Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tennis Robot.

I'm making fairly good progress on becoming a tennis robot. What does that mean? Any of you that saw the French and Wimbledon finals knows that Rafael Nadal is a (virtually) unconquerable machine. He absolutely gets to everything, and pounds ground strokes with not necessarily the same force or frequency of winners as someone like Federer, but with the steadfast consistency and predictability of a robot. At the end of this day, what this means is that he'll beat you, but he'll also make you beat yourself. That's more or less what I'm shooting for these days.

I was discussing with a friend the other day - what shots do I have? Well, I can hit aces, and winners of both the forehand and backhand side. My volleys are half-decent. But I don't have *the* shot anywhere, like my friend who has a monster forehand, or others that have monster serves. Generically, I lack "a weapon." It's more like my general shots are "sort of weapons" all-around, which isn't exactly a bad place to be, but that can typically be trumped by real weapons. To defeat this, I'm trying to get in monster shape. If there is one area where I believe I do have a true weapon, it's that I'll grind longer than almost any other guy I know. Want to beat me? You're going to have to take it from me, because I'm not going to give it to you. Note that I still encounter guys that can out-grind me on occasion, like the league tennis playoffs a few weeks ago where a guy I had beaten previously beat me into submission after a 20-deuce game on his serve. I had nothing left.

The tank is getting bigger, though. I've been running in the heat to get used to it, and I think my fitness is coming along nicely. I have a tournament coming up in a couple weeks where I'm signed up for 5.0 - note the shift from 4.5 to 5.0. My ultimate tennis goal is to win a 5.0 major zone, and I think it's time for me to start playing 5.0 tournaments to see where I stand, since I've been faring pretty well in 4.5 tourneys.

I'll keep you updated...


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