I know what you’re thinking. Gosh, the monthly tennis challenges are already so amazing! I can’t believe Deb’s giving us a fun poll, too!
Well, besides the fact that I love my polls, the truth is I don’t have much to write about this month’s challenge because I previewed it a few weeks ago. This month, I’m facing down the wall.
Faithful readers will remember I started hitting against the wall last month in an effort to improve my consistency. Turns out the wall is an incredible tool for quickening my racquet preparation, honing my footwork and focus, and maintaining my form under pressure.
And here’s the thing–I loved doing it. I loved it so much I planned to make it a regular habit, but vacation, a minor medical issue, and August’s record-breaking temperature and humidity got in the way.
September is starting off just as humid as last month, but a break in the sultriness is forecast for the weekend–at which point, my challenge begins. It’s pretty straightforward: Three times a week, for at least 20 minutes a session, I’ll hit on the wall.
The key to success this month is not to cop out if I’ve already played tennis that day. I still have to squeeze in wall sessions because the wall isn’t just a fallback for lonely people with no tennis friends. Love my tennis buddies, but the wall will challenge me in ways they can’t.
Meanwhile, an update on my old challenges. I had to abandon my attempt at a new serve. Although I can see how the new serving motion would beef up my serve, two months wasn’t enough time for me to master it…or even feel comfortable with it.
Anyone have better luck with the serving challenge than I did?
The hydration challenge was more successful. I didn’t drink as much as I’d planned, but enough that I had no migraines for the whole month. Woo-hoo! (But the jury’s still out on whether it’s improving my game.)
Enough with challenges and tedious self-improvement. It’s a holiday–let’s get to fun polls!
Right where I’m typing these words was a beautiful paragraph about Aryna Sabalenka–the growth of her game since last year’s Fed Cup, her beyond-her-years poise, and her Serena-esque ability to serve her way out of trouble. If she ended up playing Serena, I thought Sabalenka had the game to beat her–but that she wouldn’t because, seeing Serena across the net, her confidence would crumble. (Even when Serena’s wearing a tutu, her opponents usually lose their nerve.)
But an hour ago Sabalenka lost to Naomi Osaka, so that wonderful paragraph is now in the trash. Instead I’ll just ask, can anyone keep Serena from winning the U.S. Open–and from tying Margaret Court’s Grand Slam record of 24 singles titles?
On the men’s side, Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic, all former U.S. Open champions, are still in the mix and looking strong. Between them, they’ve won 43 of the last 51 Grand Slams–that’s thirteen years of almost complete domination. Does anyone else in the draw stand a chance of lifting the trophy this year?