Calligraphy, competition, chivalry, …

Calligraphy isn’t big in the West as it is in the East: we Chinese prize a great penmanship. I thought by now I’ve asked enough questions about dos and donts and know what to do, as a captain.
Obviously wrong again.
First, I found myself looking for my counterpart in a crowded lounge. Scanning who’s having a piece of paper in his hand – I’m new, don’t know anyone. After hitting on every single man in there (mind you, since I’m no longer a spring chicken, all of them just ignored me ..), I finally found mine. Ok. We exchanged the line up sheet. He asked if Su’s here and sent her his warm regards. So did his fellow players – they all played together or against each other forever. We’re all big happy family.
I didn’t look closely at the names he listed. What’s the point? There are only handful people and one could easily found the one from the USTA site.
Apparently I was wrong again.
some calligraphyLondon that is. Anything resembles London on this sheet of paper to the left? I saw Paris, I saw New York .. 🙂 Guess I need to drink more alphabet soup. Lots of it.

After the game when I tried to enter the score, I couldn’t make out the name. Yes, there are only handful players on his team, but it happens there are two players who shared the same first name. .. Ultimately I picked the wrong player to enter.
It’s my third outing. And did poorly. Earned my team’s first defeat.

At my last match with my Long Island team, Bob commented at the end ..
“My wife often asks me what’s like to play mixed doubles .. ” he paused and took sip of his water then gave out his conclusion:
“It’s like a marriage.”
It’s a precise one liner.

He’s of course absolutely right. Regardless in a doubles or mixed doubles.

The goal of the little team is to win. On a good hair day, they may win easily without much effort but on a stormy night with a bad hair cut, they may played their hearts out still lose. It’s test on those bumpy matches that the two belong in a team. 取长补短 quchang buduan learn from others’ strong points to offset one’s weakness – helps a lot. Be there, be accommodating and be supportive. Don’t go out there looking to change your partner in this short span of time. If one married long enough or in a long relationship, you know it is you who’s going to change, not the other way around if you want to live happily ever after. Coaching and pointers are greatly appreciated and probably work better than yelling and screaming. I know I would play better when my opponents are arguing and berating each other.
I often wondered why those high flying 4.0 boys would want to play with the weak 3.0 girls – because once I get involved, you could see the speed of the ball immediately cut into half, if not to a standing still. JK .. Ok, some girls aren’t exactly 3.0 but this old Irene is definitely a legitimate 3.0. The only reason I could think is they’re bored playing hard hitting men’s game and want different experience. Or using this as their warm up time for the more serious mens season ahead in the summer? In any case, they should know what to expect out of 3.0 – that I have limitations; lucky to even get the ball over the net, once in a while.

The competition. .. After the last game, I gently mentioned that there wasn’t much of resistance. Su wrote that competition comes fast.
She’s right.
It comes unannounced and furious. You’d better be ready.

Was I ready? Perhaps as ready as I could be. I am always late for my shots. It’s so much easy to be the arm chair general, but on the battle field, I am usually clueless. I had no idea how and why we won the previous outing but how and why we lost last night. 兵败如山倒 bingbai rushandao – defeated army retreat like a mountain collapsing. I had this sinking feeling after the first set. But I experienced that exact feeling the first time. Come to think about it, the opponents were more self-destructive and my partner was more supportive during the first match. I remembered Jim Courier said to Andre Agassi at their 1991 French Open final ceremony after his won 6:4 in the 5th set ..
“Sorry Andre,” Jim looked genuinely sorry .. “I knew it’s just a point here and there .. ”
Really, there was few points could have gone our way and hence could change the out come of the game.

Chivalry. .. My partner lost his cool and yelled at me. Really, yelled, outburst. It looked just very uncouth. I was shocked, my little heart shrunk. To be honest, it’s very nerve-racking. Harmless little Irene being yelled at. I was embarrassed. Although I’m clueless but I do know the stereotype Asian men have .. the image of being less chivalry, weak and geeky .. so I was particular aware when things happened when non Asians are around. That’s where my embarrassment came from: one for being on the receiving end and two for being Chinese. My partner is Chinese and that alone made me feeling short and small instantly. I DO NOT think one race is better than the other but I can’t deny the perception.

Partnership .. I always enjoy a talking partner who tells me what to do. My partner has been the solid rock in there with me and I felt very secure and couldn’t possibly do wrong. He would rescue any bad shot I made and correct any mistake I just invented (if there were only 3 commonly committed mistakes Irene would sure create the 4th and 5th). Basically I was getting a free ride. A joy ride I shall say. But when he suddenly turned bit off, it surprised me to no end. I was very lost and feeling abandoned. It’s easier to weather a storm but far more difficult to deal with a rejection. Ya, I felt like a reject out there. I think this feeling also stemming from the fact that I don’t know him well. I was playing against two players across the next from the starting then I was facing 3 players .. brok my back mountain ..

Back in the first set, there was this crucial line call .. one side said ..

The game took a turn for the worst when I drew the guy super wide and I smashed his lob crosscourt on the tape. He hesitated and then called it out fm across the other doubles alley. The court was clean and for an overhead smash to not leave a mark was outrageous. I was fuming and went into punishment mode which didn’t turn out well. ..

and the other side said ..

There was some line call issue at one point and your guy was staring over the net looking for a mark on an out ball but Kristin said it was OUT and she’s honest.

What I saw was .. he called it out quickly but she hesitated. I was on the ad court and saw it pretty clear. They conferred then the call stood. If you cared about my opinion, I wouldn’t call it out: too close to call. I thought it touched the outside the tape (line). But it’s their call. The guy said it loud enough.

The guy was really skillful, never hit anything hard. The girl has great forehand but played on the backhand side. Hmmmmm ….. I really didn’t feel all the balls came to me during the match. It could be ..
1. I’m clueless
2. I’m used to it since I’ve been the weakest link for all those years

First doubles: 1:6, 3:6
Second doubles: 6:4, 6:4
Third doubles: 6:1, 6:1

1 Comment »

  1. […] home vs Massapequa Sun 1/31 7:30-9:30 – played on Jan […]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.