Sunday, December 07, 2008

I'm up in the air, can't hear a sound You're making a noise on the ground

Often I neglect the fact that tennis has had a major impact on my life during tender years. My buddies and I would often play 7 hours a day on the weekends in 100 degree Texas heat. Lots was learned during this time, and now that I have the ability to think, there are several terms that transcend tennis.

Ace -- Making that point that transcends all points. Hitting the ball so your adversaries can't even touch it.

The Double Fault -- The worst thing ever. Means that you don't even get the ball in play to see what happens, you screw it up yourself, and don't even give you opponent a chance to react.

Volley / Net Play -- Picking the ball off early will all for better placement, often 'winners' and gives your opponent very little time to react.

The Serve -- Getting the mechanics down for the serve is a feat in itself. It's collecting yourself, then exploding all effort for a purpose

My travels have brought me to Roland Garros in Paris, Flushing Meadows in New York, and Wimbledon in London -- The last of the Grand Slams to hit is the Australia Open.

Favorite matches in my 'career'

-- Regional Final 1995 -- Playing doubles, the 'audience' would clap when I double faulted b/c my serve was wicked, especially for a short dude. Opponent gets stung by a bee, I'm thinking 'hell yea', we're going to win by default, but alas.

-- Team Tennis 1992 -- Playing the #1 slot for Shiner, I'd get demolished almost every match. One match during the warmup, wearing my prim and proper white attire, I hit a mud slick chasing down a ball, fall straight on my back, play the rest of the match covered in mud.

-- Cuero Summer Tennis 1993 -- Hot and tired, ready to concede the match when this punk pops me in the leg with an overhead smash when he had the entire court open. I mustered up the energy to come back and pulverize this bunghole.

-- First match ever -- Sportin my 'LA Gear' tennis shoes, I'm stressed like hell b/c I never played anything one on one organized, and I wanted to win. The set count 2-2 and then the rains came. 'Ronnie' and I never got to finish that match.

-- Regional Opener Round 1 -- Playing a Brazilian exchange student the day of dad's funeral. I got pummeled, but I showed up, that's what pops would have wanted.

-- Clay Court Hilton Head Island -- My bud David (aka John McEnroe temper) throws his racket over the fence in anger, not able to adjust to the slow play of the clay.

Lots to be learned in it all, last night's match shows that we're all slowing down, using more angles and less power. We'll see how it goes at age 50.

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