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Coercive Assumption (強引な想定 Gōin Sōtei) is the 327th chapter of manga, Baby Steps.

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SummaryEdit

SynopsisEdit

Chapter 327 opens with the score for Takuma's service game at 40-30. His hitting his fastest serve for the day (232 kph) makes the venue seethe [bubble with excitement?]. Ei-chan had also responded, but he couldn't return it. He thinks that it's as he'd expected: Takuma's starting to attack nonstop, capitalizing on his lead. Takuma's playing his riskiest tennis up to now. Ei-chan believes that at a time like this, there ought to be an opening he can take advantage of. Ei-chan's impression is that even though he's correctly predicted the course of Takuma's serves, Takuma disregarded this and chose his usual course—that's how much confidence Takuma has in his serve. Believing in his eyes and data, Ei-chan plans to go for a turn-around with a return that will steal the advantage with one stroke. Ei-chan correctly predicts that the next serve will be to the center, but when he thought he'd gotten a powerful winner...the serve was judged a fault. Ei-chan had suspected it might have been out, and he regrets the outcome since he'd returned it to a really good spot, but he also notes that his return is starting come together and resolves to attack the next more. Takuma's second serve clocks at 200 kph, and he concludes that today his second serve is also good. Ei-chan feels Takuma's second serves are steadily getting faster and he returns this one with a slice with all his might. Takuma goes to the net and returns the shot with a drop shot. Ei-chan starts to go after it, but he's too late, so Takuma holds his serve.

Ei-chan thinks he'd gotten to a good spot, but didn't manage to break. He feels the latest second serve had exceeded 200 kph and wonders how much risk Takuma's going to take before it's too much. He can't imagine the high probability of such a serve going in will continue forever. In this game, only 3 out of 6 first serves went in, so the odds are 50%. He thinks that if this continues, a chance to break will definitely turn up. He plans to at least hold his serve and not drop a game. Takuma thinks his shoulders were warmed up enough. Ei-chan's service game starts. He hits a serve that can't be attacked, then returns Takuma's return. However, Takuma hits a forcibly strong shot next. Ei-chan thinks that even though he has the advantage, he's suddenly being targeted. In addition, Takuma goes to the net. Ei-chan thinks their postures are more than equal and he can't let Takuma come forward so easily. But Ei-chan's return hits the net, so Takuma gets a point first. Ei-chan thinks that if it had gone in, he could have gotten away. Because the ball flattened slightly, his timing with his usual skill was off. He wonders if Takuma's playing super offensively in both service and return games. Ei-chan's next serve is to the center, clocking at 173 kph. Starting with the return, Takuma suddenly hits a strong blow. He quits trying to go to the net, thinking he might be overdoing it. Ei-chan saw that and the ball he's trying to return deep flattens and ends up short by mistake. Takuma puts it away with a jackknife. 0-30. Yukichi concludes Ei-chan hasn't been able to deal with Takuma's aggressive approach. Ei-chan thinks Takuma's starting to aiming for a deep spot with a tendency toward a flat regardless of Ei-chan's advantage. It's much more of a worry than an ordinary strong approach shot: even though Takuma's turned pro, he's been able to forge an approach shot that takes into account his continuing to play at the net. Ei-chan tells himself to get a grip, that if he pays proper attention and deals with it, something will turn up. If he loses this one, it's 0-40. He absolutely can't lose it. He takes a deep breath. If that happens, he'll set up one beat faster, and just swing. This way, he can only grasp the rhythm physically. He expects that in leaning forward, Takuma naturally will counterattack easily. In addition, he had expected a fight with Takuma forcibly coming to the net in the first place. If Takuma can return even that flattened shot from there, various countermeasures are considered... Ei-chan thinks that so long as he doesn't hand over the advantage of his serve, there's no need to fear, that even Takuma who came to the net isn't scary. 

Ike thinks that Takuma's predominance is unchallenged but not as much as it looks, and that Takuma probably realizes it himself, but Ei-chan is simply not able to corner him. [I guess he means Ei-chan isn't able to convert his chances into a break, but he's on the brink of it.]


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