I know that I have been posting more and more about tennis lately and there is a good reason for that. I am currently the captain of 2 teams and we are wrapping up our seasons so this wonderful sport has been on my mind more and more lately.
Fact is, tennis has been darn near the center of my focus for the last week. You see, both my USTA 8.0 Mixed Combo Team and my men’s A8 ALTA team have been battling for a spot in the playoffs. My USTA Team played this past Friday and won the match so we are positioned for the playoffs. We have a bye for week 7 and I have already calculated exactly what needs to happen in 2 of the matches that will be played. Our chances are good.
Now for my Men’s ALTA team …. we played the last match of the regular season yesterday. We went into that match knowing that if we took all 5 lines we would make it into post season play. If we took 4 points our chances were were still pretty darn good! 3 points …. well, our chances would have been a stretch!
GAME DAY – Our Line 1 guys got off to a great start and won their first set very quickly. They were up 4-0 about the same time that our Line 3 guys were down 0-4. A very odd thing was happening at Line 2 – They were still into the first game of their 1st set after the 1s and 3s had played 4 games. It looked like it was going to be a long after noon!
Our line 1 guys ended up winning very quickly so me and my partner took to the court to warm up. Our Line 2 guys took the 1st set and our Line 3 guys had dropped the 1st set and were in a dog fight in the 2nd set.
By the time we had finish our warm up’s our Line 2 guys had dropped their 2nd set and our Line 3 had entered a 2nd set tie-breaker.
Me and my partner tore through our opponents winning the 1st set 6-0 …. our 3s lost in that time frame and our 2s won their 3 set. At this point it was obvious that we were going to take at least 3 lines as me and partner were in firm control. We did win easily and our line 5 guys won in straight sets!
That is when the waiting game started! We knew that we would have to wait to learn the results of another match that was happening across town. The #1 team was playing the #2 team – Had we taken 5 points we would have needed the #2 team to take 4 points and then we would have been in 1st place. Put since we only took 4 we needed the #1 team to take at least 2 points so that we would be in 2nd!
Well, the #2 team did give us a chance for 1st by taking 4 points but ……… that really didn’t help us! The end results look like this:
#1 Thorn Berry 23 points
#2 Peachtree Corners 22 points
#2/3 Tuxford 22 points. We are tied for 2nd but PTC took 3 points from us when we played head to head so they win by default!
At the end of a great season 1 point separated my team from being 1st in our Division to being in 3rd – I have spent the last 36 hours or so thinking about ways that we could have taken just one more point this season …….
I started thinking about the 2 lines that I lost. The first loss was a great match and …. well, actually, the team that we played ended up having to DQ that line since they “sort of cheated” ….. so I really didn’t lose that point – just the match.
I thought long and hard about the other match that I lost – What could I have done differently, more of, better, etc … etc … etc … On paper, me and my partner had a very strong line and we could have fared much better than we did. We just couldn’t make things happen at the right time and lost in 3 hard fought sets.
As captain of the team I have looked at every line that we lost and have spent time wondering if I had only played someone else, maybe a different pair, maybe switched that guy with that guy ….. errrrrrrr!!!!!
Well, in the end the lesson learned is quite simple – Every line counts.
BTW – The slightest of hope still exists as the coordinator has to review all of the score cards to determine if their were any violations – I sure hope that he finds one against the team that we played or against PTC ….. but the chances are slim!