Wednesday, May 24, 2017 (Court Day #28)

i arrived at Derby Park also the precisely at 9 a.m. It was overcast and cool. Turnout was lighter. The sixth net didn’t get set up until halfway through the morning.

There was nothing of very significant note today; it felt like a little step backward from Sunday.

Eric and I played against Terry Long and Marianne, which made us fairly balanced. Terry is a 5.0 doubles player and Eric and I are both better skilled than Marianne. When Terry was about to serve me for the first time, I suggested, “Put some spin on the ball.” If I was going to play with very strong player, I wanted to take advantage of it. I didn’t want him to play down to our level. “Ok,” said Terry, “I’ll challenge you.” Boy, he could get some speed on the ball! And spin on serves. I was able to return most of his serves, I think I might have missed one, maybe two. It seemed Eric had a bit harder time, but we were both having off days. I did get Terry with one of my outside short serves where the ball didn’t get back over the net. I earned a “nice serve” from him for that one. Eric and I lost by a couple points. Terry was great in taking advantage of every point opportunity that we gave him.

Lauren and I took on Daniel (whom I hadn’t seen in while) and Eric. After Terry, Daniel wasn’t so intimidating. Plus a month more of experience makes the ball “slow down”. Daniel may have been rusty, though. He put at least a couple of shot shots into the net—no one’s perfect.

Speaking of into the net, I inexcusably hit a couple of relatively easy returns into the net today. The same thing Stuart had instructed me about. “Give yourself time to get up to the net.” You don’t have to hit it hard back. A deep soft return is just fine. I played a game against Mike this morning. He stopped me after and kindly shared, “You don’t always have to hit it hard.” It’s the old “It’s placement, not power.” Or maybe more accurately, “Placement over power.” You can use both sometimes, but placement always trumps power. You can hit a ball at 2000 miles per hour, but if it doesn’t land in your opponent’s court, it’s useless. Mike’s point was angles and drops are your friend. Hit the ball for a winner where your opponents are not, if they let you.

Overall, again, my play didn’t feel like a step forward. But each time out should help improve it.

I wrapped up the day at 12:10 and headed home to shower then on to work.

Number of days on a court: 28
Number of total hours: 81