Tennis as Refuge

Picture this: You’re having a terrible week. Your kid’s failing algebra, your assistant at work quit, and your sister just announced she’s coming for the weekend, along with her three obnoxious children. You arrive at the tennis courts, frazzled and unfocused, certain you’ll play horribly. Ninety minutes later you walk off the courts and you realize you haven’t thought about your problems the whole time. Your mind’s refreshed and your troubles seem just a little bit more manageable.

I’m guessing you can relate to this experience, that temporary transcendence that comes from immersing yourself in a passion. It’s not unique to tennis, I’m sure, but tennis is where I’ve found it most reliably. Continue reading “Tennis as Refuge”

Friday Fashion Face-off: The Sock Edition

No, not Jack Sock. Tennis socks.

When you hear the term tennis sock, you probably picture the cute low-cut socks that sit just below the ankle. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember they once had colorful pompoms on the back. I may have even owned a few pairs of these myself.

Tennis players still wear those socks, of course, minus the pompoms. But every so often you see someone in knee socks. Bethanie Mattek-Sands was the first player I ever saw in knee-high legwear, often in combination with pink hair and eye black. Bethanie wears compression socks, but based on the photo below, I’m guessing she’d wear wacky knee socks even without a medical reason. Continue reading “Friday Fashion Face-off: The Sock Edition”

My Tennis Report Card

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We played our first spring league match yesterday in the dreaded outdoors. One of our opponents remarked that she hated playing outside, calling herself a “whiner.” Of course, I can relate. In fact, my first blog post could have been titled “Whining about Playing Outside.”

In my first blog post, if you didn’t see it, I had researched some tips to help me with the transition to outdoor tennis. With my first match behind me, it’s time to grade myself on how well I heeded my own advice. (I’m great at coming up with self-improvement ideas. It’s the follow-through that’s often lacking.) Here’s my report card: Continue reading “My Tennis Report Card”

Help Wanted (No Pay, Great Perks!)

Back in March, I was lucky enough to go to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA. The trip was a gift from my husband for a significant, evenly-divisible-by-ten birthday. (Let’s just leave it at that.)

During one match, a couple sat down next to us, and we started talking. Turns out they were volunteering at the tournament, something they’d done for a number of years. They explained to me how it worked. Continue reading “Help Wanted (No Pay, Great Perks!)”

Friday Fashion Face-off

In last week’s Borg/McEnroe face-off, we ridiculed the short-shorts of the early ’80s. But over the last year or so, I’ve noticed men’s shorts creeping up again. Nadal was one of the first to raise his hemline, but others soon followed. He’s an interesting fashion trendsetter, although those early pirate pants never quite caught on.

So let’s look back at his hemline extremes at the Monte Carlo tournament. First, we have the pirate pants from 2005, the year he won his first Monte Carlo title.

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Next we have his outfit from this week’s event, repeating the orange-and-white theme, but with shorts at least eight inches higher.

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What’s Your Tennis Temperament?

A few weeks ago I was at my tennis club, waiting for the start of my match. On Court 1, two singles players from a higher division were competing. It was a fierce match with excellent shot-making. Ten or fifteen of us gathered by the court, enjoying the show.

At the end of one point, the visiting player called out “Stupid b—!” The home team captain sitting by my side stared at me slack-jawed for a moment. After a laugh, we decided the player was probably berating herself for losing that point. Continue reading “What’s Your Tennis Temperament?”

Movie Review: Borg vs. McEnroe

If you’ve looked at the About Me section of this blog, you know I was a bit of a Borg fan as a teen. Okay, more than a bit. If the Internet had been around, I’d have been in cyberstalker territory for sure.

So I was excited for the US opening of Borg vs. McEnroe, the movie immortalizing their dramatic 1980 Wimbledon championship match. The movie is in limited release, and the closest showing was an hour’s drive away. I didn’t care. I had to see it, and I had to see it on a big screen. Continue reading “Movie Review: Borg vs. McEnroe”

Friday “Flashback” Fashion Face-off

Wow, look at that alliteration! That’s a mouthful.

Today is the much-awaited (by me, anyway) opening of Borg vs. McEnroe, the movie about the famous rivalry and the 1980 Wimbledon Championship. I’ll be driving to Salem to see it later today. Meanwhile, let’s take a moment to consider the era’s tennis fashion. Ooh, those are tiny shorts…

Which of these multi-Slam-winning icons rocks the short-shorts best? (Try to ignore the crazy hair, if you can. I know it’s tough. But we’re voting fashion, not hair!)

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