Monday, January 16, 2012

Playing tennis in winter conditions can be very challenging

As I wrote last January, being able to play Winter Tennis in Atlanta is more of a blessing than a curse, but it doesn't always feel that way.

As I mentioned in last week's postings, the first Sunday of this winter's ALTA season was rained out and the weather didn't get any better until Thursday night, sort of. In fact it sprinkled here between 4 and 5 PM and the clouds were dark and ominous thereafter. However, because it was so windy - a front moving through - the courts were dried and, except for the fact that it was bitter cold with the wind making it worse, we were able to begin our makeup matches on time at 7 PM.

However, shortly after our matches were underway, it began to snow. I'm not kidding. Fortunately, it was the small dry (from high clouds) variety that didn't persist or change the courts' surfaces to any great extent. But the wind and frigid air was enough to cause most of us to stay bundled or even wear gloves ... and it's not easy playing, or moving around the court that way. The good news is that our team did splendidly, taking all four lines played. Friday night was much better, though colder and below ALTA's 'required' 32 degrees, there wasn't any wind. Our team was able to secure the final victory and the season was underway with a perfect result to date.

Saturday's senior mixed matches began well. It was a cold, 29 degrees when I left my house, but the skies were clear and there was no wind, so with layers it was manageable and by the end of our first matches - both victories - it was bordering on pleasant. We ended up splitting matches with our opponents, whom we'll play again since there are only 4 teams in our division, and we're still in first place (if only by a point).

Sunday's mixed match was a showdown between 1st and 2nd place teams; unfortunately, we are now tied for second with the team that bettered us yesterday (meaning, technically we're in third) but it's early in the season, so it's nothing to be worried about just yet. What was worrisome was the deciding match featured yours truly, who couldn't have played worse unless he'd picked up his racquet with the wrong hand. I realized afterward that I wasn't moving very well - layers again? - probably because I had been sitting around for 4+ hours waiting for my line (5) to finally take the court. I'll need to remedy that situation before it repeats itself this coming weekend.

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