Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tennis Score: 7-5, 2-6, Clay

Clay courts in the autumn / winter absorb and retain huge amounts of water and never seem to dry. Playing on these courts makes the tennis balls wet, soggy and slow.

The first set saw tremendous fight by both of us. I was really tired from the previous few days of play and thought I wouldn't win a set today. But with will and determination, I found myself serving for the set at 6-5. I was determined to win the game and avoid a tiebreak given my poor record in those. A sloppy game from my partner game me the set.

The relief of winning the set led to a very casual attitude on my part in the second set. Suddenly I found myself unable to win a game at 0-4. With some fight it became 1-5. Since it is autumn, we have to play under lights these days. So, we had bought 1.5 hours of light time. A green light lights up when there is about five minutes to go. At 1-5, I kept glancing at this light to see if it had turned on so that we can stop playing. If we are at 1 set all, we normally play a "champions tiebreak" - a tiebreaker to 10. I wanted to avoid playing this at all costs. Hence at 1-5, I just willed myself to win the game. It was an extremely long game with numerous deuces. I was very relieved to win this game. In the middle of the next game, the light lighted up and I went on to lose the game.

I lost the set, but avoided the tiebreaker and hence losing it and the match.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tonight's dinner

Tennis scores.

Today - 6-7 (6-8), 4-4 A-40 - A titanic struggle with neither of us wanting to lose.

Last weeks scores.

3-6, 6-4, 10-6 (tiebreak)

6-3, 4-6, 6-10 (tiebreak)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tennis score - 3-6, 4-6: Clay

It was really good to play tennis after a long gap of about 2 weeks. The fact that I lost did not mar the delight I felt to play again.

The first set was abnormal in that it was decided by the solitary break of serve against me. Probably due to the new tennis balls, breaking serve was quite difficult. I did not serve particularly well and this reflected in the score and the loss of the set.

Normal service was resumed in the second set when almost every game was a break. I had the first hold to go up 4-3 and should have won the second set. That was not to be. He won the next three games to win the set 4-6.

But, it was good to play tennis again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tonight's dinner

Photo how to: Palak Paneer.

1) Partial ingredients - Spinach(palak), tomatoes, onion, coriander leaves, garlic, green chillies, ginger.

2) Put palak, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, garlic and coriander leaves into a blender.

3) Blend into an even paste.

4) Chop onions finely and the paneer into smallish cubes / cuboids.

5) Heat some oil and add mustard seeds and jeera. Leave for a few seconds.

6) Add the chopped onions into the oil.

7) Chop some palak.

8) Add the paneer and some spices (garam masala, coriander powder, etc).

9) Add the chopped Palak and the paste from step 3.

10) Add some salt and mix well.

11) Simmer for a few minutes and the Palak Paneer is ready.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tennis Score: 6-4, 6-3: Clay

After the string break on Sunday, my racket was strung by another member of our club. Though professionally a doctor, he prides himself in being a tennis player and a stringer. Admittedly, he is an excellent tennis player.

Anyways, surprisingly playing with the newly strung racket did not feel much different than the older ones. I do suspect that the tension is a bit too high as the pace on my shots seems to have dropped. It could also be due to the balls which went soggy very quickly due to courts exposed to the rain.

The rain exposed court was two sided. One side was perfect and the other was slippery and movement on this side was dangerous and led to tentativeness. This made winning games on the good side very very important. At the same time, games won on the bad side were worth their weight in gold. Come to think of it, games don't have weight.

In the first set I went up to 4-1 taking advantage of the good side. Then the lead was squandered to be level at 4-4. It was time to play safe and do anything to win the next two games. This was somehow achieved even with the double disadvantage of serving on the bad side.

The second set was close until it was 4-3 to me. I was at the bad side and thought that I need to win at least one game here so that I can win the game on the good side to win the set. I pushed hard to win my service game to go up 5-3. Since it was my partner's serve, I had a slight edge to win the last game, even if it was on the bad side. However, I managed to win the game and the set 6-3 and that was the end of the evening of tennis.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tennis Score: 2-6, 3-4: Clay

...play stopped due to string breakage.

We were playing after a break of five days, but I was pleasantly surprised that my shots during warmup were quite good. This did translate to the actual set itself, but my backhand gave up and a lot of errors were made from that wing. Also, there were several games when I should have won with me being game-point up in many of them. Those came and went and the set was lost.

The second set was similar, but I had somewhat better luck in converting the game points. I went up 3-2, but then lost the next two games to be 3-4 down. In the last point, I hit a forehand very hard and guess the factory strings that came with my now-not-so-new racket were not very good. They snapped and since I did not have a spare racket, we had to stop. Unfortunate that because it was perfect for tennis - cloudy-leading to great lighting, no rain or wind and nicely watered clay courts.

Couscous Upma