Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit
- Natsu Takasaki
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Ryuhei Aoi
- Himeko Sasaki
- Kojirou Kageyama
- Yoshiaki Ide
- Takayuki Okada
- Hiroshi Araya
- Yu Nabae
- Yukichi Fukazawa
- Masumi Makihara
- Akiko Kosaka
- Yuki Tajima
- Yusaku Miura
- Sakuya Takagi
- Kazuma Ono
Eiichiro learns that he may have experienced the "zone" during his match against Ide. He also manages to win against Ono and now, he has to face Takagi, a strong player who seemed to have defeated Nabae before.
Both players are congratulated by the audience for the good match they have played. After Eiichiro and Ide congratulate each other, Ide raises Eiichiro's arm in front of the spectators. As the spectators continue to show their support, Eiichiro wonders how many times he will experience such support in the future.
When Eiichiro leaves the court, he meets with Kageyama, Sasaki, Natsu and Coach Aoi. They tell Eiichiro how they were constantly on the edge during the match and how he managed to overcome it. Eiichiro tells Coach Aoi how he confronted his pressure during the match and how he was too focused that he could not even hear anything on his environment. According to Coach Aoi, Eiichiro may have experienced "zone" during that time which releases the full ability of a player and may be the reason Eiichiro has managed to defeat Ide. However, Coach Aoi reassures Eiichiro that Eiichiro's win is the result of his hard work.
On the other hand, Ide asks forgiveness to the child he saved since Ide lost in the match. But instead, the child becomes more motivated to get better and decides to play tennis. After Ide's conversation with the child, he tells to his friends his decision to go overseas in order to improve his skills. Initially, his friends are shocked as Ide's decision seem to be sudden but they still decide to support his decision.
Later, Eiichiro meets up with Yukichi and learns that Yukichi is also qualified for All-Japan Junior. Yukichi encourages Eiichiro to win the next round so that they will be able to have their first official match in the fourth round. Later in the evening, after Eiichiro finishes writing on his notes, he meets up with Natsu. Natsu, with an interview setting, asks Eiichiro his opinion regarding on his match against Ide. Eiichiro gives a concise answer, leading Natsu to burst out laughing. Eiichiro, then, asks Natsu if Natsu has experienced the "zone" before but Natsu seems not to know about the zone either. As Eiichiro starts to think about Natsu, he starts to have the urge to hold her hands just like what Natsu did to him after his match. He continues to hesitate as he realizes that his instinct is getting stronger than his reason. Suddenly, Natsu tells Eiichiro to put his hand on top of her hand in order to cheer for tommorow's match. Eiichiro ends up wondering whether it is a good thing for him or not.
The next day, Coach Miura reminds the remaining members of STC that they still have to do their best on this tournament even though they are already qualified in the All-Japan Junior. Yukichi feels overly motivated to win but admits that he will have a hard time on his next opponent. Turns out, his opponent is Takagi who is also Nabae's friend. Nabae introduces Takagi to Eiichiro and Yukichi but Takagi only gives an aloof aura. After Nabae leaves, Yukichi tells Eiichiro about the rumors that Takagi has defeated Nabae before. Later on, while Eiichiro has won his match against Ono, Yukichi did not manage to win against Takagi. Yukichi also vents his frustrations on how Takagi used nasty tricks during their match and tells Eiichiro to avenge him.
On the day before Eiichiro's match against Takagi, Eiichiro checks the video Coach Aoi had on Takagi's match against Yukichi to gather data. On the other hand, Nabae seems Takagi and congratulates Takagi for winning the third match. Takagi remembers the things he did in order to become stronger in order to defeat Nabae to an official match.
Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit
- The scenes only happened in the manga:
- In Coach Aoi's analogy, the "zone" is like when one is about to get into car accident and things seem slow in motion.
- Eiichiro remembering the sensation he had during his match against Alex, Araya and later, Ide as a zone and their similarities.
- The scenes only happened in the anime:
- Sasaki congratulating Eiichiro
- Yukichi receiving an e-mail containing an image of Eiichiro and Natsu's "lovey-dovey"
- At sunset, Kageyama and Sasaki talking that they are about to leave as well
- Nabae congratulating Takagi for winning the third round
- A more detailed presentation on Takagi's flashback when he and Nabae were still a child
- When Eiichiro is being congratulated by Natsu, the position of Kageyama and Sasaki are interchanged in the manga and anime.
- When Sasaki tells Kageyama how she feels better after cheering out loud, in the manga, she tells him before Eiichiro and Coach Aoi talk about the zone while in the anime, she tells him after the "zone" conversation.
- In the manga, Yukichi leaves the location on the day he lost in the match while in the anime, he is seated beside Coach Aoi as he will watch the match of Eiichiro against Takagi.