Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit
- Eiichiro Maruo (flashback)
- Yusaku Miura (flashback)
- Masumi Makihara (flashback)
- Yukichi Fukazawa (flashback)
- Eiichiro Maruo
- Ryou Oobayashi
- Natsu Takasaki
- Masumi Makihara
- Hana Yokoyama
- Takuma Egawa
- Yusaku Miura
- Yukichi Fukazawa
- Yuki Tajima
- Kojirou Kageyama
Eiichiro's first tournament has finally come. On his first match against Oobayashi, the audience are surprised when Eiichiro has broken Oobayashi at the start of the game. But upon seeing Eiichiro's serves, Oobayashi is given an idea on how to deal with Eiichiro.
Eiichiro goes to the main office to check in for the tournament. When the representative sees that Oobayashi, Eiichiro's opponent, has arrived as well, she tells both Eiichiro and Oobayashi that their match will start earlier than planned. Hearing this, Eiichiro becomes more distressed and panics more. Seeing this Eiichiro's panicked state, Oobayashi's companions think that Oobayashi will be an easy win for him but Oobayashi does not want to let his guard down as his opponent is from STC. Later, they start to wonder if Eiichiro is actually a strong player as Natsu, Takuma and other known players start to appear around him.
Eiichiro learns from Natsu that they are drawing some attention from the people because of STC being a famous club where some players have played in the Nationals. Natsu also explains the division of tennis tournaments per Grade. As Eiichiro starts to feel nervous and pressured, Eiichiro decides to check his form but he is stopped as it is not the right time for him to do so. However, he feels confused as everyone starts to give different ideas on what to do and even starts to panic more, once his name is called for the match. He only stops panicking when Takuma kicks him and tells him to go to the court.
As Eiichiro goes to the court, he conditions himself to do his best on the match. Once he enters the court premises, he feels that the court seems to be bigger even though the court is similar from the one he usually practices on. From this moment on, he has to fight alone against someone who has already played tennis for five years.
Oobayashi is first to serve however, Eiichiro is still not mentally prepared yet as he does not know what to do in his current situation. When Oobayashi's fast serve comes, he reacts without thinking and hits the ball, winning a score with a return ace. The audience does not expect such case in this game since the match is between an unknown player and a seeded player. Even Eiichiro himself wonders on how he managed to do such shot. Just as Oobayashi prepares for his second serve, Kageyama arrives and Natsu explains the scoring in tennis.
Back in the game, Eiichiro wins another score from Oobayashi. While people views it as a fluke, Natsu thinks that the STC members does not view Eiichiro's win as a fluke since they know how Eiichiro practices his returns. Coach Miura adds that Eiichiro has an excellent dynamic vision which makes him reacts faster in fast shots. Considering that Eiichiro has dealt Takuma's serve which is considered to be the fastest serve in high school tennis, this becomes Eiichiro's standard to work up on his returns. In the end, Eiichiro manages to break Oobayashi's service game right from the start of the game.
People are starting to increase their expectations from Eiichiro as he manages to win a game against a seeded player. However, it immediately goes down after they see Eiichiro's weak serve. Turns out, Eiichiro's returns are powerful due to Oobayashi's fast serve since the return uses the power from the opponent's serve. Realizing this, Oobayashi easily breaks Eiichiro's service game and slows down his serves during his service games since Eiichiro can simply hit a slow return from a slow serve.
Oobayashi continues to win the games easily which greatly shows the difference of his ability from Eiichiro's. On the 7th game, it sinks in into Eiichiro's mind that his match can be over in four points and wishes to play a little longer. After receiving a warning from the referee due to 20-second rule, Eiichiro recomposes him and decides that instead of focusing on his basic stroke, he should focus more on returning shots as many as he can. With this mindset, Eiichiro starts to focus on Oobayashi's movements in order to decide on the next action he will take. Due to this, he notices Oobayashi who is about to hit a cross, thus he manages to react faster and wins a point against Oobayashi.
Manga & Anime DifferencesEdit
- In the anime, the division of levels is mentioned by Natsu while Eiichiro is waiting for his match against Oobayashi. In the manga, it is mentioned after Yukichi explained the "seeded players".
- The scenes only present in the anime:
- Tajima left the side of tennis court after Eiichiro gets a return ace.
- Explanation of "break" and "20-second rule".
- The scenes only present in the manga:
- Tajima is the first seed of U12 Junior Tennis Competition, as stated in the manga.
- Oobayashi notices how good Eiichiro is in chasing the balls in spite of his weak attacks.