New kid on the court

Junior attempts to play tennis for the first time


Photo by Sara Vaughn

Junior Matt Francis prepares to hit a tennis ball.

Sara Vaughn

Story by Matt Francis, staff writer

I recently got the opportunity to learn to play tennis with the Texas High tennis team. I, being as stupid as I am, told myself that tennis could not be that hard. All I had to do was get out on the court and swing a racket at some balls. Easy, right? I don’t think anyone in the history of the world has ever been more wrong.

I am a swimmer, and swimming is about as far away from tennis as one can get. I have watched the experts play tennis on television, which in some way made me feel like I was prepared to go up against kids that had been playing for most of their lives. Television, in no feasible way, prepared me for what I was in for.

First, I was taught how to hit the ball with the racket. After about the third or fourth swing, my racket actually made connection with the ball, sending it over the court I was on to the court across from me. Still, I took it as a personal victory. Next, I took a crack at serving. That went even more horrifically. I was able to hit the ball now, but they would usually go way out of the court.  However my dreams of being mediocre at tennis were not completely crushed.

After learning the basics, we ran some line drills (which almost caused me to have a heart attack) and I was taught the rules and history of tennis. This, following the previous trend of my tennis experience, also went horribly. I could not tell you a single fact or rule about tennis, mostly because I did not understand it.

Even after all that pain, my dreams were still not dead. I had to win a game. So, junior Hutch Tidwell and I agreed to play a doubles match against two freshmen girls. We were completely destroyed. This is when I finally let go of my “mediocre tennis” dream and decided to hang up the racket I had used for 45 minutes for good.

This experience gave me a new respect for tennis. I learned just how amazing these students actually were at tennis, and how hard the sport is. Even though I was horrible, I enjoyed the experience. However, I hope to never play tennis ever again, for my and everyone else’s safety.