Greetings from Andrew Dabeka

November 25 11:50:11 2007

Dear Friends,

It has been another hard weekend´s work, this time, in Glasgow, Scotland, and I can tell you, my body is now happy for the break!

I didn't manage to get past the quarter finals once again, but had some very tough matches where I came out on top.

It was a weekend of practicing to turn things around from bad to good. My first round match was an example of this. It was scheduled for 930pm. For those of you who have been around me in the evenings, know that this is usually my sleeping time! I tried to prepare as best I could and stayed up a bit later than normal the two nights leading up to the match, but none the less, I started off in a completely lethargic mode, while my opponent, Scotland's number one player, started off in a flurry of deceptive and fast paced shots. He kicked my butt 21-10 or something ridiculous like that. In between games, I realized I would have to really turn things around and at least make him earn it. I "woke up" somewhat and though my body was still a bit slow, at least I pushed it to my limits and had him exhausted by 5-all. From that point, I pulled away and won this set 21-12, or something like that. In the third, I got a lead, though he was never that far behind, and I managed to win it 21-18.

My second round match was against a strong dane, Christian Lind Thomsen, who I had lost to about a year and a half ago. This time was a different story. I played much better and felt much fresher than the day before and won the match in two straight sets.

Four hours later, I had to play my third round match, this time against a giant German player, Sven Eric Kastens. I think he might be one of the tallest players on tour right now, and this proved quite difficult for me. At the beginning of the match, I felt like I wasn't making him move at all. He was controlling everything and was beating me in all areas of the court. He got to 8-2 up, when a fire alarm forced everyone in the stadium to go outside. I was once again feeling quite lethargic and at this point, a little tired as well. After about 15min in the fresh air, we were allowed back in, and after a quick warm up, we were forced to continue the match. I don't know what happened, but I must have refocused well, because I started to play a bit more forcefully, and though he was still "controlling" the game and winning most of the points, at least now he was REALLY having to work for them. I lost the first set 21-10, but I definitely had built a foundation for success in the second.

The second game began with hard fought rallies once again, and though we were very even in the early stages, eventually he was completely worn out and I was able to get a big lead. I think I won this one 21-14.

The third had a similar feeling to my first round match. I was always having the lead, with my opponent just two or three points behind. I had to work very hard to keep the pressure on and finally I was victorious with a score of 21-17.

Despite my second wind that night, I unfortunately didn't fully recover for my quarter-final the next day. I lost in two sets to Anand Pawar of India. He had a fairly smooth ride to the quarters, winning all his matches in two sets, and he was definitely fresher than I. I tried to hang in there, but too many rallies I was just beaten outright because of his fast tempo play.

Despite the great victories, I can feel that the sharpness that one gets through longer periods of regular training has diminished somewhat over the many weeks of tournaments that I've played. The good news is that for my ranking (which is based on one's 10 best tourament results in any one year), I now have 10 solid results since May. This means that I don't have to go around playing a million tournaments in a row, searching for points wherever I can get them. I can now focus a little bit more on the quality of my results.

My lowest results points-wise come from making a quarter-final at this level of tournament that Scoland was (which is called an International Challenge). What this means is that in order to improve my ranking from now until May, I must better a quarter-final at this level tournament. as I mentioned in the last paragraph, I will now be focused much more on getting my level of play up, which means giving myself slightly longer periods for training and having less tournaments, going for quality rather than quantity. This means that I can build up to my events, rather than rush through 6 tourney in the last 8 weeks as I´ve just done. I can be more rested and more prepared and have more focus and more quality than if I continued the way I´ve been going.

With this new mode of thinking, I cancelled my trip to Hong Kong (I was supposed to leave from the UK tonight) and will have a solid 9 days to get ready for my next event, the Russian Open. I will be setting my sights on this event, aiming for a fresher, stronger, sharper Andrew!

All the best

Previous emails:Nov 17, Nov 1, Oct 24, Oct 9, Sept 29, Sept 8, Sept 1, Aug 14, Jult 31 and July 10, 2007

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