LAST WEEK’S RECAP | Feb 28 – March 4, 2012

No sooner than the warmup period ended, did the strategizing by the regular from Englewood Cliffs begin as he made motions to his partner from Tenafly about hitting, slicing and cutting down the ball to the feet, probably showing how to break down the relentless net-hogging opponents from Englewood. The very first point already showed great doubles play, from ground strokes to volleys, from an approach to the net rushing and from a lob to the Englewood opponents to the smash by one of them for a winner. That was just a glimpse of the rest of the hour of constant dueling, high fives and of course laughs!

Much of that was going on on other courts as well. There was so much court coverage on all the courts that the combined mileage could easily add up to the 26-marathon miles, though I’ve not been known for my math skills.

A regular from Tenafly brought 2 more friends also from Tenafly who had a great time tonight. There must be at least 20 overall. With kids in the same school, families going to the same synagogue – it’s great odds that they share the same passion for and the level of tennis.

Sheer coincidence brought the 2 fathers featured in last Saturday’s Recaps together on the same night. I thought it’d be fun to pair them up (they’re new to each other) against a formidable team from Cliffside Park and North Bergen, known as J & J (these are their first initials). The Fort Lee father said “This work out is too intense. They’re making us run too much.” After 2-3 months of his return, his physical exam shows great results in the cholesterol and blood pressure numbers. The nearby Jersey City player said something the effect that – “Here’s another great reason for people to play tennis.”

A regular from Hoboken, originally from Utica, was finally able to gain back his passion after a brief slump period. A great match and pairing can do that. He and his partner from North Bergen played very well together, many long points on their court against different opponents. It’s nice to see players get excited about their game again, sort of like being on a tennis high

It was magnet fun on Friday. I have a board with magnetic buttons and names of different attendees. A month ago a regular from Edgewater created quite a stir for when he brought in a gigantic Angry Bird to represent himself, with questions like “What is that?” and “How interesting!”

This week his buddies followed suit. The Boonton regular brought 2 simple figurines, representing him and his girlfriend. The Parsippany buddy brought a round button with a picture of a fangs-fested Grizzly Bear, which he made. He collaborated with Angry Bird to a button for my partner Dwight by drawing a picture of Dwight with big mustache and emailing it to Grizzly. Grizzly then laminated it and secured it to a piece of HPLC vile which he found in his lab. (Grizzly wanted to become a professional tennis player but mom said no future in tennis, stick to studying!)

A regular from Bellville explained HPLC stands for “High Performance Liquid Chromatography.” Well whatever it was, he made it with the same precision he uses to wrap an overgrip around his tennis racquet. It’s quite a masterpiece these two artists have come up with. Or I should say they’re a piece of work!

Of course, there was more than just buttons – it was a great Friday party!

A player from Jersey City, originally from MD, entertained visiting mom by introducing her to our tennis party. She had a nice time and said she would return whenever she can. She said what a nice group of people and party! I’m glad mom approved.

Throughout the night I introduced her to new friends that her son has made at the party. Their response was “Wow, you are his mom?” I even introduced her to other players that he hadn’t met yet saying “This is [So-and-So’s mom] and oh BTW this is [So-and-So].” She was more famous than him that night! We are known for being a friendly bunch.

Three neighbors from Palisade Park attended the party for the past few weeks. The ring leader, aka my booking agent, brings a new friend each time he comes and he’s never without an entourage. He’s just a very social guy who likes to involve his friends in a great sport of tennis. It’s always a pleasure having them at the parties and watching them mingle amongst themselves (and others) for 5 hours at the Saturday parties.

I asked a Friday regular from Morristown if Sunday was everything the Friday-Saturday-Sunday regular, from Hoboken, said it would be. He replied that yes it was great, just like the Hoboken player said, except that the Hoboken player “showed up” even though said he wasn’t going to attend this Sunday. Well, the Hoboken player only played Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (with his wife) and Saturday (with his wife) at the parties. On Saturday, he decided he needed to play one more day! since he’s excited about tennis again (see Tuesday night blog).

A newcomer from Randolph found us via word out mouth from a Randolph regular and attended with her husband on Friday. She had such a great time and decided to attend the Sunday party too, though without her husband this time. The 50-minute drive didn’t deter her one bit. Kudos to her. She had a great time meeting new people and smiling from the time she arrived to the time she left!

I asked a player from Jersey City why I saw him more this week than the past. He said his wife and child are overseas visiting family. He will be coming often, for a month, while the boss is away.

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