I decided to play a tournament in Westchester, New York and won 2nd place in Under 2500. I beat the former Chinese professional player who I lost to in the final in the group stage of the Under 2500 (top 2 advance from the group stage).
This Chinese player was good as had game points in two of the three games when he lost 3-0 in Open Singles the same day to World #80, Croatia #2, and 2800-rated Tomislav Pucar who won the Open. I went jogging 3 times the week prior and I think that helped build some confidence. I barely ever practice now so need something to give me some confidence and jogging helps in that regard. The times I’ve gotten to play a big name like current World #1 Dimitrij Ovtcharov or Rio Olympic Men’s Singles quarterfinalist Quadri Aruna, I played well beating the other players in the group easily and giving them trouble. At other times, I often struggle with players I could beat in my early teens.
My serve return has become really weak now as I’m never facing high-level serves any more. I also played Open Singles and lost to a 2650-2700 chopper 3-0 and another 2500+ player 3-2. I had 3 match points against the chopper last time I played him and had trouble with serve receive in the other match, especially at critical moments.
My legs and back felt minor discomfort as I’m not used to play much anymore so defaulted out of my final event. It was cold there and when I first left the airport, I was unprepared and so shocked and quickly had to put on my gloves which I luckily had. It reminded me of my trips to Sweden where it’s very cold in the winter time.
The last time I played this tournament was the worst tournament I’ve had in my series of bad tournaments that I often have. I didn’t get much sleep the night before that tournament and was struggling and losing to players I would normally not have trouble with.
The Westchester club is owned by Will Shortz, who is the New York Times crossword puzzle editor. I went out with him and two of his coaches after the tournament and they treat their players well. They have always helped me with rides to and from the airport and from hotel to hall and back.