Porcupyn's Blog

April 22, 2018

My reputation for honesty is in tatters …

Filed under: Family,Humour,Tennis — Porcupyn @ 7:22 pm

… and I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back with that set of kids.

Let me tell you how it happened.

Our group of tennis hackers was playing tennis on one court of this community whereas a group of about five little kids (<7 year old, if I may hazard a guess) where on the next court getting a group lesson. Now, as you can probably understand, with the group lesson, there was a whole host of balls near the fence of the kids' court. The group was on its haunches, diligently picking up one ball after another, when a ball hit from one of my buddies went over and joined the conglomeration of yellow-dot, red-dot, green-dot and dotless balls (belonging to the kiddos' coach).

Keeping my eyes trained on the one ball that mattered to me (and my buddies), I darted over to the kids' court avoiding the debris strewn all over their court … and gathered our Wilson 2 (or was it 3?) ball.

One kid: Hey! That's our ball.

Me (calmly walking back, ball firmly in my grip): No, it's ours.

Kid #2 (thankfully not running after me): That's our ball. Give me it.

Me (running back to our court now): No, it's our ball that rolled over.

Kids: That's steeeeaaaaaling!!


Our game resumes …

Kids (slightly muted) chorus from across the court: He’s stealing our ball.

… after a couple of points …

Kids (a bit louder): Stealer Stealer Pumpkin Eater.

Not that it was among my top favourite pies, but I certainly don’t think I’ll have pumpkin pie again!!

August 14, 2013

Katya and Tennis …

Filed under: Family,Tennis — Porcupyn @ 12:34 pm

So I was at the doctor’s waiting to be called in for my back to be checked up. Because of the logistics involved, I had taken Katya from her daycare and brought her with me to the doctor’s office. Bad move – the office TV had a talk show going with Ellen Degeneres. Let me tell you folks – you do not want to have this show on if you have kids around you.

Anyway, I tried to distract Katya. DIdn’t work. So, I had to be more forceful and ask her to read a magazine or at least look through some photos. When she did not demonstrate an inclination to do so, I picked up a tennis magazine and asked her to thumb through it.

Today, as we were driving in to her day care, we come across a advertisement board for a dance class by Some Murray. She glances it and reads it and exclaims, “Murray! I know that name.”

I was thinking that it was the name of some classmate of hers or something, when she explained, “I saw the name in the tennis magazine yesterday – Andy Murray!”

Looks like we have a new Tennis fan in the family 🙂

July 7, 2011

Honey, I’m at match-point …

Filed under: Humour,Tennis — Porcupyn @ 9:05 am

… will call you right back!

June 29, 2011

Keys to the match (or IBM Stat Fail!)

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 10:28 am

Who won?!! 😦

A picture is worth a thousand stats!

June 28, 2011

In battle of OVAs, IBM delivers a big goose egg

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 11:32 am

I was reading an article the other day about how IBM was mining player statistics to come up with their keys to a match-winning performance. It does not appear to work all the time. Check out this picture.

Kvitova vs. Pironkova

IBM Stats - Fail!

Focus on these keys to the match for Kvitova:

– win fewer than 3% of points at net

Here is where blindly following some weird lifelong stats for a player and dumping it into their Wimbledon coverage gets IBM in trouble. Think for a minute, why would you want to intentionally win fewer of your points at the net? Makes sense if you are a baseliner, makes sense if you are on clay or hard courts, but if you are on grass, surely this stat should be out the window!

– win fewer than 8% of points won with a winner

But wait, now it gets more harebrained. Winning fewer than 8% of points with a winner? Maybe she is historically the Rahul Dravid* of Tennis, i.e., merely sits and waits for her opponent to commit a mistake. Even then, fewer than 8% of points with winners? Sounds unreal any day! However, again, this is Wimbledon, where one can hit winners much more easily than at, say, the French Open where, for instance, the ball will tend to sit up on drop shots.

* = this is not meant to insult or slight Rahul Dravid, who is the Indian cricket team’s rock of Gibralter!

September 14, 2010

On frustrated Men’s Champions at the US Open …

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 3:37 pm

… and here you were (I was), thinking that ESPN would be better than CBS!

Fortunately for me, this year I was not watching the men’s final – because of the rain, the schedule had been disrupted and I did not know when the match was going to be played – else I might have blown a gasket.

September 13, 2010

Tennis lesson 001

Filed under: Tennis — Porcupyn @ 9:36 pm

Baab and I went to the Tennis courts the other day. I am trying to get him started in the game. As I started thinking of the basic basics of the game, some thoughts crystallized. Let’s see if I can get these basic ducks – or basics ducks – in a row!

– when you are in a rally, the easiest opportunity you get to hit the ball is when it is at its highest point after bouncing, because at this point, it is stationary, if only for a fraction of a second. That makes it easiest to hit, assuming that you have already run to where the ball is and positioned yourself such that the ball is at a ‘sweet spot’ distance from you.

– conversely, when in a rally, the toughest opportunity you get to hit the ball is either before it has bounced or immediately after it has bounced. Though these are tough shots to complete/master, if you get the ability to hit these shots, you have the chance of hitting outright winners because a) the opponent is not expecting the ball to come back so fast and b) even if he/she is expecting it to come back fast, he/she has not got the time to race around to defend the entire court.

– finally, if you are really caught out of position, don’t ever forget that you still have a chance to make that return until the ball hits the ground for the second time. What this means is that if you have not yet given up on the rally, and have the legs to get you to the ball, you can still scoop it over the net as long as it is still a couple of inches off the ground.

– after each shot, make sure you come back to the centre of the court (at wherever depth of position you are comfortable with, i.e., either near the net, or deep in the court, or behind the baseline). If you do this, you save yourself the trouble of running more than half the width of the court (because you have already covered part of this distance).

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.