Anyone who plays tennis knows that it’s a devil’s game; just by looking at the scoring system (15-30-40-game) you understand that it’s a sport that could be defined as “strange.”
A little curiosity about the scoring system; the very first tennis players kept score on a clock, moving the hands a quarter of a lap forward (15 – 30 – 45) for each point won. This way of counting set the base for the modern system, that over the years has changed very little, only the 45 has become “40” in order to achieve an easier translation from English and French.
Between 2005 and 2015, along with the prestigious hotel group Batani Select Hotels, I have organized the International Veterans Tournament, sponsored by Wilson equipment, and with a $ 10.000 dollar tournament purse. It is considered ad major tennis tournament in the Romagna region, but over time it has become the only International tournament for A level veterans in Italy…what an achievement!!
Player from all over the world enter the tournament; Brasil, Chile, Australia, Japan and from all of Europe. The matches on this level of play are often the toughest ones, and with some crazy behavior on court…often, after long duels of hitting the ball back and forth, the players do not remember the original score, and the discussions are off… disputes that can only be settled by the tournament referee, or even the spectators as testimony, stepping in. The categories start from the youngest at 35 years of age and up, and arrive at the 85+ category.
In the hotels it’s a week of joy, all the hotels close to the tennis club; Palace Hotel, Hotel Aurelia, Hotel Doge, Hotel Brasil e Grand Hotel Gallia…
I remember one time when the ITF showed up for a random anti-doping drug test, and a drug test center was quickly put together on the beach. There was this one 60+ player who was found with illegal substances in his body… doping ?? for real? No no, the player had exaggerated with wine at lunch, and his blood sugar values were altered for this reason!
More than just a tournament, here you are part of a huge, joyful event. In fact, if, and when you are eliminated from a tournament, in the majority of the cases, you leave the tournament site and go home…but the participants at the Select Hotels tournament stick around even after they are eliminated, to watch the finals, enjoying themselves to the max.
Returning to the game of tennis, when you are on the court you need to stay concentrated, it doesn’t take much distraction to hit ball too far…and to get angry. A player who isn’t able to return the ball to the other side of the net may have different reactions to this fact… even arriving at extremes like throwing your racket, or hitting it against the ground, and breaking it. I have seen an endless number of reactions like these during my years as an amateur player!
I’m going to try and rank them…
The “whining” player… every shot is a bad one, and he/she keeps complaining about it.
The “cheater”… the player who always calls the ball out, even when it has hit the line, cheating you out of a point.
The “injured” player… every point (lost, obviously) is followed by stretching, grimacing, holding of the wrist/calf…and you start thinking about how much pain he/she must be in ….and at the end of it you lose your concentration and when you finally notice that the opponent is a survivor (despite the injuries), you’re already down in the game and won’t recover!
The commentator… the player who comments on every shot; your and his; trying to make you nervous and to throw you off your game.
The “screamer”… shouts, or moans loudly when hitting the ball. Sounds that may vary from “do” to “sol” in a heartbeat.
The “shoe-tyer”… the player who keeps tying his shoes…a simple trick to catch your breath for 30 seconds or more, like it would matter when you’re already on low battery you’d need 2 whole days to recover!
No matter what type of player you are, remember to never lose focus of the number 1 thing… you play to win, not to have fun!
Director Grand Hotel Gallia
Batani Select Hotels
“one hell of a tennis player”