Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Krishna Ramesh
- Atsushi Taira
- Mike Mcguire
- Marcia O'Brien
- Kevin Morland
- Alex O'Brien
- Soji Ike
- Natsu Takasaki (flashback)
- Takuya Miyagawa (flashback)
- Hiroshi Araya (flashback)
- Sanae Maruo (flashback)
- Kazuya Maruo (flashback)
With Eiichiro's hard work, he has appreciated more Ike's ability during their practice match. He has also managed to have a three-set match against Alex on his last practice match in Florida. While he is leading in the match due to the data he has acquired during two weeks, his data become a motivation for Alex as well to understand the importance of his past in order to move forward.
While Eiichiro is taking down notes, Coach Mike explains to Eiichiro the routine and how it can affect the performance of a player. When Alex appears to remind Eiichiro that he can finally face Ike in a match, Eiichiro thanks Alex for the advice Alex has given before in order to overcome the losing habit. After the practice, Eiichiro approaches Ike to schedule their match, which will be the next day before breakfast. Now that the schedule is set, Ike will ask permission to the coach at the party but it seems that Eiichiro has forgotten that the day is New Year's Eve. During the party, Eiichiro has managed to interact with everyone about their personal life and tennis-related topics.
The following day, Eiichiro meets his first opponent of the year. While preparing for the match, Eiichiro thinks on how time goes by quickly and how he manages to enjoy his stay even though he had experienced many setbacks. Before the match, he asks Ike of what it is like to be a pro but Ike tells him that Ike will answer the question if he wins the match. During their one-set match, Ike manages to win points even though Eiichiro hits his best shots. Ike seems to hit in offense without regretting on its corresponding risk. Initially, Eiichiro feels that his hard work was for nothing but later, he thinks that he has appreciated Ike's ability because of his improved techniques. While he lost the match and did not hear from Ike the answer to the question he asked earlier, he thinks that he has understood what Ike wants to say in that question.
While Alex is at the benches for the practice match, he remembers his frustrations when he was experiencing his losing habit. While Alex was depressed over his close match, his father advises him to forget about the past, believe in yourself and face forward. Alex returns to the present when Coach Kevin calls him in order to have a match against Eiichiro. While Eiichiro appreciates to have a match against Alex on his final practice match in Florida, he remembers Alex's refusal in the first day because of Alex's wish to have a match with another pro instead. But much to his surprise, Alex accepts the match and will have a 3-set match against Eiichiro.
Eiichiro plans to win against Alex using the data he had acquired in the past two weeks to compensate for his lack of experience and technique. He has managed to break Alex's serve once, which surprises the spectators. During the break, Alex realizes that Eiichiro is aiming at his forehand. He did not expect that Eiichiro's meticulous notetaking and reviewing would make him lead in their match. Realizing this, he plans to use the data to work against Eiichiro and has started to change his attack pattern, but Eiichiro has already expected such change and moves to the next phase of his plan.
As Eiichiro still manages to read Alex's movement despite of the change in pattern, Alex understands how he has underestimated Eiichiro's notes and what Ike was trying to tell before. Now that he has realized the importance of his past in order to move forward, he has starting to hit shot using his backhand even though it is his weakpoint. While he has committed a lot of errors, it is pretty obvious to everyone how Alex seems to change his style in the middle of the match. Even Eiichiro, who has won the first set, cannot relax as he knows that those backhand will become Alex's weapon and thus, he cannot use his strategy anymore.
Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit
- The scenes only happened in the manga:
- Pedro's comments on how Eiichiro's techniques seemed to improve suddenly during their match.
- Atsushi and others reading Eiichiro's notes regarding on player's ability and the like.
- Eiichiro having a match against Christopher before he goes to Ike.
- The match between Ike and Eiichiro has started at 5 in the morning.
- Eiichiro's monologue regarding on his first full set against Ike and how he will possible deal with Ike's attacks.
- The scenes only happened in the anime:
- A more detailed representation of Ike vs Eiichiro's match, with Eiichiro also acts the scorer.
- During the flashback of what had happened in the previous episode, the match was happened during the 9th day in the manga and 7th day in the anime.
- During the New Year's countdown, the countdown started at 3 in the manga and 6 in the anime.
- In the manga, Alex's flashback regarding on his losing habit happened during his match against Eiichiro while in the anime, it happened before the match.
- In the manga, there is no break time after the first set reaches 5 - 2 in favor of Eiichiro. In the anime, there is a break time after reaching 5 - 2 score in the first set and the scoreboard is already showing the results of the first set even though the first set is not finished yet. (The score is supposed to be 5 - 2 instead of 6 - 2, as shown in the scoreboard.)