Friday, May 17, 2021 (Court Day #377)

I managed to arrange a Friday night with Eric, John P., and Eric got Tom B. as our fourth. All good intermediate players. I was coming to the courts from a family gathering at my brother’s house in Scotts Valley but he missed a turn in his explained directions to Skypark and I ended up a few minutes late for our 7 p.m. time. It was sunny, mild, and calm.

This would be my first time playing with these guys since pre-pandemic.

Eric (left) warming up with Tom B. (middle) and John P. (right).

The guys were already warmed up, so I quickly warmed up for about two minutes then we started games where we switched partners between games. They asked how I was doing and John immediately figured out and commented that I am still playing left-handed instead of with my natural right hand.

Eric was bouncing a ball up and down a few times off the edge of his paddle. Being that he has a thick Selkirk paddle, the edge is wide and flat. He said, “My record is 22.” That’s 22 bounces on the edge of his paddle before it falls.

Here’s a list of our games and their result. A true round-robin would have meant some increment of 3 for games: 3, 6, 9 and we only played 8 before calling it a night at 9:20. I played with Eric 3 times, John 3 times and Tom only 2 times.

Difference of scored points each a game totaled up. Negative numbers are losses.

It’s pretty easy to figure out that Eric played really well and Tom had an off night. Here’s another analysis, maybe a bit more fair since it limits things to just the worst and best games with a given partner.

Only counting the games with the best and worst performances with each partner.

It’s even easier to see Eric’s dominance in the above chart. Eric won 7. John won 3. Tom won 2. I won 4. Even with me winning one more game than John, based on a simulated round robin, he outplayed me. In my defense, I wasn’t playing for at least six of the last 12 months while he continued to play and I am still playing lefty.

And I will say, I have sympathy for natural lefty players. Partners have to adjust. I lost at least two points tonight when my partner expected to me take a ball in the middle with my forehand when it was, in fact, out of reach of my lefty backhand.

The things that struck me since I last played with them was Eric has developed a much faster serve that he mixes in and John has continued to develop even more side-spin in his lofted service returns.

Oh, and I guess that with the charts above, I’m demonstrating my inner nerd. Hey, my university degree is in computer science after all!

Saturday, May 22, 2021 (No Play)

YouTube served this up for me and I just had to share. I wish there were more overhead singles videos like this. Very educational.

Number of days on a court: 377
Number of total hours: 1,069.5

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