Novel Name : God of Tennis

God of Tennis - Chapter 22.3

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Chapter 22.3
Translator: Pineapple
The ball flew towards Leonard’s racket.
It looked as if there were two balls headed towards him but only one suddenly hit his racket and flew away.
It wasn’t the sound of a racket hitting the ball normally. It was the ball hitting the frame of the racket not the strings. And another screeching sound came after.
“Love fifteen!”
Leonard who received the ball mid-swing just blankly stared at his racket that was knocked out of his hand. He had no idea what happened just now. That short Asian player who wasn’t even 180 cm tall knocked his racket away?
‘No way.’
He used some trickery. (black magic!!?!?)
No matter how hard he thought about it, it didn’t make any sense. No matter how hard you hit the ball, there is still only one tennis ball. When the ball is headed towards him, he adjusts his wrist to be able to easily return the ball. If he is able to aim the ball at the sweet spot of his racket then his return is even easier.
The referee’s voice interrupted Leonard’s thinking as he was trying to understand the Slug.
“Leonard serve!”
“Yeah, yeah, I got it.”
He still wasn’t hurrying. Leonard nodded his head and raised his hand. But he his wrist started to feel some pain. It wasn’t serious but it was like a bad ache that interrupted his rhythm. Leonard’s face that had a smile disappeared and now had a cold look on his face. He realized that his expression changed and threw up the ball.
This time the ball flew down in a sharp direction and had an incredibly low bounce. Han Woo Jin’s reaction was still a bit too slow. Han Woo Jin could only stare at the ball that bounced off the court.
‘Why is this guy such a monster?’
“Fifteen all!”
As Han Woo Jin heard the referee’s voice, he understood why Leonard’s wrist wasn’t hurting as much. It was because the way Leonard received the Slug at a slightly different angle. He didn’t use an underhand stroke to return it.
‘Drop volley… he just swung his racket lightly without using any strength which is why his racket flew away.’
It was a combination of a drop shot and a volley. His posture looked like he would return the ball fiercely but as soon as he was about to hit the ball, he suddenly let go of all of his strength and used a dropshot. It was a skill that showed his opponent that he would swing back with all his might but instead of hitting the ball, he barely touches it.
Leonard probably wanted to use the drop volley. But he didn’t expect the slug which is why his racket flew out of his hand.Therefore, the damage to his wrist is limited. Because he used little strength, the rebound to his wrist was a lot less than if he would have swung his racket hard.
It was a very lucky case for him.
If he swung with all his strength with an underhand stroke then he would have gotten seriously injured like Daniel.
That hit from Han Woo Jin is usually considered a lucky hit by most people because of the huge physical difference from these two players and that weaker player is able to knock the racket from the bigger, stronger player. Also, if technique was added to the ball, then it would’ve looked like a circus. (?idk) Han Woo Jin doesn’t have any great physical advantages so he would never think of doing anything like this to a player like Leonard.
However, Leonard was now very cautious of the Slug and when he served this time he made sure that the bounce of his serve was low.
“Thirty fifteen!”
But Han Woo Jin didn’t think that the situation got any worse. Han Woo Jin realized that Leonard’s speed was going down. He still couldn’t respond to his serve But if the speed of the ball was a little bit lower then he could react to it.
Looking at the speed gun, he saw that the speed of the ball was lower compared to the first game.
227 km/h.
‘He has some damage from the Slug. If I can use it one more time, then I can cripple his serves.’
Han Woo Jin, motivation was revived when he saw hope in this hopeless situation. If he had no chance to win this game, he would have lost all motivation. But it’s a different story if he saw a glimmer of hope. Leonard served once again.
But Leonard grit his teeth the entire time. Up til the last point of the ninth game, Leonard used the same serve to win the game. This low bounce serves kept on hitting Han Woo Jin’s side of the court.
“Game Leonard!”
That was how they moved onto the next game. The two players went onto the next game with tired expressions. Anyone would be tired if they played nine games as fiercely as them. Leonard who was winning began to have short of breath.
Han Woo Jin had the confidence and tenacity to play this match until the very end to see who wins. If his opponent reaches his level of fatigue then Han Woo JIn is ready to fight til the bitter end making his opponent even more exhausted.
“Woojin Han Serving play!”
Han Woo Jin received the ball and got into position. It was the tenth game. It was the first time he used the Sparrow for every one of his serving matches. Also the Sparrow’s success rate began to fall to 50%. He was in a dilemma.
But he still couldn’t stop using the Sparrow because he didn’t have anything else that could score him points.
‘I must endure this game.’
The score was 5-4. If he wins this game, then they will go to deuce. If he receives the next game, then he might be able to use the Slug and from that point, he can start rallying.
In Han Woo Jin’s situation, starting to rally was favorable to him. If they only continue serving, then Han Woo Jin will definitely lose.
He tossed up the ball and twisted his body to use the Sparrow. His upper body twisted in a strange angle and when one saw that it looked very weird.
At that moment something happened.
Right before his racket hit the ball. Han Woo Jin felt a sharp pain in his elbow and arm. Thankfully, after he swung his arm, the serve went in successfully. He almost accidentally dropped his racket and as he stretched his racket to grab his right arm he let out a noise.
The face on Han Woo Jin’s face darkened. He felt a sharp pain starting from his right wrist to his elbow and it began to swell. It was inflammation due to him using the Sparrow and overusing his muscles. He contracted and released his muscles too many times and so his blood vessels became injured and he began getting red spots on his skin.
He used the Sparrow continuously along with that one time he used the Slug. It wasn’t the problem of his HP or SP but rather him overexerting his body. No matter how mighty the system was, the system still used his body. Even though he had plenty of stamina, he injured his joint or muscles and couldn’t use his skills at all.
‘… To think I wouldn’t notice until it came to this.’
Han Woo Jin couldn’t believe it. To think that he kept on playing and was too focused on the game to not notice any pain until now when his arm was already injured.
Even if he gripped his racket slightly, he felt pain in his entire arm. He definitely couldn’t use the Sparrow with this arm. It would be useless to put ice on his arm right now. Han Woo Jin turned to the referee and opened his mouth.
“Medical time please.”
“ [Mm… It’s only a temporary inflammation, but if you continue playing, then it will only get worse.] “
Han Woo Jin frowned hearing those words. Although it was a temporary inflammation and the pain subsided once he got a cold massage, but this treatment was temporary too. If he used the Sparrow one more time, then the inflammation will return.
‘What do I do?’
In this type of situation, as a seasoned player then he should know that he needs to forfeit this match for his future but this was Han Woo Jin’s very first ATP tour. He didn’t want to be greedy to win but he didn’t want to finish this tournament with a forfeit. After thinking about it for a short while he spoke.
“ […I’m fine.]”
“ [Okay, don’t use your arm too forcefully.] “
The medical doctor knew that once an athlete makes up their mind, then they won’t change it. There are many players who insist very firmly on continuing to play, that they further mess up their injuries. The doctor advised Han Woo Jin with a worried expression and left.
He is only given five minutes for a medical break. During that short time, it is impossible for him to recover his arm. Han Woo Jin looked at the time at the corner of the court. The small hand of the clock moved steadily.
As Han Woo Jin walked back onto the court Leonard spoke out. This time he had an expression as if it was full of regret.
“ [Are you alright? Are you sure you can play?] “
“ [ I can only try for one more set.] “
Leonard who used an underhand serve in the beginning while mocking him was now worried about him, made Han Woo Jin feel weird as he answered awkwardly. Then Leonard stuck out his tongue and went back to his position. Leonard probably thought that he wasn’t too seriously injured.
‘I can’t figure this guy out.’
He thought that he had a bad personality but seeing that he was worried about him perplexed him. Han Woo Jin tilted his head and cleared his mind. He didn’t have time to think of nonsense like that. In this situation, he wasn’t able to use his special skill, the Sparrow so he needs to think carefully on how to continue playing this game going forward.
Han Woo Jin thought that during his medical break time, there was no solution to his predicament.
“Still… I want to finish this set.”
He didn’t want to finish his first ATP tour with a forfeit and at least wanted to finish this first set. If coach Jeon knew what he was thinking, he would have been furious but Han Woo Jin’s mind was already set. If he gave up now, he felt that he we would regret it forever.
“Player ready!”
The game started once again.
Han Woo Jin used his left hand to throw up the ball. The ball was thrown up high but his arm was injured and had no strength to swing it with full power so the ball was served weakly. Leonard wasn’t the type to let go of an easy ball like that.
“Fifteen all!”
Han Woo Jin felt bitter. He was the one that wanted to attack his opponent’s wrist, but karma got to him and he was the one that got injured. He thought that he depended too much on the system and he didn’t know amount of strain the special skills put on his body.
But it was fine. He now knew the consequences of using those skills. He just needs to be more careful in the future.
“Fifteen thirty!”
Leonard now also lost the motivation to play. He easily return Han Woo Jin’s serve. Han Woo Jin barely had any strength left to hold onto his racket. If he used his arms too forcefully like usual, they won’t be able to move.
The fierce first set that they played till the ninth game was drawing to a close.
“Fifteen forty! Leonard set point!”
Both players knew that this was the end. Leonard had an unpleasant expression as he stared at Han Woo Jin and twisted his racket in his hands. He was telling him to hurry up and serve his last serve. Leonard thought that he could have a fun match with him, but he ended up disappointed with the result.
Han Woo Jin tossed up the ball for his last serve. With his arm completely out of strength, the ball barely went over the net. Leonard leapt forward quickly and returned the ball with a drop shot.
Han Woo Jin, didn’t like Leonard but this receive from him was quite impressive. Even if his arm was in fine condition, he didn’t think that he could return that drop shot. The referee announced the winner and Han Woo Jin walked up to the net.
“Game Leonard! Set won by Leonard Sweet.
Leonard also walked forward to the net hearing the ref. The two players shook hands at the net.
It felt like that handshake made all their animosity and bad feelings disappeared.
“ [This is a regretful ending. I’ll look forward to our next game, friend.] “
“ [Next time, I’ll return your serves.] “
Han Woo Jin answered confidently with his awkward English which made Leonard laugh and he put out his fist. Han Woo Jin fist bumped Leonard’s large hand. At that moment the referee realized that Han Woo Jin gave up and he announced the winner.
Also during that moment, he saw several notifications from the system.
[Match end! Your results will now be calculated.] [For finishing in the top 16 in your first ATP 250 tournament, your strength will increase by one and your agility will increase by two.] [Your experience has increased considerably.] [Lob has leveled up by one.] [Drop shot has leveled up by one.]
Han Woo Jin felt a little bit better about his loss after reading the system.
“Aigoo, it would have been more helpful if you gave this to me earlier.”
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