Wednesday, September 26, 2007


A couple of days ago my son, Joe College, told me that he was off to Ramat HaSharon to see the tennis match.

I said, 'That's nice.' Since my kid had never shown any interest in tennis I was curious as to why he would traipse off to spend an afternoon in the sun.

One of his dearest, childhood friends had VIP tickets as her father was one of the founding heads of the Israel Tennis Association and got them two tickets. Besides, they could have lunch in the VIP lounge. :)

That made sense to me. So, the kid wore light clothes; a baseball cap; took his old schoolbag full of water and stuff...and off they went.

An hour later he called me and told me to turn on channel 55 and look for him. Well, I wasn't really doing anything special, just writing on my new novel, so I took my laptop into my room, set it up on my breakfast tray, turned on the TV...and that was it...I was stuck for the next five hours.


Our guy, Dudi Sela, ranked at 105 was playing Fernando Gonzales from Chile, ranked at 6. One of these two players would be propelled into the World Group of the Davis honour we haven't had in fourteen years.

I thought tennis was a boring dumb soccer where they run and run and run and maybe after an hour and a half the dumb ball flies into the net...or golf, where they shlep all over the grass and hit the ball into a stream and then try to land it into a tiny, little hole somewhere over the rainbow...and my all time favourite, cricket, which I haven't been able to figure out to this day. A guy takes the ball and runs to Chicago...then he runs to Detroit and flings it at a guy with a funny bat and everyone has a sticky wicket. Don't ask.

I love watching sports. I love skating...
basketball...billiards...BASEBALL...and have even been known to watch a football game or two.

My picture of tennis is nice ladies with long dresses and parasols...or the new kids with short skirts or pants and all in white knacking a ball back and forth over a net.

I am ashamed to tell you that if I wouldn't have been looking out for my kid, I would have turned the thing off after twenty minutes. But, as it was I was stuck.

This is not a friendly game! This is not a game for sissies!!! This is a killer sport. After watching these two men exhaust themselves non-stop for five hours, all I can say is that the gladiators are back.

I thought of the two of them as I watched and cheered on our guy. Both exhausted...both not giving up...both hanging in there...sweating and panting in the sun.

Oh! And jumping! How the hell they could still hop and jump is beyond me. It was pitiful. It reminded me of the marathon races in the olympics where, half-dead, a runner shows up dazed and lost a few feet away from the finish line. Honestly it was awful watching these two men.

They were like dance partners in a room full of strangers. Each knew his steps and timing. Each knew the other's weaknesses. Each applauded the other's strength. And each wanted that last point to be his.

You have to have a strong heart to watch tennis. God alone knows what you have to have to play the game.

Bravo Dudi Sela. The last ball of the last set of the last game was yours. You are on your way to the Davis Cup.

I think you are a hero! I hope you win.

Just thinking about it is making me tired.

Tonight is another holiday...Succot. So, let me take a moment to wish you all a chag sameach and a wonderful holiday.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.


At 1:38 AM, Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

I got such a kick out of your disdain for Tennis, but how you got won over because you were looking for your! Did you ever see him? I must say I am not a Tennis lover either, but I can appreciate what a tough difficult game it is and the stamina and skill involved...Good Lord! I have tremendous admiration for all the players.
I wish you happy Holiday, too, and thanks for your visit....!

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, tennis. I used to play tennis! I rather enjoyed the game. That was when I was less of a shadow of my present self. It will definitely keep you fit. Of course, the dancing every night until the wee hours at the clubs probably helped also ;o) Oh, the good ol' days, when we had the world by the tail. What the heck happened?

I understand you are coming to the States sometime in January? I'll meet you for that cup of java we have yet to have together. You name the place. I think "Shira" may want to come too!

At 5:03 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

thanks too

At 5:04 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

shalom chavaleh...i can't wait

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Yehudi said...

My wife keeps asking me to play tennis with response? That means I have to run and jump and swing...isn't there a tennis match we can watch on television together?


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