Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Manhattan Project (of tennis)

Well, it's come to this.

I beat Eli 15.2 6-2 on Monday, but my time is running out. I just softballed him and he kept making errors, but that crap is not going to work all summer. I'm going to get my head handed to me if I keep doing that.

An aside: I'm hoping that at some point in the summer I can say to him, "If you come at the king, you best not miss." Best line ever.

So, in order to beat back the marauder for another few months, I'm doing something unthinkable: I'm working on my serve.

My groundstrokes and volleys are solid. Very solid, for an old man, at least. My serve, though, has always been terrible, from the time I was 15 and had just started tennis.

Forty. One. Years.

That's a hell of a long time to do something wrong. My terrible serve spans five decades and two centuries.

Now, though, the competitive imperative demands that I stave off defeat as long as possible. So I'm now taking secret lessons from Eli's tennis instructor, much to his delight.

Here's how this goes. About every eight serve or so, it feels something vaguely like it should. In rhythm. Comfortable.

Or maybe it's every tenth serve. It's not very often.

Plus, I've been trying to practice this in a freaking hurricane. Today there were 25+ winds steady, with gusts to 45. I'm trying to hit a knuckeball with a tennis racket, basically.

Do that 100 times and it wears on you.

That's okay, though. This is the one time I could see this through. If my arm doesn't fall off, this is happening.

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