There are a few times I indulge in my alter ego and let him have a free run. A sporting arena is one such place.

Context : Inter club tennis, season opener for the year. Abs has just come back from a 5 week holiday at home, undoubtedly a few pounds heavier and slightly frustrated at the turn of events and no sporting action.

Abs : Fish! why is the traffic banked up this far on the freeway? for gods-sake it is a freeway. I think I’ll be late to the courts by at least 10 mins.

AE: You should’ve know better to leave earlier. You never keep the ladies waiting, but are perpetually late to the courts.

Abs: Whateva! I think I should text the blokes and let em know I’ll be late.

****

7.40 PM serving to save the game at 30-40, 2-3.

AE: Come on champ, you can do this. One more. One more.

I take my time, watch the opponent standing at the far receiving corner. Do the bouncing the ball routine….. twice over.

Abs: I’m going to go for broke, down the T.

BOOM. Nobody moves. That’s the first ace of the season out of the way, and what a time to bring it out.

Abs: A massive “C’MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON”

AE: Average! I could do that all night.

*****

8.25 PM, First set lost 4-6 in a close affair. Up 5-0 in the second.

Abs: Now we’re talking. Looks like the serves are back. nearly 10 weeks of no action, I was bound to have a rusty opening set.

AE: Meh! If only you played smart tennis.

Abs: What do you think I’m trying to do?

AE: So stop whacking the first serves into the net. Didn’t you hear your partner ask you to cut down a few clicks on the first serve and focus on getting it in?

Abs: Meh!

*****

8.32 PM, Abs dumps an easy overhead volley into the net. 5-0 has suddenly turned into 5-2.

AE: You bloody fool. That was a sitter.

Abs: (slightly embarrassed) I know.

AE: If you would’ve moved your fat ass around to get into position, you would’ve probably made the volley.

Abs: Agree.

*****
8.37 PM, up a break point and a set point. Abs at the net opponent let one rip straight back. Almost a sitting duck there. Quick reflexes, deft touch and a cross court winner to wrap up the set 6-2. Another massive roar. A big Hi-5 to the partner.

Abs: C’MOOOOOOON. Bring it!

AE: Got lucky there champ. Do you realise, if your C’mons really translated into you playing better, you wouldn’t be loosing as many service games and not have to bank on breaking the opponents serve to win sets?

Abs: Hey! cut me some slack will you?

******
9.15 the body’s gone cold between sets. Staring down the barrel at 3-5, 0-40. Just going through the motions now. More interested in the Netball games the girls on the adjacent court are having a go at.

AE: If only you could fix your service games. And what sort of second serves are those.

Abs: yeah.

AE: It’s about playing smart tennis. Keep the ball in play, let the opponent make the mistakes.

Abs: yeah.

AE: You’re exactly where you were last season. Absolutely no improvement.

Abs: yeah.

AE: Now shut up and stop stealing glances at the netball action and get on with your game.

Abs: yeah.

******
9.45  End of a disappointing night 4-6, 6-2, 3-6. A few positives. The first hit in eons. The first ace out of the way. Hopefully the rust will be off in time for next week. Onto the social BBQ now to round off playing host to Eaglemont club.

Abs: Thanks gents, that was a good hit. worked up a good sweat tonight.

tuck into another quiche, while following the cricket scores on the mobile.

AE: One more of those quiches and all those calories burnt on the court, down the drain.

Abs: Awrite. I get it. It’s pack up time.

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