Every few weeks, Heming Hu is providing an update on his 6 month training & competition stint in Sweden. Below is his 2nd update.
Training has continued to be extremely strong with good partners and great assistance from coaches. I know what I have to work on and have been training well. Chinese star Wu Jiaji (his standard would be around top 40-50 in the world) has also arrived and the training partners/group here has to be one of the strongest the Club has experienced. Par Gerell also trained here this week and Alexander Shibaev will also come in 2 weeks. I feel very fortunate to be part of this Club and daily training environment.
On Sat. 5th Sept. played my first tournament, Halmstad Open. I was entered in the Men's Singles and drew 2nd seed and eventual winner of the men's singles, Harald Andersson in the first round. Harald would be no. 5 or 6 in Sweden. I lead 7-3 in the first set and 8-6 in the third but wasn't able to capitalize on these chances. It was tough to play my first official match in Sweden and against Harald but felt I learnt from this experience and was good to watch him play for rest of tournament - he has very good serve, first attack and return of serve.
The draw consisted of 8 seeds and the rest were done in random order so you would have a lot of weaker players in the other parts of the main draw and qualifying rounds and potentially the no9 ranked player could play a seed first round so I was bit unlucky but also happy that I could play a top Swedish men's player first round.
There was around 40 entrants in the men's singles and about 20 in the under 20 singles which I didn't play because I'm now 21 :). My Club, Eslov, paid for the entry fee! Club team mate Mattias Oversjo (who is around WR150 and has defeated 4 top 50 WR players) took me in his car to Halmstad and back. The Men's singles started 3:40pm and finished around 8pm with all matches being best of 5 games. Mattias lost the final to Harald after having 4 match points in the 3rd set, leading 2-0, 10-6 then another 3 match points in the 4th set before losing an agonising 11-9 in 5th set when Harald got two nets at 9-9. This is sport and the weirdest stuff can even happen to experienced players like them. Harald took home 5000kroner (~900AUD) and Mattias took home half that.
My focus now turns to League matches which start next week and will do my best. I am playing in both Danish Super League (highest league) and Swedish Superettan (second highest league). Starting this Saturday, I will be extremely busy and flodded with competition.