It was another week when I only got to play once…but it still beats not playing.
I was unable to get to my typical Saturday group game, but Warkittens flew back from warmer locales and wanted to bring back some tricks he’d learned in the sub-tropics to Chicagoland, so we organized a Sunday game.
I corralled a solid player from one of my usual groups, and he comes from a tennis background. As such, he has hellacious ground strokes and isn’t afraid to use them. While he might be overly aggressive sometimes, he’s a threat to hit a winner any time he can step into a shot from either his forehand or backhand.
He’s not quite a banger- he’s got nice touch on drop shots and his dink game is solid- but he’s more aggressive in trying to hit winners than most people I play with. What was crazy, though, is how having one player in a different style completely altered the rhythm and flow of the game. Instead of routinely just trying to hit a deep return to the middle, I was extra careful about putting my returns in a place he might be able to attack. And I was extra conscious of keeping my paddle up any time I suspected he might be lining up for a winner.
And he got the better of me (and all of us) here and there- he can really hit the snot out of the ball and can put some wicked spin on a forehand- but it again reminded me of how vital it is to play against different opponents and different styles as much as we can. It reinforced 2 vital areas that I can always be reminded of: be precise with returns and keep your paddle up!