LAST WEEK’S RECAP | November 23 – 29, 2015

Kudos to the guys who couldn’t make Wednesday night tennis because they were food shopping and preparing the big Turkey Day Thursday.

Unless the club is closed or the roads are treacherous, I will always hold tennis parties which are geared towards Tennis Buffs who can’t find a game especially during the holiday period when clubs close early.

Two brothers got together for the holiday starting with Wednesday night tennis. I’m flattered that, undeterred by the distance, one traveled from the Bronx and the other from Bridgewater, that they remember to use this venue as their playground.

Three friends from Cliffside Park, Guttenberg and Jersey City attended for the first time tonight. Thanks to the World Wide Web, they googled and found Tennis Buffs group. A couple of them not having played for a year or more were a bit rusty but I’m sure within a few more plays, they will be back to their former glory days of college level tennis…. or if not, they’ll just have fun. The fourth player on their court was late and I always fill in as a fourth during the warm up so that it’s not 2 players vs. 1 player for optimum practice. Within the first shot, I knew that they were 4.5 shots. I was glad that the fourth arrived very soon after. Two of the friends returned to play Saturday and asked if I needed more players, he knows of more from Lincoln Park. I gladly told them yes to my motto – THE MORE THE MERRIER and thus my role as party planner 🙂

The newcomer from Weehawken who came last Saturday had such a nice time, decided to play before their road trip the next day. I’ll have to ask them what they said which made me think of the Chevy Chase movies of holiday road trips but something about packing the family dog and just they way they told the story made me smile. Fun!


A player from Boonton brought his cousin and his friend both from Astoria, NY, for the 2nd time this year. The cousin got to practice hitting with other players, trying to hone his skills, not so much to come up to the level of his former college player cousin and former high school player friend but enough to be more consistent and to have fun. I remember when I started playing and shooting balls into the sky and to the back of the fence. It took me 10 years with the wooden racquet and later graphite before I learned to control the ball. Today racquet and string technology make it much easier to play better faster. Of course lessons are important. I write about my experience to remind players that we all have to start somewhere and to keep working at it. Tennis is for everyone, at any level. As long as you enjoy it, just do it!

A player from Wyckoff on the disabled list introduced and came to watch a friend from Montclair. They met at a tennis camp when one was 15 and the other 17. They inadvertently attended the same Lafayette College and met up again. (I wish I kept in touch with my childhood friends, though it’s hard when you keep moving every 6 months, in my youth.) The Montclair friend told a friend from Livingston who last minute decide to join. They had such a blast and the last arriver even played past midnight! I always love having more women in the group.

It was great seeing winter regulars return this week.

It was really nice to see a few familiar faces.

An iconic player who started at 6 years of age to learn tennis from a former college player, the mother of his best friend who had no interest in tennis. She instead taught and gave him the opportunity to be one of the orthodox players to use the classic continental grip. I’ve always enjoyed watching him serve the American twist serve that always floats high up to your backhand and volley crisply with a punch rather than swing. I had the misfortune of playing opposite him, not being able to do much to return his shots about 15-20 years ago at the Saturday night tennis parties when I was a partygoer rather than a planner. So I got clever and became his ally and partnered up with him instead. I can’t wait for his return next week!

Another classic player Dr. Balazs Galdi took a break from dad duties to attend. After the salutations the first thing I asked was – “What’s wrong with my finger?” as I demonstrated the problem. I had an “aha” moment when he said – “Oh the trigger finger! Come in and see me.” I knew he would know right away. You guys, go see him! Has an office at UMC in Hackensack and one in Newark.
It was great to see him so happy without any signs from lack of sleep. His daughter now 6 months will soon start playing and attend the parties (I wish!). He had fun playing with old and new friends even though I was unsuccessful in recruiting (but will pester them harder next time) other former college players to join him, a former ranked junior player in the East Coast and captain of Rutgers tennis team, not that the other players were chop liver. They would kick our butts easily.

Old friends the father and daughter team from Bardonia, NY, surprised us tonight. They got to play with another formidable friendly team the visiting professor from Syracuse and a player from West Orange, former Rutgers Rec tennis team captain. What a great match they had! As I introduced everyone, I told the professor that she can add two more names to the list of new friends she’s made since her debut a couple of months ago. She certainly has made quite a few! I think we have more than exceeded her expectations – “Hmm is there tennis in New Jersey?”

Other players from Clifton, Hoboken, Jersey City, Kinnelon, Wayne and Woodland Park were just as entertaining. It was great to watch all the matches from the great viewing lounge at Fairfield Racquet Club with super-sized windows. The linear courts made it even easier. I really enjoyed seeing that the matches were fun and even with great and long exchanges of points, everyone was smiling and even laughing at times.

I’m looking forward to another fun week of tennis!

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