Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Ouch - eat those bagels

Ouch - eat those bagels

I had a brutal re-introduction to indoor fast carpet courts last night.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I have recently joined a new indoor tennis club where they have super fast carpet courts. Last night was my first game of singles at the club and it is safe to say I got my butt well and truly kicked.

The guy I played was just so in the groove, serving well, and hitting a series of big, deep forehands, and then stretching me with angled backhands.

And here's the killer - he served up a double bagel. Ouch.

I tend to win more matches than I lose and as far as I can remember I've never lost a set without taking at least two games, so to lose two sets 6-0, 6-0 was a new experience!

Back in the summer I wrote about how tennis is a game of small margins and never has it been more true for me than last night.

I had 4 unconverted breakpoints, took him to Deuce in at least 4 games, and believe it or not played well, hitting a number of great points. (I'm still taking a crumb of comfort from a blistering forehand down the line to win a long rally, and a classic one-two with a serve out wide to the ad side, followed by a cross court forehand winner in the deuce court)

It wasn't a question of beating myself with double faults or unforced errors. The other guy was simply the better player.

I felt a bit like Hewitt when he came up against Nadal at the Olympics. It took an awful lot of running and battling by me to stay in points, but when it mattered he had the extra quality and form.

But you know what? I came off the court buzzing and with a smile on my face.

OK I got slaughtered but the level of tennis was so high and so enjoyable. Indoor carpet tennis may or may not be proper tennis (discuss) but it is great fun and brings out the best in you.

I've got a long way to go before I get used to the surface, and even then I'm going to struggle against this dude. But that's why I joined the club. I want to improve and the only way is to play better players.

I never thought getting a double bagel could be so much fun!

After the match I found out that my opponent is top of the club tennis ladder. Which made me feel a little better. And he was kind enough to say I'll do well in the ladder. Time will tell !

1 comment:

Pamala Knight said...

Hi Steve!
What a brilliant story. I play on indoor fast hardcourts and you're right, the change in surface can be brutal on your game and ego. I went to Florida in the spring and played on clay. Needless to say, I was more frustrated with the slow pace and how I couldn't hit through the courts like I normally do. But, I had so much fun because it really forced me to think about my shots and to exercise the patience needed to execute a well-constructed point.

I'm glad you're excited about your double and your new club too.