Back to playing the game I first loved

27 06 2006

Nope, not basketball. As much as I am addicted (that’s what my GG calls it) to basketball, it is not the first game that I fell in love with. My first “real” sport was tennis. I started young, hitting, or trying at least, balls at the UP tennis courts with my sisters friends.

When we moved to Jakarta, I became more into it. My dad hired a personal instructor to teach my bro and myself. That didn’t help much though since he was not really a professional. But since I was so into it, I bought books and magazines about tennis, and spent countless hours hitting the ball against our garage wall. Something that my mom did not really appreciate =P

My dad was a constant winner in monthly FILCOMIN (Filipino Community in Indonesia) tennis tournaments. When Kuya and I first joined, another Salvanera entered the medal tally. Unfortunately, it wasn’t me. Kuya won in our first tournament we joined while I ended up without a trophy. What made it worst was that there were only six of us in that division so I ended up as the butt of all my brother’s jokes. And if you know my brother, he can really get under your skin. =) Peace, bro!

Anyway, call me a sore loser but I stopped joining those tournaments for more than half a year. I did not stop playing though. I continued hitting the balls in our garage, reading all those books and magazines, and playing against some friends.

After a while, I decided to join the tournaments again and showed significant improvement. I won numerous medals and trophies, even bagging the MVP trophy for the year 1993, just before I finished high school. When I entered the university, I was still very much into tennis. I even joined the varsity team but, somewhere along the way, the excitement I got from the game was lost. Maybe it died down when dad passed away, maybe it was because more people were into basketball or maybe I just burned out. In any case, I’m back.

I may not have the same stroke or same volleys as before, but the important thing is I enjoyed myself on the court. In the end, that’s all that matters. Of course, winning is always a bonus.

On a sad note, one of my favourite tennis players will be retiring soon. Andre Agassi has decided to say goodbye to the game (at least professionally) after 22 years.

Goodbye, Andre! Thanks for the wonderful memories!