I had a very good plan for the blog posting that I entered yesterday. In my minds eye, my 3rd eye ….. my 3rd Eye which is Blind … I wanted to capture all of the passion that I feel by planning for and playing tennis. As I sat putting pen to paper (keyboard stroke to monitor) I started to realize that I am just not creative enough to condense all of those thoughts into about 800 words …. I think my readers have 3rd Eye issues as well because my highest read postings have less than 800 words …….. so ….
I am going to break my tennis writing into several posts and I am going to start by telling you everything that happened in my first season of play. It was that season of play that captured me and set the stage for my game. Tennis had me at hello …. had me at hello.
I was trying to join an ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) team that plays out of my neighborhood. But remember, I had never played the sport before in my life. The Captain of that team kindly told me that there wasn’t room on the team and that I should consider finding a partner and playing a season of T2Tennis (www.T2Tennis.cm). He was even kind enough to give me the name of another neighbor that was looking to pick up the sport.
I contacted Atul and he told me that he wanted to start the sport as well and that he had never played it either. He did tell me that he played years and years of Table Tennis back home in India and that the skills should cross-over. I have to admit that I laughed a little by that comment but …… BTW Table Tennis is Ping-Pong …… since I was no pro I figured we should give it a go.
We registered to play in the 2.5- league which is the lowest possible league available. We didn’t meet each other until the week before our first match. We met at our community courts and hit together for a while. WOW – I don’t think that I ever saw a serve that hard in Table Tennis! My man could serve …. and he hit drop shots … and had some decent top spin on his forehand drives! I started to realize that this was going to be fun!
Our big night came 7 days after meeting each other for the first time. We had a home match against a couple of guys that had played together for a couple of years …… I have to admit that I was worried!
The match started and things were going well. Atul and I were learning how to communicate and to hit the ball and move together etc … etc … etc … Before I knew it we had won our 1st set of tennis! YIPPEEEEEEEE Pop the corks …..
We were into our second set of tennis and tied at 2 – 2 when I learned my first major lesson of tennis! Know the rules of the sport! I think what happened next cost me and my partner the match.
I hit a lob that floated over both of my opponents head and landed somewhere ……….. but I am not sure where. I do not know if my shot landed in or out but the problem is that my opponents did not know either. They literally both said that they did not know where it hit but they still called it out. Ummm … well…. ummmmm … well …. OK ….. the ball was out. I just agreed and we moved on. But then …… something just bit me! (No, I did not get shot in the buttocks) .
A little voice in my head said … that cant be the right call. How could they say that they did not see the shot but that it was out …. I could not let go of that call. The way that call was handled lead to my internal combustion and I simply could not play well any longer. We ended up losing the second set 2-6 and then the 3rd set 3-6!
Now – Had I only known the rules of tennis I might have been able to prevent that loss – The rules basically state that if you CANNOT call a ball out then you HAVE to call it in. My opponents could not call my ball out so …. lesson learned!
Now – Here is the really good stuff. My partner and I won our next 4 matches and qualified for a chance to enter the playoffs! We won the 1st round and was given a forfeit in the semi-finals. So, in my first season of competitive tennis I am going to the city finals! This gets better.
The opponents from our first match were on the opposite side of the bracket and they advanced to the city finals as well! A rematch! A chance to play them again but this time I was armed with knowledge of the rules.
The City Finals date was set but I had a conflict. We were going to be at the Stone Mountain Park resort for the weekend celebrating my daughters birthday and I was not able to attend. I had become so passionate about tennis that I was thinking …. maybe we could celebrate her birthday another weekend or maybe I could just slip out for a few hours to play or maybe … or maybe …..
I did the right thing – I let my opponents and the league know that I was not able to attend and offered to forfeit the match. But, to my surprise my opponents offered to play the match the following Monday night and ….. the league agreed! So I was going to get the chance to face them again after all!
Come Monday ……. they couldn’t play. One of the guys had hurt his back and did not feel like he should play a match. ERRRRR so ……… I did what every player in this sport would do!
I allowed them to claim victory since I was not able to attend the original match.
I love this sport!