#37 Game. Set. Match.

29 Feb

Some things in life are hard to explain.

Like how or why did I get so into tennis? No one in my family ever played the game. Heck, I don’t think anyone in the small South Dakota town where I grew up did either.

Maybe it was Wimbledon? I can remember watching tennis on TV as a kid in the 80’s. Since the only courts I’d ever seen were made of concrete, the green grass mesmerized me. I was completely enthralled by the power and artistry of the game on the green lawns of ol’ England.

My first tennis hero in the 80’s and 90’s was Andre Agassi. I loved his crazy clothes and daring style, but most of all I was enthralled by the precision of his strokes. He was like a metronome back there on the baseline – pop-pop-pop. I’m convinced he would have won a bunch more Grand Slams if it weren’t for that dang Pete Sampras!

My all-time favorite, though, is Rafael Nadal. I love everything about his game – the power, the spins, the crazy angles and more. Most of all I love that he’s a fighter (albeit one of the nicest fighters the game has ever seen).

My own game? Well, it’s not nearly as polished of course. I depend on a healthy dose of defense and speed to win a lot of matches. Whatever the final score, though, I just love to play.

I love everything about the game – trying to hit the perfect shot, working on my serve, going for angles… everything!

I read somewhere that singles tennis is the perfect game for introverts and that’s so true! In what other sport are you out there for two or three hours at a time completely on your own? Although it drives me crazy some times, I love the solitude and mental battle that goes into each match.

OK, now on to this past year! And what a year it was!

My goal was to play 60 matches. Mission accomplished – I played 67. I also made several tournament semifinals, survived a number of bruising injuries and finished the year ranked number six in my level and region (USTA Northern 4.0). The highlight, though, was winning the fall Baseline league at the University of Minnesota! That was definitely one of the happiest days of the year for me!

Anyway, I’m a bit of a numbers nerd, so here are some of the stats I kept track of during the year:

Overall record: 42-24-1 (OK, I know there aren’t supposed to be ties in tennis, but you try playing in 100 degree weather with humidity levels pushing 80! Haha)

Total games won: 654
Total games lost: 515
Total games played: 1169

Total matches played: 67
Total time (hours): 134
Total time (days): 5.58

Total miles run: 103.6 🙂

Photo: Very happy after winning the fall league!

Photo: Top of the end-of-year rankings for USTA Northern.

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