Night Falls On Manhattan

Manhattan’s USTA mixed doubles league had its area playoffs this past weekend at NTC. I went there on Sunday, watched 9.0, 8.0 and 7.0, a little before and after my own game.

I stopped at the first court once I got there. The play was great, hard hitting and gung ho. I gently asked a spectator who looked like the supportive teammate/friend if they’re 8.0.
“9.0” she rolled her eyes.
Sorry sis, I don’t tennis much. No offense.
Common mistake from watching too much Sampras and Federer? I probably play like a 1.0.
The 7.0ers were quarantined to the courts 10-12 on the second floor. My little CoolPix performed poorly here.

Manhattan has three 7.0 divisions with total 17 teams (Queens has only 9 teams, in spite of being a larger borough: population 2.3 millions vs Manhattan’s 1.6; area is 109 sq miles vs Manhattan’s 23). Team 6 A. Dalla Ragione beat Kim/Seto to victory, 3 love no less. It’s the same Kim/Seto who cut our sweeping winning streak short – handed me my only personal loss so far on the Queens team. Kim/Seto is on Brooklyn league too, holy smoke. Brooklyn league looks thin: 7.0 flight has only three teams.

After my game’s over, we watched the the end of 8.0 that was decided by the third doubles in the third set super tie break. 3rd D of Johnson vs Hockett: Team Ronald Johnson won the first doubles (in the third set super tie break) and team Mathew Hockett won the 2nd doubles. The decisive third doubles was in play when we sat down, next to an nervous Asian girl, in a pretty tennis attire. She yelled ..
“Come on baby ..”
Some one in that team is her loved one. She would putting her head down, couldn’t bear to watch .. then stood up by the rail waving her fist when her baby and partner pushed for third set super tie break. Apparently they lost in the first set tie break and took the second set at 4. I cheered with her. To be fair, I also clapped for the other team when they hit a winner. But my clapping didn’t prevent one guy from the other side of the post told us to tone it down in a rather nasty gesture. The guy on her 3rd D was 4.5 teaming with a 3.5, the opponents were both 4.0. Both girls played bit like chickening out, toss over candy bars serves. Double faults were all around. After building up a comfortable lead of 4:1, she was still tensely fidgeting in the sofa, taking in huge chuck of air ..
They quickly clinched the victory at 10:3.
She was jumping up and down.
When it’s crunch time, the winner is usually decided by the one who could control their nerve and limit errors. Even in 8.0. IMHO.

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