ATP at Delray Tennis Center

Delray Tennis Center rocks!  Debbie and I attended quarter-final matches yesterday.  The stadium is almost three blocks from our RV space, we’d hear it but the crowds have been too light to generate any noise outside the stadium.  Sitting in the stadium watching high quality tennis was really cool.

We sat on bleacher benches in the east side general admission area awhile then a volunteer graciously granted us tickets to the expensive seats at south end of the court.  The new vantage point was cool — we were ten feet above the court surface immediately behind the deuce court.

Serves looked like they were coming at us.  Ground strokes’ flight paths were clearly evident, soaring up to six feet above the net then zooming down into mid-court.   We had far better perspective on ball flight and enjoyed the match better.  Or were we watching better players?  It seemed like it.

Here’s the schedule of matches we watched yesterday between 11:00 and 17:00 hours (winners underlined):

E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) vs A Fisher (AUS) / S Huss (AUS)
R Sweeting (USA) vs K Nishikori (JAP)
Dodig (CRO) vs [6] J Tipsarevic (SRB)

I’m an okay tennis player.  I can place the ball with spin, I can play at the net (sort of), I have a couple of different serves.  And I’m still learning the game, even 45 years after I started playing.  But watching these guys play is a bit disheartening.  They cover the court side to side and front to back rapidly and easily, and they hit the balls so incredibly well.

I know, I know.  They hit all the time and might not enjoy it as much as I do.  Still, they make it look so easy not only to cream the ball but to place it with light touches too.  On the other hand, their best placed drop shots usually didn’t work.  They’re all too fast, and simply jet up there and hit the ball into play again.

Forty-five years I’ve played tennis and I never had attended a professional tennis match.  I remember watching NCAA women’s tennis at Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beach thirty years ago.  Finally I’m married to  a tennis player — she likes to hit with me and watch matches with me.  Smart move on my part — no, not smart, just lucky.

Jim and Debbie

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