Clay courts in the autumn / winter absorb and retain huge amounts of water and never seem to dry. Playing on these courts makes the tennis balls wet, soggy and slow.
The first set saw tremendous fight by both of us. I was really tired from the previous few days of play and thought I wouldn't win a set today. But with will and determination, I found myself serving for the set at 6-5. I was determined to win the game and avoid a tiebreak given my poor record in those. A sloppy game from my partner game me the set.
The relief of winning the set led to a very casual attitude on my part in the second set. Suddenly I found myself unable to win a game at 0-4. With some fight it became 1-5. Since it is autumn, we have to play under lights these days. So, we had bought 1.5 hours of light time. A green light lights up when there is about five minutes to go. At 1-5, I kept glancing at this light to see if it had turned on so that we can stop playing. If we are at 1 set all, we normally play a "champions tiebreak" - a tiebreaker to 10. I wanted to avoid playing this at all costs. Hence at 1-5, I just willed myself to win the game. It was an extremely long game with numerous deuces. I was very relieved to win this game. In the middle of the next game, the light lighted up and I went on to lose the game.
I lost the set, but avoided the tiebreaker and hence losing it and the match.