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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco State University’

PostHeaderIcon My 2013 USTA Chronicles: Match #2 versus GLTF (A)

Gay and Lesbian Tennis Federation (GLTF) logo

Date: 4/20/2013
Location: San Francisco State University (GLTF Home Courts)
Conditions: Upper 60’s, sunny, no wind
Doubles or Singles Played: Doubles
Personal Match Result: 6-1 6-4 Loss
Team Match Result: 1-4 Loss
Personal Season Record: 1-1
Team Season Record: 0-3

San Francisco State University tennis courts

Match Notes: Conditions were excellent, with sunny skies, mild temperatures, and no wind. Our match was against one of the two 4.0 “sister” teams being fielded by the GLTF (Gay and Lesbian Tennis Federation).

My partner for doubles was Leo, an excellent player who reads the court well and is great at picking on opponent weaknesses. We’d played successful practice sets before and had paired well. However, we were gonna have our hands full at #1 doubles against fellow GLTF’ers, Rick and Derek. I’ve known these guys for years, so I knew what to expect: a tough match.

Rick and Derek are great players with solid serves, solid volleys, and great ground games that can hurt you from either the forehand or backhand side. To make matters more challenging, they’ve played doubles together for years and are a very successful team. Leo and I are solid as well, but don’t have the same level of pace and consistency on a stroke per stroke basis. We needed for them to have an off day, and we needed to play cleanly.

I played the Ad court, which is okay because my best strokes (inside-out forehand/crosscourt backhand) are well-suited to that side. We won the toss, chose to serve, and things got complicated quickly. I was broken in the very first game, which also included a shanked backhand return winner on the sideline about a foot from the net post, and a self-inflicted blow to the knee with the butt of my handle when I unsuccessfully tried to sidestep AND hit a slice on a ball that came blasting back right at my feet. Yeah, it was one of “those” days.

The first set went by quickly. We didn’t play badly; we just didn’t play clean enough on a point-by-point basis to put them under any significant pressure. And since starting with two service breaks can put you in a hole very quickly, the first set was lost before we could get anything going. The second set was better, but only because we mounted a comeback from 0-4 to get back on serve at 4-5 before doing down 6-4.

Losses are never fun, but this wasn’t necessarily a “bad loss” because we lost to two strong (and deserving) players who are starting to have success even at the 4.5 level. Our good shots came back with interest, and they always seemed to have an answer for our best. I could’ve served better, and there were a few too many unforced errors for my liking, but other than that I played a solid and fairly relaxed match.

That’s the goal these days.  Stay relaxed, embrace the tension of the moment with a deep breath (to relax the shoulders and arm), and try not to “press” on my shots, regardless of the match situation or level of my opponent.

And maybe next time I’ll pass on Miley’s “Party in the USA” as my pre-match jam.

PostHeaderIcon GLTF Women’s 3.0 Teams The Longshots and The Sweetshots Play Tough at Districts

This was a busy weekend for the GLTF, as two of the Women’s USTA adult league teams were playing at Districts (one in Alameda and one in Sunyvale).  Match times were the same for both locations.   I wanted to make a point to cheer at least one of the teams on and do a write up, but I unfortunately had to choose which location to cover.  Just for scheduling and distance, I opted to see the Longshots play in Alameda at the Harbor Bay Club on Saturday.

My apologies to the Sweetshots.  Wish I could have been there as well.

After a winning day on Friday, the Longshots continued their strong run by sweeping the doubles against Lafayette for a 3-2 victory.  First up on the main show court was doubles with Tara and Jeane.   I arrived with the match already in progress thanks to the wonderful traffic on 880, but the match was already well under control.  Tara and Jeane played great tennis to come away with the first win.

Claire played in the first singles match-up, and tried hard in her “sacrifice” singles position.  But her opponent was just too tough.  To her credit, Claire kept an amazingly positive attitude on court and kept playing hard until the last point.  Even afterward she was upbeat and quite funny in this brief chat we had while watching the second doubles.  It’s pretty funny, and I can see myself hanging out with Claire and laughing my butt off the whole time.  The clip is published with her blessing. 🙂

Claire V. interview at Districts (AUDIO)

Click here or on the picture at right for the image gallery

Next up was the duo of  “Down the line” Donna and “Pato” Penny (please excuse me if I’m butchering nicknames too badly!).  They were on and through quickly, with a strong beat-down of their opponents in straights.  The last two matches were the doubles duo of  Penny-Kathy, and Nicole in singles.  I think there was some kind of a curse on court #2 at Harbor Bay for our “singles ladies”.  First Claire, and then Nicole … locked in tough battles without easy access for team support.  From what I could see through the fence, Nicole played tough but came out on the losing end.

So there it was… match on the line with a must-win for Penny and Kathy.  And wouldn’t you know that they came through a tough battle on the main show court for the clinching victory.  If this had been day 3 I’m sure there would have been a mad dash on the court with jumping and scrumming.  But with a final tough day of play the ladies settled for high fives, hugs, and Coronas!

It was great watching the Longshots compete so well under such tough conditions.  The team support was also great to see.  These ladies like playing together and it showed!  A note of thanks to all of them for welcoming me into the fold for pictures and questions.  To quote Tara (who came up to me after her win with Jeane), “I saw you taking our picture… who are you?”.  Thank god I could explain myself adequately and it didn’t get ugly. 😉

In all seriousness, they were great to be with on a sunny Saturday afternoon.  I wish I could have come back Sunday to cheer the Longshots on.  Jeane e-mailed later in the day that they lost their last match to end 2-1 in round robin play, same as the Sweetshots.  But I’m sure it was still a great effort from all… even at 8AM on a Sunday!  Congratulations to both teams, and all the best for your off-season and a repeat performance next year.

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