Successful African mission
After 10 days of training with the German national team, which I had joined in the beginning of June, I set off to Africa for two tournaments in order to prepare for the World Championships 2018. Both Cameroon International 2018 (Yaoundé) and Cote D'Ivoire International 2018 (Abidjan) are tournaments of the International Series with 10.000$ prize money. The reasons why I chose these tournaments for preparation were various players and their playing styles, difficult conditions like air conditioning, slippery floor and most importantly, similar air humidity as in Nanjing.
In Cameroon, I got smoothly into semifinals, when I was up against Alshannik from Jordania. I had to stay focused and collected, because the conditions very really demanding, especially for players who are not used to them. However, I managed to win after 75 minutes in three sets.
My opponent in the Finals on Sunday was Garrida from Mexico. The first set was balanced, I had some chances to prevail, but I lost the last two points because of my impatience. In the second set, I was weaker from the beginning until the end. So I lost 19/21, 9/21 and took the second place overall.
Afterwards, I went to Abidjan in Cote D'Ivoire together with other European players, where the next tournament was about to begin. The national team of Nigeria took part in this tournament, which shuffled the cards for everyone. I played against two Nigerian players and it was a huge experience, I was surprised how good African players are. I found out that most of them live and play in China or India.
In the quarterfinals, I was up against Persson from Germany. I knew it was going to be a tough fight, because Jonathan can get a bit crazy on the court. He is a difficult player, who puts pressure on his opponent right from the beginning. After the first unsuccessful set, I decided to change my tactics and fight. I won 6/21, 21/18, 22/20. After beating another Nigeran player in the semifinals, I played against Garrida once again in the finals on Sunday. Unfortunately, the match was similar to the previous one in Cameroon, I lost in two sets.
On the bright side, the two second places helped me to get into the Top 100. I am so thankful for that, it has always been my dream. Currently I am in 91st place in the world ranking. My next goal? Push my game and rank higher and higher. I will do my best to achieve that while I am in Germany.
My next tournament is going to be the World Championships 2018 in China, in July/August. Thanks for your support!
Greetings from Mullheim, Adam