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Tue, May 21

Column: Learning to deal with life through tennis
'My Point'

Life has it’s up’s and down’s — you wake up in the morning at times feeling like you have it by the tail, other day’s you feel just the opposite.

You might go through months of very reasonable living - you feel pretty good, the kids are doing well in school, healthy and happy, there’s enough money to pay the bills, your relationships are fairly stable and your job is good.

Then something hits that came out of nowhere — BAM!

At Wimbledon last week that happened to Arizonan Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Playing in the second round of singles against Sorana Cirstea at one set each, Sands approached the net and crumbled, clutching her right knee and crying out for help.

She and her doubles partner Lucie Safarova are ranked No. 1 in the world, currently holding the last three grand slam titles and were looking forward to possibly winning this year at Wimbledon for the fourth.

Bethanie now knows she tore the medial collateral ligament which happened to the same knee in 2013, which could just be a game changer at the age of 32.

Pete Sampras who is known as one of the greatest tennis players of all time played the last two years of his career without winning a title — he was ready to call it a day and no one was giving him half a chance to win the 2002 U.S. Open.

After a couple close early rounds he kept on winning, finally reaching the final where he played Andre Agassi — and unbelievably he pulled it off for his 14th final Grand Slam victory.

Who would have guessed at that point after such a long dry spell Pete could have done that - he retired without playing another professional match, a real Cinderella story.

Venus Williams now 37 years of age has learned to play the game of tennis with “Sjogrens Syndrome” which saps your energy — has 49 WTA singles titles, 22 doubles titles, seven grand slam championships and over 35 million dollars in prize money to her credit. What a success story.

A few weeks out from going to Wimbledon she was involved in a car accident that killed the passenger of the other vehicle near her home in Florida. It looks as if it wasn’t her fault, yet it’s been devastating to all.

Each day we wake up and hope for the best, we plan for the best and most days that’s the case, but every now and then that old curve-ball comes cruising and we just don’t see it in time, and if we did maybe the results would be the same, sometimes we just luck out.

So we’ll continue to take the good with the not so good — help each other through the rough patches and hang on for dear life for the moments we want and need. Thank goodness for those times.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.

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