LAST WEEK’S RECAP | February 11 – 17, 2013

A recent new addition to the group, from Bergenfield, is an experience but laid back player who doesn’t mind playing anyone at any level for as long as, “I get to hit ball, practice different strokes and have some laughs.” He tells his partners – “Don’t ever apologize for your mistakes.” Three female partners at 3 different parties told me that learn so much from him, while playing a competitive but pressure-less tennis, what a great partner to have and that I should try playing with him sometimes. I sure will!

Four players from Bergenfield, Englewood and Tenafly finished their match and came off the court. One by one in different parts of the room and not realizing it, told me the same things – “What a nice player, what a nice person….” It’s great that players have this type of experience and long-lasting impression, especially since they have just met and played for the first!

For the past few weeks Tuesdays and Wednesdays have been the home of weeknight tennis with 3 or more lefties. Tonight it was 3 lefties from Bergenfield, Glen Rock and Hoboken.

What a great Friday night party! Several players who normally play at Tiger Tennis in West Caldwell even attended the Binghamton for the first time. They wouldn’t miss their Friday night tennis for the world.

It was a nice warm feeling to know that two regulars (a couple) from Randolph made their trek to join us. I was happy to be part of their Valentine’s Day weekend celebration!

A regular from Essex Fells brought a friend from Pompton Plains. The curious me asked how they knew each other. The friend said – “His brother and I are best friends.” The regular gave me more – “They grew up together and were each other’s best man.” What a great story said the friend and then I told him the story that during the gas rationing days right after Sandy, the Essex Fells player waited for AAA to come fix her flat and drove behind her home, to make sure she got home safe. The friend said – “That’s great story.”

Two Fridays in a row, we weren’t able to play at our regular home, Tiger in West Caldwell, for Friday night tennis — the blizzard one week and Tiger being unavailable the following week. So the Friday players came to the Binghamton. An advanced beginner player from Weehawken who plays only at the Binghamton got to meet and play the Friday players of his or similar level two weeks now. I asked if he would mind switching over to play on Friday nights. Without hesitation and with a big smile, he said “I like So-and-So and So-and-So… [and he started to name all the newfound friends’ names]. Sure I’ll go Friday nights.” Not only will this group no longer be more advanced one day, but they will be better friends, as they are forming a such a bond already. Moreover, they are some of the nicest and funniest people around! I wish I could spend 3-4 hours with them on and off the court too!

It was like being at a Valentine’s Day Weekend Celebration. Loved ones, including friends, couples, non-couples got together to spend a nice evening at Saturday night party. It was so nice to see so many smiles, although that has been true of other party nights also. People come to tennis to enjoy themselves and be happy. I just can’t stop being amazed every time I see that!

So many players lined up along the glass wall in the lounge to watch the matches down below, as if they were watching the Grand Slams! (Binghamton courts are on the lower level, with glass windows from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, conducive for spectators viewing. The lounge is upstairs.)

Players from Cliffside Park and Elmwood Park who have just met, talked the entire hour off.

Thanks to the persuasion of a player from River Edge, I got to see an old friend from Hillsdale, whom I thought I was going to see at this past New Year’s Eve Tennis Party. Other players joined in the socializing at the party. It was one of the best Saturday night parties.

I was intrigued by a player from Mays Landing who makes it a point to join the tennis parties during his visit with friends and family in this area. He DJ’d in the past but does it now as a hobby “for the love of the music,” and spends more time on the tennis court, playing everyday in the summer if he could!

The Mays Landing player enjoyed all his matches, especially the last one. He noted that he’s not used to playing someone who’s so fast because usually he is the one to cover his partner. He was right, his partner from Edgewater is a former American University college player, who stopped playing for a while but picked it up again just 5 weeks ago here at the Saturday party. He took up boxing on the side, which aids in the quick movement on the court. I am glad he’s taking tennis back up again, a safer sport than boxing especially now that he’s a dad.

A player who celebrated his 70th birthday 3 Saturdays ago decided to do a skilled underhand serve with lots of spin for the last point of the match before the bell rings. The player from Cliffside Park said that he was almost fooled but ran up to hit it for a winner. He kept the ball going cross court and the Teneck player poached to end the rally or, he said, “it would go on forever.” It was a fun hour.

Players from Bloomfield, Montclair, Weehawken and Wyckoff laughed so much, I wasn’t sure if they had more fun playing or laughing from whatever they were laughing about. The Weekhawken recent newcomer has been frequenting the parties and we’re lucky to have another addition who truly enjoys the game, willing to play anyone and is always with a smile and so happy to be here.

A player from Astoria introduced a friend to the group. Although the newcomer has been playing only 4 years, I can see that she really loves tennis, for she attended 3 times in just 8 days. Her NYC residence doesn’t stop her from crossing the Hudson to attend her new favorite dig. An indication of her tennis devotion and continuation, she came equipped with a button bearing an image of a tennis ball and her name, replacing the generic button that I use to represent players. (Her name is anything but generic.) She had so much fun playing with different people and vice versa, another great addition!

I can’t end the recaps without the mention of 4 players who are now friends from Bergenfield, Englewood and Jersey City. Their hours combined, they played the most amount of tennis this week. Jersey City player #1 played twice, Jersey City player #2 and Englewood player played thrice and Bergenfield player played 4 times. Each night they asked to play each other, testament to their bond and the fun they share! (just like the Friday players who became friends at the Friday night parties, mentioned in the Friday recap section above).

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