Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit
- Sakuya Takagi
- Ryuhei Aoi
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Yukichi Fukazawa
- Yoshiaki Ide (flashback)
- Yusaku Miura (flashback)
- Yu Nabae (flashback)
With Eiichiro's change-of-pace strategy and Takagi's utilization of tricks and high-level skills, the first set ends in a tiebreaker game.
While Eiichiro and Takagi prepare for their match, Coach Aoi and Yukichi talk about Eiichiro's being part of best 8 of Kantou Junior Tennis Tournament and how his match against Ide shows Eiichiro's improvement compared before. Coach Aoi tells the reason behind Eiichiro's improvement - Eiichiro continues to "think" during his training and matches and how his notebooks show that. However, Eiichiro still lacks experience, thus, he has to gain them by facing a lot of strong players.
Back on the court, when Eiichiro tries to counter Takagi's attack, he only manages to hit the net. This shows how Takagi's ability but Eiichiro wonders Takagi hits heavy shots, as they are still warming up. On the other hand, Takagi evaluates his current opponent and how he must win this match no matter what so that he can face Nabae in an official match. Since Nabae is always ahead of him, he decides to do what Nabae does, with more duration, because he believes that he can defeat Nabae if he does that. One time, he forces Nabae to have a continuous match against him until he can defeat Nabae so that he can move forward.
The match starts with Takagi's serve. This game shows how high-level Takagi's shots are but Eiichiro is bothered why Takagi keeps on glaring at him. It adds to Eiichiro's pressure when Takagi starts using his tricks. However, when it comes to his service game, Eiichiro still manages to keep it despite of the tricks used by Takagi by applying what he learned from his match against Ide.
In the next Takagi's service game, Takagi uses an underhand serve against Eiichiro. Eiichiro manages to hit it, but Takagi counters it and wins the point. Eiichiro prepares himself for the next underhand serve but Takagi uses a quick serve instead, causing Eiichiro to catch off-guard for the second time. Eiichiro observes that Takagi's physical and mental strength are well-polished but it does not mean that he can avoid the consequences of his actions. On the other hand, during the break, Takagi observes how Eiichiro's style is similar to Nabae's, thus, he decides to test some of his tricks on the next games. These tricks involves messing up Eiichiro's serve and using medical time-out to disrupt the flow of the game.
During the break occurred after the ninth game, Eiichiro cannot help but to be awed by Takagi's tricks. However, he still wonders why Takagi, inspite of being a strong players, rely on such petty tricks. Eiichiro has to deal with such tricks in order to overcome Takagi's tricks, thus, he starts to utilize more his change-of-pace strategy and his strength. In the end, the first set ends up in a tiebreaker game, which is a critical part for Eiichiro. While Eiichiro is determined to break Takagi's service game, Takagi is equally determined as well to win in order to defeat Nabae in an official match.
Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit
- The scenes only present in the anime:
- Yukichi and Coach Aoi's conversation regarding Eiichiro's improvement in his skills during the past years.
- In the anime, some of Takagi's flashback are revealed before the match while in the manga, his flashback happened after Takagi hits an underhand serve.