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Chapter 25.3: Kim Chun Open #3
The ball bounced high with the loud noise. The ball bounced softly and everyone could see where the ball was headed. The ball flew towards the baseline of the court, it was a lob.
The referee announced the score. But the person who scored the point didn’t even touch the ball. The ball went past the line, out of bounds. Han Woo Jin clicked his tongue while he watched the ball that went out.
‘Was my timing bad? I thought it would go in.’
He thought that he lacked the senses to either increase or decrease his strength when using lobs. Han Woo Jin unclenched his hands and relaxes his nerves. He got tired because he increased the rally in order to practice. But the game was heading towards the end. It already progressed towards the last game of the second set.
Han Woo Jin relaxed his fingers and looked across the net. Over there, Park Sung Min, who was his opponent stood with the ball. Han Woo Jin felt uncomfortable while looking at Park Sung Min because he was openly showing his anger.
“Player Park Sung Min, hurry and serve!”
The referee warned Park Sung Min who was trembling in anger. It would be considered a foul if he spent more time than needed on purpose. If he didn’t move at all, after he got a warning, then he could get disqualified.
Park Sung Min realized what Han Woo Jin was doing during the middle of the second set. He was using him as a practice dummy to improve his techniques. This made him outraged for being treated as a mere practice tool.
But he was also angry for another reason. Park Sung Min, who wanted to throw his racket, held in his anger and tossed up the ball to serve. You could hear him grind his teeth together.
‘Son of a b.i.t.c.h, you’re playing with me?!’
His anger helped increase his strength. Right now, his speed was higher than the first set. The 190 km/h serve flew sharply over the net as it made a scary sound.
Park Sung Min knew his was one of the best serves that he’s ever made. And he also knew that this serve was useless against him.
Han Woo Jin didn’t care about the speed of the ball and just returned it. He ran forward and hit it. With smooth and clean movements, he returned the ball with unnecessary movements. It was a textbook return as it bounced.
It was short.
Park Sung Min stopped moving. His intuition was a player made him stop because he knew that he wouldn’t make it. Just then, Han Woo JIn lowered his racket and used a serve.
He used a drop shot where the ball just barely goes over the net.
The ball dropped on the court and bounced lightly. If he tried to receive the ball, he needed to try to get his racket in between the small s.p.a.ce of the ground and the ball. He needed to hit that kind of ball before it hits the ground.
“30:40! Han Woo Jin match point!”
The referee announced without any emotion. The score of the second set was 5-1. If Han Woo Jin wins one more game the match will end. Park Sung Min gripped his racket because of his anger and the person he was angry at was himself. He was angry at himself because his poor skills allowed Han Woo Jin to treat him as a practice dummy.
The only reason that he won a single game earlier was because Han Woo Jin hit three b.a.l.l.s out. If Han Woo Jin wasn’t practicing his lob shots, then he would have had a perfect game.
‘How can I lose against a newbie like him?…’
Park Sung Min wasn’t the type of person who had big goals or ambitions as a pro. But he still couldn’t accept losing to Han Woo Jin like this who was even three years younger than him. He couldn’t even properly serve or receive and this slowly broke him. It was natural that he felt a sense of complete defeat.
They already reached the last game. The referee looked at Park Sung Min with an annoyed look because of his time-consuming behavior. If he holds the ball for five more seconds then he would have given him another warning.
He let out a self-deprecating laugh. Park Sung Min lost all motivation. He didn’t even look at the ball while tossing it up and served. That serve could never make it in properly. HIs serve didn’t even go over the net.
The ball came back into Park Sung Min’s hand. He looked at Han Woo Jin’s direction once and back down at the ball. His gaze didn’t last long. Park Sung Min didn’t hit the ball and just threw it on the court. It was signalling that he forfeited.
“PPark Sung Min! Hey!”
He ignored the referee and just left the court. The referee, stunned in anger, came back to his senses and announced the decision.
“Game Han Woo Jin! Set won by Han Woo Jin! Score 6-0, 6-1!”
Han Woo Jin stood silently as he watched Park Sung Min’s back. He thought that he played with him a bit too much but he didn’t regret it. He got the best results from this match. Even though he inflicted a huge wound on Park Sung Min’s pride.
[Outstanding play! The experience of your skills will be greatly increased due to your first victory in your first Challenger league tournament!] [Correction, your experience has been slightly decreased due to achievements that were available in your previous tournament.] [Your lob level has increased by one.] [Your achievements in this Challenger League will be calculated after the tournament ends.]
‘I knew this would happen.’
I listened to the system as it spoke things that he already expected. Because this game was so one-sided the viewers in the stands didn’t let out an applause and just stared at his back.
[Hm, Keheum! I will announce the next match! KD Company’s Yoo Jun Hyung and…]
He walked towards s.h.i.+n Sae Yeon who was looking at him with a disturbed expression. The soles of his feet were sweating because he was running around on the hot court, which was very unpleasant. He also didn’t like the referee’s voice coming from his back. He didn’t know why his mind had such unpleasant thoughts, whether it was from the hot weather or other things.
s.h.i.+n Sae Yeon began walking towards the parking lot alongside Han Woo Jin silently.
In this tournament, the distance between the hotel and the tennis stadium was too far. It wasn’t a distance where they could walk, so Han Woo Jin traveled back to the hotel in the car.
“Woo Jin ssi.”
Han Woo Jin answered.
She turned her head to look at han Woo Jin in the middle of a red light.
“Was there something wrong between you and player Park Sung Min? Today the atmosphere in the player area wasn’t good.”
There are players who are impacted by the game’s atmosphere or aren’t like in every sport. Han Woo Jin, belonged to the second group. He didn’t care that he was the type of player that didn’t care that the viewers booed him or cheered for him. That’s why he couldn’t read the atmosphere of the viewers after his game.
From a third party’s point of view, in this game, Han Woo Jin was just practicing his techniques on his opponent, which showed Han Woo Jin’s overwhelming skill difference and how he was treating the game indifferently by mocking Park Sung Min. The viewers were expecting a tense match full of excitement and fire. But if they see something like this, then they will be unsatisfied with the match.
“There was nothing going on.”
That was Han Woo Jin’s truth. Before the game, Park Sung Min tried to provoke him, but in this sports world, that kind of thing is natural. But Han Woo Jin wasn’t the type to hold a grudge over that. Only s.h.i.+n Sae Yeon was confused.
Han Woo Jin improved his skills after every game and tournament, due to the system and constantly gains new techniques and needs to practice them. s.h.i.+n Sae Yeon and everyone else, who doesn’t know about the system, would misunderstand his motives.
She could only believe the player who said that nothing happened. The two people had nothing to say, so they just silently drove back to the hotel.
The first round was in the top 32 so there were still plenty of games to play today and tomorrow. Han Woo Jin was thankful for the Kim Chun Open’s schedule because it gave him time to rest. It wasn’t dinner time yet but he was already tired. Because he played a game without the system, he was nervous every second.
He understood that he was tired which meant that he was recovering his old skills of understanding his body. Han Woo Jin closed his eyes with a content face. He planned on taking a short nap before dinner.
The next day, Han Woo Jin headed to the stadium even though he didn’t have any games to play. It was really helpful for him to know the profile that s.h.i.+n Sae Yeon prepared for him. Han Woo Jin had a hard time understanding the player’s skills that were just written on a piece of paper. He wanted to check their skill levels in person without the use of the system.
‘I’ll only check the players who lost the tournament.’
Although, he’s checking the players who already got defeated in the tournament, it isn’t going against his previous plan to not use the system. Han Woo Jin was curious as to the difference between his a.n.a.lysis of skills and the system’s. Around 10 AM, they were already sitting in the stands and began watching Kim Chun Open’s first game of the second day.
The first game was with an Asian player who Han Woo Jin didn’t know where he came from and a j.a.panese player. The games began as the sound of the tennis b.a.l.l.s. .h.i.tting the court rang throughout the stadium. As soon as they started playing, he could guess what their skill level was. The two players on the court were better than Park Sung Min.
If this was a Futures tournament, then they could probably reach the top two. They are probably famous in the county that they’re from. Their skills were similar to each other, so it was difficult for each other to score points.
“This will probably take a while.”
s.h.i.+n Sae Yeon spoke what was on his mind and he agreed with her. A person that could read the flow of the game will understand what the players are doing, and he was slightly surprised when he heard her say that.
The game dragged on as they expected. While watching they game, they were able to better a.n.a.lyse their skills in detail.
‘The Asian player is good at volleys and the j.a.panese player is good at lobs. They have totally opposite specialities but it’s really weird how they’re dragging out the game.’
The lob and volley are completely different. The lob is a slightly higher skill than the volley. In order to volley, you just need to be close to the net. That’s why the opponent must go forward to reach the ball.
But the lob is a ball that can counter a volley. If he moves forward and the ball is lobbed, then he must run back to the service line.
That’s why Han Woo Jin guessed that the j.a.panese player will win. Their skills and techniques are the same but the slight difference will determine the outcome.
In total, the game took one hour and twenty minutes. The j.a.panese player as Han Woo Jin expected, as he maintained a slight lead throughout the match.
Han Woo Jin touched his racket bag, in the face of s.h.i.+n Sae Yeon’s curious eyes. He felt a little awkward seeing the windows pop up when he only hasn’t used it for a day.
Strength 56 / Stamina 55 / Agility 57
HP 1085/2200 SP 510/510
Special skill: none
He was a player that specialized in forehands. Han Woo Jin nodded, looking at the status window as it was close to his expectations. He thought that there wasn’t that big of a difference between the system and his own a.n.a.lysis. However, he shouldn’t get too proud just because he was right this one time.
Han Woo Jin blinked as he looked down at the court, seeing the people for the second game.
After that, Han Woo Jin a.n.a.lyzed all of the following matches with as much concentration as he himself playing matches. Eight games pa.s.sed by and he compared the eight losers of those matches.
The difference range of the skill level from his a.n.a.lysis and the system was only one or two, but the difference in the stat numbers were quite large. Because the players didn’t fully use their stamina to their limits.
But there was something he gained through this experience. Whenever he makes a wrong judgment, he is now able to use the system to make the correction. Han Woo Jin’s a.n.a.lyzing ability increased significantly today.
As soon as the games were over, Han Woo Jin went to the hotel and got some rest. He needed to get ready for tomorrow’s match. Even though the level of players weren’t as high compared to the Metz Open, he still couldn’t let his guard down.
The next day, Han Woo Jin was in peak condition as he had an easy victory with Park Sung Min. He didn’t know who his next opponent was but it would certainly be unlucky for the opponent.