The Wilson Hope
The winds blow wild in Wylie. Always. The 4 courts are set on a hill, enclosed by a single fence. One side has no windscreens and the ones loosely attached along the remaining sides hiss and howl when it gets breezy. Halfway between Rockwall and McKinney it's proximity was ideal for a Saturday morning Isner Roundrobin. Joe was already there when Keck and I drove up around 7:45 am. Bobby arrived a bit later and we got loose. Because we knew 40 games awaited us, the warm up was brief and we spun racquets quickly. 2 up, 2 down and the pairings were clear. Keck and I, Joe and Bobby. The format calls for a 10 game mahut against each player, with #1 and #4 playing #2 and #3 in a 10 game doubles mahut to finish it off. The first 30 games replicates a morning or afternoon KOtC session.
Predictably, Keck took first. Bobby and I battled for #2 and at deuce in the final game of our mahut, our 30th game of the morning, it was still undecided. Exhausted, I fought off the swirling winds, kept my toss low, and served it out. Bulldog Bobby is always tough. Our 5-5 finish left him #3 after Keck destroyed Joe 9-1. Despite Joe's 6-4 win over Bobby and a never say die 4-6 loss to me, his final mahut destined him to #4. My Wilson Hope racquet was wobbling at the handle. It's bent frame was noticeably warping the head. Factory strings, strung at about 51 it seemed. I had played great with this racquet and was reluctant to make a change. Two of my racquets are getting fresh strings for KOtC, but for now, I was playing confident with the white and pink Hope. They'll cure that cancer one day. For now, keep on walking across the city. Keep on being pink. Joe was blasting forehands, mostly out, Keck was hanging in every point and keeping the pressure on. His intolerance and disgust of mistakes is a powerful weapon. Bobby has really gotten to another level. His results are clear. My serve was maddening all day but eventually put me at #2. Double fault mumbling. The unkind tape. Bobby and I tied Joe and Keck 5-5 in doubles, with every point contested to the maximum. Thought about the Lone Survivor movie, the true story of 4 Navy Seals in Afghanistan. Markey Mark stars in it. Incredible story of people who always see a way to win. Serving, but down 1-3, 15-40 to Bobby, I thought of them. We changed over at 2-3. Only one survived. Remember them on Veterans Day. 11/11. God's Will, amen.