They cut us off at the knees and we still prevailed!
Yap, we won. Despite two last second complaints that hit us few days earlier, that restricted my team to the bare minimum. Four of us, out of 14 team roster were bumped up from 3.0 to 3.5. So six male 4.0ers are vie for one 3.0 (the only lady 4.0 is left out without a partner to play). No, 唐伯虎点秋香 .. .. six guys are sitting pretty waiting to be the chosen one. Simon joked that he’ll stripe naked to try to get picked. Other 4.0ers said they could offer massage .. .. ha ha ha.
It’s bitter sweet.
Before the first match about to start, Cap Foo mentioned us to form a circle by the soda machine at the corner and said in a visible emotional tone,
“.. .. Let’s go out there and kick some tails!”
Consider his normal very reserved manner, we all got the message, loud and clear.
The first and second doubles started on time at 6pm on the second floor. The third doubles had to wait till the 8.0ers finished their business at court 12. There wasn’t much lobs going on at court 12.
“You’ll get crushed in that level of play.” Simon told me.
Dingy .. I just began to utilize/appreciate this tool.
I knew it. Bill couldn’t have done it right 11 times in a row .. now extended to 13. He probably dumped our names in a hat and had her to pick each time.
Hey, Billy, buys her a pair of high heels .. maybe she could pass as a 18 years old 3.0?
I walked face to face with a captain whom I met once and liked on the balcony who looked down immediately. My first thought was .. the complaint filer? Then second, oh, got it, I’m radioactive. Perhaps they were all sorry for my plight.
It might be USTA’s policy to shield the plaintiffs, but it felt sneaky. Few of my teammates have been playing in the league for nearly a decade or longer and knows almost everyone. A big happy family? Should be but with the anonymous complaints .. not so sure. My vets assured me that truth will come out eventually. Not that I care.
The first match against the Division 1 was succinct:
1st D – 6:2, 7:5
2nd D – 2:6, 1:6
3rd D – 7:5, 6:3
Two sets each and it was over. The third doubles, the deciding one finished the last since they started late.
” .. even if only you touch a little,” he demonstrated with his right foot that kissed the out side of the white line, and then said in a firm tone:
“I will call it .. ”
The officials also performed the coin toss; the league provided bananas, raisins and crackers. They’re retirees but are USTA paid staff not volunteers.
One of my girls got cramp after the first match. Great that we had such a strong team of masseurs in waiting. But it was Lum who voodoo the leg and arm back to normal, then sent her to take a hot shower. As time approaching to exchange lineup, we had runners going between Bill and the locker room.
We had such a skeleton group that four players (including the cramper .. with Kai they serve a bagel .. brave girl .. errrrh… although I am opposing bagel/egg on court but under our dire circumstance, my little glee was justified.) had to play the second match after about an hour of resting. My partner and I were on court 8 sandwiched between 7 and 10. Sean and I had never played together before, we only got to share the court once for a set early afternoon on that day. For some reason, we got to a great start leading 4:1. Then the opponents began to figure out our weakness and game and pretty much demolished us from there on. We only managed to win one more game in the second set, to escape an bagel. Wah later commented that they’re far better players and were little confused in the beginning. There was a one questionable call made by me, to the far right. Seas was trying hard to chase down while I was guarding the left alley. It looked clearly out hence I called. Mike the opponent immediately protested. An official who was watch Paul’s game turned toward us. The lady asked what’s Sean’s call.
“I didn’t see it.” Sean replied.
The official said .. not matter what, it’s their court hence their call.
The game went on without a hatch. I remembered them from my first match when they played against Sandy and Paul, and were frustrated by Sandy’s lobs. Being smart, I began to lob too. The only problem? He got every lob back, deep to the baseline. Few months .. someone had practiced it hard and was enjoying the fruit. Without a talking head besides me, I was totally lost.
In any event, the game was competitive and enjoyable. Bill told me that at the end when it was over, as he was signing the captain’s scorecard Deb-Rose said that our opponents commented to her it was very friendly match and “a pleasure to play against Sean and I.” Sure it’s a pleasure, we could only get 4 and 1 :). Ok, honestly, they were better pair. I much prefer the friendship over competition. Perhaps that’s why I’m not able to win more .. (good excuse). After the matches were over and the blue towels (big prize .. worth the trouble to file complaints?) were distributed, Mike came over and sought me out from the crowds and congratulated me with a firm hand shake. Chivalry .. that’s really nice of him. And meant a great deal to me. People could be fierce competitors/adversary but at the end of the game or day could also share a drink, rather than being sour grapes.
We the second doubles finished first. Looking at the score poles, both my teams were winning comfortably in the second sets having took the first. So I went to shower. What was I thinking??? As I was dressing, Rebeca came ..
“Kai and Anna won; Paul and Mary are in super tie break ..”
I bolted for court. Mind you, fully clothed..
We cheered loudly and wildly. There were hugs and jumps .. and one of our teammates enjoyed assault ..
That [Person X] did a full frontal and squished everything on me. I was in shock. [Person X] took full advantage of the situation and I felt violated in public.
Two girls in the first doubles had played once during the regular season and had controversy about being quick served. After the last night’s match, Paul mentioned that the girl was quiet nasty. She blurted the F bomb after Paul drilled her guy at the net. It was downhill for them thereafter. Fortunately her back was to the net (facing the balcony) so the ref didn’t hear it (it’s a point deduction). But unfortunately the spectators on the balcony heard it clearly. Our Miss Lineup Wizard was totally shocked when “F#%* them” was muttered. .. For the love of the game, we should be able to behave?
1st D – 6:4, 5:7, 1:0
2nd D – 4:6, 1:6
3rd D – 6:0, 6:4