Novel Name : God of Tennis

God of Tennis - Chapter 21.2

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GoT Chp 21.2: The one who advances and the one who stops #1
Translator: Pineapple
Editor: DearestKafka
Han Woo Jin began with a lead from the start of the game. His opponent’s physical stamina was already low. So all he had to do now was break his mental fortitude and the game would be an easy win for him. He decided to use this strategy and tossed up the ball.
He twisted his body in an exaggerated angle and served, Sparrow.
The Sparrow was a serve that even John, his opponent who had full stamina, would have difficulty returning. If this opponent was already tired physically, then he had no hope of returning it.
The ball that was travelling at a frightening speed suddenly changed its direction and bounced away. John tried getting the ball but it had already bounced three times.
“Fifteen love!’
Han Woo Jin listened to a familiar message and threw up the ball immediately. In this kind of situation, John isn’t in his peak condition. If he continues to press his advantage like this, then John will give up soon. If Han Woo Jin keeps on doing fast plays, without John being able to react, then John will only continue to get more tired.
John bit his lip in frustration and got back into position without resting. He swallowed the curse that he was about to spit out and just glared at Han Woo Jin in anger. No matter how you looked at it, John’s opponent wasn’t a rookie that was playing his first tournament.
‘What the heck? Is he really a rookie?’
The way he knew how to press his advantage with the lead he gained in order to force his opponent into a disadvantage was something only an experienced veteran could do. John understood that his physical condition hasn’t fully recovered because of yesterday’s tough match. The Asian player across the net already found his weakness.
Furthermore, he started to get anxious about that serve he just used. John wasn’t sure if he could return that serve even if he was in peak condition.
It was a terrifying serve that he would need at least a few games to observe just how he serves it to understand how it works.
“Thirty love!”
It was a second service ace. John decided to give up the first game and just stood still. He wanted to rest his legs and observe how he served.
Han Woo Jin who saw what John was doing grasp his intentions, changed his serve. He had no reason to use SP on the Sparrow against an opponent who was trying to discover it’s trick with no intention to retaliate.
The ball bounced and laughed at John while it went past him who was late to respond. John, who was expecting the Sparrow, just got a straight flat serve.
“Forty love!”
He lost three points, all of them service aces. John Walter has lived as pro longer than Han Woo Jin, yet his opponent was already better than him and he felt bitter. In front of him, Han Woo Jin twisted his body once again in a peculiar angle.
It was another Sparrow. The new, unused ball hit the court. John could only stare helplessly as the ball bounced.
It wasn’t that different from rock, paper and scissors. He had to guess what his opponent was going to bring out beforehand. But Han Woo Jin was confident in these kinds of simple mental games.
“Game Woo Jin Han!”
The first game ended like this.
Han Woo Jin’s momentum from the first game couldn’t be stopped. John probably felt beaten down the entire time. Without winning a single game, he continued losing points.
“Game Woo Jin Han!”
Han Woo Jin released out a sigh as it was his turn to serve again.
The game with John Walter flowed smoothly for him as he expected. From the beginning, John’s physical stamina was low, almost below half. It was impossible for him to bring out his full potential.
‘It looks like he isn’t thinking of giving up.’
Han Woo Jin thought as he observed John as they changed sides on the court. His breathing was very rough as his shoulders were heaving up and down and his racket was trembling in his hand.
In short, it wasn’t a pretty sight. However, the fire in John’s eyes didn’t go out.
Those kinds of players with those eyes, won’t give up. It’s useless for Han Woo Jin to expect him to give up and could only continue to play. He needs to completely destroy him perfectly from the beginning to the end.
“Game 6! John serving play!”
John, who had the ball, eyed Han Woo Jin with a cautious expression. Even though it was a player he’s never heard about, John couldn’t ignore Han Woo Jin and began treating him as if he was no longer a low ranker. He’s seen his videos and now that he was playing against him in person, he was confident that he couldn’t be ignored.
Time wasn’t waiting for him. John was hesitating because he wanted a break during his serves and the ref told him to hurry up.
John hearing the referee, tossed up the ball. He noticed that the ball began falling in an unfavorable angle because he threw up the ball in a hurry.
However, a pro is a pro. If he couldn’t get past a simple thing like this, then he should have never become a pro. He twisted his wrist towards the ball’s direction and hit a slice serve.
The ball curved through the air and hit the court. It was surprisingly weaker than expected as it bounced low to the ground. Han Woo Jin just let the ball bounce and didn’t move.
“Fifteen love!”
It wasn’t like he was trying to get a perfect game. Even if two players had a big difference in skills, it would be difficult to have a perfect game. Even more so if in an ATP 250 tournament like this, so Han Woo Jin didn’t have any of those useless thoughts. He needs to save as much energy as he can and hide his skills for future opponents for the top 16.
His next opponent is a seeded player. He will be coming onto the court in peak condition and he is a high ranker. If he fights against him in a condition like John after using all his energy in this match, then he is a fool. Han Woo Jin waited for the next serve and weighted his advantages and disadvantages.
This time a proper serve came to him. But did John know? Against players like Han Woo Jin, it is more effective to use irregular serves or mistakes against him. Textbook serves like that are only returned similar textbook returns.
“Fifteen all!”
He got a return ace right away and John’s face turned ugly. It didn’t matter whether he was fatigued from his last match, he just realized that Han Woo Jin’s skills were above his. This kind of return doesn’t come out randomly.
John can’t do anything in this kind of situation.
He can’t do anything but keep playing the game. John grit his teeth and tossed the ball. The ball flew from the racket.
‘It seems like he wants to play till the end.’
GoT Chp 21.2: The one who advances and the one who stops #1
Translator: Pineapple
Editor: DearestKafka
Han Woo Jin received the ball as usual and understood John’s will. John Walter, didn’t want to give up this game. Even if he loses, he will stay on the court until the very last moment.
*Pang!* (so many pangs!)
“Thirty fifteen!”
Is he struggling? John returned the ball with a backhand with great difficulty. It was a shot that was right on the line that everyone would think was out. Han Woo Jin thought that the ball was out and he stopped moving. But the referee called it in.
‘I need to finish it at this point.’
If he continued to play the game he will lose more stamina. John’s physical condition wasn’t at a great state right now so he won’t be recovering any time soon during the breaks. But Han Woo Jin is able to get some rest and recover a little bit of stamina in five to ten minutes. That’s why he should win the first set quickly and make their difference too overwhelming to him.
Han Woo Jin made up his mind to end it quickly no matter what. He got into a position where he could reach his opponent’s serve regardless of the direction the ball went.
John’s textbook serve came towards him. It was either a flat or a spin serve. His serve was very fast and sharp, but it wasn’t effective against Han Woo Jin as he could easily read his opponent’s style of play.
In Han Woo Jin’s eyes, John’s serve was simple to read and although it was too fast to accurately see, he knew where the ball would bounce and therefore prepare to return it. In terms of boxing it would be described as a ‘telephone punch’.
A counter is when you read an opponent’s move in advance and wait a little bit before returning a counterattack that’s even stronger.
Han Woo Jin didn’t even look at the ball bounce and swung his racket to the other side of the court. Han Woo Jin’s movement surpassed John Walter’s speed. If John didn’t expect that this would happen, then he won’t be able to receive the ball.
The points were now even and John was even more pressured. He knew better than anyone else that Han Woo Jin was trying to end this set as quickly as possible. John’s legs were so weak and trembling that if he took a seat now then he knew that he wouldn’t be able to get back up.
John Walter encountered an impossible situation but he still wanted to win. He really wanted to win this game so he quickly began to strategize and moved his body while thinking.
A pro should know when they are going to lose and know when to give up. But a pro should also know to give all their effort and never give up. This is a contradiction yet it is a fact. John was truly acting like a pro during this game.
Han Woo Jin was very satisfied with John’s attitude.
‘He should be acting like this because he’s a pro.’
Of course, he didn’t want to criticize other players but he didn’t like when other pros dodged games. That’s probably because it’s how Han Woo Jin has lived up until now.
Han Woo Jin returned John Walter’s serve cleanly and it ended up as a return ace.
“Thirty: Forty!”
The score already reached Han Woo Jin’s set point. John was losing the first set with such a huge score difference but he still really admired Han Woo Jin. John was curious as to why a player as skilled as him was ranked so low.
‘If he has this much skill, then he will rise in rank quickly. I might even play against him again in the future.’
John looked at Han Woo Jin with a bitter expression. He was now 28 this year. As a pro he still had many years ahead of him, but he was at the point where things will only get harder for him from now on.
Han Woo Jin who increased his skills at a fast pace, in contrast to John whose skills will stagnate or decrease. So the possibility of them playing again was low and today might be their final and only match. That’s why he felt bitter.
“John? Are you okay?”
“… No problem.”
The referee was worried about him when John stopped moving but John replied in a low voice. Anyway, it will be difficult to get more time for him. John tossed up the ball, which he thought would be the last. And with all his strength, he hit the ball.
‘Will it end like this?’
John had a bitter smile as he expected this result. Before he could even reposition himself for the return, Han Woo Jin was already waiting for the ball and hit it as if he read where the ball would land.
And as with the past serves, he returned it perfectly.
‘I can’t receive those kinds of hits.’ John thought to himself as the ball bounced multiple times on the court.
That’s how the first set ended.
“Game Woojin Han! Set won by Woojin Han, 6-0!”
It was a perfect score. He didn’t plan to do it like that but that was the end result. Han Woo Jin walked towards the bench as he heard the voice in his head.
[Perfect game! You have gained one stat point due to a perfect set in your first ATP 250 tour.] [You have gained increased experience due to your victory in an ATP 250 tour.] [Drop shot has leveled up by one.]
‘Yes! I gained a lot.’
He nodded his head and checked his status while sitting on the bench and saw one difference compared from before the game and he mumbled to himself.
“…I feel better now.”
Something he was troubled about became clear to him.
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