Thursday, 16 September 2010

Tennis Times

Not quite sure how this happened but I've become tennised up.

The annual journalists' tournament at Roland Garros is taking place at the same time - I was going to use contemporaneously - as another tournament for journalists at the nearby Tennis Club de Boulogne Billancourt.

I found out about the latter two years ago when I was in Beijing. While sitting at my desk in the Ice Station Zebra that masqueraded as the press hangar, there was this email from the Open ISCA to come and take part.

I duly registered and I was invited to play. I asked where the Open ISCA got my name from and the organiser told me they dipped into the database of journalists registered to cover Roland Garros and picked me.

I ended up playing against the same bloke that I played against at the Roland Garros tournament. Lost badly first at Roland Garros but a few weeks later with my post Beijing fitness returning I lost less badly.

Last year at Roland Garros I wasn't really in a fit state as I'd been dealing with my dad's death all summer and was paired in the first round against someone who clearly had played well before. Tournaments he told me as I attempted to break sweat after a 6-1 6-0 annihilation.

It was the same at the Boulogne Billancourt event.

However 2010 has brought a bit more success in that I won my first round matches at both tournaments.

On a Thursday full of fun I played at 10am in the Open ISCA and won and then at 1pm had to play my second round match at Roland Garros. Not ideal.

I said to the missus on Thursday night I don't know how much of a bearing that early match made on the second. I think I was in better physical shape than my second adversary but he had better technique and range of shots.

I am at least contented that I did better than last year. I beat the guys I should have beaten and that is a start.

I am going back to Roland Garros on Friday morning with my tennis coach Rafael.

The great thing is that after you've been eliminated from the Roland Garros extravaganza you can go back with a mate. So I shall try a few returns there before the whole thing closes down on September 25.

This rampant individualism detracts me from the team game that is my football side.

On Saturday there is the second warm up match before the season proper. If the first warm up game is anything to go by it is going to be a stiflingly long season in the second division.

The goal is not to be promoted and not to be relegated. The first division last season was not much fun. I don't think the third division would bring much joy either.

There are a couple of new players. A forward and a midfielder. I shall doubtless shuffle between attack and the middle as befits the needs of the team.

But at what cost to myself?

Hang on that sounds like faux woe.