Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tennis 2012: Le Club, Week 4

Yesterday our team took four courts against Mequon! Let me preface this by saying that all of this recap (except the scores) is hearsay; I didn't get to see any of the matches.

At #1 singles, Jessica won 6-3, 6-0. As someone who's been lulled by the moonball rally only to watch her slam a down-the-line shot past me, I know that she controlled the match — probably the entire time.

At #1 doubles, Kim and Kristen also had a resounding win, 6-1, 6-3. Really nice job. You're a terrific team and I wish I had gotten to see you play. You seem to finish your matches quickly; if you dragged them out, I could at least see you. (Joking.)

At #2 doubles, Tash and Rebecca stayed tenacious to take a three setter, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Unfortunately the only thing I heard about this match was that Tash took a bathroom break. Good to know that we're allowed 90 seconds. As a side note, it is nice to be on the same team again as Rebecca. You're still the same funny, bubbly person that I remember from high school.

At #3, Mary and Rebekah fought hard but lost, 6-1, 7-5. Having played them, this is surprising (Rebekah's pace, Mary's angles). Rebekah, help me out with some details here. This is possibly my worst recap ever, as it is almost entirely speculation.

One court left. Me at #2 singles.

SPOILER ALERT: The rest of this post is all about me.

Starting with my mood: I was so nervous that I could barely eat lunch. But I went to Jose's anyway, figuring it was time to get back to my match-day routine of Mexican food. My co-worker Mike said I'd be fine once I started playing. He's a musician, and he said, "You just have to get through the first song." And my co-worker Jane, who's a marathon runner, reminded me to visualize my match.

Just before the match, I got more pep talks. Carol told me to keep my poker face, Sandy encouraged me to enjoy the match, Trish said I was scrappy. All good things — confidence boosters.

Once the match started, I was happy with the relative isolation of Court 10, far from the viewing area and away from the rest of the team. Not knowing how any of my teammates were doing, I could focus.

My opponent was a hard hitter and really strong in the warmup. I had trouble keeping the rally going. But once we started the match, I felt really good. I got through the first song.

I took the first set, 6-2.

Then she started making fewer errors and hitting more winners, and I lost the second set, 6-2. I was still going for it, but she was out-playing me.

I went to splash cold water on my face ("Tomato face," Mary said).

But Mary and Glenna coached me. Here's what I can remember:

"What's her strongest shot?"
"Forehand down the line."
"What's her weakest shot?"
"I don't know!"
"Moonball her. Slow it down." And, "Backhand, backhand, backhand."

Possibly my favorite piece of advice: "You're not tired." Uh, I was really tired. But I felt good getting back on the court. I was not going to implode while they watched.

(It's just a thing, but I've always wondered if whoever takes the second set is the favored player; momentum is on their side.)

Somehow I stayed with it. I was up 4-1, then 5-2. Then I won the next game.

The most amazing thing happened during the match. Sure, winning was great. But so was feeling like myself on the court again. I think I got a little lost at the beginning of the season, but now I'm back.

So, my dear teammates, if I seem self-involved in this blog post, cut me a little slack. I'll get back to doubles (Team Noonimoto!) and then I'll also have plenty of time to witness your successes. Thanks for all of your support. This was one of the highlights of my tennis experience.



Jenny said...

Congrats on the win!! You have an amazing talent for not going to show my team your wonderful way with words to describe the games...I cannot compare :)

Naomi said...

Jenny, you're too sweet. Thanks for the comment. It's like you're a teammate! And you could definitely be your team's blogger. :)