Melanie South - Great Britain Tennis Player

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Wrexham Diary

Going to Wrexham, I had the pressure on me. I would be one of the top seeds and would have the expectations of others to do well. (At the end of the day, you are playing tennis for yourself and should not worry about what other people think of you. For some people, this is an easy skill to have to learn but at the end of the day, you have to learn it to be the best you can be.).

My Dad dropped me off at the train station with one of my friends and left us to it. It took four hours to get up there with one change at Birmingham. When we arrived at the tennis centre, we had a quick hit to loosen up, signed in and then went to the hotel for dinner and to prepare for our first match the following morning.

The next day I played Francesca Kinsella. It was a straightforward match which I won 6-0 6-2. My next opponent was Mhairi Neish my good friend who I had travelled up with and was sharing a hotel room with. It is always hard to play your friends. I have only just learnt that my opponent is faceless. In the past, I have often taken emotions from off court onto the match court with me which has resulted in me losing. Every person has the right to beat you on court, just play each match differently and as if your opponent is foreign. I did this in this match and came out on top 6-1 6-4. I was disappointed after this match even though I had won as I had given her too many free points in the second set and if I had been playing at Wimbledon, I would have been punished by my opponent because of it.

My quarterfinal match was against Samia Hedjahdi from Algeria. I did not know much about her before I went on to play her but was confident that I could win if I played my game. In the first set I wanted to put pressure on her but was worried about making errors so stiffened up which actually caused me to hit more errors. I ended up losing this set 6-7(6). As I sat down at the set break, I did not look back but looked forward about what I was going to do to change this match around. I went out there and played my game. I relaxed and hit freely not worrying about making errors. I put too much pressure on her and she could not respond. I won that set 6-0. I went 3-0 up in the third set and though “keep the pressure on”. I slightly over hit for two games and she was back in the match 3-2. From then on it was a dog fight. I managed to go 5-3 up and had three match points. She got a net cord on one and played well on the other. I did not play any worse from then on but she found something from somewhere which put more pressure on me. She found some lines for winners on big points and managed to come back and beat me 7-5 in the 3rd. I sat down in the changing room annoyed that I had lost but at the same time I have learnt a lot from the match so will use it positively for the future.

Mel xx

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