God of Tennis - Chapter 26.2
GoT Chp 26.2: Semifinals #2
The green colored ball bounced, creating a loud sound. The ball quickly bounced up to the height of an average man.
‘This will be hard.’
Carlos watched the ball bounce over his head and bit his tongue. This wasn’t something he could take with his current level.
As soon as the ball bounced off the court, the referee announced the score. He spoke loudly as he pointed towards Han Woo Jin.
“15:40! Han Woo Jin match point!”
Although Carlos still had plenty of fighting spirit, the game was already heading towards the end.
That wasn’t because Carlos wasn’t trying his best but rather, it was because Han Woo Jin abruptly changed his play style.
His condition was perfect compared to yesterday as he held his racket. Han Woo Jin slightly loosened the grip on his racket as his body felt hot and was in much better condition.
‘He’s a good opponent.’
Han Woo Jin thought as he looked across the court at the foreigner. The speed of his serve was quickly returning to peak condition. Han Woo Jin was able to come back to his near top condition after just one match.
There were many reasons for this, not just because of Carlos’s style of play. If Carlos was an all-rounder type of player like Han Woo Jin, then this outcome wouldn’t have occurred.
But Carlos was the type of player that had a completely opposite style of Han Woo Jin. In the beginning, Han Woo Jin wasn’t able to read his springy movements which was how he was able to score points.
So the first set was 6-4.
But now Han Woo Jin completely figured out his movements and he stopped struggling against him on the second set. Watching Carlos’ style which contrasted his own style, it revived his skills that were gone yesterday. It was like Han Woo Jin was a completely different player from the first set.
Whenever he played one game or scored a point, his movement became sharper. He was now able to react to the balls that he wasn’t able to moments ago and his speed seemed to increase.
As the game progressed, a player is normally supposed to get more tired but Han Woo Jin seemed to get more fired up. This made Carlos’ head blank out.
Carlos served at the match point. It looked like he accepted the result of this match as the ball was served softly. In comparison to the first set, the speed was slow but still reached around 190 km/h.
It was returned.
Han Woo Jin ran towards the right as he heard the sound of the ball bounce. The serve had a spin that made it suddenly change direction as it bounced. The speed decreased slightly but it curved which made it look like a snake.
‘I got it.’
Han Woo Jin barely hit the ball after it bounced.
The ball hit the racket and flew towards back to Carlos. He didn’t need to use his strength. The ball hit right in the sweet spot of his racket so the ball was returned very quickly.
Carlos was about to step forward but immediately stopped. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to return the ball. That moment’s hesitation decided the winner.
The clean sound of the ball bouncing ended the game. The referee looked at the two players and crossed his arms.
“Game Han Woo Jin! Match won by Han Woo Jin! 6-4, 6-2!”
You could hear the crowd cheering, but it wasn’t very loud. But it was still better than nothing. Han Woo Jin went up and shook Carlos’ hand. He didn’t care that he lost as he nodded back at Han Woo Jin with a bright smile.
“ [You’re really good. You were completely different in the second set.] “
His pronunciation was awkward so he couldn’t understand much of it, but he knew that he was complimenting him. Han Woo Jin smiled back and replied with his bad English.
“ [It was fun.] “
“ [Me too. Let’s play again soon.] “
Carlos left the court with his racket bag slung over his shoulder. His rough footsteps, showed his character as he walked off the court. Han Woo Jin turned his eyes away and walked. After he exited to the stands he saw the notification pop up.
[Decent play! The skills that you used will gain experience due to getting pass the semifinals!] [You already have an accomplishment in a higher level tournament. Your rewards will be slightly decreased.] [Your dropshot level increased by one.] [You rewards will be calculated after this tournament ends.]
‘Uh, it went up.’
Han Woo Jin was slightly surprised that his drop shot level went up to nine. He hasn’t been thinking about it recently and felt good. His previous annoyance/discomfort from Yoon Kyung Soo disappeared.
“You worked hard. Would you like water?”
“Yes, Thank you. I won’t get scolded today right?”
Han Woo Jin spoke to her playfully as she handed him the water bottle. She replied to him with a frown, it seemed like she wasn’t used to this kind of joke.
“… You were fine today.”
Han Woo Jin drank the entire water bottle in a second and put it down as he looked at her face. If her face was red, then he knew that tonight’s briefing would be a lot harder. Although the briefing is extremely helpful, he often times gets stressed during these meetings.
“… Player Yoon Kyung Soo came.”
Shin Sae Yeon looked at the two players that were on the court and mumbled. Han Woo Jin also looked down at the court. He felt annoyed just looking at him from a distance, due to the bad first impression.
[Player Han Woo Jin won the first semifinal match, and this second match will also have a Korean player. Korean ranking top three, player Yoon Kyung Soo!]
The announcer introduced Han Woo Jin very simply, but this time, he gave a very detailed account of Yoon Kyung Soo. The audience in the stands clapped enthusiastically. At the applause, Yoon Kyung Soo waved his racket.
If a stranger was watching this scene it would look like a comedy because the audience was so small. The announcer kept on speaking as soon as possible after the applause quieted down because the audience was so small it was awkward.
[His opponent from Japan, strength based player Nakata Daichi!]
It was an unknown name. Han Woo Jin turned towards Shin Sae Yeon and she spoke.
“Player Nakata world ranking is 388th. It’s inaccurate to call him a strength based player.”
“So this is basically showmanship?”
The Korean player defeats a good Japanese player that has excellent strength. This scenario is very exciting. Nakata came to a foreign country and is being used as a scapegoat.
“Do you want to watch this game?”
Shin Sae Yeon tilted her head and asked. If Han Woo Jin was tired, then they would go back to the hotel and come back to watch the game to record it.
The result will obviously be Yoon Kyung Soo.
Although Yoon Kyung Soo reached his rank through participation points, his skills were real enough to maintain that rank.
At least with his skills, he can go farther in Futures and Challenger league tournaments. He just doesn’t have the ability to participate in ATP tours that holds many world class players.
But Han Woo Jin shook his head. If a person didn’t look at his eyes closely, no one would see that light shining in his eyes. It looked like anger but also a mocking look. He opened his mouth and answered Shin Sae Yeon.
“Let’s watch my senior’s skills.”
Han Woo Jin didn’t acknowledge Yoon Kyung Soo.
The last day of the Kim Chun Open was heavy with fog. The fog covered the entire hotel. When the sun comes up the humidity will make the player very dehydrated.
“The weather isn’t great.” Shin Sae Yeon spoke.
It was as she said. The best day to play during the summer is cloudy days when its cool. Windy days weren’t good to play in. In outdoor courts, the ball could curve due to the wind.
“Your opponent will feel the same. I’m confident in being able to last longer than him so don’t worry.”
“You are the one who makes me worry.”
Han Woo Jin felt a slight stab hearing her words. He stuck his tongue out at her and sat in his seat. After today, he won’t be here anymore. They felt that the time went by very fast in this tournament.
But Han Woo Jin never wanted to come back here. He wanted to be a player who didn’t put Challenger league tournaments in his eyes. He needed to do well in ATP tournaments to get a good world ranking.
Han Woo Jin broke the small moment of silence between them. He asked a question about Seoul Open.
“The Seoul Open starts the day after tomorrow?”
“Yes, you will take a break tomorrow and go play right away.”
It was a harsh schedule. He only gets a single day of rest after playing for an entire week in the Kim Chun Open and after that he has to participate in the Seoul Open that is more gruesome. This was a hell-like tournament for any of the middle of the pack type players. During the tournament, if they are injured or dehydrated, they need to forfeit many other tournaments.
However, although he was tired, Han Woo Jin didn’t hate it. In fact, he was grateful. Compared to his past, when it was difficult for him to enter a tournament, now he was happy to be able to play in it. It’s better to faint from playing to exhaustion rather than losing interest because the audience not caring about you.
Right now he was about to play in the finals but the fire in his eyes was still burning bright as he was thinking about his next tournament. For some reason Shin Sae Yeon smiled as she looked at him.
But between the strange atmosphere between these two was suddenly interrupted. An arm was put around Han Woo Jin’s shoulder abruptly.
“Hey Junior! I didn’t expect to meet you at the finals!”
Han Woo Jin didn’t reply as he just stared at Yoon Kyung Soo’s arm on his shoulder. He must have recently smoked a cigarette as he could smell that scent on his fingers. For non-smokers the smell of cigarettes are quite uncomfortable.
Yoon Kyung Soo widened his eyes. Han Woo Jin knocked his arm by moving his shoulder. The sudden movement knocked Yoon Kyung Soo’s elbow into the wall which hurt him. This pain made him furious inside.
“Junior, are you going to keep acting like this? It won’t be fun for you.”
“Who are you calling junior?”
Han Woo Jin stood up from his seat and glared at Yoon Kyung Soo’s eyes. Although he wasn’t as tall as him, he didn’t back down as he made strong eye contact.
“Shall I show you what’s really unpleasant?”
“Ha, this bastard…”
Yoon Kyung Soo couldn’t believe his ears and couldn’t stand it as Han Woo Jin felt the same. His normally cheerful looking face turned nasty. If someone ran into Han Woo Jin then the weaker willed person will back off.
The conflict between them ended after Yoon Kyung Soo turned his head. It wasn’t the first or second time that Yoon Kyung Soo angered his opponent so he remembered the words of the referee warning him that he will get a disadvantage if he starts a fight one more time.
“I’ll see you later, you prick.”
Grinding his teeth, Yoon Kyung Soo disappeared. Shin Sae Yeon who was frozen in her spot due to the tension lifelessly sat down. Han Woo Jin saw her frozen and touched her shoulder.
“… It’s fine now.”
Her small shoulders were trembling. Han Woo Jin felt an indescribable anger inside. If he suppressed his feelings he will suppress it. His emotions won’t be moved due to a small matter like this.
But he didn’t want to hold back his emotions. Han Woo Jin had a dark expression and held onto his boiling anger as he gripped his racket.
Twenty minutes later the two faced off on the court.