Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Every now and then, a great match emerges during a Grand Slam. At the French Open 2014 hosted at Stadium Roland Garros, this event does not disappoint!  Such a competition emerged between Scotsman Andy Murray (number 8 in the world) and German Philipp Kohlshreiber (number 28).

I saw most of the match, and have to say I love the 'cat and mouse' game of Philipp Kohlshreiber, contrasted with the never give up attitude of Andy Murray.

Let's fast forward to the closing sets. It is almost nightfall, and both players have been battling over three hours for the prize to advance. Who will it be?

After four (4) hours and seven (7) minutes of total play, the next day Andy Murray emerges as the victor, but not so easy a win, n'est pas? 

Kohlschrieber is a great doubles player, and has tamed his game to adapt to the deep topspin shots of his adversaries.  Regardless, you would witness the intensity of Kohlschrieber, his necessity to get to the net and either volley or put away with an overhead. Some say the volley is an old dinosaur, but it is a favorite shot of mine, and garners such satisfaction, that I highly recommend the volley shot will return to popular favored stature.

Watch the fantastic footwork of both these players, who is 'cat and mouse' to whom? Such terrific fitness, exhibiting beauty within their sport, tennis at its finest.

                                      Here are some Youtube highlights of the match~

At 7-7 in the fifth set, Andy Murray is suffering from a pulled hamstring. The match is retired for the evening due to nightfall. You can see the evening shadow looming across the court as a final curtain.  Lucky for Murray, not so much for Kohlschreiber.

Both players showed so much tenacity.  Andy Murray hung on, even while in pain, and asking the match officials waiting in the wings as to when they will close the match.  He is in true discomfort, yet stays on!  Not that a player should suffer needlessly, he did have his trainer come out on court per match protocol.  Definitely getting dark out there. And so the match continues on the following day.

Here is Andy after winning match point~

photo courtesy of Associated Press
I have heard so often to, stay in the point, do not wait for the next point, get this one!  Such is tenacity.  

Another example I have is a personal one.  For many years, I played my own 'cat and mouse' with this game, being interested, hacking with friends, leaving the sport for many more years while pursuing other interests. But somehow, this sport of tennis never left me, it has stayed, and in the past five years has grown amazingly strong. More than ever before and more than I could ever imagine.

I started playing tennis with some contract time time with friends, and we basically raised our children together and got them into colleges while we played on Mondays.  Also during that time period, I randomly got a call that some players needed a singles player for a USTA team. To get myself on a team, I said yes, sure, and walked onto my first on court tennis singles match with much trepidation, lost, hung in there and had some wins and losses over the years, while filling in with doubles play as well. I have been with my USTA group for five years now, and as a group we have had our successes, challenges, so much to strive for! 

And this year, I am so blessed to be healthy and competing in 3 different groups this spring! I am hooked and there is no turning back.  With each success comes a new challenge, more topspin needed, how did I lose that tiebreaker by two points? And wow, what a privilege to play a match with a superior player who wiped me out but I was still so happy to get points, deuces and finally a game from her! Nearly knocked her over with a backhand down the line, that shot will resonate with me for a long time!! 

Such is the satisfaction tennis can offer to the player who hangs in there, who keeps with her game, you never know what is waiting right around the corner (or should I say baseline?).

FRENCH OPEN UPDATE, June 3rd~ Andy Murray beats Fernando Verdasco, emerging into the men's quarterfinals!

FURTHER UPDATE! June 4~ Andy Murray beats Gael Monfils, another evening match with shadows of nightfall but this time Andy bagels Gael in the 5th set at 6-0, what a match! Andy progresses to the semi-finals and will face red hot Rafa Nadal... stay tuned!

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