Med semifinale og spil på højt niveau giver August Holmgren udtryk for, at semifinalen ved ugens Grade 1 turnering er karrierens foreløbige højdepunkt

August Holmgren har fundet et konstant højt niveau ved Grade 1 turneringen Mudial Juvenil de Tenis i Ibarra, Ecuador, og derfor havde han både håbet og troet på, at han havde chance for at gå hele vejen og vinde turneringen.

Denne plan blev forpurret af ranglistens no. 131 Tiago Cacao (POR), som er en af Augusts gode venner, som billedet herover viser.
Portugiseren vandt i 2014 over August i kvartfinalen i Grade 3 i Kuching, Malaysia med cifrene 6-4, 7-5.
I fredagens semifinale vandt han igen over August med de samme cifre, som dog var i 2. og 3. sæt, idet August havde vundet 1. sæt i tiebreak 7-4, og først 3.5 timer lykkedes det for Cacao at sikre sejren og finalepladsen.

Nogle timer efter kampen havde Tennisavisen en snak med August over Skype, og August lagde ikke skjul på, at han naturligvis var skuffet over at have tabt, men han var alligevel meget tilfreds med sin indsats under hele turneringen, og han betegnede denne turnering som det hidtil største i hans karriere.

I løbet af hele denne tur i Mellemamerika føler August selv, at han har fået løftet sit spil til et helt nyt niveau, hvor han har haft succes med “First strike” taktikken, som han ikke tidligere har været ligeså fokuseret på.
August fortalte, at han foretrækker at få sine modstandere ud på løbeture, og derfor passer denne spillestil fint til formålet.

Som tidligere nævnt betyder semifinalen, at August vil avancere til top 90 på ranglisten, og dermed har han taget et stort skridt i retning af det helt store mål, at deltage i de kommende Grand Slam turneringer i hans sidste år som junior.

Her følger Dave Bandelins opsummering af semifinalen mod Tiago Cacao, som ifølge sin Facebook-profil herunder har mange danske venner

  1. Tiago served like a GOD when he needed to and there was one stretch when he hit 11 “boomer” serves in a row! (4 started when August led 40-15 and after August served, he kept it going!). This is why you practice your serves!
  2. August had one or two bad return decisions on Tiago’s second serve
  3. August served too often to Tiago’s forehand
  4. Court position at the net was “just short” of where it should be

Og herunder Augusts egen beskrivelse

First set:
We kept our serves until 6-6. I kept many first serves in, and attacked his backhand. I missed a lot of returns, which is the reason why I couldn’t break him. In the tiebreak, I hit good serves and first strike shots. I also got more returns in play, and I ended up getting two mini-breaks and won the set.

Second set:
We were even, but he got a break, because of a sloppy game from me. I had two break balls at 15-40, 4-3 to him. Then he hit 4 service winners. There was nothing I could do. I won my serve. Then he hit 5 good first serves in the next game. I was only able to get one point out of those 5. 

Third set:
We started with holding serves again, and then I got broken because I hit 3 junior mistakes. He held his serve, and was leading 0-40 in my serve. Then I thought, “fuck it. I have got to play with first strike again. I have become too passive”. I got back and won the game. Then I broke him and held my serve. He won his serve as well after that, but he was struggling. I had taken a step towards the middle on the returns in the deuce side, to cover his flat serve in the T. I kept my serve as well. It was an easier game. I forced him to miss twice, and he made two unforced errors. Now, I was leading 5-4.

I got a 15-30 lead in his serve, and felt like I wanted to really hit the ball if I got the chance. He missed the first serve, and kicked the second serve to my backhand. I ran around it, and chose to for a winner up-the-line. I missed it wide. I should have hit cross to his backhand. It is a safer shot, it would be to his weakness, and I should always hit cross or middle when I want to hit as hard as I can! I could have had match point if I played correctly, but instead I let him get back, and I lost the game.

I lost the first three points on my serve with at least 2 unforced errors. I won the next two points. On the third point, we played a long rally. I made him run to his forehand and approached the net. I was too slow and didn’t get to 135. I missed the volley in the net.

On the last game, I won the first point. On the second, he hit a good serve and a winner on the second shot. I think I missed the third one. He hit an incredible drop shot on the forth, and a serve winner on the fifth.

 

Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions!

Opslået af Tiago Cação på 20. december 2015