How To Play in the Wind

Marty and me

After overnight rains, Monday morning started off at a comfortable 64 degrees but extremely windy for our morning of training, team positioning, and drills. 

A stated goal for the morning is “don’t work too hard” (save yourself for the afternoon start of the real team matches and two-a-day matches that start on Tuesday). 

Morning Tennis

After breakfast, we had our pictures with the Legends and stretching by pro trainer Larry Starr.  Then all the teams went off to play some doubles for about two hours, with different pairings to see how we match up together.  I was on our third court … which means there are at least eight doubles players (four teams) above me – a pretty solid Wanker team.

The wind was gusting at 20-30 miles an hour (after the storm system that had a tornado rip through Dallas last night); so Roy Emerson gave us these tips on playing in the wind:

  • Recognize which direction the wind is coming from and adjust your whole game to that factor.
  • A righty/lefty team should position their servers so that the cross wind is coming into the server’s face; so they can use the wind to aid their slice serve.
  • If you are serving into the cross wind, then use a kick serve.
  • Serve only at three quarters pace to be sure to get the first serve in (and take the pressure off your second serve)
  • The wind will move all shots; so over do your footwork and really focus on watching the ball.

Afternoon Doubles

Following lunch, they moved the normal schedule up a day due to the pending rain at the end of the week and we played the “Tuesday afternoon doubles” matches.  I was teamed with good friend (and frequent website commenter) Marty Judge; and we played at #5 doubles.

Our Musclemen opponents were Tom David and Charles McArdle … two veteran camp players from Texas, both of whom have very nice strokes, but can sometimes be erratic, and sometimes play very well.

Today, they both played very well and cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Overall, our Wanker team ended the day leading the Musclemen 6-5.  Surprisingly, Willy Hoffmann, playing at #4 doubles for Newk’s Kangaroos, lost a long, close match 7-6, 7-6; and his team is tied with the Dunnies at 6 matches apiece.

After Tennis Tennis

At the end of the day, Roy Emerson gave a clinic right below our balcony; but after a full day of morning and afternoon tennis, Willy and I shared some beer, nuts, and relaxing time watching from on high.

Then we went to Happy Hour and dinner of barbeque chicken and ribs. 

Before the evening’s entertainment, I awarded the first of this year’s “Senior Moment” awards to none other than my long-time coach Roy Emerson.  It was for two events…

  • During the Sunday introductions, he picked up his bag and started walking off the court before Newk had finished talking about his team; so Emmo was guilty of “Premature Evacuation.”
  • And then at lunch on Monday, he reminisced about his boyhood days on the family farm in Blackbutt, Australia, and told a great story about their herd of 100 cows.  The last memorable line was: “He was a good bull; but no good to us with a broken dick!”

Then there was a panel discussion about Davis Cup history, experiences, and the new (and somewhat controversial) new format.

Afterwards, while others went to the bar for more drink and talk, I went off to my room to try to watch the end of the Patriots vs. Jets Monday night game (Ned Dorman: Thanks for the $5) and get a decent night’s sleep before the Tuesday team competition, with doubles for me in the morning and in the afternoon.

P.S. Nothing really hurts; but my legs know I have not been playing on friendly HarTru; so I took an Aleve.

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3 thoughts on “How To Play in the Wind

  1. It was a pleasure playing with you yesterday, George. You are right that Tom and Charles played well yesterday. There wasn’t much we could do when they started not missing.

    I stayed all through Emmo’s clinic after the matches yesterday; hopefully, some of his good advice and general karma will rub off on me today. Looking forward to another great day of tennis today.

    Marty, and it DID Tuesday morning! george

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