Quantcast
nodot nodot
Circle Game
October 2001 Article

Contact to Greg Moran

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

Get Greg Moran's book Tennis Beyond Big Shots at Amazon.com

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Caroline Wozniacki
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Marin Cilic
tennis ball Grigor Dimitrov
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Circle Game By Greg Moran


 

Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
What Was Your Most
Memorable Tennis Moment?

Greg Moran Photo
Greg Moran

One of the great things about tennis is that the sport can provide us, regardless of our age or ability, with some tremendous moments and memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

What’s your most memorable moment to date? What tennis-related moment brings a smile to your face? Was it that first new racket? That great, off-balanced shot you hit to win the match, or meeting your tennis idol? Whatever it was, it was special, important, and will stay with you forever.

I’ve been playing and teaching tennis for over thirty years and in approximately 70,000 hours on a tennis court, and hundreds of other hours around the game, I have accumulated quite a few “memorable tennis moments.” I remember distinctly when I got the “tennis bug,” when I first went to the U.S. Open and my first win over a ranked player.

If you’re like me, you have hundreds of such memories and it is these memories, and the search for others, that keeps bringing us to the courts. At any time, we might come up with a spectacular shot that we will never forget, make a great comeback from the brink of defeat or meet someone on the courts that will change our lives (I met my wife on the tennis court).

With so many great memories it’s difficult for me to deem just one as my most memorable, but I recently experienced something that will always be in the top two or three. It was late on a Sunday afternoon and I’d been on the court for 10 hours in the hot sun and was tired. I was getting ready to call it a day and eagerly anticipating that cold beer that tastes so good after a hot day in the sun (actually, those cold beers after a hot day on the courts would probably rank among several of my top ten most memorable moments).

I’d closed the door to my office and was on my way out when three of the club’s members ambled over to the courts. They explained to me that their fourth couldn’t make it and wondered if I would fill in. Needless to say, I was not particularly eager. I was tired, stiff, not to mention thirsty, but the cold beer would have to wait.

I unlocked my office, grabbed my racket and met the three men on court 1. Sixty minutes later, I walked off the court having experienced what will forever be one of my most special experiences on a tennis court.

What made that hour so special was not the quality of play, because it was not particularly high. It was not the excitement of the match because I have no idea who won. No, what clearly made this game different than any others was the cast of characters I was on the court with. On the opposite side of the net there was, on the forehand side, 84 year-old Bill and on the backhand, 87 year-old Bob. My partner at the net was “the kid,” 79 year-old Ben. Yes, I said 84, 87, and 79 years-old.

That’s 250 years combined and, if you throw in my 42 years on earth the grand total of all the players on court #1 that Sunday was 292.

I was partnered with “the kid,” Ben, for a number of reasons. First, because he had just taken up the game a year ago, and second, because he had recently had knee and hip replacement surgery and the others figured that, at my youthful age of 42, I could make up for his lack of mobility.

As the match began, all three men assumed their “ready position” which, in their 80's, didn’t look a whole lot different than their general posture. Bill and Bob both stared me down, though, at their ages, I was not particularly certain that they could see that I was preparing to serve. Just to be sure, I yelled out as I tossed the ball, “Okay, here we go!”

The points were long, strategic, and usually decided by a winning drop shot or lob. There was no power for two reasons. First, most players in their 70's and 80's cannot generate much power and more important, players of that generation learned a different type of game than we see today.

Bill, Bob and Ben are from an era where points, games and matches are decided by the more strategic player, not the one that can hit the ball the hardest. The “physicalness” of the game was non-existent so our match more resembled a game of chess and was a test of finesse and creativity.

In between points, during extended change-over periods, and at least one bathroom break for each player, (myself included), good natured trash-talking was at a premium. Both Bob and Bill telling Ben that his “new parts needed oil,” Ben teasing Bob about his “hot date” the night before with 79 year-old Pat, and all three telling me that, “fifty years ago,” they would have wiped up the court with me.

Now as I mentioned, I have spent a good portion of my life around tennis and have had a countless number of memorable moments but I cannot remember a time where I had more fun on a tennis court than I did that day with Bill, Bob and Ben. The sheer fact that, at their ages, they were still playing, and enjoying tennis immensely, was fantastic, but it was more the camaraderie that the three shared, and allowed me to participate in, that made the match so memorable.

These men, and many others around the world, play tennis for the sheer love of the game. There’s a very special bond that groups like Bill, Bob and Ben share. Who wins and who loses is irrelevant. These players are so far removed from their egos on the court that they are able to laugh at their mistakes and are truly playing for the "love of the game."

Bill and Bob had played for many, many years, certainly at a better level than they play at today, but it didn’t matter to them. There was no sadness in the realization that they “used to” be able to hit a particular shot or reach a certain ball. Quite the contrary, they were more than happy, even grateful, that they were still able to get out there and hit the ball around a bit.

Then there’s Ben, who just started tennis a short while ago and is like a kid in a toy store. He has his new racket, high-tech shoes, his state of the art knee brace, and is training for, and counting the days until he is eligible for, the 80 and over tournaments.

I think we finished two sets, but amidst the talking and laughing, we all lost track of the score and claimed victory. I finally got to my beer with Ben, Bob and Bill joining me. We traded “war stories,” did a bit more trash talking and then all walked out to the parking lot and waited for Bob’s wife to pick him up. Bill informed me that “Bob doesn’t drive any more because he doesn’t see so well, as you probably noticed by his line calls.”

While we waited, I learned that the reason their fourth, John, couldn’t make it was because, at age 91, he had just passed away. It was John’s father who had started this group 60 years ago with Bill and Bob’s fathers and another gentleman whose name escaped them.

Through the years, Bill, Bob and John would fill in when needed and eventually, as each original member passed away, their son would take their place. John had been playing with another fellow named Jerry and , when Jerry died, John was the one that literally got Ben out of his rocking chair and onto the tennis court. “We needed a fourth,” Bob said, “so John convinced Ben to get off his fat butt and take up the game.” “Best thing that ever happened to me,” said Ben.

Now we have to find someone else”, said Bill sadly. As Bob’s wife pulled up to the club, I found myself asking if I could join them? They all smiled at each other and Bob said, “If you think you’re up to it kid.”


NOTE: I’d like to devote a future column to some of your most memorable tennis moments. Drop me an e-mail using this form and tell me your most memorable tennis moment. Maybe we’ll share it with the world.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Greg Moran, all rights reserved.

Greg Moran is the Head Professional at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, Connecticut. He is a former ranked junior and college player and certified by both the USPTA and USPTR. Greg has written on a wide variety of tennis-related subjects for numerous newspapers and tennis publications including Tennis, Tennis Match and Court Time magazines. He is also a member of the FILA and WILSON Advisory Staffs.

Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Greg by using this form.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Chris Evert Pro-Celeb Tennis Classic 11/22-11/23
 
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA 3/11-3/22
 
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami 3/23-4/5
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
Tennis Warrior: In Tennis, Principle Trumps Emotion by Tom Veneziano.
 
September 2014 Tennis Anyone: Things To Do and Not To Do by John Mills.
 
September 2014 Turbo Tennis: The Only Thing You Have To Fear Is Fear Itself!!! by Ron Waite.
 
September 9, 2014 Between The Lines: Dissecting U.S. Open 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
August 21, 2014 Between The Lines: Preview U.S. Open 2014 -- Focus Youth Brigade by Ray Bowers.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Little Tennis Girl Who Could by Tom Veneziano.
 
August 2014 Tennis Anyone: Try To See The Big Picture by John Mills.
 
August 2014 Turbo Tennis: My Most Useful 'Quick Fix' Tips!!! by Ron Waite.
 
May 2014 Wild Cards: Michael Chang Wins Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Challenge in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 9 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 10 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 11 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 12 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 16 Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 15 Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 14 Men's Third Round Women's Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 13 Men's Third Round Women's Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 12 Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 9 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 2nd Round Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 10 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 2nd Round Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 11 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 12 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 17 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles & Doubles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 18 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles & Doubles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 19 Tickets Miami Women's Semifinals Men's Singles Quarterfinals Men's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 20 Tickets Miami Women's Semifinals Men's Singles Quarterfinals Men's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy