Sunday, July 8, 2012

On our differences (mixed doubles)

On Friday night, we played the same Bluemound opponents as before. They were playing much better than they did in our last match.

Chan served and volleyed effectively; I couldn't pass him by driving the ball crosscourt. And Juliet served really well: a low, flat serve that was hard to return.

So we lobbed. And Jim volleyed over their heads. We took the first set 6-2.

And maybe got a little too relaxed in the second set. We had already forgotten how competitive they were in the first; even though the set score wasn't close, many games had gone to deuce.

They were up 2-0 in no time.

Not exactly the tennis performance I'd intended for our friends — Lisa, Jane, and Phil came to cheer us on. But hey, at least Jane heard Jim swear only once.

A side note about getting ready for this match: I had tried to take care of myself — ran earlier in the week, played tennis Wednesday, rested Thursday. Jim geared up by switching to light beer. He also played singles, practiced his serve, and baked snickerdoodles.

And yet I did not want to play a third set. Even though we were on the air-conditioned Highlander courts, I felt a little off — maybe from the days of 100-degree heat.

Instead I talked to Jim about how well he was playing.

"Your turn," he said.

Clearly he had recovered from an earlier overhead that he'd hit out, after which he fell to his knees, wailing.

Ah, the drama.

I laughed. "We've all done that." I myself do it regularly (miss overheads, I mean, not laugh at my partner).

After the changeover, I said, "Maybe I shouldn't have laughed." I laughed again. "Or maybe not continued to laugh," he said.

Now we were down 2-4. Full speed ahead for Jim: "We're gonna get this game quickly, then I'm gonna win my serve." He has not quite caught on to my one-point-at-a-time approach.

But even though those things didn't happen quickly, they did indeed happen. If anyone can overpromise and then deliver, it's Jim.

We broke Chan's serve, then I held serve for a 6-2, 6-4 win.

A first for us. It's hard to believe you can have a comeback win — until it actually happens. Until you get it done, point by point.

Cheers to all that is possible!

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