Inoue (I): Welcome, tennis enthusiasts, to our coverage of the Winter Cup. Today we will have a look at the first round matches. I am Mamoru Inoue from Monthly Pro Tennis and I am joined today by the advisor of the Australian national team, Noah J. Dorgias - thanks for coming.
Noah (N): Thank you for having me.
I: So, Noah, let's start with the season opener: the team German Precision Engineering led by Coach Hard faced Kaz's Gentlemen of Integrity. Given the history of both coaches, it's hard to think of a more highly anticipated first round match.
N: They had faced each other many times before and were both confident they could read the other's strategy.
I: Kaz was leading in the head-to-head, but our preseason survey revealed that Hard's team was rated very highly by his competitors. So the question was if he could close the distance.
N: And the answer is no.
I: Indeed, Kaz ended up winning 3-1. What do you think gave him the advantage?
N: Clearly Hard expected Kaz to succumb to the fear factor of having to face Jürgen Volk and focus only on doubles, but Kaz was a move ahead of Hard and in the end those positions were reversed.
I: So a tactical error from Coach Hard?
N: Without a doubt. Of course this wouldn't have happened if he had accepted my advice. With Kaz's personality, it was obvious he wouldn't avoid fighting Hard head-on. But I can understand Q.P.'s pre-season comments now.
I: I see, I see. Well, let's hope that Coach Hard learns from this experience and relies on his tacticians more often.
I: In the second match today, the clash between two champions, Phil's Excalibur team and Coach Friss. After going the distance, Camus managed to win singles 1 and secure victory for Phil.
N: Yes. But singles 1 wasn't the deciding factor here. Phil being able to take doubles 2 played a big part in his success.
I: In a post-match interview, Friss revealed that he was hoping to win both doubles and finish Phil off before singles 1. Do you think that was the right strategy?
N: Yes. There is nobody on Friss' team who can match Camus in singles, so going for a quick win was the best he could do. Friss' team has more firepower in doubles without a doubt, but Phil did well to read Friss' intentions and played his pieces right.
I: Do you think that the match would have ended differently if Friss had decided to play his captain, Rhinehart?
N: Most likely, yes. Only time will tell whether that was a mistake or not though. If Rhinehart plays an important role in future victories and paves their way to the finals, Coach Friss did everything right.
I: It is the end result that counts, isn't it? No doubt, I am excited to see how these teams will perform going forward.
I: We will be right back after this commerical.Always stay a move ahead of your opponent with Kaz Sports Glasses Model C. These innovative glasses display the court as an eight-by-eight grid and highlight the squares with the greatest tactical importance. WARNING: For on-court use only. Glasses will remain pitchblack everywhere else.
Kaz Company is the official sponsor of the Winter Cup.
I: Welcome back to our Winter Cup coverage. We are Mamoru Inoue...
N: ...and Noah Dorgias. The next match we will be covering is Synchro against W.E.I.R.D.O.S., correct?
I: That's right. While Phil vs Friss came down to the wire, this match was nothing short of a blowout - Coach Hawk promised a determined showing from his team before the start of the season and he certainly delivered.
N: Anera took a wait-and-see approach and made a careful opening move, but Hawk took advantage of that and went straight for the king.
I: The W.E.I.R.D.O.S. will want to recover from this defeat as quickly as possible, don't you think?
N: Yes, it won't surprise me if they go all-out in round 2 to avoid falling behind in the league. Their captain and ace, Becker, didn't play in this round, but if he has a good match against Kaz tomorrow it will give the rest of the team a boost of motivation.
I: Anera stated that she won't hold anything back, so Kaz will have to prepare for an onslaught.
I: The last round 1 match was between the Tennis Fighters from SPACE and the Spying Pirates. Newcomer Think faced former champion Sea, so the odds seemed to be in Sea's favor. It didn't turn out to be that easy though, did it?
N: Coach Think's team showed some marvelous defensive play in both doubles and took an early 2-0 lead.
I: It really looked like Sea had his back against the wall. Even I thought for a moment he would get done in in no time, but I had a feeling someone with as much experience as Sea could still turn it around.
N: You frantically attempted to change your bet, but your bookmaker wouldn't pick up the phone.
I: Haha I have no idea what you might be referring to. But in any case, the match took a dramatic turn in the singles matches.
N: Think offered a king's gambit and Sea accepted. Think's coaching partner Mr. X stated that they were hoping to catch Sea off-guard in singles 3 or singles 2, but Sea managed to see through this plan and thwart it.
I: After the match Coach Sea confirmed that it took him his all to come back from the 0-2 deficit. Both the fact that he managed to do that, but also that Think was able to put a veteran like Sea into that position in the first place means both teams have a promising season ahead of them, wouldn't you say?
N: It remains to be seen. In tennis, as in chess, forethought wins. Whoever has the better plan will stand at the top in the end.
I: This concludes our coverage of the first round of the Winter Cup. For now, Coach Hawk has taken the lead, but will he be able to maintain it? His competitors certainly won't make it easy for him, so I'm sure we will have a great season ahead of us. To stay up-to-date with the latest news, follow me on twitter @Samurai_inoue
. This has been Mamoru Inoue...
N: ...and Noah Dorgias. See you at the courts, everyone.
I: Er... Noah...
N: What is it, Mr. Inoue?
I: N-nothing. Tune in again next time, everyone, for our coverage of round 2!