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Featured Meltdowns


Finding Roger Federer Meltdown footage on YouTube is like finding a seat on the Number 4 Lexington Avenue subway at 9:30 in the morning. [Non-New Yorkers, take note: it's rare.] The Greatest of All Time usually deals with blown shots by dragging his middle finger across his forehead and tucking his hair behind his ear. Not this time. This was a semi-final match with Novak Djokovic at the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Florida. Djokovic just broke Fed in the third and deciding set and was up 15-0 when the Greatest of All Time took his eyes off a routine approach shot that could have evened the score. Federer went through lots of racquets when he was playing the junior circuit; wonder if he felt a little wave of nostalgia upon banging this one hard into the court.

On the Sideline

Popcorn Night

Worthy Opponents AND Partners: from left, Marna Herrity, Melissa Murphy, Andrea YarringtonSunday night, when I was a kid, was Popcorn Night.  Dad would pop up a big bowl while my brothers and sister and I would hunker down in front of the TV for Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and The Wonderful World of Disney.  I liked knowing that, every Sunday, that's what we would do.  It was predictable.  It helped set the rhythm of the week.

All these years later, tennis has replaced popcorn on Sunday nights. Much better for me, and I don't have to floss afterward.

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Rectangular Court, or Fifth Circle of Hell?

In line for approach shot drills with Ellen and Antoinette."I bet you don't hate tennis now," coach and Tennis Saint Todd Snyder said during our final team practice this weekend.

I had just hit several strong, sharp volleys in a row.  Yes, people, I hit them consecutively, rather than ten minutes apart. And yes, I was loving tennis at the moment.

What was I doing right?  I had decided that I was going to drill the damn ball.  And because I started thinking about what the ball was doing, instead of what my body was doing, I saw the ball better.  

I love when I get to hit the snot out of the ball.  It makes me feel powerful, strong and capable, all the qualities I enjoy about sport and fitness. 

In rare moments, tennis players approach the unthinking spontaneity of the leopard....These moments are exhilarating.

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Another Indoor Season Bites the Dust

I wish I could say my Thursday morning seasonal court season ended with me falling backwards into the clay in sweaty, triumphant exhaustion, like Rafael Nadal. Nope. The season ended like it did for this pigeon outside the tennis bubble: on my back in the dirt, alright, but nowhere near triumphant.

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Worthy Opponent: Henry Strozier


Henry Strozier is an actor. You know him from those cranberry commercials, where he and his buddy are wearing overalls and standing in a bog. On the tennis court, he's an actor, too.  He acts like he doesn't know what he's doing. But that would be wrong.

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Curl Up and Die

What a rare pleasure it was to be up, 5-0, against my husband at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club. 

It was my monthly doubles clinic with Anne Hobbs, a former tour player who reached #6 in the world in doubles in 1984.  Yeah, she's good.  I was playing with Volley Girl.  Mark was filling in for a no-show and playing with Crosscourt Forehand.

He had struggled through massive traffic to get to the club, and so he was unfocused and stressed out. He joined us more than an hour into our clinc, so Lefty was also confused.  We were about to close it out.

And now, Anne was going all coach-y and ruining it.

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