Posts Tagged ‘tennis’

Into the Mystic, Tennis Division


May 20th, 2023 Posted 7:44 am

Here’s an oddity (distantly reminiscent of Mrs. Plansky’s first appearance in Mrs. Planky’s Revenge – at which you can have a free sneak peek, see link): Yesterday for the first time in decades of playing tennis I hit a right-handed shot. (I’m a lefty.) I was running … well, moving toward the corner of the deuce court (my backhand) for a ball that was going to be plenty of trouble but all of a sudden the racket was in my right hand and I hit a deep lob for a clean winner. What? Is this the beginning of something? Will I wake up tomorrow and know how to play the piano?




Tennis (More)


March 22nd, 2023 Posted 7:05 am

Continuing with our little unplanned series re tennis in my work. This is from Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge, coming July 25 but pre-orders welcome now:

Mrs. Plansky walked quickly, partly on account of the cold, but also because speed seemed to be making her new hip feel better, perhaps warming up all that titanium. How lucky she was! She knew other tennis players, men and women, who had replaced hips, knees, shoulders, even an ankle or two in the hope of getting back on the court. But often it didn’t work out that way and yet there she was, playing the way she’d played ten or fifteen years ago! Naturally she’d need to check video to confirm that judgment, video that luckily did not exist. Mrs. Plansky was occupying herself along those lines when she got the feeling that maybe she should have reached the square by now. She checked her surroundings and recognized nothing.


Tennis Lesson: From Thereby Hangs a Tail


March 21st, 2023 Posted 7:50 am

Tennis has been the topic a few times lately – it comes up in my work from time to time, can’t help it. Here’s the tennis lesson from Thereby Hangs A Tail, a Chet and Bernie novel (for newcomers, Bernie is the detective and Chet is his partner and the narrator. A dog, yes, but not a talking one).

The tall blond guy took a ball from the bucket and hit it to Ganz. Ganz wore white shorts, had skinny legs like sticks. He swung his racquet and hit the ball back. The tall guy let it go by, took out another ball. “Brush up, Shermie, brush up. Spin on the ball, always spin on the ball.” He hit the ball over the net. Ganz swung, this time missing the ball completely. “Brush up but through, up but  through, up but through,” said the tall guy, sending over another ball. Brush? I knew brushes, saw none around. Maybe tennis was tougher than it looked, but I didn’t worry about that because a ball came bouncing over in our direction – we were now beside the court – and I snatched it out of the air, and who wouldn’t have, the ball being right there practically saying, “Catch me.” And then – this part was a bit harder to understand – I was on the court, racing toward the net. Up and over: not much of a challenge, tennis nets turning out not to be very high, but still it felt so great, being airborne and all, that I kind of twisted around still up there, if you see what I mean, and landed facing back at the net, and the next thing I knew I was jumping over it again, from the other direction, and, yes! doing the spin move once more, and when I landed this time, somehow with two balls in my mouth now – how had that happened? – I –



“I Enjoy.” (Learning from a 19 year old)


March 20th, 2023 Posted 8:21 am

Carlos Alcaraz, current #1 tennis player in the world, after winning the wonderful Indian Wells tournament last night:

“What I improve a lot is to don’t take the pressure, just to play relaxed. That’s why I show a great level, because I feel like I have no pressure. I enjoy. I’m playing relaxed.”


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