I played the San Diego District Championship NTRP 3.5 men’s singles over the last two weekends, and I won the final 6-1, 6-7(5-7), 7-5.
During the second set tiebreak, when I was up 2-1 I got cramps on both legs and took a medical timeout. At one point I was leading 5-3 but lost four consecutive points and the set, which was quite disappointing. I thought about retiring but decided to go as far as I could. The third set was brutal, and to avoid using my legs too much, I played more aggressively by aiming for winners and taking the net to keep the points short. The third set reminded me of the famous Chang-Lendl 1989 French Open match, in which Chang was cramping. When I was receiving at 5-6, I stood closer to the service line to put pressure, and eventually the opponent committed an unforced error at match point. The match lasted 4.5 hours.
I hope this will bump me up to NTRP 4.0 rating. I have learned a lot from playing the tournament - I tend to play defensively but to win at the next level I need to be more aggressive.