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    No such thing as an easy shot under this tension



    It's the final day. And we are right where we want to be. Now that might sound strange when you see the score was 2-1 for Great Britain. But let's look at how the hosts managed to grab those first two points.

    Great Britain's coach and good friend of Tim Henman, Jeremy Bates, told me during pre-match warmup that Tim may not have been at his best at the start of the tie, but he certainly has raised his level when he needed to most.

    And Danai Udomchoke didn't lose that opening singles match, Tim won it with great tennis. Great Britain's coach just confirmed our strategy.

    And it was more of the same in the doubles. Our guys played like David to Britain's Goliath.

    Let me just say this to all those who have been watching the matches, but who have never played competitive tennis. What may look like an unforced error is not always the case.

    For just as there is no easy win in tennis, there is no such thing as an easy shot under Davis Cup tension.

    Much like golf, it all comes down to how well your hands work under pressure.

    Striking a tennis ball properly with less than a split second to prepare takes an incredible amount of talent using your fine motor-skills.

    If you don't believe me, try this. After a good scare, try and write a few words down. For most, it will not be as easy as it sounds. For our nerves are hot-wired directly to our hands, and usually the first sign of nerves is the shaking or tightening of the hands.

    These players are not robots, they are real people with real emotions. But, what separates the cream from the crop is how well they can operate under the gun.

    The matchup of Paradorn and Henman will be a classic of two heavyweights. Tim has been a constant in the world's top 10 for the last six years. Paradorn is the world's hottest player and he knows it!

    You think Paradorn is worried about carrying the dreams of the team and a nation? Think again.

    This kid just loves the spotlight. The critical part of the match will depend on how Paradorn chooses to counter Henman's attack. And that could be like a box of chocolates.

    Should Paradorn select to go around or over Henman, the Thai team could be in trouble. When Henman can stretch out those long arms of his, he is the best in the world at smacking down volleys.

    And as they say in tennis, whoever can hit down, usually beats whoever is hitting up. But if Paradorn opts to go to the body off the first pass with a no-change of direction body shot a la Rocky Balboa, while locking into a bruise and batter strategy, then you can bet your money on the red-hot Paradorn.

    For Danai it will be a different matchup and one that he doesn't necessarily prefer. I don't mean that he wilts under pressure. Just the opposite!

    But should Britain's captain Roger Taylor go with Martin Lee as expected, then Danai will be cast in the role of the aggressor. And Danai is a target shooter, not a striker.

    Should it come down to the last match and young Danai takes the court there is no other man that I would rather be in a foxhole with than him. While he may run like a rabbit on the court, you can be sure he will never run from a fight.

    But I wouldn't be surprised to see Miles Maclagan take the court in place of Martin Lee. Seems the British camp is worried about Lee holding up under the pressure should it come down to the final test.

    I can certainly sympathise with them. Martin is good man who has done a great job on the professional tour. Being ranked around the top 100 in the world may not sound like much, but when was the last time any of us could say we are in the top 100 in the world in anything?

    Hats off to Lee whatever happens today. At least he has the courage to step into the ring.

    Knowing my guys the way I do, the last thing I have to worry about is how they will handle pressure. Win or lose, they will be at their best.

    For they have trained for this very moment all of their young lives. This is going to be good, and I am going to enjoy every point of it.

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    จากคุณ : นู๋แอน - [ 23 ก.ย. 45 12:04:29 A:203.147.14.213 X: ]

 
 



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