I would venture to say that last night I played the most dramatic match of my very short time playing competitive tennis. My Mixed Doubles team had a make-up match. My partner and I had never played with each other, but we learned quite a bit about each other very quickly (other than that he had kidney stones--which you wouldn't have known by his tough playing). We both like to run down balls (so talking to each other was key--we only managed to run into each other once!); we don't mind being patient with our shots (although I was less patient at times and suffered for it), but we are aggressive at the net, and we both have a lot of fight in us! Here's out things played:
First Set: My partner and I got off to a really slow start. I can only speak for myself: I made way too many errors and couldn't get my lob game on like I wanted. We were down 0-4 and then managed to turn the tides and get to 6-6 (tiebreak)! I say managed, but it was definitely no accident. We stepped it up! My partner informed me that he had a perfect tiebreak record, so we had no choice but to "do the darn thang!" as my Women's Double team would say! And did we-We won the tiebreak 7-4 and took the set!
Second Set: You would think that with the momentum from the first set, we would have just gunned it in the second set. NOPE! We found ourselves down AGAIN, but this time 1-4. Just CRAZY! I had some of the same lob issues from the first set and then our opponents decided to "pick on the girl" so everything came to me. But Shay Shay is NO PUNK ON THE COURT! I thought about Serena being down 0-4 in the Aussie Open and modeled her mindset: "I have nothing to lose." I got to some tough shots and made some really good shots. It also helped to hear my teammates cheer "good shot Shannon!" from the sidelines (I have always wanted to entertain and be on stage. Hobby tennis is as close as I'll get!) My partner and I communicated throughout and my partner got in great shots when he actually could get the ball returned to him and BOOM, BOOM, BOOM--6-6 (tiebreak) AGAIN!
Second Set Tiebreak: Recall that my partner has a PERFECT tiebreak record. So, I felt the pressure (not exerted by him; totally Shay Shay pressure). We were slow out the gate in the tie break, but my partner served up two beautiful serves to get us back on track, and I held tough getting to balls at the baseline that seemed out of reached.
So we get to tiebreak game point and match point; it's 6-5. My partner served up a BEAUTIFUL ACE--MATCH POINT OURS!
But wait, it's not over. The opponents' teammate says from the sideline (after my partner and I hug and celebrate), "Hey it was not his serve. It was his partner's serve [that would be Shay Shay], but it doesn't matter. You didn't catch it, so it's over. "
Well, our opponents were clearly annoyed by our mistake (and it was a MISTAKE) and I detected in their facial expressions that they at least contemplated that we may have cheated. Well, Shay Shay wasn't going down like that! I DON'T HAVE TO CHEAT TO WIN!
So, my partner and I decided to replay the point. We did and I served it up. We got one off my serve--score now 7-6.
Now, it's the other lady's serve. And she somehow gets one of the dead balls on the court. So, now she and her partner are testing out balls. I start doing jumping jacks because Shay Shay refused to let the delay cool me. Then I see a ball and saw it over to our lady opponent.
First serve: in the net.
Second serve: in the net.
We Win! But oh so anti-climatic after my partner's HARDCORE ACE earlier.
Our team took 4 out of 5 points. Yay! Drama Over. On to the next match. Lesson: Dig Deep and Never Give Up! Thanks for the lesson, Partner!