Thursday Doubles: Service Hold, куда вы идете?
Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 5:46PM
Amy Eddings in Doubles, Meltdowns, Mental Tennis, Mental Toughness, Worthy Comrades, Worthy Opponents

My banya rally cap. It exudes confidence in a match. Just ask Henry Strozier.No, I did not just post a naughty phrase in Russian, though you're right, Haters, to think I would.  It would certainly expand my on court repertoire, which has fallen into an F-bomb rut of late.  

куда вы идете 

is Russian for "Where did you go?"  I'm thinking like a Muscovite today, in homage to the new film version of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina."  (A delightful piece in the Dance section of the NYTimes focused on the movement in the film).  

I also used today's game to unveil my new rally cap: a felt wool hat I picked up while doing a post-Sandy/Election Day/Nor'easter shvitz at the Brooklyn Banya.

The hat protects the top of your head and ears from the intense heat of the steam and sauna rooms at Russian bath houses.  Today, it shielded me from my own internal inferno of scorn and dismay over my vacationing service game.  

Worthy Comrade Henry Strozier and I were defeated soundly by our Worthy Opponents, husband Mark and USTA women's league 3.5 stalwart Nancy Bowen, 6-2.  I was broken every time I served.  I also missed several cupcake floaters that Mark lobbed to my backhand. Instead of licking the frosting off my fingers, I was licked by my own tendency to swing and to look over at the other side of the net to make sure the court hasn't moved on me in the last 2 seconds.  

Me, Henry Strozier, Nancy Bowen: ready for our post-match platza.Mark got into a rhythm on my slow serves, slicing them back low and short, right past my Worthy Comrade Henry Strozier. Nancy didn't miss a trick at the net, pounding back everything I tried to get over her head.  (Yes, Haters, I was reduced to defensive lobs from the baseline.  It's a respectable shot, I know, but I'd give a million rubles for a good, hard drive.)

On the plus side, I won an overhead dual with Mark, finally getting a weak reply from him at the baseline that drifted wide.  And my banya cap did not fall off in the process!  It's a keeper. 

I haven't seen "Anna Karenina" yet, but it's on my 2012 bucket list.  It looks beautiful and tragic.  Just like tennis.

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