Monday, February 18, 2013

Our ALTA mixed seasons are over; USTA starts March 15

This winter's ALTA season was especially cold, and an untimely rain-out may have kept us out of the regular mixed doubles playoffs. Our senior mixed team ran into unbelievable competition - given the level - and my season puttered to a close with more lows than highs. But I'm looking forward to playing for the very first time in Atlanta's COMBO league at the 7.5 level.

My last match in regular mixed was a week ago Sunday and I was paired with my former partner at line 2 even though I'd played twice at line 5 (one win, one loss) and once at line 4 (a loss). Our captain was doing her best to position our team's lines against a familiar opponent in order to win 3, and remain in contention for the playoffs. Fortunately for me - feeling like a sacrificial lamb going into the day - our opponent's captain did the exact same thing and my partner and I found ourselves in a winnable match. In fact, the way it played out, the pressure was on for us to win our line. Fortunately, my former partner has really stepped up her game in the past year or more (since we last played together), winning two Ultimate Tennis singles titles and taking her ladies' ALTA teams to two City Championships. So, all I had to do was not screw up our chances.

We won the first set in a tiebreaker (7 points to 5) and were doing fine in the second until I lost my serve after going up 40-love. After dropping the second set 3-6, I served the first game of the third set, again getting up 40-love before finding ourselves at deuce, but we prevailed. Then, serving at 3-1 and again getting to 40-love, we had to fend off a break point before finally winning - after several deuce games - to all but wrap up the match with a 4-1 lead followed by a break for 5-1. We won the match and were ahead in two other matches before the rains came, which broke our team's rhythm. We then lost the two makeup matches which left us with a slim chance to make the playoffs going into the final weekend yesterday.

This past Saturday I played my last senior mixed match and it was against a familiar opponent (and the first place team). Unfortunately, my best recent partner and I continued to struggle. After going undefeated in our ALTA matches last year and winning our first this year, we lost our third straight match to end the season on a down note. Both teams - senior and regular mixed - finished in fourth place.

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