andrew’s talent.
Han Woo Jin looked at Andrew who was twisting his wrists on the court.
No matter how many tricks one has up one’s sleeves, one cannot beat pure talent.
Finally, Han Woo Jin’s hesitation disappeared. He decided not to lose focus.
“Set 2! Player ready!”
Han Woo Jin grinded his teeth while looking at the court.
He was determined to become as good as them in the future.