From where I sat, I could see directly across 3 courts so I got to see 3 different matches going on at the same time – 55+, 65+ and 75+ singles. Let me just warn you – if you think you are going to take any of these ladies on in singles, even the 85s and older, you better bring an incredible one-handed backhand slice with you. Because that is what everyone was hitting. It was all about placement and running your opponent all over the court. Bring her in on the short ball and then lob over her head. Sound familiar? I think I play this kind of match at least once a week! And it always works!
The court closest to me was the 55+ ladies. The first set went 6-0 to one of the women. I was sure the first set loser would just be trounced in the second. But she not only made a big comeback, she only lost after taking it to a tiebreaker. And she came off the court really upbeat about the whole thing. I was right there – not trying to eavesdrop – and her husband came running up to her, telling her how great she had played and then told her that her opponent had played on the Tour and had at some point beaten both Martina Navratilova and Chris Everet. She said, “I know! That's why I'm so excited!” Talk about looking on the bright side. I have to agree with her – if I could talk about the time I took someone who had beaten Martina to a tiebreaker, I'd be pretty happy too.
It was such a great tournament to hang out at for a while. All of the women were friendly, supportive and seemed to know each other. They all gabbed like crazy, which sort of surprised me. If there had been that much sideline chatter at any of my matches, I'm pretty sure someone would have called the league director.
© Kim Selzman 2009
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