Haters, this time of year has me dodging raindrops as often as I dodge hard volleys at my head. Our foursome of Nelson Simon and Henry Strozier vs. Mark and me was happy to get in 2 sets before the skies opened up.
Nelson and Henry were killing us at net in the first set. I was slashing my backhand volleys like Jack Sparrow on a drunken tear. Henry noticed, Worthy Opponent that he is, and kept lofting love letters high above my left shoulder.
If I could find a combination of letters that imitate the sound of shanking the ball, I'd put them here. Many times.
Nelson, too, zeroed in on a winning combination that Mark and I could not overcome. Drop anything in front of him, and he'd find the angle, right past me at net. I was caught flat-footed or leaning the wrong way. I could hear my coach in my ear: What ball were you looking at?
The one in my head, Coach, not the one on the court. We lost the first set, 6-3.
Mark and I turned it around in the second set by a) Mark getting more first serves in and b) me putting a little more oomph in mine. Not a lot, but just enough.
"Do you see how far in Henry is standing to receive your serve?" Mark asked me. No, I hadn't noticed. I was just trying to see the damned ball. I started swearing under my breath during my serves: "M*********er can't do that to ME!" Doesn't he know who I think I am?
That got a few more MPHs out of me, enough to crawl back from a 0-40 deficit and win my service game. Betcha they don't teach THAT at Bollittieri.
Second set was ours, 6-2. We were down a break early in the deciding third set when the rains came.
I'm going to call this match a tie, even though they had us by a break. Because I'm the writer of this blog, that's why.
Year to date:
Mark and me: 1 Henry and Nelson: 1