God of Tennis - Chapter 22.2
GoT Chp 22.2
Han Woo Jin wasn’t mad because Leonard did an underhand serve because Han Woo Jin himself was also fond of using underhand serves. Any kind of skill and strategy is okay to use in his opinion as long as it doesn’t commit any fouls. It would be hypocritical of him to say that Leonard has no manners because he used these tricks plenty of times himself too.
However, Leonard’s last serve had a different meaning. It wasn’t strategy, it was pure mockery of him.
He was incredibly upset, so his serve’s speed was faster than usual. But the direction of the Sparrow was as stable as always. Han Woo Jin didn’t know if it was because it was the system helping him out or if his high skill level was the cause.
Leonard, who got service aced twice was unfazed and put on a smile. You could see his bright white teeth between his lips, which made Han Woo Jin feel angrier.
‘Is he that confident in himself?’
He was really upset, but he couldn’t underestimate Leonard. Han Woo Jin looked at his opponent who was moving his body side by side and clicked his tongue. Even if he wins this game, it will still only be 1-1. Leonard had a relaxed expression that showed he wasn’t stressed to get a win.
He already used the Sparrow twice continuously and he had the option to use a regular serve but Han Woo Jin couldn’t change his serve. Because his opponent’s huge body, he didn’t know where to serve the ball where Leonard couldn’t reach.
Even if he served anywhere on the court, Leonard would be able to react with his quick reflexes and return the ball. The Sparrow was his only option to continue getting points.
Han Woo Jin ultimately decided to use the Sparrow until the end of the game.
“Game Woojin Han!”
If you looked at this point, then the match was currently tied. But Han Woo Jin’s expression wasn’t good. Even though the ball was fast, Leonard was just using his regular serve. On the other hand, Han Woo Jin was using a special skill that used his SP.
Even though they both won one game each, Han Woo Jin was on the losing end.
“Leonard to serve!”
Leonard’s turn to serve came. This time he used his height to do an overhand serve like a dunk. It was flat serve that focused on speed.
This time Han Woo Jin stepped forward. Compared to the first game when he couldn’t even react to his serves, this time was better.
Even though he expected where the ball would land before Leonard served, he was a bit late. Although he moved 0.5 seconds faster than the first game he was still too slow. Han Woo Jin frowned.
Because Leonard’s serve was insanely fast, he needed to read it at least one second before. Especially in a pro game, one second was a huge factor that was enough time to decide the point.
‘It looks like I need to give him several games.’
That’s what Han Woo Jin thought.
His opponent’s serve speed was top class so it was difficult for his body to get used to its speed in just one or two games. He needs to win his serving games and needs to waste time in order to waste Leonard’s stamina which will result in his serve speed lowering. And at that time when his speed lowers is his opportunity.
He also needed to be cautious for when Leonard uses an underhand serve. He couldn’t lose a point that was meant to mock him. Han Woo JIn lowered his body and widened his eyes.
It was fast. The speed of his serve was so great that it covered the other areas of his weakness. Even though he didn’t like Leonard, he couldn’t help but be envious at Leonard’s serving skill and speed. This talent of his was given from birth.
Leonard had a height of over 190 cm, and even though he was tall, his muscles were like springs. And he could move incredibly quickly.
A person might be blessed with one talent but Leonard is a person blessed with many talents.
Leonard realized his opponent was really focused on this game so he gave up on using underhand serves. Even though he knew that his opponent was angry, he knew he could use his anger well. If he continues to anger him, it could come back to bite him.
‘This is fun~ He’s a low ranker but he’s pretty good.’
Leonard was enjoying his opponent’s reactions. Leonard was one of the three top rankers in this tournament. If he didn’t get injured last year and had to take a break, then he would probably be in the top 30 of the world.
In fact, no one could compete with him in this tournament.
In the eyes of Leonard, Han Woo Jin was a good ‘meal’ for him. He was an opponent where he could let loose and relax his nerves. He was a good practice opponent for him before he reached the quarterfinals and semifinals.
I’m lucky to have such a good practice partner.
That’s what this African player thought as he walked around the court. His two meter tall body flew into the air and hit the ball with amazing strength.
The referee announced the score and the two players switched sides.The smiling Leonard and serious faced Han Woo Jin passed by each other.
“ [You used a pretty interesting serve?] “
“ … …”
Leonard spoke as he passed by quickly. But Han Woo JIn didn’t answer him and kept walking. But he once again heard Leonard’s voice behind him.
“ [But it doesn’t look like you can use it that much longer.] “
You could hear an unpleasant grinding sound from Han Woo Jin gripping his racket too tightly. Han Woo Jin couldn’t exactly fully understand what Leonard was saying but could interpret the gist of it.
He didn’t know whether Leonard was mocking him or was nervous but he still felt ill at ease.
‘…How long can you last?’ (Leonard)
Han Woo Jin couldn’t deny him because what he said was a fact.
The balance was broken during the eighth game.
The score was 4-3. Both players were exchanging service aces endlessly. The one who gets a break will decide who wins or loses. Han Woo Jin was currently winning by two points on his serve turn.
‘This is already my 14th Sparrow… I don’t care about how much SP I have but I used too much stamina already. At this rate, my stamina will be too low to use the Sparrow.’
Even though this is called a special technique, Han Woo Jin’s body is still the thing that has to endure the burden. The Sparrow, regardless of SP, pushes his muscles to its limits every time. So it is obvious why his stamina goes down so quickly.
But he couldn’t stop now. Leonard Sweet is a player that is able to return all of Han Woo Jin’s serves except the Sparrow. So he must continue using the Sparrow before his opponent can cause a break.
He tossed up the ball once more and twisted his body. He could feel his body creaking and felt a sharp pain in his forearm due to overuse of this skill.
The strongpoint of the Sparrow was its irregular bounce and the direction of the ball as soon as it crosses the net, it suddenly drops downwards. That’s why a high ranker like Leonard has been unable to return it so far during this match.
However, it was different this time.
Leonard raced forward from the baseline with incredible speed up to the ball. He fearlessly moved forward against a serve where if you didn’t know the direction it would bounce then you would lose the point. He used his forehand without any hesitation.
The ball was returned with an incredible speed, bounced on Han Woo Jin’s court. Han Woo Jin’s body froze when he realized what had just happened.
‘Could he have read the Sparrow?’
Han Woo Jin watched countless recordings of himself using the Sparrow to find out any habits that he had when he used the Sparrow that could be used against him. He watched his recording at least over 500 times. And during those times, he was never able to guess or find anything to determine where the ball will bounce.
That was why he couldn’t believe that Leonard found out the trick to determining where the ball will bounce in just three games.
It was useless for him to use a Sparrow that was returned but it is a different story if it was luck. Han Woo Jin used the Sparrow again.
Leonard ran forward once again. This time, he got into position for a backhand swing.
*Hoong – Pang!*
It was in the opposite direction. The ball bounced towards Leonard’s right side and avoided his backhand swing. Now, Han Woo Jin understood that Leonard’s previous return was a lucky guess and that Leonard found a solution to returning the Sparrow.
‘He used luck. He’s choosing to move based on a 50% chance?’
He doesn’t know whether the ball is going left or right so he is just randomly choosing a side and swinging his racket. The method that Leonard chose was really simple but quite effective. Since he can’t read the Sparrow, he just decided to take a 50% chance, which is better than completely missing the ball.
It is not a simple decision to make. He obviously thought a long time and considered his options before using this strategy. Han Woo Jin thought that Leonard was a very intelligent player.
But luckily, the last Sparrow was in Han Woo Jin’s favor as he got the point.
“Game Woojin Han!”
The score was good for Han Woo Jin but the situation was getting worse for him. He felt like he was walking towards the edge of a cliff. He didn’t have any other strategy except for using the Sparrow as he was outclassed in all other aspects and his opponent had a 50% chance of hitting the Sparrow which wasn’t good for him.
Now it was time for him to think about using his second special technique.
According to Han Woo Jin, after days of practicing, Slut wasn’t a type of ball that would injure his opponent. It was just a ball that made it so that the opponent wouldn’t be able to return it. The accident from last time was because his opponent tried to return the ball with an underhand stroke.
His joint turned towards the outside of his body and because there was too much oppositional force against the ball, he was injured. If he returned the ball with a backhand stroke, then he might have been failed but he wouldn’t have been injured.
‘This isn’t the time to get sidetracked.’
He didn’t need to worry about Leonard getting injured, because Leonard is his opponent. At this rate, he will lose. His ways of scoring points are decreasing and soon he will no longer have any way of scoring any more points. Before that he needed a ball that will scare his opponent.
His condition was still optimal enough. Leonard’s serve was very strong and had a good chance for it to bounce really high. So it will be easier for him to use a smash.
“Game 9! Leonard Serving play!”
The referee announced the ninth game to begin. Han Woo Jin stared at Leonard who was stretching his body and Han Woo Jin covered his eyes so that his opponent couldn’t read what he was thinking.
Leonard threw up the ball. In Han Woo Jin’s shoes, he looked slightly upward, watching Leonard jump up to hit the ball. Leonard swung his racket and the ball came down with incredible speed.
He needed to watch the ball, to see how high the bounce was and to adjust his timing. His eyes turned red as they were incredibly focused while watching the ball. His concentration was at its peak along with his reaction time.
As soon as the ball bounced, Han Woo Jin decided that was the time to move and jumped up. The ball bounced up and moved faster than his body and quickly reached the height of his eyes. Han Woo Jin looked at the green tennis ball that was passing by his nose and swung his racket.
A smash that was aimed at the opponent.
‘I’ll give you a hit.’
It sounded like a balloon popped. The ball traveled towards the other side of the court with a speed that made it difficult to see.
Leonard was at the other side of the court chasing after the ball immediately.
He looked perplexed while looking at the ball that was headed straight for him and he suddenly swung his racket.
In that moment, the image of the frame of the black racket swinging and the ball hitting it was seen.