A surprise call

Out of blue, Wah called for a doubles game. I met him when I started playing with the weekend morning group 10 some years ago. He was one of the better players, 4 or 4.5, and was not as frequent as say Sunny or Kai who were very diligent and professional, a.k.a. there every weekend, both Saturdays and Sundays. Whenever he showed up for work, he’ll immediately snapped up by other guys, … he seldom played with me. I didn’t think we speak at all, except once he was egged on by others, played a set with me: handicapped 2 pts with 1 serve. He won’t cede 3 pts as Sunny suggested – my going rate was 2 points with a 4.0, like with Sunny and Kai .. ; and 4.5, what 4.5? I got bagelled. .. After few years, he just disappeared.

Although I have been playing with this weekend morning group –all from Hong Kong – for more than 10 years, winters included, but I never socialize with them, nothing much in common, our topic was tunnel-versioned on tennis, if we have a little time to talk. They are a very tight knit group, collect membership dues, elect a president every year, have dinners, play ma jiang, BBQs all the time… you have to be invited to join the group. Frank C and wife Terry were initiated few years ago. There were few playing couples, Frank L and Irene, Cheng Zai and wife Teresa ..

One summer few years ago, while Walter and I waited for the courts to dry, he started gossiping. Frank L had an affair with a waitress, for revenge, Irene started one with a good looking guy who used to play with us. Reportedly, she bought him a Benz. .. After that, Frank L and Irene didn’t come often, and as time gone by, they divorced. He still lives in town with their children, started that restaurant, couple of years later bought out the other managing partner. She went to Hong Kong often, left her family business .. I enjoy playing doubles with Irene, she’s pretty, has nice forms with lethal forehand – we pair well. We were neighbors but not close. This past summer I began seeing them – Irene and Wah – playing together. Two weeks ago I into them at the tennis party, we chatted, she moved to NJ .. but never made plan to play. Finding my phone # is easy since this is a small world. But what’s amused me was Wah made the call, not Irene. I wouldn’t recognize him at all except his husky voice. First I thought they needed fourth player. No, you’ll have to bring your own partner. Ok, so Simon G was it. Wah was nice and fair, called couple of his close shots out. I think the benefit of playing with better players is they in general have better line calls too, and they have no qualm of calling themselves out. I love to win fair and square. But sometimes when the call is too close, I usually let it go, but then felt being cheated. Couple of weeks ago when I made a close call – out, it bothered me a little. That same day with different opponents, when I served to the T, was being called out .. I was mad – I knew my serve very well, and with lesser players, this T serve was always called out, 9 out of 10. That day they reluctantly offered me 2 serves, but I was not pleased. I eventually lost that point, and they felt vindicated. Tough love.

Last night game could have been great, except my lower back was in pain. They won 6:3 and 6:2 easily. We switched partners for the third set and Wah and I lost 7:3 in tie break. Wah is playing tentatively, for he wants to please his pretty girl friend, they make a good looking couple :)) .. Simon rushed off the court for another game at the USTA, lol.. I’m not the only nuts.

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