LAST WEEK’S RECAP | October 7 – 13, 2013

Last week we were able to get in our last tournament for the year. More players got a glimpse of what Tennis Buffs tournaments are like and will most likely join from the start of next summer. It was a good idea, a lot of fun and good learning experience. Not bad for the first-timer me!

When I told a player that there were 2 Bryan’s and 1 Brian on Thursday, he replied – “There are two Bryans? Better not be the Bryan brothers or we are in trouble!”

I was happy that a player from NYC finally returned to weeknight tennis, which his wife tells me he loves! He is finally done going to his beach house, not going to a theater, not hosting a party, not invited to a party and it’s just tennis. It is no wonder that he and his wife love to entertain and be entertained, both raised in a very artsy family where one parent is a cellist and the in-law parent is a bassist. They regularly perform at the Met.

“GIVE ME A PENCIL!” said a Friday partygoer from Paramus. Born and raised in Transylvania, he started school at the age of 5 under the Soviet occupation in the late 1940’s. With a thirst for learning and scarcity of pencils (lead went into weapon production), this 5-year-old went up to a Russian soldier and demanded innocently but loudly “Give me a pencil!” What could the friendly Russian do but comply. After 11 years of learning Russian in school, all he could remember was how to say that. It is not bad for someone who is now proficient in 5 languages. Another transplant from Poland, who came to America at the age of 16 said that he escaped the Russian language class because communism succumbed when he was 14 years old, 2 years before the mandatory age. He went further to say in his humorous way – “The Soviet had plans for all of Europe.” The Transylvanian’s quest for knowledge echos in the current UN speech from a brave and now-16-year-old Pakistani girl, who was shot by the Taliban last year. Malala Yousefzai said – “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.”

A regular from Bloomfield stopped by to say hello and saw many Saturday players. There were just the right number of players and levels, which made the whole evening even more fun, as the player from Butler commented.

A few winter regulars from Randolph returned today. Tonight I was surprised that they all were ready to play the 4th hour, 1 more than last year. One said – “I’m national now.” He certainly is, after putting in hours of play to work on his game and achieving the right to play in the national level. Congratulations to all 3 Randoph competitors for going national!

Not all Saturday players went to last night’s Friday night party. I can’t remember if some Friday night players came Saturday night.

After his three-and-a-half-week trip to Hungary, our diver/tennis player friend immediately returned to the party to pick up where he left off. He couldn’t wait to pack in the usual weekend activities. Welcome back!

There are never enough women at the Saturday parties but tonight was an exception. There were also 4 women of equal level, making for great 2 hours of women’s doubles which they all enjoyed. Unfortunately, one will not be coming as frequently now since the Brooklyn Bridge is being repaired. I had the pleasure with playing some of them. Hope they’ll come for more of the same.

I also got a chance to play with Dwight players from NYC and Hoboken. We were doing well, the Hobokenite said – “You two are a tough couple.” And when we down, he said in sweet sarcasm – “Oh, is it LOVE-40?” I can’t wait to play them again – I had so much fun and they were very funny!

Those who braved the cold and stayed to the very end of the party got to watch an amazing and grueling 3-setter in very chilly weather. The match among players from the Bronx, Yonkers, Clifton and Wyckoff couldn’t be any closer with only 1 break in each set and a 3rd set tie-breaker ending in 7-5. Dwight said it was hard to play when you can see your breath. He made as many drop shots as he could. The former Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, player showed her athleticism and quick footsteps, as if she was 7 feet tall. Spectators can appreciate fine tennis from the sole woman on court, comparing notes – “She is the best woman in the group.” Another said “We’ve never seen another one better, have you?” It certainly helps that she’s in her mid 20’s and played everyday in her teenage days, not long ago! Once the match ended, everyone threw on whatever clothes they had to avoid hypothermia and finally sat down for a bite to eat, after 6.5 hours of play throughout the day. They definitely live up to the term – Weekend Warriors!

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