01 June 2005

Tennis : Past vs Present

Was reading SillyCelly's blog on tennis and it got me thinking about my tennis days back then and now. I was a late bloomer as far as tennis is concerned, picking it up when I was in Sec 3, right about 2 years before all my classmates. A very long time by my school's standard.

It didn't take very long for me to catch up to the rest of the guys, probably because of my table tennis foundation. All that was needed was to make the transition from the table to the court. Easy. I guessed it also helped that my classmate, who went on to be a national player, gave me a lot of coaching after school. I am forever indebted to the Swede PR.

I stopped for a while during my NS days partly because it was BMT and also I was nursing a stressed fracture of the left femur, courtesy of Tekong training. The recuperation lasted almost a year but by the ninth month, I was ready to get back onto the court to give it a shot again. I played with my neighbour, Sharon and boy, was I whipped and whipped good on the court. I am not about to make excuses for myself citing my injury. I was beaten well and good, with or without injury. That, I truly concede to a most worthy opponent. It was memorable for it was the first time, I kena thrashed on court by a girl. My ego may have been battered but I played an enjoyable game even though I lost.

Why bring this up? Well, I was whipped again by another girl this time round when I was back in Singapore. I haven't played regular tennis for 5 years but I jumped at the invitation when Maine suggested we play at her place. Problem was that my racquet was lost somewhere between Ang Mo Kio and Siglap and my tennis shoes, due to years of neglect, melted in the shoe cabinet.

I was able to readjust to using her spare racquet pretty quickly (Dunlop Revelation), although I would have preferred to use my long-bodied one (Prince Thunder Longbody). However, the fatal factor that really did me in was my fitness, or rather than absence of it. Man, she was sending me all over the court with her well crafted strokes and there I was panting and wheezing all over the place just trying to get the ball back into play. Forget the net-and-volley, forget the drop-and-lob, forget the counter-punch, forget the down-the-line-hug or the cross-court backhand pass. I was contented just trying to survive out there.

There was this particular shot that I remembered vividly where she sent me to the left with her down-the-line backhand. I scrambled for it and as I was almost reaching the ball, I felt my legs totally gave way. I couldn't feel nor control my legs as they went limp. It felt like my muscle's "circuit-breaker" tripped (no pun intended). Next thing I knew, I was tripping, stumbling and crashing into the side of the wire fence. Good thing the fence was there to break my fall or I would have sand-papered my face and body. Ow~

Try to visualise this with your imagination. Imagine a game between Pepe le Pew and Kitty. I was the latter.

Well, that was the state of my tennis today. A sharp contrast to what it used to be. Sigh....

Anyway, I was rummaging my old photos when I spotted this stack. This was taken back in 1994 when we were the champions for the NTU Inter-Hall tennis. Front row, 3rd right was the captain of the team, who cruised us all the way from Round 1 to finals.

We literally strolled to the champion's trophy. It was by far the easiest tournament I've ever encountered.

My class-mate, my hall-mate and my team-mate in this very "gay" photo. That's John in the cap and me in the bandanna. However, it must be said that we were both straight. Sorry to disappoint, guys!

This was taken at the 1-day tennis clinic that we held for our fellow hall-mates.

The t-shirt that I was wearing in the photo was the original t-shirt that inspired the design of our team t-shirts. Here's the close up below


That last game kinda rekindled the lost passion for tennis and I felt like I should make it a regular feature whenever I get back to Singapore. Even if I suck at the game now.

Till September....

- Voxeros

1. a reader left...
Wednesday, 1 June 2005 3:27 am
Tennis? Anna Kournikova?
2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 1 June 2005 3:37 am
Kournikova: Is that really you? Call me!

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