Tennis is a Part of My Life (Revised)
The sound of opening brand new tennis balls fills my ears with a powerful pssht. Today is another game day, this time we – the girls’ tennis team – are up against our rivals from Oak Ridge. I am playing a doubles game with a powerful teammate who can hit fast, deep serves. And yet, it’s me who is serving to the opponent. About two feet from the middle of the baseline, I bounce the fresh neon-yellow ball three times before tossing it up into the air. As the ball reaches its apex and starts to descend, my arm arcs up to slice serve it over the lofty net. The ball kicks off the ground away from my opponents and right smack into one of the holes of the fence. Fifteen love.
Once I’m on the left of my partner, I smack a serve that looks like an absolute value graph. But learning from my previous serve, my opponent has her guard up so she had an amazing on-the-rise crosscourt return, with me persistently rallying with her until I finally get the chance to use my topspin lob. Seeing that it has risen to the height of two tennis courts on top, my opponents are confident that it will be out until it slowly falls down and softly thumps up and down vertically on the green asphalt court. Astonished to see that I have successfully made it in, both my partner and opponents congratulated me with utmost praise and respect.
After an hour and a half-hour, we were at a deuce and if we won this point, we would win this match. Ever so slowly, I bounce the ball and hold it in my hand with a dramatic pause and do the same for the second time, and then I let it fly from my fingertips upward into the sky. The moment it started to free fall, I slapped the little green orb with as much force I could muster up. Unfortunately, the angle was too acute and it hit the net and fell into the box on the other side. Trying again, I do the same as before, but much faster, higher, and more obtuse; and I finally serve a fast deep one into the box on the other side, which had a powerful kick that slid like a rock endlessly skipping across a lake. With that shot, we won our match.
After the match, I can feel my blood pumping with adrenaline from the excitement. This energetic and lively feeling brings me back to the time I first held a tennis racquet. Once I was old enough to walk steady steps and have a firm grip on a thick handle of a giant thicker version of a badminton racquet, my dad began to teach me how to play a sport of quick feet and strong arms – tennis. As I got the hang of it, I began to enjoy the confidence that I gained from the consistent short ball rallies. Then after a few years, my brother finally had the strength to hold a tennis racquet without being overwhelmed by its weight. Tennis eventually became the family sport activity that bonded us together.
For a couple years, I had played tennis just for fun. But then after watching tennis professionals on television, I finally realized that tennis was also a competitive sport. As the information started to kick in, I considered playing in a tournament. However my parents didn’t think I had enough experience so they signed me up for private lessons. I really enjoyed my lessons because I learned a lot and improved my game. It also helped that my coach was the best tennis coach around. Of course, tennis lessons and school put together may seem like a complicated life but then it got easier to live with.
Nevertheless, all my hard work was put to the test all through middle school to high school. My tennis schedule did conflict with other extracurricular activities and my class schedule, but I still managed to do it all with gusto. Tennis helps me perform strategically, think straight, and take my mind off most things, such as stress and depression. It’s a sport that really enhances my focus on the game and court. When I’m on the green battlefield, I know I need to stay strong, keep my eyes on the ball, and focus on the opponents.