Posts Tagged Winning Ugly

Filly Meunier’s Childhood Secret To Good Tennis

Tennis Sisters—Filly Meunier (rt) with 2010 French Open Champion, Francesca Schiavone—8/2011

Before I posted my words two days ago about subbing surprises, I showed it to one of my opponents, Filly Meunier. Her reaction was another surprise: “I had no idea you were so frustrated. You didn’t show it one bit.”

When I told her how startled I was that my weaker partner was giving me advice on how to improve my game, she said, “I have learned that the less you say, the better. Encourage your partner to work as a team. But if you don’t have anything positive to say, you say nothing.”

When I asked Filly how she had developed such a strong game, here is what she wrote.

ah ! , you flatter me ! such a nice compliment. thank you.

I don’t have many secrets to my game, and in my opinion, it would be beneficial if I did. There is a lot of technique/strategy I don’t use (and don’t know) and have not taken the time to learn or practice. Maybe one day.

I’ve played tennis since I was a young girl, for the most part only once or twice per week. On days I’d find no one to hit with, I would hit against a cement wall at a private school near my home. Could that be my secret? I believe that could improve one’s eye, hand coordination and ball contact. Since then, I have continued to play the game , mostly just for fun (very few lessons) and on average, only twice per week.

For the past two years (and for the first time ever) I have enjoyed playing in the ladies Dogwood League at the New Milford Tennis and Swim Club, something new for me. Competition/League tennis is really fun. I take it more seriously and strive to do well for my “team.” It’s a totally different ball game when you are working towards a trophy and working to advance your “team’s standing,” in addition to winning your own match. It’s a lot of pressure (talk about butterflies!), but I enjoy the challenge. In the past two seasons, we have taken home the “Silver” and continue to work towards the “Gold.” I am proud to say that in last year’s final (of the four courts that played), my partner and I won our match 6 -4, 6-3. Unfortunately, our other three courts lost their matches (though one of them came very close to a win at 6-2, 2-6, 5-7). Nonetheless, it was loads of fun having a shot at the Title!

I did read Brad Gilbert’s “Winning Ugly” last summer and enjoyed it. I would recommend it, if you haven’t.

I hope to get to play with you soon again Ira. It was a pleasure to have you join us last week. You played very smart, very tough, had some impressive “gets” along with some very nice points. Keep up your good play and always remember to keep having fun. In the event I find something interesting to add to your site (which I thoroughly enjoy), I’ll be sure to send it along.

The photo (above) was taken last year at the New Haven Open. I thought you might get a kick out of it. I was sitting at a court watching a match and suddenly heard Francesca Schiavone’s famous “grunt” (“ahh..hee”). With total excitement I scurried around and found her two courts over (practicing with her coaches). I waited patiently, and as she walked off the court I approached her to say hello. She was very personable and friendly, so I had a few words with her and then asked for a photo. She has been a favorite of mine and I was so elated to have met her. It was fun.

Schiavone is currently ranked #11 in the world.

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Please Don’t Worry About Me, I Am Fine

Some readers are wondering why I haven’t been posting lately—the longest interruption in a year. I am simply out of town on spring break vacation, was preparing for the trip, was working on some intense business obligations and have been playing sports almost every day! Even went to the gym three times so far this week.

Yesterday one friend wanted to play tennis twice during the day in 76-degree sunshine, and then my daughter challenged me to join her and her friend in a Miami Zumba class. We were the only non-Latinos in the class, and it was really a sensuous, sexy, sweaty group. Lots of rolling hips and hair-whirling heads. Even the elderly women shook shoulders and twirled like girls. I love it. Spicy, like Hot Salsa. Blasting music…my ears were ringing. And a very different flavor from the Zumba class I took in Connecticut. As a result, I slept more than nine hours last evening. I was really tired.

So please be patient. I am reading Agassi’s auto bio and Brad Gilbert’s tennis guide called, Winning Ugly, so my tennis game should improve. I have lots more to tell, once I am back home on my own computer with a number of articles and stories ready to post. Thanks for your patience…

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