Yesterday after posting I went to the club. I was to meet my rival and Em for a few games of tennis. Em came with 2 other ladies so all together we were 5 (bismillah mashalla I am such a math genius..).
Anywayz Em sent her to friends over to the other court and told me and rival to go to the other side of the net and start the warm-up.
After the warm-up Em announced that we would play canadian doubles* (I added a wiki-bit at the end of this post). She was really smiley, clearly anticipating her win over the two "kids" on the other side of the net. She won too. Probably mostly on my account. My back-hand decided to go AWOL. Felt pretty guilty, my loss was now my rival's loss as well. I think she was feeling kinda guilty as well cuz she mumbled something of an apology for not knowing how to play doubles properly (I think it was her first time playing) My God, if I knew her better I probably would have thrown the tennis ball at her! Since when do ppl apologize for things like that?! I started laughing, I guess it was contagious cuz then she started laughing as well. I decided this next game we had to win. I think she decided the same thing. *nod nod*. Em pulled out her twist serves, serve and volleys and whatever the heck she does to make the ball disappear and reappear just in time to get her point... lachin in the end she lost to the SoY (Springtime of Youth. Lol anyone who watches or has watched Naruto should automatically know where this pun came from).
We were supposed to play 3 games. I think she might have been a bit shocked over her loss and ended it game- game. Next it was my rival's turn. Somehow my mind goes blank, I just remember her frustrating Em and Em getting really defensive up there at the net. After a particularly brutal volley return from Em she turns to me and says "Ha, she want's to play like that ok..." and she shrugs her shoulders as if to say my rival forced her to bring out her skill.
Last it was my turn. I was fully expecting to get BBQ-ed. The heck, I can't beat them alone, together I'd have about as much chance as the zebra with it's neck in the lion's mouth!
The first game they beat me. It was very close though and I actually made it into a few deuces. So I found it was just a matter of concentrated (well aimed) shots like BW had said. The next game I actually won. I asked 3 times had I really one and finally Em got pissed and answered sarcastically - lol it wasn't my fault I stood shocked over my win.
Afterwards Em went over to the other court and ordered me and my rival to practice diagonal back-hand and fore-hand shots till she returned. Like obedient children rival and I did just that.. until something just clicked. Rival came over and asked me did we have to listen to Em. LOL I couldn't help smiling. I had been contemplating the same thing! After going through a quick list of the reasons why we didn't have to follow her orders we came to the mutual decision that as rivals we were entitled to duel it out on the court as we pleased as long as coach didn't tell us we couldn't- and since coach wasn't there we played. We both mentally kept track of the score so we wouldn't have to call the numbers out thus letting Em know we were actually playing and not "practicing". She beat me the first game after a game of deuces that lasted longer than the actual game itself. We were well into the deuces of the second game when Em came over bringing one of the ladies with her annoucing that we would play a proper doubles game now.
She and the other lady took the other side of the court and me and my rival were now doubles partners again. I'll cut descriptions and just say those two ladies were given a royal beating...
Surprisingly I found I am as comfortable at the net as I am at the base line - probably thanx to the coach insisting on making us do so many volley practices from the net. I rate volley exercises among the top 3 boring things she makes us do during lesson time. All in all it was lots of fun playing proper doubles. Em got tired and put me on the other side of the net with one of the ladies she brought along and teamed my rival with the other lady. Em acted as umpire (not sure if they are called that in tennis but whatever).
In the end we all decided we'd come regularly. I've always suspected playing other people with higher and varying degrees of skill would be fun..
*Interesting bit I saw on wikipedia about doubles:
"Another, informal, tennis format is called "Canadian doubles" (also referred to as "American Doubles" in Australia and "Australian Doubles" in Canada). This involves three players, with one person playing against a doubles team. For the single player, singles-court rules apply (such that the ball must be within the singles-court lines) but on the side of the doubles team, doubles-court rules apply (the alleys are considered in). The scoring is the same as a regular game. This format is not sanctioned by any official body and is only played when a fourth player is not available for normal doubles."