Monday, January 7, 2013

New tennis year, two new league seasons - a personal update

Saturday I played my first ALTA match since July 27, 2012 and - while my senior mixed men's doubles partner and I lost for the first time in 5 matches (dating back to last winter's season) - it was great to finally be competing again. Sunday was even better as my regular mixed doubles partner and I renewed our successes and extended our ALTA 3 match winning streak from last winter's regular mixed season (the captain of our summer team never paired us!) by winning our match 6-2, 6-2.

Regular readers of these neglected pages know that I played on five ALTA teams in 2012, all of which won their division (and the one I captained won the city); yes, I was blessed with great teammates! But I chose to sit out last fall - for the first time since I started playing ALTA in 2000 - and was injured after playing just two USTA mixed doubles matches that season, so I've had a long road back to playing league tennis again.

Fortunately, our regular mixed doubles captain arranged a seven week series of drills/lessons which started right after I'd had a four week stretch of resting my previously pulled groin muscle and was ready to start playing again. Probably because I wasn't back to 100% mobility - and court coverage has been one of my primary assets as a player - I started swinging my racquet really hard when I could get to the ball during our drills, which I actually believe has improved my game as I've gotten back to full strength. Additionally, our coach - who dubbed me "Lendl" during one practice - encouraged me to follow my strong forehands into the net to finish the point, so I added a new skill that's sure to pay dividends during these and future seasons.

Oh, btw, our senior mixed team split matches with a very competitive opponent on Saturday while our regular mixed team "took 5" yesterday.  Glory to God!

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