The 2010 Ringtennis World Cup & a Rush of Adrenaline

OK, so I just tried WordPress’s inspirator mode for the first time and it tells me the following:

Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

These are actually pretty good questions. Let me see … I think the only time in my life I’ve been that nervous was at the 2010 World Cup in ringtennis, which was held in Koblenz (Germany). It was the last match of the world team championship. Germany vs. South Africa. The winner would become the new world champion. We, the German national team, were the defending champions and although we were playing at home, South Africa was leading 10–6 before the last round of doubles—one women’s and one men’s double. We all knew that we had to win these last two games to reach a draw (10–10) and proceed to an additional round of deciding games.

I was playing with Dominic Schubardt, who had won the singles championships, and although we had become the unofficial world champions in men’s doubles three days before, we both knew that we were not able to play at 100% that day. Our opponents were quite dangerous: Hanno Pienaar, who had already beaten Dominic in the very same match, and his very experienced partner Bertus le Roux. The fear of failure and maybe becoming the one to be blamed for losing the world cup made me extremely nervous. I was so horribly on adrenaline right before the game some friends even said they didn’t recognize me.

However, once the game started—the crowd cheering for us—and we were in the lead after scoring some important points, our nervouseness settled. We were finally able to win the game 45–35. It wasn’t nice-to-watch and a stiff piece of work, but we made it. Unfortunately, Lenize (the women’s champion in singles) and Heleen Potgieter of South Africa won the other double to make their team the new world team champion. In retrospect, South Africa deserved the title, because despite not having the better individual players, they were the better team.

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