This is the fourth chapter of the series “The tennis match”. You can read the previous chapters by clicking on the below links:
– Chapter 1: An appointment is made
– Chapter 2: On our way
– Chapter 3: Setting the rules
Chapter 4: Time!
I finally pushed the door of the court which did a noisy creaking. Ambre was just behind me and closed the door doing the exact same creaking.
-“Well for the discretion it’s over” said Ambre laughing.
-“Definitely!” I said raising my eyes to heaven. “Gosh! It’s still very warm!”
-“Yes!” nodded Ambre. “Fortunately you won’t stay dressed very long” she added dropping her bag by the side of her chair.
-“Yes, we will see that in a minute” I said sitting next to her.
I got my things out of my bag and took a sip of my bottle of water. Hydration might be key given the temperature, I was already starting to perspire. The club was absolutely silent, there was no noise of balls hit, no footsteps, no people talking. I was now pretty certain we were by ourselves, moreover we did not see anybody while walking up to the court which was the most remote from the entrance. All I had to do was to keep focus on my match.
-“You’re very silent Cathy, that’s not you. Nervous?” asked Ambre in an amused tone.
-“Shh silly! Let me a chance to concentrate!” I replied with a wink.
-“Oh excuse me champion!” she said laughing now.
We both observed the court with attention from our chair, enjoying the shadow of the sun umbrella above our heads.
-“The clay seems dry” said Ambre.
-“Yes, the ball will be quick. It gives the advantage to the server” I said knowing Ambre was doing the same maths than me.
-“Indeed! Maybe we will stay dressed up to the tie-break then.” guessed Ambre
-“If the match is tight and we serve well, yes!” I nodded
Then we chatted for some minutes about the last performances of our favourite player … Roger. We both knew we were delaying the start of our match but we needed some time to build the courage and to divert our mind from the challenge we made upon ourselves.
I looked at my watch and finally said like an umpire would do
-“Time! Ladies and gentlemen be quiet, the players are ready!”
-“Yes time for a good fight” said Ambre raising on her feet.
I stood as well, and getting a coin from my bag, I asked Ambre:
-“Heads or Tails?”
-“Heads!” she said.
I flipped the coin and let it fall on the clay. I checked … “Heads”.
-“So what’s your choice?” I said grabbing my coin and putting it back in my bag.
-“I will serve” she said with a contented smile.
Of course, I would have done the same choice, it was a serious advantage but I was sure I could manage anyway. We moved on each side of the net and did a formal handshake like pro would have done.
-“Good luck Cathy!” she said with a confident smile. She then whispered “Can’t wait to see your naked butt running all over the court.” I winked at her and said:
-“Good luck! We will see Ambre, we will see.”
We started then to play a few warm-up balls for ten minutes. All along I tried to concentrate, to find the good rhythm. It was a difficult exercise actually: each time I made a mistake it reminded me of what could happen if I did not play my A-game. On the other side I was getting excited… there was a chance I could end up naked on this court, something that was definitely talking to my exhibitionist tendencies… but also something I would have to conceal as I did not want this to be known in the office.
-“Shall we start?” asked Ambre from the other side of the court.
-“Yes, I am ready” I replied. As ready as I could ever be, I said to myself.
Ambre got two balls and set herself behind the line. I took a good receiving position, remembering the lessons of my summer coach, my heart was beating hard. I was probably feeling the same way champions can feel when playing a grand slam match, just for a different reason… Suddenly, Ambre threw the ball high in the air and hit it hard, the game was on.