Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Yu Nabae
- Yukichi Fukazawa
- Ryuhei Aoi
- Kisya Miyamoto
- Kazuya Maruo (flashback)
- Sanae Maruo (flashback)
- Hiroshi Onozawa
- Kojirou Kageyama
- Hiroshi Araya
- Yuki Tajima (flashback)
- Ryou Oobayashi (flashback)
- Takuya Miyagawa (flashback)
- Hiromi Iwasa (flashback)
- Yoshiaki Ide (flashback)
- Natsu Takasaki
- Haruka Momoyama
- Takuma Egawa (flashback)
- Alex O'Brien
- Marcia O'Brien
- Krishna Ramesh
- Atsushi Taira
- Takuma Egawa
- Yusaku Miura
- Soji Ike
- Akiko Kosaka
- Yuki Tajima
Even though Eiichiro did all that he can do in the match, he still loses in the match against Nabae. However, instead of discouraging, he thinks of what he can do in the future in order to become stronger.
Eiichiro thinks of a vision of how he can possibly beat Nabae in the match. While Eiichiro commits several mistakes on his attacks, Nabae does not consider this as Eiichiro's reckless moves but rather, something is bound to happen. So he decides to stop Eiichiro before that happens. As the match continues, Eiichiro is starting to get the things straight as he is starting to hold his service game. He is starting to feel that he is getting closer to the zone again but tries not to think about the zone again. He also gets ideas from his previous opponents' strategies and uses them to his change-of-pace strategy. Aside from that, he also uses his previous data about himself to do a different attack instead of relying to his usual attacks
Nabae thinks that Eiichiro controls his emotions instead of suppressing or releasing them. He considers it to be unstable but it can become an intimidating method when handled properly. Despite of trying to stop Eiichiro by pulling off two consecutive good serves, he does not manage to prevent Eiichiro from breaking the service game he tried to protect at all cost. On the other hand, Eiichiro has finally managed to execute successfully his vision to win. However, strategically and emotionally-wise, it is extremely difficult for him to handle his vision well. After the break, he manages to catch up with Nabae and ties the score for the final set.
Eiichiro remembers the difference of his performance between now and his match against Nabae in All-Japan Junior Indoor Selectionals, Kantou Preliminaries. The current match reflects the things he improved during the past months. While the audience are surprised on how Eiichiro manages to fight against Nabae on equal grounds, people are also noting on how Nabae manages to keep his cool and composure. With Nabae leading the final set again by one game, Eiichiro has no choice but to hold his service game and ends the match in at least three games as long battles are at his disadvantage.
Nabae plays a little in defense manner as Eiichiro goes all out on his service game. He uses an irregular combination of shots and Miyagawa's drive volley as his winning attack. Nabae has no choice but to attack while making sure that his defense remain intact. Nabae gets the match point first but Eiichiro has not given up yet. However, Eiichiro's attack is considered out, thus, Nabae earns the point and wins the match. While a lot of people are expecting Nabae will win anyway, some think that Nabae was in danger from losing the match.
Eiichiro reflects on the result of the match - how he did everything on his power but still lost. However, Coach Aoi reassures him that being part of top 4 of the tournament is still good. Hearing such words, Eiichiro recomposes himself on how to become stronger and shares that he has now a better idea of the things he can do in the future. Coach Aoi, then, introduces the representative of the company that makes Eiichiro's racket. The representative offers Eiichiro a new racket to become one of their testers to improve the racket designs in the future.
At the hotel, while Eiichiro is checking his new racket, Kageyama calls him to hear the results of the match. Eiichiro shares it and tells Kageyama his plans to watch the finals. The next day, Yukichi and Eiichiro are in the audience to watch the match between Nabae and Araya. They talk about on how Araya will possibly outwit Nabae in the match and how Eiichiro may possibly win the next time he faces Nabae in the matc as Yukichi shares how incredible Eiichiro's growth in tennis. During the second set of men's finals, a loud cheer emerges at the women's side of the court as Natsu wins the finals. Later, Araya emerges as a winner at the men's side as he defeats Nabae in a close match. Yukichi and Eiichiro think that Nabae is not playing the usual way as he committed a lot of mistakes in the match. When Araya and Nabae are at the net for their post tournament greeting, Araya asks Nabae the reason Nabae tries to do a power battle against Nabae. Nabae does not answer the question but instead, looks at the audience area, where Eiichiro is seated. Noticing that Nabae is looking at him, Eiichiro seems to realizes why Nabae committed mistakes in the match.
As Eiichiro takes a final view before leaving the venue, he remembers the current situation of Alex, Takuma and Ike and wonders how far he can go. Being called out by Natsu, Yukichi and others, he goes to them, as he thinks to take one step at a time and to go further by believing in himself.
Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit
- The scenes only present in the manga:
- Araya's comment when he learns that Eiichiro manages to break Nabae's service game in the final set of their match
- Eiichiro's flashback on his conversation with his mother the day before his match against Nabae
- Nabae's comment regarding Eiichiro's overall performance in their match and how he has to adjust in preparation for All-Japan Junior Tennis Tournament (by extension, giving the reason he seemingly committing mistakes throughout his match against Araya)
- Natsu approaching Eiichiro after Eiichiro accepting his new racket and Natsu reminding Eiichiro on their plans for the date
- Araya's match against Okada
- The scenes only present in the anime:
- Yukichi cheering for Eiichiro and some comments regarding the match
- Eiichiro and Kageyama's conversation
- Eiichiro's flashback while he and Yukichi are watching the finals
- Araya asking Nabae after their match
- Eiichiro's monologue regarding on Alex's, Takuma's and Ike's current status in the professional tennis world
- Eiichiro being approached by Natsu and others as they leave the tournament premises.
- When Nabae is trying to remember his evaluation on Eiichiro, in the manga, Kanda's evaluation is the one beside Eiichiro's while in the anime, it is Oota's.
- When Eiichiro receives a new racket, in the manga, he hesitates to take it as he remains unsure on the future of his tennis career. In the anime, no hesitation is shown and he checks the racket when he is inside of his hotel room.
- Regarding the result of the finals of Kanto Junior,
- In the manga, Eiichiro learns about it through Coach Aoi since he has to return home immediately after his loss on his match against Nabae (in preparation for All-Japan Junior).
- In the anime, Eiichiro and Yukichi manage to watch the match since they did not leave immediately after their loss in the tournament.