We played the Final immediately after the semis, 30 minutes rest between the matches. We have to recycle five players. Few pix on FB
The roving Emp as usual, asked where do we all live and he deemed my partner Ricky lived the farthest hence we got to call the coin toss. I called it head and the head it was. Ricky opted to serve. Mr. Across-the-Net returned it down the line and won the first point. He would hit few more down the line shots (ok, more than half a dozen!) and won every single one of them. The other captain would come to clean the lines during the change over, thanks cap!
I was dreaming or brain dead. I hope non of my kids is reading this, I opened my first game with a double fault.
Everything looked rosy and encouraging .. .. not!
Ricky played really well and carried the match, that included me. After we won the first set at 6-3, Mr. Across-the-Net questioned the score at change over. He asked Ricky whom did he last serve. By then, my brain was long dead so I didn’t remember. I thought the girl was the first one to call it set. I merely followed her indication and retreated to the chair.
The second set was really competitive. I was serving at 6-5 but couldn’t close the match. In the ensuing tiebreak we jumped to a handsome 5:0 lead. Then it became 5:1, then 6:3. We change end. (USTA uses Coman rotation in the tiebreak, which players switch court at 1, 5, 9, etc.) Ricky served. The Emp was on court. One of the opponents sent a down the alley shot that was sailing toward the line. I scrambled to the corner, out of breath, barely got there in time to hit a cross court. He gave it a hard chase but then called it out.
I really don’t like close calls. We all play to win and want to win it fair and square. However those close calls often put that to test: I work hard for the point, give it all I have, often panting like a cow hence my judgment in a blink moment might not be at it best. Extending courtesy and fairness is good sportsmanship but I also want to reward myself and my effort. Isn’t it a familiar situation, as is in life, when and where we were presented with thorny situations?
I was actually relieved because it was HIS call, not mine.
However the Empire who stood at the net put his left hand down to signal it was good after I looked at him for a confirmation.
I was really relieved not being the one to make the controversial decision, and of course at the win too. If the Emp weren’t on court, we’d continuously played at 6-4 and who knows the out come of the set and the match. If it were my call, and I called it IN, I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much because in my mind as well in everyone else’s was the nagging question: was the point that decided the match IN or OUT?
We all have to live with the decision we made in life and its consequences.
We won 7-3 and shocked hands at the net. The club was empty when the time we finished our final, only the two teams. I didn’t know what to say to the opposing captain when we walked by each other on the court, incidentally on different side of the net. So there was no word exchanged.
After the semis, there were more players around and I got few congratulations gestures. Michael was there too (unfortunately his team lost), we chatted briefly after the semis. I still remembering him came to me after the conclusion of the match the year before to congratulate me.