Wednesday, October 05, 2005

burning for tennis

Tennis has never been a sport I followed closely. For my football/basketball/baseball-fan father, it ranked down there with golf and bowling as sports to watch on the boob tube. I didn't pick up a raquet until high school gym class and proved spectacularly inept. Matches were over in 30 seconds.

When Jess offered up tickets to a Davis Cup doubles match up at York, it was hard to resist. Another new experience, an afternoon with friends, etc.

Truelove, Janine and I landed good seats, close to the court. They were also directly in the sun. By the start of the fourth set, our faces had started to turn a nice shade of red. We fled to a shady section of the stands for the nail-biting final set.

Canada, anchored by Daniel Nestor and Frederic Niemeyer, went down to the wire to beat Belarus in four sets. You could feel the tension in the stands as the teams went into the tennis equivalent of sudden-death overtime.

The stands were livelier than I expected, with patriotic cheers all around that resulted in many hand signals from the court judge. Only the stadium organ was missing. Belarus had a small but loud following, deafening the stadium with their noisemakers. Everyone received "cheer sticks" at the entrance, long balloon-like objects than "banged" when smacked together. Great fun for drumming on the seats. I received a faulty set, as one kept deflating (the other week was still in good shape when I took it out of the trunk a week later).

Turned out I picked the right day to go, as Canada split the first day of singles, then lost the final matches. - JB

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