Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bronze League Champion!

My "championship" match in the Bronze league tonight was perhaps the greatest anti-climax in the history of Bronze league championships. I have no way of knowing whether that's true, but that's how I imagine it to be.

I beat my opponent 6-0, 6-2, in the my most lopsided match of the year. I hardly broke a sweat. This was supposed to be my toughest competition in a league where I keep squeaking out victories in tense tiebreakers (four of them in the previous five matches.)

The match was tense for the first three games, but after I won three close deuce games in a row, he kind of folded and I ran away with the first set. It turns out that positive thinking is helping me on the tennis court. I tell myself, "You're the one who wins deuce games, you're the one who wins deuce games..." and I do.

In the second set he won the first two games, but I broke his serve to make it 2-1. In the next game, on my serve, he went up 40-0 and looked like he was going to take a 3-1 lead. But bolstered by the confidence of winning nine straight league matches, I told myself, "You're going to come back and win this game, and that will break his spirit." And I did exactly that. I won five straight points, tied it up and 2-2, and after that he seemed to give up. I won the next four games pretty easily.

I was almost embarrassed by the ease of my victory. I know he didn't play very well, but I don't know how much my game affected his play. (I served really well. In fact, I got an ace in the last game, which I never do.) After a match I usually tell my opponents, "Good game" or "You really ran me around out there" or "We had some great points." But I didn't know what to say to him. I wanted to say that I was shocked that it wasn't closer, but that might have been rubbing it in.
I am a champion! I feel like announcing it to everyone I know. I want to wear a t-shirt that says, "Ask me about the Bronze league!"

It's not exactly like the birth of a child or winning a Nobel prize, but after the year I've had, it's nice to know there is one area of my life where I'm a winner.


Dan S said...

Hey, Congratulations!

What's that line about winning being mostly mental?

Tim said...

Ummm, is it "winning is mostly mental?"

I do believe most of my recent tennis success has come from my mental toughness. I got new strings in my racket, but I have trouble believing that something that minor would turn an average player into an undefeated phenomenon (9-0 so far). Unless the new strings are making me believe I play better with them.