March 08, 2008

The cupper

A day ago, I got a hint of an answer to the questions I aired in Up against it. Specifically, what would happen if I got on a tennis court with Roger Federer, or Stefan Edberg, or John McEnroe?

Well, a day ago I played with a former Davis Cup player. He's some years and some kilos past his prime, but his game is still fierce and sharp. Yet I was able to rally with him so that I didn't come away disgraced; I even won several points. (Of course Federer etc are several classes above this once-Davis Cupper, but still).

But while that was nice, it wasn't the reason for feeling good about our session. Two other things contributed to that.

First, during a short break we took, addressing me as "dude", he pinpointed in just a few words what I was doing wrong on my serve. Just enough to give me something to think about and focus on, and when we went back on court the serve immediately improved. (Which is when I won those several points). From across the net, he yelled and pumped his fist, appreciating the improvement.

Second, I was actually supposed to be playing with a buddy, AJ. When we got to the court, the ex-Davis Cupper and a young lady were already playing. Seeing the two of us, he immediately asked: "Wanna play doubles?" Which is what we did. He and the young lady wiped the floor with AJ and me, but that hardly mattered. And when she had to stop, he himself suggested a way for the three of us to continue playing, rotating in and out. And when we finally stopped, he himself suggested that we get another game on Monday.

All in all, a refreshing contrast to the "friend" I wrote about a few weeks ago. Makes you believe, again.


Ajeya said...

Just read about your "friend". Here's to better friends! :) BTW, you must be pretty good to 'knock-around' with a Davis cupper! I'm new around these parts. Nice place.

soumya guhathakurta said...

attention is drawn to this gross violation of human rights in a government run hospital for the mentally challenged in kolkata

Anonymous said...

I played with a couple of junior champions in my club. 15-16yrs old. There isn't much of a difference if you just want to have a hit with a pro.

He will play to your level. In a competitive match, its different though. What separates the pros from amateurs is not talent (to some extent), but commitment to the sport.

Tennis is a simple sport and someone who is passionate about it and plays for a long time is bound to be good at it.