It’s early in the second set and I’m controlling the flow of the match and feeling super confident about all aspects of my game, I’m serving well hitting my spots, finishing short balls, digging every ball volleying like a machine, cranking backhand winners, controlling my breathing, taking my time in-between points, and feeling unbeatable on this sunny afternoon.

I break my opponents serve for a second time and now lead 3-0 in the second set, I sit down in my chair take my fluids and drape a towel over my head to block out distractions and visualize my next service game, as I walk to the baseline and start my serve ritual i notice that my opponent is not demoralized but instead he’s shuffling his feet jumping up and down and looking as if he’s controlling this match, I kind of chuckle inside and plan to serve a ball right into his hip left hip and put away another volley winner, I execute my serve and he shanks a forehand that lands a foot inside the baseline , I don’t flinch and realize he got lucky I crank up another serve and stay back this time he floats a return into the service box and I over hit a forehand into the back fence, he subsequently pumps his fist and yells out c’mon for the first time, I still don’t let it bother me, one point at a time I remind myself, now a double fault that’s not even close I let out some frustration and pound my pure drive into the concrete, he breaks me at love, I’m not feeling so happy about life anymore.

He holds his serve as I gift him a bunch of forehand errors, he breaks me again, now were back on serve and the momentum is flowing in his direction, I try to whether the storm by taking even more time in-between points this also is unsuccessful, he breaks me again, I hammer a ball into sky and curse the universe, he wins the set and i sit-down in my chair and ponder what in the world happened over the past 30 minutes, by the time I come to my conclusion it’s too late my opponent is in the zone and making everything, subsequently I win only one game in the third set and wonder if i will I ever recover from such a terrible loss, as I walk towards the net I can barely lift my eyes to shake his hand

I try to look up and muster up some class to congratulate him on such a great comeback but all that comes out is good match dude, my opponent responds by saying that was a great battle, but in reality we both know the truth that I gifted him the match and had a colossal breakdown that cost me the match and also made me inherit the name the Choke Artist.

By Diego Bedoya