Write your career results here!

General discussions about the 3rd edition of Tennis Elbow

Re: Write your career results here!

Postby Miqar_Baqfhied » 19 Aug 2016, 06:59

I am starting my 5th year, on pro 5 difficulty, using Sams Megapatch, and am 2nd in the world, coming off my best year so far where I won the US Open, Shanghai Masters and made the final of the ATP Tour Finals, losing to Nadal. Before that I had only won one Masters 1000 in Montreal. Although i ahve won several 250 and 500 events.

I enjoy the game, and have not found it too easy. I see a lot of people around here play on master and incredible level and rack up easy wins. I must be bad at the game because i still get challenging matches at Pro 5. Ive beaten Andy Murray once in 6 attempts, lost to Nishikori everytime in 8 attempts, never beaten Nadal in 4 attempts. Federer and Djokovic Im about 50/50 with. Wawrinka I struggled with early in my career but his abilities are starting to fall off.

My player is a counter puncher, but I love coming to the net to finish off points.

Id like to win my home grandslam (Aussie Open) - so far Ive only made a quarter final.

I play each match as follows:
250, 500, Masters events: best of one set, first to 6 games
Grandslams: Best of three sets, first to three games.
Finals of all events: I play out all games and sets, normal scoring.
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby Spoobit » 24 Aug 2016, 21:44

Here is 4th round for anyone following. Against Tomas Berdych on 29 June 2009, Court No. 1. In real life Roddick won this match 7–6(4) 6–4 6–3.

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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby sharpbyte » 30 Jan 2018, 07:35

I know this thread's been dead for a while, bit I always enjoyed reading about other players' careers, so I thought I'll share mine. I have to warn everyone, this is going to be a seriously long post!!!

I'm very new to this game, but I had the experience of starting a career in many other games with a difficulty setting that's too low and making it too easy after a while, so I opted for a Pro-10 start. (I didn't know you can change it later.) Well, actually, I really only chose the Pro setting, the 10 was the default sublevel, and I had no idea what that meant at the time, so I just left it like that. I know this probably seems too high for a beginner, but I tend to be pretty good in games in general, and it turned out to be a solid choice in the end...

It didn't look like that at the beginning, though...

(By the way, I had a chance to start playing for a club in my home country when I was 11, the coach of the local team saw me hitting the ball with my cousin and offered to coach me. When he learnt that I live in a different town and I'm just visiting for a week, he gave me the contact details of a coach in my hometown and told me to find him. I told it to my parents, they didn't bother to look him up and that was the end of it... I was 11, didn't push it, liked a lot of things back then, so I found something else to sink my teeth in, I guess. So this career game will kind of emulate the "what if" scenario. Because of all this, I added some extra challenges, as you'll be able to read.)

I created myself as a 17 year old power baseliner, starting at the very bottom of the rankings. Considering that my parents probably would've been able to support me financially to travel around for a few Futures, plus there are about 15 Future tournaments reasonably close to where we lived at the time, I thought I'm going to allow myself a maximum of 25 tournaments in the first year before I need to start making some money back. I know you can't possibly hope of breaking even on the Future circuit in real life, let alone make a profit, but there are sponsorships and other opportunities to prolong things a bit further, so basically the goal was to climb into the top 500 within the first year, I think that would've given me enough leverage and sponsorship deals, etc to keep going for another year.

I entered the qualifying in Germany F1 and found out that my first opponent is Blake Strode, an American player I honestly never heard about. (Oddly enough, it turned out that out of every opponent I played throughout the first year, Strode climbed highest in the rankings since, all the way up to 259.) I had no idea how good are his numbers, only later found out that he is actually one of the most skilled guys I could've ran into...

That first match was really ugly. A double bagel, 6-0 6-0 - to Strode, of course. :) As a matter of fact, I only won a single point in the first set, and that was because of an error from Strode. Second set was already 400% better ( :lol: ), winning 4 points this time, even hit a couple of winners. I had no idea what I'm doing, learning the controls on the fly; it was embarrassing for sure. But I like a challenge, so I didn't back down, and my next opponent seemed a lot easier, so I kept at it. My match against Vasilis Mazarakis lasted almost twice as long, had a few really tight and long games, and although I still "lost comfortably", it was nowhere near as bad as the first one. 6-3 6-2, winning 41 points compared to his 57. Never had a breakpoint, though, but I was getting there.

At this point I thought that it surely won't take long before I get my first win, especially once I figured out that there is a slice button, too... :) Had a bit more bad luck with the draws, regularly getting opponents with 2-300 points more in overall skill compared to me, all in all, it took me 9 matches to finally register my first win. (Hasn't even won a set until then...)

I beat a certain Moises Cardenas 6-4 6-2 in the qualies of Spain F5. He was a pretty unskilled player, so I knew I have a solid chance against him, and I was able to get it done. To make things even better, my next opponent was even worse, Daniel Omana had the lowest skills out of anyone I've seen in the game. He surprised me a few time in the second set, and I have to admit my concentration was dropping by then, but eventually he had no chance, I beat him too, 6-1 6-4. Unfortunately, the third round opponent, Christian Benedetti proved too strong, defeated me in straight sets, making me realise that just because I was able to beat a couple of guys, I'm still nowhere near where I want to be. I got no points or prize money for this, only the experience I can use to improve my skills. But at the same time, this tournament proved that I'm on the right track, and eventually I could reach my goals if I keep at it. Every win helps because of the extra experience, so I have to take every match seriously.

The next match was the first 3 setter of my career, losing 5-7 6-4 6-4 to Maciej Rajski - I really missed an opportunity there, but Rajski was a much better player than those I've beaten before, so it was a promising result. And in the next tournament I was facing someone with a really similar skill-level again, Japanese player, Hideki Kaneko. This match was a blast, I think the result says it all: 7-5 2-6 7-6(7) - my third ever win, and my first tiebreak. Saved a match point in the final tiebreak (wasted 2 myself), oh boy, it was nerve-racking. (I didn't feel this excited for achieving something in a videogame since I played Become a Legend mode in one of the Pro Evolution Soccer titles some 6-7 years ago - the one that introduced this mode. That was a similarly tough game with a steep learning curve, and I still remember scoring my first competitive goal late in a match as a sub to take the lead and eventually win - that was comparable to this. Nothing since.)

Next opponent put me back in my place, Ivan Kosec, miles better than Kaneko was, 6-1 6-1 loss, once again showing me how long the road is still in front of me. As a matter of fact, I lost 3 more matches in a row, where I didn't really have much of a chance.

Than came the 2 events in my home country - I played 4 matches here with a 50% record, winning 2 and losing 2. Although I still didn't score any points, still didn't qualify for any main draws, I was happy that I was able to break my duck, so to speak, and finally win. I also played pretty well and took a set each from two players I thought to be significantly stronger than me, especially Gomez-Saigos, who I knew is capable of winning tournaments at this level. Providing the local crowd with well over 6 hours of exciting, back and forth tennis was satisfying enough.

My next tournament kind of showed where I stand, recording my easiest win to date in the first round, (def. C. Gonzales 6-2 6-1), before getting completely destroyed by Benjamin Mitchell in the second. (6-1 6-1) Another, even worse loss against Kutrovsky followed, and I started feeling that I'm running out of time. I played in 18 tournaments already, with a record of 6-18, and not scored a single point, not made any main draws. What gave me hope is that I was steadily improving in my skills, and I thought that could probably help me get over the bump - once I'll have the skills, it should get easier - or so I thought.

Next tournament was in Italy. (Oh, forgot to say, I made sure that I always picked only European tournaments, you know, because of travel costs...) There were a lot of tournaments that week, diluting the field somewhat, and my draw seemed somewhat easier. First one to play was Boris Urh. Not easy, but I beat guys like him before, so I expected a win. It was tight, but I did get him, 6-2 6-4. Next round looked tougher, a Japanese player. The first set was a battle, came back from a break down, saving 3 setpoints and forcing a tiebreak. That kind of broke him, and it was clear sailing from that point - a very solid, 7-6(2) 6-2 win to reach Q3 for the second time in my career. Unlike the last time, my opponent here wasn't a star compared to me, so I was very confident. Vojtechovsky fought hard in the first set, but it got more and more obvious that I'm the better player. A 6-3 6-0 win meant that I finally qualified for the main draw for the first time in my life, and did so in style - delivering a bagel... :)

So I was waiting with anticipation what kind of an opponent I'm going to get in the main draw. Pfff, Lukas Thomas, incredible skills (at this level and compared to me, of course), fast, aggressive, really bad match-up... The first set was gone before I knew it. Then I started to understand his game a bit more, even started believing that I might actually have a slight chance. I saved an insane number of breakpoints, and converted one of my own, but he broke back eventually, sending the set to a tiebreak, where his more consistent play proved to be the deciding factor. I lost 6-1 7-6(4), but I played very well against a really good player, giving me some further hope for the future.

Stayed in Italy for another week, and the qualifying round showed straight away, that I really improved a lot. My serving became more consistent (hitting first serves in regularly above 70%), developed a really solid forehand compared to the competition, and my physical skills got significantly better. Finally, I started to feel how to hit those risky shots down the line regularly. I was still having issues holding on to my own service games, and had no aces to speak of, so I wanted to improve that next, adding more power to my serve. But I needed XP for that, and you have to play for that, so I played...

My opponents in the qualies might've seemed tough earlier, but none of them looked particularly strong by now. I beat Michael Look first (6-3 6-2), followed by a win against Kaes Van't Hof (6-7(5) 6-2 6-0 - that first set was a good lesson, I really underestimated the fight in the American, kept playing very casually, until suddenly things turned very serious as he won that first set, and was a break up in the second. I certainly took him much more seriously after that, and luckily I managed to find the higher gears. In the third round I met Andrew Gregory, who seemed like a fairly difficult match-up (he's a volleyer, and I'm generally better against defenders). Gregory proved quite tough, but I was even tougher - the match was decided by my ability to win the important points, converting my own breakpoints (4/6-67%) and saving his (1/7-14%). Ended in straight sets, 6-3 6-2. Qualified for the main draw again!

Here I faced a home player, Massimo Cierro. He had a solid resume for the year, beating guys I had trouble with, so I expected a dog fight. It didn't turn out like that at all... I beat him 6-1 6-0, he didn't even have a breakpoint. It was completely one-sided, maybe I just really, really (really!) wanted those 3 points to finally move into the top1000 in the rankings.

My joy was soon overshadowed by finding out that my next opponent is the worst possible match-up, a huge, young Italian with surprising speed, a lot of power, and an attacking style I always have trouble with. I actually played pretty well, and still got solidly beaten 6-2 6-1. Oh well... At least I moved up to 884th! (yay)

As a reward for this, I decided that I'll allow an extra journey, and go to play in Africa after a short training session. The qualifying round in Sudan was a solid statement of my improvement. I won 3 matches losing 5 games altogether, including a Q3 beating of the same Tanizawa I had a really tight match against earlier this year. This time it was no contest (6-0 6-1).

So I qualified for the third time in a row, and in my way to get more points stood a seemingly beatable but dangerous Asian player, Chen from Korea. It was a scrappy affair, struggling to get any chances, but I was efficient when it counted. Used all my breakpoints to full effect, and got the win in straight sets (6-3 6-3).

In the second round, another Asian awaited, Siwach from India. The first set was a breakfest, culminating in a tiebreak I managed to dominate, and that took the wind out of his sails completely. Another win (7-6(3) 6-1) reached the quarter-finals for the first time!

My celebrations were cut short when I found out that my next opponent is a former top100 veteran, Stephane Robert. A gigantic skill advantage in his favour, a very fast and powerful player, nothing like I've seen before... I actually surprised myself by being able to make him fight for it, but this time it was him who won all the important points. I had 11 break-chances, wasted 9 of them, while he was 6/8 - 75% in the same category. A 6-2 6-3 loss, but it was still my best result so far, launching me up to 762nd position in the world rankings.

I stayed in Africa for the next event, which started horribly, lost the first set 6-1 to a very solid German player, Florian Krumrey. Luckily, I was able to elevate my game, while his seemed to fall apart, and turned it into an easy win with a scoreline resembling a WTA match... (1-6 6-0 6-1)

2nd round, Sebastian Chylinski, 6-0 6-0, a double bagel in 38 minutes. My easiest win yet.
Kiril Tcherveniachki in the 3rd round promised to be a much more worthy foe, and he certainly gave me a lot of headaches, but I was strong when it mattered, saved a bunch of breakpoints and won in straight sets (6-3 6-4), to qualify again for the 4th time in succession.

My match against Frederic Jeanclaude in the first round was a very strange one, he was playing impeccable tennis under pressure (insanely good at saving breakpoints -
saved 13 altogether), on the other hand, he was completely useless every other time. Eventually, the better skills prevailed, but the scoreline doesn't indicate how difficult it was (6-2 6-0).

Sergey Skakun from Russia looked fairly dangerous beforehand, but offered little resistance after all, thanks to a brand new tool I started utilising: the slice serve. I always planned to introduce new elements into my game gradually as I get more and more confident in what I already know, and Sergey fell victim to the first (relatively...) efficient use of this new weapon I had in my arsenal. Serving at 78%, with 4 aces (a new personal best). I didn't allow him a single chance, holding my serve easily, and breaking his twice in both sets. (6-2 6-2)

Quarter-final again, maybe I'll have a less intimidating opponent this time. Nope, this guy's even better then Robert was! Fredrik Ask from Norway. Practically a bigger, stronger, but equally as fast and aggressive version of the Frenchman. Terrific...

I was so disappointed by the unlucky draw that I was 2-0 down before I realised the match already started. Then I suddenly found myself looking at a couple of breakpoints on his serve - giving me a boost. I converted, but couldn't equalise, and he served out the set from here, winning it 6-3, but it wasn't nearly as one-sided as I thought it would be. The second set started similarly, he was really punishing my weaker second serves, and got the break early. I broke back, but he did it again. It looked really grim at 5-4, him having his first matchpoint, serving. I saved it, turned the game around, and eventually forced the set into a tiebreak. A minibreak here, another there, at 6-5, setpoint for me. He saves it, 7-6, matchpoint nr2 for him - I save it with an ace, but I miss the line by an inch at 7-7 to give him matchpoint nr3. An incredible, long rally ends with a perfect forehand, painting the line - matchpoint saved again. A rare mistake by him gives me a setpoint, and this time I use the opportunity, repeating the same perfect forehand seen before to wrap up the second set tiebreak 10-8. (Maaaan, I was shaking my fist at the screen ecstatically at this point...)

The level of play gets even higher in the final set, we both hold serve until 2-2, but then, rather suddenly, I start to bang my first serves into the net. I still don't understand how or why, I was serving extremely well throughout the match (hitting 5 aces), but not this time. And Freddy is irresistible, attacking everything, painting the lines without a mistake. Break advantage to him. I'm sure he can't keep this up, but he does. He holds serve, and even though my first serves start to show up again, he still makes no errors, absolutely dominating the rallies. 5-2 him, serving for the match. I don't give up, elevate my game to a level I never thought I'm capable of, breaking serve with a love-game, then holding serve with another one. But at 5-4 40-30 he has matchpoint again. I take a risk, and hit an accelerated return on a decent, but not perfect serve, he can't attack, and gives me an opportunity - my approach shot lands on the line, barely coming back, and I kill it with power and precision. Matchpoint saved again. It must've confused him, he makes an uncharacteristic error, and plays a bit tentatively at breakpoint, allowing me to take over and dominate. I don't miss my chance, it's tied again at 5-5.

My turn to serve, but apparently, this is not my lucky day. Freddy gets 2 lucky bounces from the net, and another 2 returns come back super deep, landing on the baseline, in the corner, forcing me out of position. He does not hesitate to use the advantage, attacks immediately and faultlessly, and gets the break. I hope he gives me a chance to retaliate, but no, unfortunately, the fairytale ends here. He serves out the set with ease, hitting serves I can barely reach, then placing thundering shots in opposite corners from the slow returns.

It was heartbreaking to lose this one, but a memorable fight for sure. Coming back from seemingly hopeless situations a million times, saving 12 breakpoints, saving 4 matchpoints at different phases of the match and subsequently turning the games/tiebreak around, clawing myself back into the final set from being 2 breaks down at 5-2, and tying the score at 5-5, it was surreal. Especially considering who I played (someone with the highest skill total I've met), and how he played. I checked the form of the day at the end of the match: +0.34... The highest I've seen in this game so far. His first serve % was 78, and I still broke serve 6 times. Still, the end result was a 6-3 6-7(8) 7-5 loss. The consolation was the 5 points for the quarter-final, improving my ranking to 635th position, setting me up to maybe reach my set goal of making the top 500 before the end of the year, considering that this was my 22nd tournament. 3 more chances to get there.

The first one was completely wasted. I was still reeling from the shocking defeat, and this was the first time I really felt weary of the grind. Having to go back to qualifying was one thing, but to suddenly find an opponent there who's every bit as good as Freddy Ask was... Johan De Beer, a WC home player with a skill total even slightly higher than Freddy's. I didn't feel like playing him, I was ready to throw in the towel, just wanted to get out of there and find and play someone I can easily beat for a change. That decided the first set, I was playing at half-steam, doing okay, but not really wanting it. 6-3 to him. Then at the start of the second set De Beer made a couple of errors, and I started paying attention. Broke his serve twice in a row while he kept making errors - forced errors, but errors nonetheless. 6-2 for me, final set coming up. Things looked good after breaking early and leading 4-2, had a ball serving for 5-2, but the ace didn't come, and suddenly it was like playing a different guy. The errors disappeared from his game, and I needed every ounce of my skill to keep my hopes alive, forcing a tiebreak. After everything that went down in the match before, here we were once again, a matchpoint for me, another for him, then rinse, repeat. We both had 4 chances, he saved 4, I could only save 3, he won the tiebreak 12-10... A 6-3 2-6 7-6(10) loss, and another heartbreak.

I had to check his Form of the day: +0.42, even higher than Freddy's. I guess I can be proud of myself, making these highly skilled players (more than 200 points up in total skillpoints over what I have) work really hard for it; on "almost Master" difficulty.

I decided to finish the season in Russia, 2 events in two weeks there. Needed more than 15 points to make the top 500, so I really had to get into the final four in at least one of these tournaments. And of course, I still had to qualify first.

Wasfy and Szmyrgala caused no trouble, 6-2 6-0 and 6-0 6-1 wins got me past them. The only thing worth mentioning here is that I served well over 80% in both matches, 89% against Szmyrgala, in fact.

In Q3 I faced Aleksandar Lazov. This guy had pedigree, solid results from earlier in the year, but he - probably - didn't expect me to really master the slice serve by this point. 10 aces, no breakpoints to save, 6-2 6-2 win.

1R - Daniel Glancy from Ireland, new record with 13 aces, 6-0 6-1 win.
2R - Yusuke Watanuki from Japan, even better, 14 aces, 6-0 6-3 win. Both these guys were fairly successful at this level, so these results were proper testaments to how far I've come, and it set up the perfect clash for the quarter-final: another supreme athlete, highly skilled, very difficult match-up in Nr1. seed, Alejandro Gonzales. However, the slice serve was something I really perfected by this point, something I was only experimenting with while losing those other close matches. I knew it could give me an edge, and it did. (Saving a breakpoint with an ace is so rewarding, in all the tennis games I played, I rarely ever had more than 1-2 aces per match, this is a completely new sensation to me.) 11 aces against Gonzales proved to be the decisive. He gave me enough opportunities to get the breaks I needed, and with a 6-4 6-3 win, I reached the Semi-final for the first time.

I faced Enrique Olivares, who did a favour and eliminated the 4th seed. He had some solid results, but not very good skills. It turned out to be a double bagel. Yep, 6-0 6-0, giving me my very first Final!

The 3rd seed, Lorenz Ilg waited for me there, a German player. When I saw his sheet, I was shocked - he wasn't very good at all. I had a hard timekeeping my concentration up throughout the match, the difference in skill was so obvious - only served with 69%, hit just 4 aces and still won comfortably - 6-1 6-0 - to get my very first trophy!!! That also meant that I managed to reach my preseason goal, by climbing up to 442nd place in the world rankings. Bye-bye, future qualifiers, I'll - hopefully - never have to play in these again...

Second week in Russia, let's see if I can keep up the good form of late. Another thing worth mentioning, I was seeded (15th) for the first time in my career.

1R - Zeballos - 6-0 6-1 win, smashed my ace record, ending up with 23 aces in this game...
2R - Cerutti - 6-0 6-0 win, a double bagel I had to fight for, he saved a lot of breakpoints, but I kept my foot on the gas.
3R - Kosec - 6-0 6-0 win, and sweet revenge, this guy beat me 6-1 6-1 only a few months ago. I got a bit better since...

In the semis I got Julien Dubail, who is no slouch. A big server, volleyer, with loads of speed, I'm not really good against these guys. It was a tight match with a lot of breakpoints but only a few breaks. He got one early in the first and carried the advantage all the way. Then I turned it around, and did the same to him. Twice. 4-6 6-3 6-4, my toughest win for quite a while but a win nonetheless. On a further note, I hit my very first 200Km/h serve in this one. So cool.

So I reached the final for the second week in a row, having to play a qualifier, Marin Franjicevic, but the only surprise there was his poor ranking, he certainly had the skills to be a worthy foe in a final. This match could've been a lot different if he takes his chances; he had more breakpoints than me, but simply couldn't convert any. I was almost flawless in this department, closing out the match in 62 minutes to win 6-3 6-2, and complete the clean sweep in Russia: 2 trophies in 2 weeks! Another massive jump in the rankings, now in 378th!

Considering that there was still 3 weeks left of the season, and I did get a few solid paychecks towards the end, I decided to do a little extra "holiday", and play in a final future event in Brazil to close out the year. (My first Challenger next year will be in Brazil anyway, so playing a bit of tennis, then partying on the beaches for a week before having to get at it again seemed like a solid way to celebrate achieving my goals.)

I'll keep it short - I was 1st seed, showing my competition what to expect...

1R - Wedege - 6-4 6-3 win - a tight affair, this Danish guy was surprisingly good with his bombastic serve and solid net play. I always have trouble against guys like him, but my efficiency allowed me to get past him.
2R - Inoue - 6-1 6-2 win - he never had a chance, could've been bagels if I really push.
QF - Cerutti - 6-0 6-3 win - I just destroyed this guy easily last week, he found something late in the match, coming back from 5-0, then I found my serve again.
SF - Raffa - 6-1 6-0 win - no challenge, I was barely paying attention, serving with 63%...
Final - Robert Quiroz, from Ecuador - a surprise entry, unseeded, average skills, should be an easy win. And it was. 14 aces, 6 out of 6 breakpoints converted - 6-1 6-2 win.

3 tournaments, 3 titles to wrap up the season. Wow, who would've thought this after not having a single point in 18 tries... (Well, I kind of did, that's why I kept playing...) :)

Ended the season with a 43-24 record (started with 0-8, remember?), 3 trophies, a winning streak of 18 matches since that heartbreaking loss against De Beer, 311th position in the world rankings and total career winnings of 8'557 USD.

Next year the goals are:
- reach the top 200
- win a challenger tour title
- qualify for the main draw at a Grand Slam
- win a few matches on the main tour
- get my yearly winnings over 30k

Since I'm already number 1 in my country, and close to the top 300 in the world at the age of 18, I think most of the financials are taken care of for now, and I can go to any tournament I want to. I checked the current RL ATP rankings, only 6 guys in the top 300 aged 18 or younger, so I'm pretty sure I'd have some help from both the national federation and from sponsors.

I'll start my year in the qualifiers of the 35k Sao Paolo Challenger that was won last year by a veteran French top100 player, Michael Llodra.

(Actually, I already played this tournament, but the end of the season seems like a nice way to end this never-ending post.) :D

So, that was the first year of my tennis career, if you got to the end, congratulations :), and thank you for reading it. It was a lot of fun, a tough start, some really memorable matches and solid success towards the end, promising a really bright future.
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Messages: 10
Gaming Since: 29 Jan 2018, 12:55

Re: Write your career results here!

Postby sharpbyte » 01 Feb 2018, 02:22

So, after ending the first year of my tennis career in 311th position in the rankings, and setting my goals for the new season, I entered my first Challenger Tour event in Sao Paolo, Brazil. I had to play in the qualifiers, but having won 3 Future titles on the bounce, I had plenty of confidence.

The draw didn't look all that scary either, but let's see how it went.

Sao Paolo - Challenger (35k)

Q1 - Stefano Ianni (334) - 6-1 6-0 Win - It was easier than I thought it's going to be, had a bit of a lapse in concentration in the first set, but Ianni never really had a chance.

Q2 - Armin Sandbichler (354) - 6-0 6-1 Win - Absolutely dominated this match, he only won 10 points.

Q3 - Tobias Hinzmann (343) - 6-2 6-0 Win - Hinzmann was one of the guys who easily defeated me last year early in my career, so I was hoping for revenge. Well, things changed since last year. I was constantly threatening his service games, while he couldn't touch mine, and eventually, I was able to give him his bagel in the second set.

5 points in the bag, I checked the rankings, and I noticed that I'm about 25 more points away from having a solid chance to get into the qualifying draw for the first GS of the year, the Australian Open. That means I need to win 2 matches for that, if I don't, I won't have time to collect more points, and I'd need to miss the AO. Looking at the main draw, and I soon realised that this is a completely new level. My first opponent is immediately the highest ranked player I've ever faced (225th), although not the best one - Arnau Dachs was the 5th seed of the event, but his skills didn't really back that up. He's still a very solid player, would've been a top dog at the Future level, but nothing I haven't seen before. I was sure I can beat him, but I expected a tough match.

1R - Arnau Dachs (225) 6-0 6-2 Win - The score is misleading, most of the games were quite long, lot of deuces, I just ended up winning almost all of them. His poor first serve % (40% compared to my 73%) and my 13 aces decided the match in my favour.

My next opponent was a completely different story to Dachs. Although his ranking slightly worse, Andrej Martin from Slovakia was by far the most skilled player I've ever seen. 84 Service Power, 70 Forehand Power, decent all-round skills (1081 skillpoints against my 676), varied style... I didn't give myself much chance here, even if I knew this is kind of a must win situation, the Australian Open qualifiers could be on the line...

The first set went as expected, Martin was relentlessly attacking, easily countering my second serves, getting breakpoints at will and converting 2, while I was unable to make an impression on his huge serve - (221Km/h). He took the set 6-2. Then suddenly he started to make a lot of errors on first serve, giving me the chance to attack. Every time I had a chance to break him I succeeded, shockingly winning the second set 6-2 myself. He elevated his game in the final set, and we both had some struggles. I had a bunch of double faults, and some contributed to giving up the advantage of an early break I had. But at 5-5 he made a rare mistake and I pounced, getting an all important final break, allowing me to serve out the set, and win the match.

2R Andrej Martin (253) 2-6 6-2 7-5 Win

Reaching the Quarter-Final meant that I'm gonna rise to about 270th in the rankings, which gives me a chance to get a spot in Melbourne, but if I wanted to make sure I get there, I needed one more win. My next opponent however was an equally formidable foe: Tiago Fernandes from Brazil, playing at home, a tiny speedster with huge groundstrokes and an aggressive style. Not a very good matchup...

Fernandes had a less powerful serve than Martin, but he was using it very effectively, rarely making an error on serve, and attacking my returns with his equally great forehand and backhand. He didn't give me much to work with, and on the rare occasions when I did get a breakpoint, he played impeccably. He got a break advantage early and never looked back, serving out the set to win it 6-3. The second set was going similarly, but this time neither of us were able to get the break until 4-4. Unfortunately at this point I lost my ability to hit a proper first serve, and before I knew it, he had 3 breakpoints, which proved to be enough. I tried everything after 4-5, saved the first matchpoint, but he was too good.

QF Tiago Fernandes (222) 6-3 6-4 Loss - 25 points (+5 for qualifying), 1100USD - 270th position - up 41 places. It's kind of weird that I got less points and money for these 5 wins than I would've gotten for 5 wins in a Future tournament, especially considering that the level of competition is higher. I need to make sure I can have a place in the main draw of these events as soon as possible, so I don't risk running into someone surprisingly good in the qualies, thus wasting a week.

This last loss snapped a winning streak of 23 straight wins, but reaching the final 8 in my first Challenger event was not a bad result, plus I beat 2 guys ranked in the top 300, and winning that 3-set battle against Martin was a great experience. Even better news was that I just made the cut for Melbourne! Ranked 270th, I was the second lowest ranked player in the qualifiers (other than the WC entries). And to have a bit of luck, in Q1 I was drawn against the guy ranked 269th. This Mexican, called Tigre Hank was a similar player to Arnau Dachs, the one I comfortably beat in the first round in Sao Paolo, so I was fairly sure I can get it done. A win here would also earn me more in prize money than a Future title, so I was really motivated. Turned out to be a pretty one-sided affair...

Australian Open - Grand Slam

Q1 Tigre Hank (269) 6-0 6-0 Win - It was over in less than 38 minutes. I was better in every aspect of the game, passing him at the net at will, winning 11/11 medium length rallies. Getting a double bagel as a first result in my first Grand Slam was pretty special, but the match itself was rather boring...

In the second round I was waiting for either a fast Swede, Stefan Borg, or an even faster Argentinian, 20th seed, Facundo Bagnis. I was hoping for Borg, but I knew it's unlikely, Bagnis was just coming from a really solid Semi-Final appearance in Noumea, ranked 152nd in the world. The two guys ended up having a proper dogfight, Borg really took it to him, but in the end Bagnis prevailed, winning the final set 8-6, becoming my highest ranked opponent ever.

It was a really memorable match, Bagnis seemingly having a slight edge all the way through, but only just, giving me plenty of opportunities. The first set went exactly like I hoped, he had the easier service games, while I really had to fight for it, but we got to 5-4 when I managed to break his serve, taking the set. The second set went kind of the opposite way, he broke late and equalised with a 6-4. Then the final set had breaks on both sides, I got one, he got it back straight away, I got another one, he got it back again. The only worrying thing was that he seemed to get better over time, while I got worse, and at 5-5 we had a monstre battle, where I had lots of chances, but I failed to get the break. Had a bit of bad luck too, and I couldn't handle it, pushed a couple of shots wide, giving him 3 matchpoints. I saved 2. Ha banged in the last one with a perfect cross-court return.

Q2 Facundo Bagnis (152) 4-6 6-4 7-5 Loss - 8 points - 1906USD - 262nd (+8)

This was a missed opportunity for sure. It was a 50-50 match against Bagnis, and Thiago Alves in the next round is very similar to him in skills, except having a defender style which I'm generally very good against. Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk, gotta look forward, there will be plenty of other Slams to qualify for in the future. After this tough loss, I decided to stick around and use the excellent facilities for a bit of training and watch the stars settle the first major title of the year, before heading to Colombia for my next Challenger tournament.

After winning the 2012 US Open, and following it up by 3 straight Masters1000 titles in Tokyo, Shanghai and Paris many considered Andy Murray as the top favourite, and he delivered, beating Thomas Berdych in the final, who did the favour of eliminating Djokovic in the semis. On the other hand, unlike the US Open where none of the big guns reached the final four other than Murray, this time he had to defeat at least one member of the big four, getting the better of Federer in 4 sets in the semi-final. Taking the title also meant that the Scot is now the new World Number 1.
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby sharpbyte » 01 Feb 2018, 20:50

Following the slight disappointment at the Australian Open, where I came really close to beat a top 200 guy for the first time, I headed over to Colombia, to play at the Bucaramanga Challenger. Most of the guys are still in Australia, and there are other Challenger Tour events going on too, so I knew I could get a place in the main draw without having to qualify. With world number 227, Dusan Lajovic being the top seed, it was time for me to prove that I belong at this level, and my solid entry in Brazil was no fluke.

Bucaramanga - Challenger - (37.5k)

I found my name in the bottom quarter of the draw, and was glad to find that none of the 7 athletes in this segment look like world-beaters. This was particularly true regarding my first round opponent, 8th seed, Emilien Firmin, a tiny young Frenchmen. Varied style, but relatively poor skills at this level. I had no doubts about the result, and was already looking ahead of a possibly tougher, but still solvable 2nd and 3rd round challenge.

1R - Emilien Firmin (240) - 6-0 6-0 Win - as expected, easy double bagel. One thing I noticed, I have a much harder time serving aces on this surface, hopefully it won't cause any issues.

After meeting and defeating the smallest, I was now looking at one of the largest possible opponents, a towering Spaniard, Jaume Martinez-Vich. Much higher skills than Firmin, but not quite as good as Martin or Bagnis was. Definitely defeatable, but dangerous, that was my assessment. I knew that players like Martinez-Vich make up most of the field at this level, so if I can be good against him, I'll have a solid chance of getting some good results at smaller Challengers.

2R - Jaume Martinez-Vich (268) - 6-2 6-0 Win This was actually surprisingly easy, I "almost" lost concentration completely after getting out to a fast 5-0 lead. Him holding serve than getting a break back woke me up. Very promising result altogether, most guys I'll meet here won't be much better than this Spanish kid...

Jack Sock was the 2nd seed, and he was waiting for me in the QF, having easily beaten the guy I was really hoping to meet, Blake Strode, the only one who ever double bagelled me (so far...). Sock cruising past him 6-2 6-4 meant that I wasn't going to have a chance taking revenge, but that made me want to beat Sock even more. The American is once again a very similarly skilled player to Bagnis, but a slightly better match-up, moving around the court much slower, albeit hitting harder. Solid serving and patiently waiting for my chance was the possible recipe for success, I thought.

QF Jack Sock (228) - 6-3 6-2 Win - Just as I expected, Sock gave me a couple of opportunities to get breaks in both sets, and I took all of these, so it didn't cause much harm when I had a worryingly regular meltdown in one of my own service games. Mostly I was holding serve with ease, and controlled the match entirely.

Having reached the semis already, I took a quick glance at the possible rankings with 33 points already in the bag. Hmm, the title's worth 90, that could launch me up into the top 200... In the top half of the draw, 1st seed Lajovic was still in the hunt, playing a solid Swiss, Laaksonen for the final, who - to my surprise - beat Andrej Martin in the QF. And he carried over his solid form to get rid of Lajovic too, so he was waiting for either me, or Goncalo Falcao, another similar player to Martinez-Vich and Sock. Falcao's strengths are his extremely powerful groundstrokes, but he is a bit inconsistent, and not exceptionally fast with an average serve, so I knew I'm going to have some chances.

The first set was a bit scrappy, breaks on both sides, but I held serve when it really mattered, winning the set 6-4. That kind of stopped him in his tracks, he became more erratic over time, and I cruised into the final.

SF Goncalo Falcao (260) - 6-4 6-2 Win

Laaksonen was once again cut from the same cloth as the others, maybe a bit closer to Bagnis with a slightly higher pace, but I already proved this week that I can deal with guys like him, so I arrived to my first Challenger final very confidently. That turned into a bit of confusion real fast in the first set as he was playing both incredibly aggressively and precisely, plus the pressure of being this close to the title started to creep in, and I kind of choked late in the set. 6-4, advantage Laaksonen... I pulled myself together, and from this point forward I was extremely sharp. I was holding serve easily, while his service games were always dragging out, him saving a bunch of breakpoints, but eventually succumbing to the constant pressure. I tied the match with a 6-1, and quickly got my break advantage in the final set, doubling it at 3-0, and that settled all open questions. I never lost a set from 2 breaks up yet, and I wasn't gonna start here.

F Henri Laaksonen (253) - 4-6 6-1 6-2 Win - 90 points and the title! - 4500 USD (a new career best), 193rd (+68), inside the top 200 for the first time!

I had a decision to make. I could easily register for the qualifiers of an ATP250 event, but I wasn't sure if it would be the right move. The higher level of competition could put me in a situation where I'm once again grinding in qualifiers against really solid players for pocket change and - more importantly - just a few points, having to win 3-4 matches at least before I could call it a solid result, not to mention that in the main draw I'd be up against top seeds early. Winning one small Challenger title doesn't mean that I'm good enough for the next level. No, I think I'm better off if I try my skills at one of the bigger Challengers first. So I took a week off to recharge (didn't stop training of course...) and flew to Dallas, Texas, to play in one of the biggest Challenger tournaments of the season. There were 3 ATP250 events the same week, so I was hoping that the field wasn't going to be that much stronger.
Last edited by sharpbyte on 02 Feb 2018, 01:17, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby sharpbyte » 01 Feb 2018, 22:56

Dallas - Challenger (100k)

Although the level of competition was significantly higher here with most players inside the top 200, there wasn't anybody from within the top 100, Kazah Mikhail Kukushkin earning the 1st seed with his 112nd position in the rankings. This should be a good fit for me, considering I've only ever played 1 guy from within the top 200, Bagnis, and that was a tight loss, but with solid training since, I was sure I already improved. It's also worth noting, that we were playing indoors on a Hard surface, which should be really good for my even stronger serving skills.

My first round match promised to be an odd contest, 197th ranked Frenchmen, Pierre-Hugues Herbert is a skilled volleyer, who doesn't really have much else in his arsenal. His serve is particularly weak, but relatively accurate and extremely consistent, probably leading to a high first serve percentage. I don't even remember the last time I played a volleyer, and I certainly haven't played anyone of this style this skilled overall, so it promised to be a challenging first round encounter.

1R - Pierre-Hugues Herbert (197) 6-3 6-2 Win - Just like I expected, he served very consistently at 85%, but lacked a real punch to benefit from it. I was able to pass him a lot hitting 8 return winners, and pushing him out of position at other times. Eventually what decided this game was my very good serving (17 aces), and him only being able to win 47% of the points at the net (23/49). I had no trouble holding serve, hitting 2-3 aces in a row multiple times, while he struggled with his service games.

Once again in the bottom half of the draw, I was a bit scared of my second round match originally - Simone Bolelli from Italy was the 2nd seed, ranked higher than anyone I ever played at 127th. It was rather surprising to find out that he's not that good actually. Mostly comparable to Laaksonen. He also had a relatively poor start to the season with 2 first round exits, and beating an average Starace in the first round in Dallas didn't make him that much more formidable.

Starting the match with an ace became quite a regular occurrence for me lately, and this was no exception, easily held serve and also easily broke his, giving me the comfort and confidence I needed. The second set was a bit tighter, but (serving 16 aces this time), I was never in trouble.

2R - Simone Bolelli (127) 6-1 6-4 Win - Very solid scalp overall, and still yet to face a breakpoint in Dallas.

My QF opponent came from Argentina. 27 year old Horacio Zeballos is a very accomplished all-round player, good in every aspect of the game with the best skillset I've ever seen (1201), and an attacking mentality. I'm not saying I was giving up already, but I certainly didn't consider myself the favourite before the match.

The first set proved my fears, he was in control most of the time, my only saving grace was my serving, getting out of trouble with aces multiple times. We had a few close games both ways, and I once again faltered late, losing my ability to hit that serve when I needed it the most. Losing serve with a couple of double faults also meant losing the set 6-4. The second set started very hopefully, I finally managed to convert a breakpoint, and got off to an early lead, but I was once again unable to prevent my usual one collapse per set, allowing him back in it. The set went into a tiebreak, which was something I was actually preparing for mentally even before the match. Played super-sharp, and easily equalised, winning the tiebreak 7-1. I already knew I have enough in me to get a break if there's a chance, so I kept pushing, and my chance came mid set, after 3-3. Playing my best tennis, I converted, and from here I was only focusing on one thing - hitting that perfect serve as many times as I could. I ended up serving a new personal record 28 aces, and by holding my nerve and not faltering late this time, I recorded probably the best win of my career so far.

QF - Horacio Zeballos (187) 4-6 7-6(1) 6-4 Win - defeating this guy was a great feat, his ranking might not be that high, but Zeballos really was one of the best players in Dallas, so suddenly a title looked a serious possibility. If I can keep playing at that level, I have a solid chance here...

Looking at the others still standing, my optimistic feeling seemed perfectly justified. (Kukushkin was long gone by this point.) In the top half Steve Darcis won his semifinal match - the Belgian would've looked really tough a few months ago. Very similar to the guys I faced in Bucuramanga, and he's certainly not as good as Zeballos. My opponent in the semis was a German volleyer, Jan-Lennard Struff; practically a mirror image of Herbert, who I've defeated comfortably in the first round. I expected to get past the German with relative ease.

SF - Jan-Lennard Struff (219) 6-1 6-2 Win - no problems whatsoever, 19 aces, 12 return winners, only 6 unforced errors throughout the entire match.

Darcis, as I mentioned above, is not a bad player, but at this level, he's not really good at anything. I gotta get a break and hold on, and I should be alright, as long as I keep serving as well as I've been this entire tournament.

I got my break at the first opportunity, while he couldn't touch my service games. Then I got another, and soon enough, I had setpoints for a bagel. I only needed one. In the second set, the 28 year old Belgian became a bit more resilient, saving a few breakpoints, and eventually getting a break of his own - but I was already 5-1 up at that point. He held serve for a final time, saving 4 matchpoints on the way, but I "aced" myself into victory from there...

F - Steve Darcis (192) 6-0 6-3 Win - Champion! - 100 points, 12000 USD - 134th (+59)

My second title in succession at this level out of only 3 events, and moving all the way up to 134th!!! A few more good results, and I could crack the top 100 at the age of 18, that would be awesome. Not to mention that I was offered a Wild Card for the ATP250 in San Jose to have a crack at an ATP Tour event for the first time. Staying in the USA was smart for multiple reasons. Indian Wells is almost around the corner, and even if I miss Memphis after San Jose (Memphis being an ATP500 event I'd definitely need to qualify for), I can still have a bit of training and play at Delray Beach. Who knows, if I do well in these, I might even make the cut for the 96-strong main draw in Indian Wells...

I was packing to head to San Jose really excited about the prospect of playing on the main tour. Then I finally remembered to check the draw. First round, my opponent is going to be Alexandr Dolgopolov, 3rd seed, 24th in the world. Ouch...
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby NeNa » 03 Feb 2018, 10:41

I've just finished my career as a 15 time Grand slam Champion and record world no 1 (375 weeks) with 95 career titles (from 1999 to end of 2014). But which I'm most proud of, is, that I kept up playing until the very end of my 16th season!
I played as a power baseliner with elite contols, serve+rally preview and slow auto-positioning at level master 10, and I never changed those parameters from the first until the very last match. (I had played several seasons before starting this career, otherwise starting at level master 10 would have been much too hard, of course!)
Here are some screenshots...
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby Soblahovan » 03 Feb 2018, 23:02

Hello. Start playing from somewhere? (1000, 300, 100, 30?)
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby NeNa » 05 Feb 2018, 09:31

Hello Soblahovan,
I started from 1000.
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby sharpbyte » 14 Feb 2018, 04:55

Hey guys, time to update you on my progress - a lot has happened since I last wrote here. I was ready to start playing in an ATP event for the first time back in week 7 of my second season, while currently I'm playing in my last tournament before the US Open. Let's see what I managed to accomplish in these 5-6 months.

Just a quick reminder: after finishing my first season winning 3 future tournaments in succession, I ended the year in 311th place in the rankings. In the new year, I surprised myself by winning both my second and third Challenger events, so at the start of this post I already climbed to 134th, and I achieved 2 of my 5 preseason goals (Get in the top 200, win a Challenger title).

I was also somewhat shocked by finding out that in my first ever ATP tour event, I'm going to start playing against the 24th ranked player, 3rd seed, Alexandr Dolgopolov. (I got a Wild Card for winning in Dallas, so no qualifying was needed.) I've never played anyone in the top 100 before, so this certainly seemed like a lost cause... However, a bit more scouting revealed, that Dolgopolov is actually not that formidable as an opponent, sure, he's much better than me on paper, but he's not necessarily more skilled than some of the guys I played before (Horacio Zeballos comes into mind, who I've beaten in an over 2 hour long 3 set battle in Dallas just a few days ago). One thing was sure, I will need my A-game to get anything against the Ukrainian...

SAN JOSE - ATP250 - 557K USD

1R - Alexandr Dolgopolov (24) - 6-2 6-4 Win - What a shocker! I was invincible, he only had 1 breakpoint throughout the entire match, and he failed to convert even that. I, on the other hand, was a constant threat to his serve, 3/8 breakpoints were more than enough to get a convincing win. Huge upset straight away, very promising for the future, even if I knew that Dolgopolov is kind of punching above his weight at that high ranking, most of the top 50 guys are significantly better than him.

2R - Michael Russel (82) - 6-3 6-4 Win - Another solid win, I'm on a roll here, people... :)
QF - Martin Klizan (35) - 7-5 6-4 Win - Sending the 5th seed home too, and another top 50 player defeated. At least he managed to break serve - once. I broke his 3 times. Amazing.
SF - Dudi Sela (99) - 6-2 6-2 Win - Should've played Cilic, but an early exit for him gave me a huge chance to march into the Final, which I just had to take. The final though could be a very different story, my first match against a top 10 player, who is by far more skilled than anyone I've played before.

F - Nicolas Almagro (10) 3-6 5-7 Loss - End of the fairytale. It was a valiant effort, I certainly made him fight for it. Never got a chance to get that all important break, and he managed to get one late in both sets. Well deserved win for Almagro, but it was closer than I expected.

Final result: SAN JOSE - ATP250 - FINAL - 150 pts - 85th (up 49 places) - 47900 USD

Unbelievable. My first ever ATP event, I'm here with a Wild Card, and I go all the way to the last match which I closely lost to the 10th best player in the world. I also cracked the top 100 in the rankings, and since I won't lose any points until the French Open, I also guaranteed my place in the main draw there. This means that I practically ticked off all 5 of my preseason goals. In week 7. Defeated 2 top 50 players (4 top 100), including nr. 24. Can't believe it...

Oh, and I also got a Wild Card for Memphis, so I'll get a chance to try my luck in the main draw of an ATP500 tournament already.

MEMPHIS - ATP500 - 1.155M

Learned a few valuable lessons here. On one hand, I made sure everybody takes me seriously, and my San Jose results were not a fluke. On the other hand, I found out that some players are still a class above me...

1R - Guillermo Garcia Lopez (72) - 7-6(5) 7-6(2) Win - 13 breakpoints between us, no breaks. Really tough match, but I was good when it counted.
2R - Sam Querrey (29) - 7-6(3) 7-6(5) Win - I never even had a breakpoint in this one, but he couldn't convert his 4, and apparently I'm good at tiebreaks...
QF - Tommy Haas (13) - 6-1 6-2 Loss - Completely outplayed by the former world nr. 2. And I was pretty good actually, he's just this much better.

Final result: MEMPHIS - ATP500 - QF - 90 pts - 65th (up 20 places) - 27200 USD

I have to be satisfied with this. Considering that one of my preaseason goals was to make 30K this year. Altogether. Almost got as much for just these 3 matches alone... :) Plus, being ranked 65th, I easily qualify for my first Masters event in Indian Wells.

INDIAN WELLS - ATP1000 - 5.537M

1R - Nikolay DAVYDENKO (71) - 3-6 6-3 6-7(6) Loss - Heartbreaking loss. Had 5-2 in the final set and a matchpoint in the decider.

Final result: INDIAN WELLS - ATP1000 - 1R - 10 pts - 65th (no movement) - 7050 USD

Well, 10 points and 7K is better than nothing...

MIAMI - ATP1000 - 4.330M

1R - Gaetan DE LOVINFOSSE (172) - 6-3 6-4 Win - Surprisingly tough match, but my first ATP1000 win...
2R - Andreas SEPPI (24) - 6-7(5) 3-6 Loss - Losing the first set was a big blow, couldn't deal with it, and Seppi is just too good.

Final result: MIAMI - ATP1000 - 1R - 25 pts - 61th (up 4 places) - 11500 USD

At least I got one further this time.

(Another note: My next event was the Davis Cup, where I thought I'm going to have a chance to take revenge on Seppi as we drew Italy, but for some reason my FPS dropped to about 8-10 for this event, and it was completely unplayable. I was reading about it in the forums since, and hopefully I've got it fixed since, but I'll have to wait til next year to try it. Oh, and by the way, I also have to mention that I made a few modifications to certain files to add 2 players who were missing from SAM's patch - even though one of them is in 62nd currently in RL, and I also added a few more Future Tournaments, a Challenger and an ATP250 in my country, just as it is in reality.)
Last edited by sharpbyte on 14 Feb 2018, 09:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Write your career results here!

Postby sharpbyte » 14 Feb 2018, 09:31

After two tough ATP1000 Tournaments with not much success, I was really looking forward to another chance to play in an ATP250, hoping for a somewhat weaker field.

HOUSTON - ATP250 - 442K

1R - Viktor TROICKI (54) - 7/6(3) 6/1 Win - The tiebreak broke him.
2R - Flavio CIPOLLA (83) - 7/5 6/1 Win - Same thing, the late break in the first set was too much for Cipolla.
QF - Tommy ROBREDO (57) - 0/6 1/6 Loss - Ouch. Been a while since I've been bageled. Robredo is insanely good. I guess I got a glimpse of what I can expect against the fast clay specialists later, Ferrer and especially Nadal will be even better than Robredo. (Not by much, though, but the result says it all, I never had a chance here either.)

Final result: HOUSTON - ATP250 - QF - 45 pts - 59th (up 3) - 12400 USD

MONTE CARLO - ATP1000 - 2.227M

1R - Richard GASQUET (16) - 1/6 1/6 Loss - Well, that didn't last long. Gasquet is just brilliant.

Two tough losses in a row, winning only 3 games in 4 sets - not the best preparation before my home Tournament...

Final result: MONTE CARLO - ATP1000 - 1R - 10 pts - 58th (up 1) - 9354 USD

BUDAPEST - ATP250 - 368K

Playing in front of my family and friends is special, and I was really looking forward to this, hoping for a solid draw. The competition was very good for a small and relatively new tournament like this, with Berdych, Raonic and Nishikori as the top 3 seeds. If I can win twice, I should meet the Canadian in the QF. Would be nice to see the world's fastest server in action...

1R - Johnny ARCILLA (287) - 6/0 6/7(5) 6/4 Win - Phew, that was much harder than I expected. A must win against a qualifier, bagel in the first set, and then suddenly Arcilla started performing his best Federer/Nadal combo impersonation... He saved 15 (!!!) breakpoints altogether...

2R - Robin HAASE (50) - 6/3 7/5 Win - I expected a tough match, and I got one. Winning the important points was key.

Unfortunately Raonic made it this far too, so I was sure the party is going to be over at this point, but I wanted to provide a good show to my home crowd.

QF - Milos RAONIC (10) - 7/6(2) 6/7(5) 6/7(3) Loss - OMG! So close, I almost beat him. I had more points than him (119-118), more aces (!) than him (39-35), and I was a set up, but he was invincible at the most important points. He saved 8 breakpoints, too. At least I went down swinging... :)

Next round would've been against one of those sleepers with great skills, hiding outside the top 30 - Tursunov. A 50/50 matchup, where I have a solid chance, but it wasn't to be. Still, I think I can be proud of my performance, and I did what I wanted: I showed my friends and family that I'm pretty serious about this tennis career idea... Equally as important - I'm in the top 50 now!!!

Final result: BUDAPEST - ATP250 - QF - 45 pts - 50th (up 9) - 12360 USD

OEIRAS - ATP250 - 398K

1R - David GOFFIN (69) - 6/2 6/3 Win - Convincing win against the young Belgian who didn't show much of his potential.
2R - Carlos BERLOCQ (45) - 4/6 5/7 Loss - One of the sleepers with great skills. I think I just couldn't handle my frustration caused by a bunch of unlucky points, gotta try and stay calmer in the future.

Final result: OEIRAS - ATP250 - 2R - 20 pts - 46th (up 4) - 7842 USD

MADRID - ATP1000 - 2.227M

1R - Jürgen MELZER (40) - 3/6 6/7(5) Loss - Tough luck, another sleeper, and Melzer is as good as it gets. If I win the tiebreak, who knows, but to be honest, he was the better player on the day, I was lucky to make it this close.

Final result: MADRID - ATP1000 - 1R - 10 pts - 45th (up 1) - 11904 USD

ROME - ATP1000 - 2.227M

1R - Sam QUERREY (30) - 6/1 6/1 Win - Wow, my second win against the tall American, and a dominating one at that. One of my best matches so far. Next one will be tough, though, playing against 12th seed, Juan Monaco, on his favourite surface.

2R - Juan MONACO (16) - 6/1 6/7(4) 6/2 Win - Okay, now this is my best match so far. He fought back in the second set, but other than that, I was practically toying with him. Highest ranked player I've ever beaten at 16th position, and reached the 3rd Round at an ATP1000. Too bad it's gonna end here - Wawrinka is a beast, and he's next...

3R - Stanislas WAWRINKA (10) - 5/7 4/6 Loss - Played really well, I can't complain. I wasn't as close to winning as I was against Raonic in Budapest, but it wasn't that far either, I had a genuine chance. Serving at 83%, getting breakpoints in 3 of his service games - I just needed a bit of luck. Didn't get it. He was perfect when it mattered, but after the Almagro and the Raonic match, I once again played really well against a top 10 player. That breakthrough must be close...

Final result: ROME - ATP1000 - 3R - 90 pts - 41th (up 4) - 34140 USD

NICE - ATP250 - 398K

Last chance before the Garros to improve my clay performance, and for the first time in my career, I was actually seeded at 3rd for this event. On the other hand, the field was full of dangerous French players, all playing at home, all having incredibly good skills for their positions. (I wonder why that is, maybe someone was a bit biased, hehe...) ;) Still, no real big guns, I just need to figure out how to beat those sleepers...

1R - Bye - Hmm, that's new; too bad you don't get the points if you don't win in the next round, but the Czech fella coming up shouldn't cause much trouble...
2R - Jan HERNYCH (103) - 6/0 6/0 Win - He won 9 points. Nuff' said. Next one is a monster sleeper though.
QF - Joao SOUSA (65) - 6/4 6/7(5) 6/0 Win - First too sets were very tight as expected, and I really wanted to win that tiebreak to close the match in two sets, but I couldn't. Apparently, that really pissed me off, and poor Sousa suffered for it. Delivering a bagel to a guy this skilled, that was special.

Three Frenchmen and I were left standing, 1st seed Paire in my half, 5th seed Benneteau and surprise performer, Mannarino in the other. All of them are really good, well, Mannarino is not so tough, but he lost to Benneteau anyway. The other two are better than anyone I've ever beaten, but I am getting better and better...

SF - Benoit PAIRE (23) - 6/4 7/5 Win - This is on par with my win against Monaco. I was very focused, especially at the important points. More importantly, now I know that I am capable of beating guys with really high (although still not elite) skills. And Benneteau in the Final is pretty much the same thing - slightly weaker backhand, better at the net, but if I play as well as I was in the semis, I might just spoil the French party...

F - Julien BENNETEAU (52) - 6/3 6/2 Win - GOT IT!!! I was relentless: he saved a breakpoint, I created another one, he saved it again, I got one more, until he finally cracked. At the same time, I was serving very well - he had one good game as a returner, but couldn't convert his only chance, other than that I was really dominating behind my serves.

My first ATP title! Just before the Garros, too. (Will get there a bit tired though...) Getting this trophy at the tender age of 18 is truly remarkable (On the other hand, Michael Chang won a Grand Slam at 17, and never won another after that. Hopefully this won't be my last title...). I guess my financial problems will be solved for a while, too. :)

Final result: NICE - ATP250 - CHAMPION!!! - 250 pts - 33th (up 8) - 81840 USD


So, here we are, my first main draw at a Grand Slam tournament. And guess what, I'm immediately seeded at 31st, thanks to my win in Nice. That should help me early on. The draw is extremely good, too. I've already beaten my first round opponent before, and although it was a tough match then, I've come a long way since. Second Round, Volandri or Ungur, if I play well, I should have no problems against these guys either. Than it gets tougher, but I'd still count myself very lucky, out of the top 8, I get the 8th in my segment, John Isner. He's a lot like Raonic, and I came pretty close against the Canadian. At this point, there are no easy ones left, but I kinda showed that beating Wawrinka is not impossible, and Tsonga (albeit playing at home) is not one of the big four, so the first time I could run into them would be in the semis... Okay, hold your horses, boy, it's your first slam main draw, just win a few matches and be happy... :)

1R - Alejandro GONZALEZ (184) - 6/3 6/0 6/1 Win - Our first match was 6/3 6/4 earlier this year, and was a really hard fought contest. This time, it was no contest.

2R - Filippo VOLANDRI (75) - 7/6(3) 6/4 6/1 Win - Maybe I got a bit too cocky, 'cause this was a lot harder than I expected. Well, at least in the first two sets. I guess by the third he realised that he's never gonna win 3 sets in a row against me and gave up, but until then, he was very much in it. A few important points made all the difference, and I happened to win those, luckily.

So I made it to the third round, and just as I expected, I was facing the American serving machine giant, John Isner. The 4th Top 10 opponent in my career, and so far I'm 0/3. I knew I needed to serve well, because breaks will be hard to get against this guy - it will be interesting to see if I can keep up with the number of aces he'll get...

First set went as expected until 4-4, everyone holding serve, it's a proper ace-fest. Than I get breakpoints, but he's not giving up, serves himself out of trouble. And suddenly, my hand starts shaking, he pounces and takes the first set - 4/6.

Second set, a carbon copy with one difference, he gets the break early, and I waste my breakpoints chasing. This is not looking good - 4/6 4/6.

Third set, finally I get the break early, and this time, I'm able to hold on, clawing one back - 4/6 4/6 6/4.

Fourth set, another early break by me. To add insult to injury, I break again at 5/3, forcing a final set and keep the possibility of a comeback from 0-2 alive.

Final set, no tiebreak, so we have to get the break to win. I get my chance first, but he saves them. Then I get another, but he's still not yielding, hitting aces when he really needs them. I gotta say though, when it comes to serving, I'm no slouch either. Suddenly he has 2 breakpoints at 5-5, but I serve 4 aces in a row. We carry on, and the break is not coming. Finally a chance to get a matchpoint at 9-8, but I send my forehand 'winner' a tenth of an inch wide... He ties it up again, we carry on. (At this point I remembered that Isner actually holds the record for playing and winning the longest match in the history of the sport, winning 70-68 in the final set against Mahut. It's not a very comforting thought...) 12-12, and still no breaks.

We barely win a point per game as a returner. Than at 14-14 he has 0-30. 3 aces turns it around, but I don't get the fourth, and he sends a powerful, uncatchable return into the corner. Deuce. I paint the line in the next rally, but he makes it deuce again after a lucky slice lands on the baseline, and I can't deal with it, send it back long. Finally an ace! Now I gotta get one more. Not coming, 1st serve in the net. I take a risk, hit a relatively hard second serve into the far corner, and he can't reach it! 15-14. The lost opportunity must've taken his confidence, he makes 2 mistakes in a row, 0-30. I pray for a second serve, but I manage to somehow reach the first, and I play incredible defence for at least 10 shots, barely reaching the ball every time, and he finally makes a bad decision, picks the wrong side and hits it right to where I'm waiting. I attack the ball with everything I've got, and he just reaches it, but it's coming back short in the middle. I've hit thousands of shots like this before, it's in my muscle memory - 0-40, 3 matchpoints! And he bangs the first serve into the net, too. The second is a bit wider than I'd like, but It's okay, and I can see that he's rushing to the net, so in a split second I change my decision, and hit a crosscourt forehand instead of the straight one I originally wanted. The ball slips past him and catches the edge of the sideline. I fall on my knees... I WON!!!!!

3R - John ISNER (9) - 4/6 4/6 6/4 6/3 16/14 Win - A lot of firsts... First 5 setter, and it happens to be a comeback win from 0-2, the final set ending 16-14, and it's my first win against a top10 player.

Even better news, Tipsarevic defeated Wawrinka in a similar thriller (ending 8/6 in the final set), so I'm going to play him instead of the Swiss. Don't get me wrong, he's a very good player, but he's not better than Paire or Benneteau was last week. I certainly have a better shot against him...

4R - Janko TIPSAREVIC (20) - 6/4 6/4 6/3 Win - We exchanged breaks at the start, after that I did just enough, getting that one break every set. As a matter of fact, I finished him off with a second break in the third at 5/3. It wasn't easy, but I felt in control throughout the entire match.

Quarter-final, wow, tying the best result by a Hungarian in the Open era. And it might not be over yet, because Tsonga was long gone by this point, Dimitrov stunned him in the first round. I was kinda hoping I'll meet him, but former top10 veteran, Youzhny got him in 5 sets. The Russian is an amazing player, great skills, much better than Tipsarevic, he's actually on par with Tsonga, too. Other than the Big Four, Del Potro, Ferrer and Wawrinka, he's probably the next best player, and he's a horrible matchup with his terrific pace.

The first set ended in a tiebreak. The only minibreak decided it - in his favour, unfortunately. The second set was following a similar path until 6-5, but this time I managed to get that break at the end, equalising at 6/7 7/5. Third set was strange, he was unstoppable, I had no answers - 2/6, advantage him. No breaks in the 4th set, but this tiebreak was entirely mine, easily winning it 7-2, thus turning this into another 5-setter.

It started perfectly. I got the break early, and easily held serve, than at 4-2 I broke his serve again! I never lost a set from 2 breaks up, so I was sure I've got it, and while I was already celebrating, he was focusing on the match, breaking back and holding serve to make it 5-4. I needed some good serves, but they never came - for some reason, all my serves were incredibly slow, 20 km/h slower than my average, every single one. A slower serve has more time to drift wide, and I kept missing the box, gifting Youzhny 3 breakpoints. I was slightly more careful with my next serve and it finally landed inside, but it didn't matter, the return was as good as it gets - right where the sideline and the baseline meet. I couldn't even touch it, 5-5, all tied again. The next 4 games were close, but no real opportunities occurred. At 7-7, his serve, I played a couple of great points, and had 2 breakpoints, huge opportunity! Wasted the first with an unlucky return - nine out of ten times that stays in, this time, it slipped just wide. The next rally, however, I totally dominated, pushing him out of position and opening up the court in the process. He just reached a backhand slice, but it came back surprisingly deep. I still hit it well enough to keep control of the rally, but it gave him enough time to get to my shot. He just reached it again, and this time it was short - too short in fact, it bounced off from the top of the net, and became the perfect dropshot... I was too far because of the long slice, couldn't get there. 2 aces followed, and my chance was gone.

I guess I couldn't clear my head properly after this. I hit 2 double faults (still serving incredibly slowly for some reason...), pushed a forehand too wide, and he nailed a return, thus advancing into the next round.

QF - Mikhail YOUZHNY (25) - 6/7(5) 7/5 2/6 7/6(2) 7/9 Loss - Another match lasting almost 4 hours, and a huge missed opportunity. That sound the ball made, as it bounced off the net at breakpoint, costing me a chance of a possibly decisive break at 7-7, I'll surely never forget.

In the other matches Raonic stunned Federer, reigning champion Nadal defeated Djokovic, both in 5 set thrillers, while Del Potro easily got past Ferrer in 3. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, winner of the last 2 slams, world number one, Andy Murray missed the tournament! In the semis, Del Potro stopped Raonic, and Nadal showed Youzhny why he's called the King of Clay, sent him home with 3 breadsticks... (Still, a great result for the Russian veteran overall.) Del Potro was a bigger challenge in the Final, came back from 0-2, but Nadal was too strong, winning the last set 6-3, and taking the title - again.

Final result: ROLAND GARROS - GRAND SLAM - QF - 360 pts - 24th (up 9) - 152400 USD

As for me, I can safely say that I was a bit lucky with the draw, and I pretty much made the most of it - until I missed that huge chance against Youzhny. Still, I reached the final 8 at the biggest stage of the sport, and collected my very first top 10 scalp by beating Isner in an incredible 5 set comeback. I also scored more ranking points and made more money than ever before. Doing all this in just my second season is already a dream come true, and I'm pretty sure I'm a lock for the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year Award at the end of the season. Most of the winners of that award went on to win Grand Slams later, and a lot of them became Hall of Famers (just a few examples, Agassi, Sampras, Nadal, Djokovic, and many more - No Fed, though...), so it's an incredibly valuable trophy to have.

That's all I had time for, next time I'll come with the grass-court season, and Wimbledon, and possibly by then I'll finish the US Open, too.
tennis fan
tennis fan
Messages: 10
Gaming Since: 29 Jan 2018, 12:55

Re: Write your career results here!

Postby danispadi » 03 May 2018, 15:27

Hey sharpbyte, I'm REALLY enjoying your journey, so keep on going and I can't wait to read more from you!

and maybe I could start something again here... :whistle:
crazy of the little yellow ball
crazy of the little yellow ball
Messages: 169
Gaming Since: 01 Aug 2014, 13:55
Location: Usa

Re: Write your career results here!

Postby danispadi » 15 May 2018, 21:02

so... here starts my adventure!


I'm playing as Leo Cubbit: a 17-year-old boy from Canada who loves to play aggressively (and why not, close the point out with a nice volley). He's tall, very strong with the forehand and very consistent with the backhand. His volleys are good and his serve is okay, but he isn't the fastest player in the world. A bit of backstory - he never excelled in Juniors until the age of 15 (in 2011), when he got to the semis of the US Open juniors (his favourite slam, it seems). He would go on to win 2 Junior Majors - 1 Australian Open ('12) and 1 Wimbledon ('12) - and become no.2 in the Junior overall rankings.

Now he's ready for his adventure in the pro tour to start. He has a few objectives for his first season:
- playing a max. of 15 tournaments;
- reaching at least 3 Future finals, and winning at least 1;
- reaching at least 1 Challenger quarterfinal;
- breaking the top 400.

His adventure started in GERMANY, week 2 of 2013. The Germany F2 tournament seemed the perfect place to start Leo's Career. Cold weather just like in Canada, indoor hardcourts, and a nice and feisty field in the qualifying rounds. The draw was pretty lenient: Leo had to face Gonzalo Bravo, 20 y.o. chilean guy. Leo was pretty nervous at the start, but built his confidence after a sketchy start and won the opening set 6-2. The following set was much tougher, with both players hitting loads of winners. Eventyally, Leo grabbed the break in the penultimate game of the match and closed it out for a 6-2, 6-4 win.

One down, two to go - up next was no.567 Cory Parr from the United States of America. His skills seemed far too higher than Leo's for him to fight. The first 45 minutes of the match said that, too - 6-1, 4-2 and a chance to go and serve for the match for Parr. However, it's in Leo's DNA to fight until the last point. The canadian fought back, held serve and broke Parr's; both players held serve and a Tiebreak was on the cards. Parr was immediately ahead - 3-1, 4-2, 6-4. Leo saved the first match point with a forehand winner and got lucky on the second, where a volley of the american landed just wide. The two went back and forth for the next 10 points, with Leo saving another 2 match points and Parr saving 3 set points. On 11-11 it was a big forehand pass that changed the whole tiebreak in Parr's favour - another winner on 12-11 and it was Game, Set and Match for Cory Parr, with a score of 6-1, 7-6(11). A brilliant fight, but still, a loss for Leo Cubbit.

ROUND= Qualifying R2
points gained= 0
old ranking= 986
new ranking= 1020
crazy of the little yellow ball
crazy of the little yellow ball
Messages: 169
Gaming Since: 01 Aug 2014, 13:55
Location: Usa

Re: Write your career results here!

Postby HuanaOva » 20 Jul 2018, 06:38

It would be great if we have a separate "Journey" sub-forum.

We may write our Pro tour journeys stories in separate threads. And that keeps us motivated while on the pro tour, working our way to the top :dance:
tennis curious
Messages: 1
Gaming Since: 19 Jul 2018, 03:59

Re: Write your career results here!

Postby LuisFelipe » 21 Aug 2018, 19:00

Hello guys. I was away from here quite a while due to personal reasons but I'm going to make a new career inspired by yours. Sharpbyte seems to have the next #1 in the making and Leo Cubbit looks promising.
I'll continue to follow you and as soon as I have time to download all the Maxou's files and configure I'll start my new career.
"A champion isn't about how much they win, it's about how they recover from their downs." (Serena Williams)
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tennis enthusiastic
tennis enthusiastic
Messages: 6
Gaming Since: 19 Jul 2015, 01:51
Location: Brazil


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