Somewhat-Less-Than-Excellent Adventures Of Topaz, Cindy & Alice: The 3 Racqueteers!

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    why do i play tennis? it's such an unrequited love. lost my first match: 6-2; 6-2.

    what went terribly wrong:
    • double faulted away every single service game
    • hit many, many winners into the doubles alleys...too bad i was playing singles
    what went well:
    • after the match, my captain told me that she loved me just the same, and then my other captain trash-talked my opponent. i luuurrrve them.
    • my 3 serves that went in were snappy
    • set up my feet well, and followed through on most of my strokes
    that's all. oh, and my opponent had been bumped up to 3.5 last year but appealed to play 3.0. i figure that i did my part, on behalf of all 3.0 women in our league, in losing to her so decisively that she gets bumped back up again!

    what i'll do going forward:
    • hits buckets of serves
    • practice singles matches
    • put my water bottle in the freezer before the match--i was braising (cooking in my own juices) out there today.
     
  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Awwww. That's OK, Alice. It's all about building a game, right?

    On the water bottle thing, I fill mine halfway or more with water and then freeze solid. Then the next day I fill it the rest of the way with ice and water. As the ice block melts, you have lots of cold water. I also bring an extra bottle of water to add to the ice block. I don't bother with a cooler. So far, I haven't needed one.

    On the serves, I remember my serve used to let me down a lot. Oh, I would go practice with my hopper. But there didn't seem to be a way to simulate the pressure you feel when you are down break point.

    What I do now is I go out and I see how many *good* second serves I can hit in a row. Once you get a little streak going, you start feeling pressure because a miss will start you at zero (kind of like a match!). No fair pushing crap serves; ya gotta use your best second service motion. If you make one but you know in your heart of hearts it was crap, you don't get to count it. My record is 17 good ones in a row.
     
  3. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Alice, that is not a bad score for your first match!

    Oh, I had a terrible time adjusting to not using the alleys when I first decided I wanted to play singles. Even still, the other night, I say under my breath 'd*mn nice doubles shot, too bad you're playing singles!'

    Excellent! I think it is very smart that you are keeping track of positives, as well as things to work on. The good news is that serves (like Cindy said) you can practice on your own!

    What? *sigh* See, this is sucky. If the woman got bumped to 3.5, then that's where she should be playing. So, you actually played a 3.5 and got four games (at least four games is considered a competitive match by the USTA computer)!

    I need to hit some buckets myself. And I usually have a huge cooler of water for singles matches...and that is inside! I would need a fire hydrant nearby to play outside! ;)

    I love your attitude...you've got a good start!
     
  4. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    So, what's up next for everyone?

    I have doubles in DC on Saturday (crossing fingers that it doesn't get rained out), then singles Monday evening. My captains put me up at singles #1 and put another singles player (much stronger and more proven than me) and #2 doubles. :shock: Is it possible to be nervous already?

    I know some of the singles players on the opposing team. Anyway you slice it, I can't have a mental walkabout like I did during the last match. This will definitely be a tougher test!

    Alice, you play on Tuesdays right?

    Cindy, will I be seeing you on the muddy clay this weekend? ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  5. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Okay, I'm totally lost...

    ...what is this thread about, again?
     
  6. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    ^^^Tennis.
     
  7. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    ^^^it's about thinking about watching the ball, thinking about hitting the ball to the right place, and not thinking too much. i think.
     
  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I play on Friday night, No. 1 doubles against a fierce team. Got a good partner who tends to show up rusty, though. Gotta find a way to hang around in the first set while she finds her mojo.

    I also have an invitation to play singles on Friday at a country club. Which would mean clay. I guess I should accept. I'll still have enough gas in the tank to play that night, right?

    I had a bad experience yesterday. Very embarrassing. On Sunday, I played in the heat. Then I practiced/played singles on Monday in the heat. Then I worked out on Tuesday morning, and the weather was fine. Then I was supposed to play singles later that morning, as the weather heated up. Around 8 am, I started feeling dizzy right after breakfast. I didn't want to cancel and disappoint my friend, so I went anyway.

    We hit around a while, and I felt basically OK. We started playing a set and I started to feel it. Whenever I exerted myself or ran, I would feel dizzy and shaky afterward. I was OK if I stood in one spot. I wanted to keep going because my friend is trying to tune up for a singles match. I couldn't move and sprayed the ball like mad. After about the third game, all I could do was stand at the center hash and throw up lobs. Score was 6-0. I thought I had hydrated well, but I guess not?
     
  9. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    ok. hit bucketfulls of serves this morning. the first 6 (!!) serves i hit went in effortlessly. then i missed a couple and then got a bunch more in. if the weather isn't horrible tomorrow, i'll hit some more. at this point, my goal is a rock-solid second serve. if i ever play another match where i throw up 24 double faults, i'm going to beat my racquet into a gardening tool.

    my right wrist and elbow are finally starting to feel strong again, so i hit some forehands with the ball machine. dumped many into the net, but then got into a groove of stepping into my shot--kinda like a baseball player stepping into a pitch--and it made all the difference. i also focused on hitting within the singles court. i'm swearing off doubles until i can remember the difference!

    i have another singles match on tuesday morning, and i already feel better prepared for it. ugh. of course next tuesday afternoon, i'm sure that i'll just be moaning about something else...
     
  10. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    will your match on friday night be on clay too? if not, will you be thrown off by the difference?

    you're lucky you made it through the match still vertical! someone at my club actually passed out one evening last fall, during one of our warm spells. like you, she'd just overexerted herself over a period of a few days in the heat. be careful! imagine how mad you'd be, to lose a match because of something you actually had control over!
     
  11. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    Uh, you have another singles match Sunday, too, Kiddo. :)
     
  12. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    Nothing to fool with, Cindy. I went to the hospital twice in Memphis with heat exhaustion, a step away from heat stroke. Watch your salt and those other electrolyte thingies; I was sweating away all my sodium and paid for it dearly.

    Be careful out there.
     
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    2 weeks ago my doubles partner quit at 4-4 because the heat was making him dizzy.
     
  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Alice, the transition from clay to hardcourt no longer bothers me. I take lessons on clay in the winter and hardcourt in the summer. The main difference is that with clay I have to be careful not to set my feet too soon because of the bizarro bounces.

    Yeah, working to get a reliable second serve is time well spent. My own mental drill for the second serve is to make sure that, no matter what else happens, to accelerate the racket. The natural tendency when a serve is important is to "be careful," which translates into slowing the racket down as you swing. That is a guaranteed double-fault.

    Say. Did I ever tell you my serve grip story? No?

    I had been playing just a few months and still hadn't played a competitive match. I was taking a drill class, and we were working on serving. This one guy saw me serve and told me I had the wrong grip. He said I needed to serve with Continental, and if I continued serving with my forehand grip I would never develop a good serve and would be limited because I would never serve with any spin. I hit a couple of serves with this new grip, and I had no control at all. The serves didn't even land in the court. It felt very awkward and weird.

    He said he'd make me a deal. He said that he wanted me to serve (including some practice with the hopper) with that grip for two weeks. He said that if I didn't feel comfortable with the new grip at the end of that time then I could go back to my old grip.

    It didn't even take the full two weeks. I am so grateful that someone steered me away from serving with the wrong grip. I think my arm would fall off if I tried to serve with a forehand grip now. Because of this guy's advice, I can now hit varieties of spin that vex and annoy my opponent. I have a long way to go with my serve, but at least I don't have to also fix my grip.

    Thank you, Ed!!
     
  15. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    oh, that's right...game on, X!
     
  16. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    yep. that's exactly my problem. i get so tense that i can barely swing my racquet at all. stiff arm & shoulder=serves that hit the back fence...without bouncing. i knew it was going to be bad when i showed up at the courts and i was so nervous that i sounded like a chipmunk that had been inhaling helium.
     
  17. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Doubles is up tomorrow for me, though I think there is a great possibility of being rained out. I really, really, really hope we don't, even though we're playing what looks like a pretty tough team.

    If we do get to play, my goal is going to be *not* choking in the second set!
     
  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, *Snap!*

    Got a win on Court One doubles in our 3.5 season debut, against a lady that destroyed two of my teammates last season. By my side was my Big Serving Amazon partner, who serves like a Dude. The one who is very rusty and who needs time to find her mojo. I believe she has played 3 USTA matches in 2009 and doesn't practice. Many layers of rust there.

    Normally, she serves first because she has a first serve that is flat-out unreturnable for 3.5 women. My job is to put away any balls they manage to frame. Alas, she wasn't sure how her serve would behave, so I had to serve first. I was immediately broken. Same old story. Groundstroke error from me. Volley error from partner. Winner from opponent. Groundstroke error from me. Lob winner from opponent. I think I only held once or twice all night.

    It didn't matter, though. I made up for it by making a nuisance of myself at net. We fell behind early, going down 2-4. We steadied ourselves as our opponents visibly tightened, and we rebounded to take the set 7-5. Then we calmly took the second set 6-3. It was a fun match.

    I can definitely see huge improvement from last season at net. I wasn't panicking if I had to hit a half-volley. I had winners off of balls I would have booted last year. Still, I need to stop blasting volleys right at the opponents and I need to use my head and find the empty court. Shots came back that shouldn't have come back. Doh!

    My groundstrokes were a bit constipated, which was frustrating. If I stayed back, I got into these protracted push rallies with one opponent, and the minute I came in she lobbed my partner and sent me scrambling back to cover every single lob. This was often enough to cause me to hit a pitiful defensive shot with subsequent loss of point. The only way I could win points on my serve was to wait for a chance to hit a lob or go down the line, and I didn't always make these shots. I was drenched in sweat from running down all those lobs.

    Still, a win is a win. Our opponents defaulted both singles courts, we won the three doubles courts, so we went 5-0. We sit alone in first place in our division.

    Better enjoy it. This will not last long. :(
     
  19. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    That sounds like it was fun. I'm planning on going to one of the majors some time soon. Or maybe one of the Masters tournaments. I've been wanting to go ever since I started watching tennis nearly 4 years ago.
     
  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have nothing but positive things to say about Indian Wells. I have been to US Open and Legg Mason. Indian Wells is way better for the money, IMHO. The setting is just so intimate!
     
  21. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Just out of curiosity, which year/s did you go to see the US Open?
     
  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    US Open was 1995, Sampras v. Agassi final. Also saw the boys and girls finals, I think. I have a memory of going again for one day of the early rounds few years later, but I have no idea what year it was. I believe they have since built a new larger stadium, which is a minus in my eyes.

    I prefer the Masters' events, where you have two top players facing each other, one right after another. Less interesting IMHO is Federer beating the pants off of some wide-eyed guy who is happy he didn't lose in qualifiying at a major again.
     
  23. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Quick update...more will come later when I have more time!

    The good news:
    *Team won
    *Partner and I won a nailbiter 6-2, 1-6, 1-0 (10-8 )
    *No traffic

    The bad news:
    *I missed my exit and ended up lost in DC!
    *I got a parking ticket
    *Had at least arguments during our match, and at one point wondered if I was going to have to pull my partner off of one of our opponents! :shock: Ok, so, maybe exaggerating a bit, but it was an *interesting* match.

    More later! This match might just need a whole thread of its own! It involved a contentious 'let' call, and I was thinking 'if only Cindy were here then we would know what to do!' :)
     
  24. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    No more updates? Quiet weekend?

    Ok, I have to add a bit more detail to the craziness that was Saturday.

    Of course, with the weather, the speculation as to whether or not the match would happen had my phone ringing nice and early. I do really like how, for DC matches, the coordinators are on site the whole time, so if it rains there, then I'll know. It is very normal here for it to be pouring 10 miles away, but dry down at the courts.

    So, I head out like normal, having checked the traffic and seeing things were good. So good in fact, that I drove right past the exit to Hains Point! LOL Whoops! Only, now, I have no clue where I'm going, and the lane I'm in ends up exiting on 12th ST. Ok, number streets, I can do this! LOL I make my way back over around the National Mall, and see signs for East Potomac Park. I felt like I could figure it out, but I've never one to the park from this direction, and it is tricky with all the little roads there. Sure enough, I turned too soon, and ended up driving around the reflecting pools (I think?), though, the monuments were the only thing helping me out at the point! Washington on my left, Lincoln on my right! I *somehow* found the park and the courts, and breathed a huge sigh of relief as I still had 30 minutes before our start time. Maybe that's why I didn't notice the 'no stopping/standing' sign posted?

    My team all gets there with plenty of time, we hand in the line-up, and the rain manages to hold off. As we walk onto the courts, I glance over to my car, and sure enough, there is a cop writing me a ticket! And not just me, he was just going down the line of cars! Yikes! So, I throw down my things, introduce myself to my opponents like this 'Hi, I'm Topaz, and a cop is writing me a ticket, please warm up without me, I'll be right back!'. I take off running to the cop, and say that I'm fine with the ticket, please don't tow me. He says "I'm not going to call a tow truck for 30 cars, but you didn't hear that from me' and I run back to the court.

    Our opponents gave us the slowest and most horrible warm-up in the history of warm-ups. They would strollllllll to get a stray ball and basically put no effort into it whatsoever. I think the run to my car was a better warmup! It basically didn't bother me, though, and I just went about business.

    We get started, and it seems like it is going to be a pretty competitive match. And then, it showed signs of being a contentious match, too. For instance, I'm receiving serve:

    -serve goes wide-
    Me: 'out' (with a hand signal)
    Opposing net person: 'Ace! You go girl!' (with a hand slap to her partner)
    Me: Uh, ladies, I called it out. We make the calls on our side.
    Opposing net person: That was an ace! She (pointing to my partner) said it was good.
    -evidently my partner had signaled good, and nobody heard my out call (which I"m pretty sure of since I had the better look) while the other girl was yelling and screaming 'ace'-
    Me: Ok, I didn't know that. Carry on.

    We start rolling in the first set. They are overhitting, and serving pretty poorly as well. We wrap up the first set 6-2. My partner, however, is really having an issue with the stalling that the opponents are doing. They are playing horrendously slow (probably to break up our momentum). I know if we say something, they are just going to yell at us again, so I say 'hey, don't let them see it if bothering you, or they will get worse'.

    I will give credit where it is due. They really adjusted their game in the second set and 'fixed' where they went wrong in the first set. They started rolling in the second set, and suddenly no longer stalling. My partner (love her to death) would go to get the 3rd ball, and they would try to stop her, and she said 'no, that's ok, i'm going to get it'. Hahaha!

    Then this is where I needed Cindy. I will try to make this as clear as possible:
    • I'm receiving serve
    • a stray ball enters our court from an adjacent court
    • i see it, but do not call let
    • i hit the ball
    • women from the other court call let
    • my return goes into the net
    At this point, my partner hits the ball to the server and says 'take 2'.

    And that is when h*ll breaks lose. One of the opponents (net girl) starts *screaming* 'oh no you don't! Don't try to do that! That is our point' and on and on. Really, just out of nowhere, totally rude, and completely uncalled for. My partner says 'but they called a let, I was distracted by the ball'. Net girl says 'But SHE (me) hit it already'.

    However, I'm also pretty sure that players on another court can't call a let on someone else's court. However, these courts are also very close to each other, and they called it so nobody would step on it.

    Now, I think the net girl was right, because the let was called after I hit the ball. However, her behavior and they way she handled herself was just disgusting. Totally, again, completely uncalled for. I'm still in shock just kind of thinking about it. My partner is one of the most straight up players I know, and when she said 'take two' it was in the most calm, non-confrontational voice you've pretty much ever heard.

    At this point I say 'Hey! We are not arguing with you. We are discussing what happened. Let's just play tennis.'

    We lose the second set 1-6.

    And won the match tiebreak 10-8!!!

    Ahhh, the best revenge against opponents like these, is to beat them!

    Oddly enough, they were sweet as pie after the match.

    Turns out that this team has a reputation for gamesmanship tactics. There were some things going on on the other doubles courts, too (but not on the singles courts to my knowledge). My team took all the courts, and we more than likely won't see them again this season. But if I'm still around when we play them next season, I'm going to take the pages from The Code addressing time issues and line calls and lets, print them out, and give copies to my team so if/when those things come up, when they start having someone yell in their face, they just hand them the rules.

    Oh, the team also tried to walk onto the courts before the designated time, and got called back off by one of the coordinators. They are not a new team...they know they can't go on until the whistle blows.

    Cindy, I'd be very interested in your take on this (especially the 'let' situation), and also if you've had any similar experiences with the gals on this team.
     
  25. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    Nice job beating them Topaz =)
     
  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Topaz, I don't know the team you played, but I vaguely know one of your opponents. Has a Serena Williams FH (except the part about it landing in the court) and no BH to speak of. I'd love to know if that has improved.

    Anyway, I think the way The Incident should have been handled is point to your opponent. Neither of you two called a let. Now, say you had struck your return as a high lob, and your partner noticed the rolling ball while your shot was still in the air and called a let. In that case, I would say a let would be appropriate.

    And yes, bring the Code to matches. It's the only way to win an argument with some people.

    Congratulations on what officially qualifies as a winning streak!!

    As for me, I play 3.5 on Wednesday and 4.0 on Friday. I do not see any winning streaks in my future. :(
     
  27. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Haha! Nope, hasn't improved, and her partner had no FH to speak of, so that's pretty much how we rolled through the first set. They switched sides the second set, and stopped overhitting as much, but still...on MP it was a BH into the net by the opponents that won us the match.

    OH, and I agree. It was the rudeness with which they treated my partner that I had a big problem with. And, she just heard someone say 'let', she didn't know where it came from...we were right on the end by the road/river, and you know how noisy it is down there sometimes. They were just utterly ridiculous in their gamesmanship...beware if you play them!

    I have it, just not in my tennis bag...will rectify that before the next match.

    Good luck! Don't sell yourself short!
     
  28. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Wow...


    ...I really don't know how you folks put up with this stuff. Win, lose, or draw, this just doesn't sound like my idea of fun any more, which is why I never play NTRP anything, just age group and Men's Open tournaments, where this kind of stuff rarely, if ever, happens...
     
  29. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    It is the exception, not the rule. I'm not going to sit out of playing great tennis on a great team just because one team in the league plays it kind of stinky.
     
  30. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Okay, fine...

    ...let's do as Allen Ginsburg once suggested, and eat reality sandwiches. You're not playing great tennis, you're playing NTRP 3.5 doubles, which, by definition, is not great tennis. To an extent, of course, I'm wrong...if it's great to you, then that's all that counts. However...isn't it ironic that the whole NTRP scheme is designed to do pretty much antithetical things which are?

    - Make everyone feel wonderful about the fun, friendly competition he or she experiences at whatever level he or she happens to find him or herself, and

    - Clearly delineate the great from the not-so great in more or less objective terms. If you're a 7.0, you're great, if not, well...you get the picture.

    Let me give you an analogy from another sport that will perhaps explain where I'm coming from. I'm 60 years old, and my winter competitive sport is Masters alpine ski racing. We don't have any ability ratings, just age groups...which also exist in USTA tournaments. Oddly enough, my age class (Men's 60-64) is one of the most competitive overall in the entire Master's field. At a 2009 Rocky Mountain Master downhill, where all of us on the podium in my class were clocked at 65 mph plus, I was fifth in my age class. A great result, because the guy who won, my friend Jerry Sorenson, was 4th overall, in a field that included 20 something ex-college racers, ex World Cup racers, and ex World Pro Championships winners. Of course, if I'd have won my class, that would have been great, but the fact that I was something like 13th overall kind of made up for it.

    So, on the one hand, it's fine to keep up with this chat room, but you need to understand that what you're doing is basically only a very small part of the larger world of tennis. You've got the 3.5 NTRP thing pretty well wired...is that all there is to life? You have to realize that every tennis player...Roger Federer, the Williams sisters, whomever...was by any reasonable definition, at one point, a 3.5 player..but they quickly left that in the dust. Isn't that a goal to strive for, being not only better, but much better than you were last year? As opposed to "here's how to counter-gamesmanship Team B in the next league match..."
     
  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Boy, I just don't know what to say, SkiRacer. So I'll throw out random observations:

    Yes, NTRP makes people everyone "feel wonderful about the fun, friendly competition he or she experiences at whatever level he or she happens to find him or herself." Why is that a bad thing? What is wrong with knowing that, each time you take the court, you have a chance to challenge yourself and perhaps win and feel good about your play?

    One of the reasons I found foot racing (10Ks, 10-miler distance) to be so unrewarding was that there was no way I'd ever win anything. Oh, I might shave a few seconds off of my personal best. Yawn. Or I might wake at the crack of dawn, run as hard as I could, and be no faster than the last time I tried it. Scrolling down through hundreds of names in the race results to find my name buried in the middle of the pack wasn't especially fun or rewarding.

    Yes, I know that the exploits of three women playing low-level league tennis is a very small part of the larger world of tennis. And therefore what? I long ago came to grips with the fact that I am a very tiny and unimportant component of anything I happen to enjoy doing in this world. When I played piano more, my pitiful little recitals were a small part of the larger world of music. That was OK. I liked doing it, and that was all the justification I needed.

    I kind of like this board because people come here and share their weird little experience in the tennis world. Nothing any of us says or does makes a bit of difference to the tennis world at large. Me, I'm fine with that, and I'm just pleased to have found people who like tennis as much as I do.
     
  32. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    OMFG! *slaps forehead* thank you, thank you, thank you for your astute observation...without your comment, i would never have roused myself from my delusion that i was a touring professional.

    i watched topaz play yesterday, you tool, and she does play great tennis, as a result of hard work & dedication, and you know what else? it's fun to play with her! it's grrr-8! your overblown, pompous & condescending dictates? not so much.
     
  33. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    What is your problem here? I've met great people and had great experiences playing tennis. I've had great wins, and great losses. If my little experiences aren't enough to be great to you...well, jeez, I don't really care. Go read someone else's thread...someone much more worthy of your time.

    Uh, what is your point here, and what does it have to do with anything I said? Yes, I know I'm a 3.5. I don't do this professionally, so the improvements I've made to get here are pretty *great* in my opinion.

    This doesn't explain anything...other than you felt the need to stroke your own ego here. If you've actually read the thread, you will see that we are quite honest here, and haven't ever pretended to be something that we are not.

    What. The. Hell.

    Listen, you don't have to read. What in the world led to such a rude, condescending reply? I have made great friends and had great experiences playing tennis, even at my oh-so-lowly level of 3.5. Who are you to judge that?

    I've been very clear of my goals here. I was sharing a not so great experience I had. My partner and I, however, did not partake in the gamesmanship. And my only suggestion to deal with it, if you were actually reading, was to take a copy of the rules. What is your problem with that?

    Ummm, my life so far has involved more than one trip to hell and back. I don't need any lectures. Take your crap and peddle it elsewhere. I'm having fun playing tennis, and nothing you can say is going to take that away from me.

    You don't like the thread? Again, feel free to leave. We won't miss you.
     
  34. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Very well said Cindy. Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Ahhh, Alice! Well, hey...we might never be touring professionals, but at least we wear the same dresses they do!!! ;)
     
  35. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    OK, onto tonight's match report. Here's a disclaimer:

    Yes, I know I'm nothing but a lowly, pitiful 3.5. I know what I do matters naught to some others, but just to myself. And that's why I do it. :) Any questions? Take a number! Please feel free to ignore this post and any others.

    Played #1 singles. My opponent was a very nice, tall lady who I did not know at all. The warm-up...well, it scared me a bit! I could tell, right away, that I was going to have to work hard in this match. But hey, that is ok...hard work never hurt anyone, right?

    I served first, which pleased me, and went out with my first-3-game strategy. Only this time, I just didn't *quite* execute it as well as I did before...didn't quite place the serves, overhit the FH. It was like everything was just a bit off kilter, ya know?

    And my opponent, C...wow, she could just get everything back. And she usually got it back deep, although she wasn't hitting with a lot of pace. I have to say, I had my opportunities. I had plenty of short balls to put away, and again, I would *just* miss, over and over and over again. I was also noticing that I was not being patient, and would not last more than 3 strokes in a rally before making an error.

    And just like that, I lost the first set 1-6.

    Ok, at least that left plenty of time, right? So, onto the second set. We hold serves, with my serving a marathon game to hold and keep it at 2-all. I just kept telling myself 'hang in there, you never know what can happen'.

    And I broke her to take a lead at 3-2. And suddenly...I could *feel* it...I just relaxed. Everything clicked. Everything fell into place. I was moving well, everything I hit was in, and I started putting away those short balls. I hit one BH down the line winner that just even amazed me! I found two things worked on this gal...hitting behind her when I would see her break to the other direction, and short angles. I had to go for those short angles.

    I have to say, that set of tennis was probably the best I've every played. I did it...I found the zone!!! And I won the second set 6-3!

    Time for the match tiebreak, first one to 10 wins. And...as quickly as I had discovered it...I lost it again. Again, I was *just* missing on my FH, and it seemed to me that she was going for just a bit more, and not missing. On match point, we had the longest point of our entire match...I stopped counting after 15 strokes (I'm not kidding here people)....but one of my FH went every so wide, and the match was over.

    So, yes, a loss...but one that I can take some good things from.

    The Bad.
    *Lack of consistency in that first set.
    *The streakiness of my playing has me a bit concerned.
    *Too much overhitting in that first set.
    *Loss of focus in the TB.

    The Good
    *I didn't panic, and I didn't get down on myself.
    *My rebound in the second set.
    *I found the Zone! Now, I just have to learn how to keep it!

    So, really...the things that I have to work on...maybe a bit more strategy (I didn't really know what to do with this girl to win a point in that first set), but mostly mental.

    And, this is one of the things I love about tennis! It works your brain and your body! :)

    My opponent couldn't have been a lovelier person, too. This is the rule. Not the exception. So, yes, a loss, but I had fun playing that match, I really did. And I have several things to take away from it to both work on as well as say 'good job.'
     
  36. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Good luck tomorrow Alice!!!! :) Remember to breathe!
     
  37. magmasilk

    magmasilk New User

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    Of course no one can be a 7.0 at everything. Federer probably isn't a 7.0 in abstract algebra. And in 25 years, when you're dust in the dirt, no one will remember where you placed in some random ski event. So how do we go on; what's the point? Maybe, we can take satistfaction in self-improvement, for our own pleasure with no need of outside approval. And maybe if we work hard enough, every so often, we can hit a perfect drop shot that even federer would think is great.
     
  38. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    But what do you really think, Allie? Come on, you can let loose here because this person deserves it. :)
     
  39. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    You tell him, Lady Topaz. I'm surprised he came down from the clouds long enough to read your post. As my frat brothers used to fondly say in Anglo-Saxon language you ladies would never use, and excuse my manners for doing so, F him. ;)
     
  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, Topaz. You are amazing. I'm terrified to play singles (let alone Court One), and here you are winning sets and matches. Keep it up!!!
     
  41. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Or, maybe one perfect BH down the line! ;)

    Heh, heh...I'm going to try. I have a wonderful team and captain, and they gave me a big hug after the match before they even asked the score, as they were watching and they knew it was a dogfight. They also know that I'm transitioning to singles this year, and have said win or lose, they will keep playing me. Once you're on this team, you are part of a family really...as corny as that sounds.
     
  42. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    This is it! This is the feeling that lets you treat every match - a social hit with friends, a tournament finals, the deciding USTA team tennis match - the same. Once you can sustain that feeling through a whole match, you're in tennis nirvana. You just can't wait to hit the next ball. And you don't have to win every match to keep that feeling, when you feel you have played to your best level. Sometimes, other people are just better on a given night, but nobody wins them all - except maybe the Almighty skiracer dude.

    Great progress, Lady Topaz, a big mental step for you. I think before this year is over, you'll have that feeling for every game of every match you play. I believe in you. :)
     
  43. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Xis, yeah, it was pretty cool...I just need to learn to hang onto it and not let it go! Really is just a mental thing for me at this point. I mean, sure, there are things I need to work on with my strokes, but I don't think anything stroke-wise is holding me back at all (in contrast to what sometimes happens with my head!).
     
  44. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    A few more reflections (dedicated to skiracer!):

    *One of my captains commented last night that she saw me be quite successful when I came in and either volleyed or took the ball out of the air. She thinks I should do it more often. Thoughts? One of our other singles players is actually a Serve and Volleyer (yes, a 3.5 woman S&V singles player), and it is very effective.

    *Holy moly, my legs are just so tired today. Up until the season I have been working out 6 days a week. My plan is to never lift the day before a singles match with at least 2 days of lifting a week. Other workouts will be fit in as I can get them in. Today I"m supposed to lift, and I'm just sooo tired! :(

    *Eating. My gosh...I've been eating everything that isn't nailed down today! I count calories, and I know I'm way over what I normally eat. I was fine before/during/after my match last night, and I ate a small snack after the match and some chicken when I got home. But still...today = ravenous. Is this normal? Is it just part of adjusting to singles after having been used to playing doubles? Plus, this was a much more physical match than my last one, too.

    Alice, I hope you didn't get rained out...again!
     
  45. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    iwoniwoniwoniwoniwon

    ha! it was a knock-down, in-the-trenches, dogfight today. and i won! yipee! i'm so high right now that i can't even think in complete sentences.

    first set:
    • had shin splints as soon as we started playing. you know that pain where with every step, you can almost feel the individual muscle fibers tearing? yeah, not fun to chase down dropshots on the hardcourt.
    • got confused on the score: thought i was up 4-2, but it was actually 3-3.
    • amidst the pain and confusion, lost the set 6-3
    second set:
    • shin splints went away, and i found my way to the land that topaz described: i felt relaxed and my feet felt fancy-free. racked up a 5-2 lead.
    • lost my way (or maybe my opponent found her own happy place), to be tied at 6-6.
    • tiebreak: maintained a lead throughout, to win 7-4.
    match tiebreak:
    • lost my way again to trail 7-2.
    • then my opponent seemed to lose her way, and tied to 10-10.
    • won my two service points.
    final score: 3-6; 7-6 (7-5); 1-0 (12-10)
     
  46. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well done!

    Not to nit-pick, but how would you be serving two points starting at 10-10 to win 12-10? I thought in all tiebreakers the service alternates at odd totals. Or do you play the match tiebreak differently?
     
  47. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    On no, I'm in trouble now. You will still be on this euphoric high Saturday morning, and I'll be toast. Lord have mercy. :|

    Nice comeback, by the way. Good playing.
     
  48. alice301

    alice301 New User

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    you know, i was wondering the same thing as i was typing, but i was so confused the entire time--it was the first tiebreak experience for both me and my opponent. fortunately, my captain was there to walk us through it.

    so i guess it must have been 10-11 when i started to serve. and now i can't even remember if i did serve to win. it was all such a blur. i'm hoping that the more matches i play, the more i'll actually be able to remember the match!
     
  49. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Yayyyyy Alice!!!

    Way to hang in there! Wow, I think you must play well under pressure! :)

    I'm sensing a trend in our matches here...and that is 'streakiness'! LOL But, that means the momentum will swing back if we just *hang in there* like you did today!

    Oh, I'm so proud! I'm *beaming*!!!! :)
     
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Wow! You two are totally on a roll. Congratulations!!!

    I play tomorrow night. Doubles, Court 1, new partner. So what does that make her, Partner No. 53?
     

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