Jamesdster made me feel very old yesterday. It got me thinking about how one reaches back into the mists of time to work out when tennis became a significant thing in one's life. The easiest way to do it (and it's remarkably precise) is to look down the list of champions to see who was the first recognized tennis hero winning the big tournaments. Mine was Frank Sedgeman
After much tennis watching at the Legg Mason, I finally got back onto the court on Monday with the mens doubles crowd. It was a good game but I was having more than usual trouble getting around the court following a short spinning serve. Was told this morning by my hitting instructor that the secret is to make the return of serve a difficult shot for the server. Make it high and/or deep. Otherwise he will (and did) make it difficult for you.
Tuesday's game is unusual. It is played on a dirt court at one of the local country clubs with three other guys who are several years older than me. One is of comparable talent to mine, the other two not but we have a good hit. One of the latter has been dealing with Parkinsons for several years and with the help of medications, which apparently are pretty strong some days, he's more or less been able to stay level. His serve is very weak but you soon learn that anything sent to his forehand is likely to be ripped back at you with ferocious speed. The neuron circuitry to do this is clearly still there and is as active as ever. His wife, who I think is grateful to us for getting him out of the house, told me that his tennis is tremendously important for him and she would despair if he ever had to stop.
This morning I had the usual hit with the instructor. We concentrated on backhands, slice and straight-through with the emphasis on placement. It also appears that I have an ingrained habit in doubles to stand far too close to the center of court. The instructor wanted me to be almost at the singles sideline for both forehand and backhand. After the hit, one of the Monday guys who had been playing on an adjacent court came up and said that he thought that on Monday my game had improved a lot since I'd been having these Wednesday sessions with the instructor. That was nice to hear, especially as I didn't think things were all that good on Monday!