Sunday, April 28, 2019 (Court Day #260)
Today was Day 21 playing left-handed.
I arrived at Derby Park about 15 minutes before opening time. Some jerk left an empty 2-liter plastic 7-up bottle and a tray of partially-eaten grocery store deli sandwich strewn on the court. There was a flow of spilled brown liquid along the base of tennis net as well. Lovely. Just what I want to deal with as I blow off and set up the courts.
Cal showed up early with a newbie named Chris—probably as pupil of his. I’d put Chris in his late 60s or early 70s. There was a woman named Carol whom I’d also never met. When I asked Cal if Chris has signed the waiver, Cal said that this was Chris’ second time out and had signed it previously. I was surprised with Chris—while he made some bad newbie shots, he made some wicked passing shots. He’ll likely need to develop his short game, but he’s already has a solid basic for his groundstrokes.
Monterey Visitors Greg & Dee
There was also a couple I’d never seen. Greg and Dee. Greg is about 6’ with salt and pepper shaggy hair. Dee has a shoulder-length mane of white hair. Greg said they’ve been in Monterey in a mobile home for about five years. They appear to be in their late 50s. Greg asked about Terry. I said that my understanding is that Terry and Karen bought another home in Arizona and had been spending their time there. (They will likely be back very soon when the heat rolls in for summer.) I watched Greg from afar. I’d only seen that kind of serve once before—Terry Long. Hard whipping action resulting in a very fast ball. It took a lot of focus to return those while playing left-handed and even then I lost at least one or two into the net each of the three games I played against him! I asked Greg later if he played tournaments. He said he had. I asked if he was a 4.0 or 4.5 player. He said he was the same as Terry, a 5.0, but he’d dropped to 4.5 due to an injury to his upper paddle arm.
I haven’t played right-handed for almost four months. It’s frustrating at times, but I can manage in the mix with the middle skill group of the club. While playing left-handed, I can clobber the base-level players. Advanced players can take me apart when I’m playing lefty.
Today was a better day serving. I think I missed only 4-5 over nearly 3 1/2 hours. We only had about 30 players today at peak, so there was very little waiting time—if any—between games.
During a game, near the end of the day, with most of the nets down, I raced after a ball quickly rolling across the entire width of the courts. I caught up, and absentmindedly switched hands and whacked the ball back toward our court using my right handed. Ouch! I’d been harboring hopes that my tennis elbow was getting significantly better, but it’s not even close where I’d hoped if a simple action like that cause noticeable pain. Rats.
Greg recommended athletic tape to help absorb the ball impact before it reaches the elbow. Dee showed the tape on her wrist. Greg then very generously gave me two small rolls of athletic tape he said he got from the dollar store. Each looked like it had a few feet on it.
By 12:22 p.m., everyone was done.
Number of days on a court: 260
Number of total hours: 711
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