Friday, July 16, 2010

How Much Do I Hate to Lose?

Racquetball: I had my match with Steve this morning and the stakes were high. If I won, I’d be the number one seed going into the playoffs, a huge deal because I wouldn’t have to battle Steve or Tyrone in the semis. If Steve won, it would put him in the driver’s seat for the no. 1 slot if he also beat Tyrone. If Steve beat me, lost to Tyrone and won the rest of his games we’d have a three-way playoff for seed position. I just wanted to win and not deal with either Steve or Tyrone until the finals in August. Unfortunately, Steve decided to play topnotch racquetball this morning. There was one shot that I’m still puzzled how he got. He had an answer for every shot I hit this morning. It was frustrating. He dominated the first game, beating me 8-15. He was ahead the entire way. Before game 2 I thought about the adjustments I needed to make. I waited for him to make mistakes, but he played smart all morning long until the end of game 2 when we were tied 12-12. He started to lose focus and go for low-percentage shots. I took the last 3 points off his mistakes and looked forward to closing out the match in the tiebreaker. But it didn’t turn out that way. He served first and scored 8 straight points. Then before I knew it I was behind 0-10. He needed one more point to end the match. But as we all know, that last point is always the toughest. I hit a freaky spin shot that just barely hit the front wall and took control of the serve at 0-10. I scored a point, then lost my serve. Then got it back and scored 3 more points. Then 4 more points. At 9-10 Steve had one last chance for victory, but I hit a nice cross-court shot that he couldn’t reach. I then served a hard drive serve to his left that he left up and I buried in the corner. At 10-10, I served a down-the-line on the righthand side that hugged the sidewall and just cleared the short line. Steve made the adjustment to return the ball but it hit the ground twice. Game over. I was ecstatic! The last time I came back from an 0-10 lead in the tiebreaker was with Tiger about seven or eight years ago. Steve was disgusted when he left the court. I guess I would be, too. He should have won the match today (he was the better player), but somehow I managed to keep the undefeated season alive. I love it!

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