May 28, 2003

I got back from Houston yesterday morning at 3.40am!!!! I hate American Airlines!!!!!!!! They made my start and end of the trip miserable. The connecting flight from Dallas was delayed by 4 hrs!!!!!!!. THe only good thing about American Airlines is that they have good pretzels and they paid for my ground transportation to akron.

well, I could not post any news for the past 5-6 days as I could not get access to the internet. Now that i am back in Akron I can keep my blog updated:):)

For all those who visited my blog last friday, here are the details of the rest of the trip:

My friends Rahul, Dhiraj(chachu), Praveen (pashu) from Austin drove down to Houston for the weekend. Nitin, myself and the other three form a unique group. we are all experts in our own ways in cracking PJ's. You should be at the scene to belive this.

I have to admit that I had been out of touch with this typical characteristic of VESITians (my undergrad college). But after the weekend with those four crazy fellows I think I am getting back in form.

we spent the night at Nitin's place after having dinner at a Pakistani restaurant at 1:30am. For me and Nitin it was a second dinner. We started off with the PJ's, I was completely blown away in the contest by my friends. They agreed in unison that Sai (myself) had lost touch and thats what happens when U become a family man ( Sindhu!!!!!!). I was determined to prove them wrong so I started working hard may be I was working harder on the PJ's than on the court.

Coming back to the court, I had my semi-final match in saturday. I thought I will win as I had started playing well, but I was matched up with my long time nemisis ...... a leftie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been hating lefties since the days of my competing in the Sub-junior (under 12) levels in Badminton (no offence Adi :)). I cannot recollect even a single instance in which I had beaten a leftie in a tournament. They are a jinx for me. I just freeze I guess when I see a good leftie player. It just throws me off..

well, this guy...martinez III... was my oppponent. He was hitting the ball hard, the first part of the match was close....6-6. Both of us were trying different serves to trouble the other. He hit the jackpot first, he started serving the high-lob Zee serve on my back hand. THats it!!!!!!!! For the rest of the match I was done for, i could not return the serve and I lost 15-7,15-3. THats one of the most humiliating defeats I have faced in the recent months. Well, I was down and out but Sindhu and my friends managed to keep my spirits up for the next match... the 3rd place play off.

I had this match on Sunday, my friends dropped me off at the hotel the previous night as I had a game at 10:30am and all of us were positive that none of them would wake up before 1 pm. I told myself before the match, play as hard as u can U have come this far for nothing. The match started, it was a close first game 11-15, I lost the game. I was relapsing to the previous day, but this Indian Guy i had made friends with came to watch my match and he helped me in calming down. In the second game, I started serving the high lob (Bhaddu's nemisis) and my opponent started making lot of mistakes. He took three timeouts during the game to disrupt my concentration but I held on to win the next game 15-3. The stage was set for a tie breaker, he started off strongly and jumped to a 6-1 lead. He thought he had me and went for an overconfident fast second serve and double faulted. thats the only chance I wanted and i grabbed it with both hands. i served out the match reeling the next 10 points and winning 11-6. Thats its!!!!!!!!!!!! I won my first National Championship medal ever!!!!!!!! I am not sure if I will be able to repeat the feat ever but atleast for the moment i am on top of the world!!!!!!!

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