“Quiet, please,” he heard the judge say as a hush fell over the court.
A bead of sweat formed on his temple and tickled as it ran to his chin. He needed to slow himself down and focus.
This was, he told himself, a sport of second chances after all.
If he missed his first service, he still had another.
If he lost the point, he could still win the game.
If he lost the game, he could still win the set.
If he lost the set, he could still win the match.
If he lost the match…
…Well, next year was longer than he wanted to wait for that second chance.
He repeated this mantra and centered himself as he released the Slazenger into the air above his head.