Tennis Freaks...

My USTA women's team tennis season started last week. As you may or may not recall, a member of my team got IN MY FACE a couple of weeks back over a late call.

On Monday she SCREAMED at our coach when he was trying to correct a problem she had.

Today our lineup went out for a match we're playing tomorrow. The "loose cannon" and her partner were not in the lineup.

This is the e-mail my team captain (and friend) received a few minutes ago.

Subject: Making things right...

Dear Sue and Sally-

As captains of a USTA tennis team ourselves, we understand and appreciate all the work that goes into managing a team. We know how tricky lineups can be, with so many schedules to honor, who can partner with who, measuring how strong/weak the opposing teams are, etc. However, we notice that your philosophy and methods of managing lineups are HUGELY different than ours.

We are not proponents of welcoming and inviting players to be on a team and not giving them fair playing time, especially when a player pays for registration, a uniform and puts in many hours and money in practice time. We try to keep the team to only 12 players plus subs, so that everyone can play a lot of matches. If a player makes the investment of time and money, they deserve to play equally. (our 3.0 team chips in and pays for our subs's registration fees).

It was our intention that we were part of your regular lineup, not subs or second string players - if you wanted us to be this type of player for your team, we should have been told this from DAY ONE - we feel like we were terribly misled. Especially since we have done so well in all the practices and been consistently praised by teammates and Sergei, we felt like we earned our stripes and earned your support. Now, though, seeing your lineups for the last few matches, we are forced to make the assumption that you guys do NOT think we are strong enough players to be on your team and maybe you are too focused on the "3.0" next to our names.

Honestly, we feel we have proved worthy to play on your team through:

a) coach recommendations
b) practice play - we've consistently won matches against many of our teammates during practice sessions
c) we gave you both an excellent run for your money when we play you guys in practice runs!

So with all this being said, we would like to withdraw from playing on your team. Please take us off your team's email list. This just isn't working for us. You seem to be winning your matches without us anyway so God bless, don't let us interfere. We'd rather just concentrate on our 3.0 team and play well there, and most importantly keep our confidence up and keep having fun! We do not have hard feelings--it is just better for our psyche not to be put on schedules only to be taken off again, and be disappointed and wondering why.

Yes, we would have enjoyed playing at a level that is more challenging to our tennis skills. However, we prefer to earn our 3.5 status through our own achievements, which we're TOTALLY convinced we can do and maybe already done, and next year join or coach a team that treats players equally and openly, building tennis partners and friensdhips on the way....making this our priority. We are proud to say that we have this relationship with all our 3.0 players. So far, we have not felt this kind of camaraderie on your team.***

Good luck to you all in all your tennis endeavors! We hope you guys earn the really, really big trophy you seem to be striving for!

Wow. As always, flying off the handle.

And the saga always, the real drama in ladies tennis is usually played out off the courts.

The season has just begun...stay tuned for more backstabbing, outbursts, gossip and hurt feelings. Yeah, yeah, I know, I should take up yoga. What can I tell you? My love for the game is strong enough that I deal with this absolute insanity.

Now that, my friends, is dedication.

*** HINT: You might feel a bit more camaraderie if you didn't SCREAM at people when you disagree with them.