Blog Index
Follow Me
Hate Tennis, Like My Blog!

I'm Following
Meltdown of the Week


Players know Serena Williams will kick their ass if they try to get in the way between her and a Grand Slam trophy.  Little did Eva Asderaki know this includes umpires.  Asderaki got her butt verbally kicked after she penalized Williams a point against Samantha Stosur in the 2010 US Open championship.  Williams, down a set, had screamed, "C'mon!" while blasting a forehand to break Stosur in the first game of the second set.  Asderaki ruled it a hinderance.

Nothing hindered Serena during the changeover.

Watching this, I know why Serena became a certified nail technician.  It makes your hands so much prettier when you're making those "talk to the hand" moves.


On the Sideline

Worthy Opponents: Mark and Jackie Ruvolo

Worthy Opponents Jackie Ruvolo and my husband MarkWhy go to church of a Sunday morning when I speak urgently and often with Him on a tennis court?  It was me and I Hate Tennis US Open double cake winner Beth Allen versus another league teamie, Jackie Ruvolo and my husband Mark calling for divine inspiration (intervention?) this morning at the Church of Prospect Park Tennis Center.  

Mark had shrugged off his own I Hate Tennis tanking moment from several days back and was playing with a renewed sense of aggression at net and camaraderie with Jackie.  I overheard him say several times to J-Ruv, "Okay, let's get 'em right here."  Meanwhile, Beth and I were articulating a far less energetic rallying cry: "Let's keep our eye on the ball and not do anything dumb."

Mark was serving well, straight out of the gate, and won the first game.  I served first for our team, and was broken at 30-40.  We got the break back on Jackie, though, and then, following in the footsteps of a typical pro women's match, Beth was broken.  Sheesh.  The XX chromosomal pairing must have a gene sequence for losing serve.

If you think of something to counteract that, let me know."

Mark held his serve, with a high, deep passing shot that soared past Beth at net and clipped the back of the baseline.  He was sending a lot of balls straight at us at net and drawing errors from our overheads.  One of these days, that is going to be my best shot, and he's going to have to hit through us, not over us.  But not this set.  He pulled us in with short balls, then put up lobs that either got over us or that we failed to successfully spike.  They took the first set, 6-2.

Now THAT'S more like it. Jackie gets in the Hater spirit of things. Mark says he will not be told what to do.Beth was the one to recognize the pattern.  "Mark keeps pulling me in to net, and then going over our heads."  She looked at me, dead serious.  "If you think of something to counteract that, let me know."

"Well, one thing I notice is that we're moving in to net without stopping to see what they're going to do with the ball," I said, remembering a recent doubles clinic.  "We've got to stop, split step, and hold our ground, and not just rush in.  Haters, I did NOT add, "like fools," though it would have been very literary of me.

We started holding our ground, hanging back a bit expecially when Mark was returning.  I started getting more overheads down into their court, rather than into the net.  Ah, the lessons are paying off!  Mark starting missing his high-percentage shots.  We were up 3-0.

But before you get too excited for us, remember, we're talking about tennis here.  The momentum shifted after a grueling service game for Beth that went to deuce at least 5 times.  Most of the advantage points were theirs, and we fought them off, but Mark and Jackie got the better of us in the end, again with high passing shots that we were not prepared for.  We broke back, though -- the WTA spirit lives on! -- getting Jackie with loopy, high balls to the baseline that kept Mark out of the picture at net.  The fifth game was my serve, and I caught Breaking Bad fever.  Then Mark holds.  And suddenly, what was once our 4-1 lead was whittled down to 4-3.  

A La Brea tar pit bubble. Haters, I did not step in this tdoay.My new spirit of play, of concentrating on just getting the ball over the net and between the lines, kept me on the court and not in the La Brea Tar Pits of fear and loathing.  I held serve and we won the second set, 6-4. Though everyone else was willing to play a tie-break for the last 10 minues of our court time, I was not.  "I want to stop."

That had Jackie and Beth giving me double bagels in disbelief, jaws hitting the Har-Tru.  "WHAT?  You are done?  You're never done.  You always, like, want to hit a bucket of balls and practice your serve after every match."

Not this time.  Now was the time to hit my knees and give thanks for second set redemption.  

Year To Date:

Mark and Beth: 1.  Jackie and I: 1.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author:  (forget stored information)
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
↓ | ↑
Some HTML allowed:
« Worthy Opponent: Jackie Ruvolo | Main | Saintly Pros: Nate Chura »