Ok so on to semis today. Opponent Stephen Jones ranked 37 in the world 40s and 44 in the world 45s (he can play both as turns 45 this calendar year), so felt like it was always going to be a tall order and not quite sure how the legs would respond after long 3 setter in the quarters.
Arrived for 10.45 hit with Chris Evans who was also playing his semi in the Mens 35s (Well done Chris on another routine win and into the finals tomorrow and thanks for your fantastic support today, once again my match outlasting yours for time!) and felt surprisingly good.
Took this feeling onto court and although I could see Stephen's pedigree he was missing enough to enable me to get a couple of breaks up and close out the first set 6-2.
0-40 on his serve in the first game of the second and had I converted one of these break points I might well have been away but it was not to be and we each held serve over the next several games. He was playing much better, finding the corners with his backhand and I had gone a little passive, not coming over the ball enough to take time away and was more or less hoping that he'd just go on and 'lose' the match for me! Oh how the mind works! At 4-5 me serving, Stephen came up with a couple of great passing shots (he liked the target of me being at net) and ended up breaking me to win the second set.
So into the third and a good hold from him first game which was replicated by me. By now I had got rid of the tension I was feeling in the second set and began to play with a little more authority and freedom. Again, rightly or wrongly, I also felt I was just that little bit stronger than him physically and was feeling more and more comfortable in the long rallies, soaking him up with my slice and then changing the pace to be more aggressive to force the required errors from him. A couple of key points where I chased just one more ball down and I could see him beginning to wonder what he had to do to put the ball away! Truly living it out and fighting for every ball!!
This extra bit of physicality and belief helped me across the line to take out the number 1 seed 6-1 in the third.
Final tomorrow 10.00 am against unseeded Nick Boys from Beds who has played a cracking tournament so far and took out 2nd and 3rd seeds. Should be fun!!
Plenty of hydration, re-fuelling, rolling and stretching ahead this afternoon/evening and hope the legs have it in 'em tomorrow!