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

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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.

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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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