Tuesday, 10 August 2010

No. 367 Of Three Strokes and You're Out!

I was playing tennis yesterday. This is the first time my tennis partner and I have been out playing this summer on grounds of poor weather and an awful lot of lethargy.

My tennis buddy, Colm, has one of the most spectacular first serves in the game. The wind up is so fast you'd think he's a human spring that has just been uncoiled. Sometimes he fires bullets over the net straight down the line without any hope of return fire. More often however, you hear a sound reminiscent of a "ping" colliding with a "crack" and the ball hits the service line his side of the court and bounces a few times before hopping over the net and dribbling out to where I am standing. "Not quite" I sport in the very best of British understatement.

When I first started playing Colm some two years ago I was so unfit that by about the fifth game in the first set I was so tired I was beginning to suffer from blurred vision. By the seventh I was positively hallucinatory and seeing two fluffy balls coming at me at once. What could I do but aim exactly for the point between the two?

I always had to win the point in three strokes for a needed a breather then before the next rally. Four strokes brought pain and God forbid if ever it went to five.

It's hard staying fit at our age. May be we should take up golf instead or abandon rackets and clubs altogether and do leisurely strolls. If we did I'd miss it I know. Just like his first serves...

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