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Love and Tennis (Part 1: Love-15)

“ Romantic love is like the sport of tennis, a player’s seeding or ranking fluctuates; but sometimes, an unseeded wildcard stuns everyone and wins the Grand Slam” – Effiong Samuel

One game I would love to play is tennis. I started having an interest when my late brother used to play. He wanted to teach me, but he died shortly afterwards. For most of my five years in the university, I often looked at the abandoned racket on the wall and the set of tennis balls with sadness; they reminded me of times that we never had.

Love though is not always a sad word, but in tennis, the person having a “love” score should not be happy. There are too many things that tennis share with romantic love and there seem to be an analogy worthy of exploration. First, let me make your familiar with the scoring system, in simple terms at least.

LOVE-15

In the tennis scoring system, “love” means a zero score; or we can say that “love” is the word that is used for the one that has fallen, either the Server or the Receiver. In this analogy, I will use the first point gained by anyone to represent a one-sided love. In tennis scoring, this will either be a “love-15” or “15-love”. I may be wrong, but I think there is no romantic love that is initially mutual, there must be someone ahead in terms of feelings, and the other person may even not be aware of it.

If the initiator scores a point by having the other person totally accept the interest either by heart or another form of consent, then it is a “15-love”; but if it is the other way round, then it is a “love-15”. Of course these things are not easy to score because a lot of people hide their feelings. This makes it very difficult to see who won the first point. Tennis is similar. The spectators will be in the stands watching and they could see obvious serves that are not picked up, or points that are dropped.  Sometimes though, the call will be too close for them to tell and the umpire will need to decide who won the point, he may need to shout “out!” If it is too confusing for the umpire, computer video evidence is used.

It can be a beauty to watch a game where serves are returned until a person eventually loses; love can be interesting when there are dribbles and unsaid feelings until it becomes a “love-15”.

The one who is too careful is careless” – Effiong Samuel

This stage of a relationship is very exciting as uncertainty, belief, doubt, skills and possible disappointments are all mixed together. Caution is always in the picture as no one wants to lose the first point, but it is often too much caution that makes one drop a set or a point. On the other hand, throwing caution to the wind is a risky behavior that could lead to an injury and the match to be called off prematurely.

Written by: Effiong Samuel

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2 Comments

  • Theodi

    Am in luv ooo

    • admin

      Hi Theo, thanks for taking out time to read this. We love the fact that you are “in love” and saw the three “o”s at the end of your comment to mean three tennis balls. Someone once said: “love is a beautiful thing that no one should ever deny, no matter how it is conceived”. I cannot agree less.