MUSINGS ON TENNIS – November 2018

By Gino Zamparo

I’m playing tennis again and really enjoying it. The tennis courts in Andes, on the school grounds, are very useable. The net is a bit lower than it should be and I like that! The crank to raise the level of the net is rusted and so it can’t be raised. Yay! My regular tennis partner’s name is Jeff and I think he enjoys the lower net as well. We play at about the same level, I guess: “beginner with experience,” if there is a box to check on the Tennis Level intake form at the courts. There is, of course, no such form designed to match compatible players. There are just two courts often sitting empty and perhaps lonely. I’m glad to be occupying them and giving them some use.

Jeff and I try to play full sets. We’ve learned that if we don’t play full sets and just volley the ball we lose focus and find ourselves talking at great length about almost anything imaginable, while retrieving tennis balls.

I was on the tennis team at school many years ago. Muscles do remember, I’ll tell you that! Certain strokes and moves come back to me and I feel good returning a serve, hitting a nice backhand or serving within bounds. Can the muscles with their amazing memories achieve the same power shots as those of years gone by? Ha!  NO! Oh well.  Sometimes I feel like I’ll race and sprint to reach and return a ball and then I’ll mumble something like, “…that was my 25-year-old self running after that ball,” thinking I could return the shot and, of course, missing it. Sometimes I murmur, “…is there a hole in my racket!?” as a ball seems to fly right through it. Sometimes I’ll start to run for a ball and then just grumble, “bleh, why bother?” this usually after we’ve been playing for an hour or so.

It’s still great fun. And I’m so glad to be playing again. It also adds to my exercise. I’m mainly a walker, hiker and sometime cyclist. Adding tennis is good for more calorie burning, a good goal as part of the fun!

Back to the courts now, where the score is….DEUCE!~