Originally published on Thursday, January 24, 2013
In addendum to last week's article when I wrote about pro tennis players and performance enhancing drugs, I wrote that bit before the rest of my article and Lance Armstrong's subsequent admission of his guilt.
Since then, the responses from the same top tennis professionals have varied from saddened to angry to players like Serena Williams saying, "I hope he gets punished." Williams was questioning the affect it may have on all other sports.
Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 men's player, said in his interview that, in addition to being "punished," and that "he is an embarrassment to his sport and to all sports."
All of the players on tour carry a wallet-sized card that reminds them of the guidelines. Even if you have the flu, you have to request permission to take a simple antihistamine.
Novak was also involved in one of the most dramatic and epic matches of this year's Australian Open - a match that lasted 5 hours and 2 minutes.
For those of you who casually watch tennis, you will see games that finish 7-6. That means that set ended in a tie breaker.
However, in the fifth set, in men's, and the third set in women's (both are the final set), there is no use of a tie breaker.
The set is played until the winner prevails by two games.
The tiebreaker itself was invented in the 1960's by the late Jimmy Van Alan. It was invented to shorten the matches and it made them more viewer friendly for television.
Last week was the first tournament of the spring season, hosted by Victoria West.
There was some very high quality tennis that was played in the Boys A draw.
Personally, I think one could have charged admission to watch the top four boys that competed at the tournament.
Eric Deahnert (Beeville), Ryder Billo (Goliad), David Du (St. Joseph), and Wade Billenbeck (Schulenburg) put on quite a show last week.
I believe it's a great start to the spring season for all of the schools in the crossroads.
As we have hit a stretch of good weather in the last week, adults and kids alike have already started returning to the tennis courts.
Anyone interested in competing in a tournament should go to USTA.com and see the various tournaments that are being offered not only in the spring, but throughout the year.
It's a great chance to meet new people, make new friends, and enjoy competitive tennis regardless of your individual level.
You can explore the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) to figure out your rating and play a tournament at your level of ability.
Singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, it's all wonderful to play. And of course for the juniors there are different age levels.
Philip Perez is the assistant head tennis professional at Victoria Country Club. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.