Love in Tennis

By on August 6, 2011

By: Darrell House

Most mornings at about 7:00, I join a group of older gentlemen, and I use the term loosely, at a nearby park for tennis. Like most gatherings, some are better than others, but everyone brings something different to the game. Many of these games have been going on for years, and some guys play together on Mondays, play with someone else on Tuesdays and so on and so on. Obviously, not every grouping of players is as challenging as another, and naturally better players want to compete against the stronger talents. 

This morning I witnessed something that was rather ugly, and sadly, I was part of it. Several of us had been talking about putting together a new game, and unfortunately, one of the regulars was going to be excluded from the new group. We were just trying to put together a more competitive match, but feelings were bound to be hurt. Over the last few weeks, overtures were made to the weaker player that he might be interested in putting together a new game or joining some guys who didn’t have a regular game on that day, but these guys take their tennis seriously and we tended to tiptoe around the subject.

Finally, this morning we were starting the new game with the new guys. We were all excited about the possibilities of the matchups and were looking forward to some seriously contested points, games and sets. So the four of us walk to the court, and then the fifth gentlemen came walking on to the court. He proceeded to make a scene, call names and challenge one or more of us to fight.  It was sad and ugly. First of all, it was over a tennis game. I understand our friend was hurt, but there are more important things in life. Second, our friend is 93 years old. Granted, he is in good shape, and still plays a decent game, but by 93 I would think one would have learned to pick one’s fights more carefully.  He eventually stalked off with epithets being tossed over his shoulder at every step.

I feel terrible for our friend, and am truly sorry to have brought pain in to his life. He deserves better. Still I think there are two sides to every story, and I truly believe he was determined to create a scene to salve his bruised ego. He forced the confrontation and it was so unnecessary.  I truly hope time will heal his wound and we can all remain friends, but I tend to think of this in terms of a romance. Tennis doubles foursomes are not like a marriage. We are not there “til death do us part.” Rather, it is more like a fleeting romance between a boyfriend and girlfriend. We understand it’s not forever, but we want to play until something better comes along. I guess that’s why in tennis, they call it Love. []   

Keywords – ,       tennis, competition, friendship, love, sportsmanship, organized sports, senior sports, gentlemen’s tennis, misunderstanding, disagreements in sports, amateur sports

Categories: Other Sports, Sports
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