Date: 25th January 2014
Location: University of Essex
Rules: For singles tennis, the court boundaries are long and thin. A coin is flipped for the serve, which is delivered from the right side of the court and then alternates for each service. The winner is the athlete who wins two out of three sets. To win a set, an athlete must win six games, each with a clear two point difference.
Set 1: Ellie 6 vs 1 Sarah. Winner: Ellie
Set 2: Ellie 6 vs 4 Sarah. Winner: Ellie
Set 3: n/a
London 2012 Winner: Serena Williams, USA.
Sarah: For the second year running, the month of January has been putting obstacles and problems in our way, so it felt really good to get our first event of 2014 ticked off. Who said tennis was a summer game?! We layered up and hit the outdoor courts for our singles battle. I've always sat on the fence with tennis; it's not a sport that I'm instantly drawn to, and very rarely play, so my technique is pretty shocking. Most of my balls seemed to go wide, and it took me a few games to start playing tactically rather than just focusing on actually trying to hit the ball. I think I got a bit better the longer we played, but nowhere near good enough to stop Farrow's domination.
Ellie: Dear Christmas and New Year, I know I wasn't very fit before you rolled into town but did you really have to steal the fitness I did have?
After the first game I was huffing and puffing - it was even more embarrassing than usual!
I thought that I'd enjoyed our first tennis match in 2012 simply because I'd been playing alongside my brother, it was sunny and Sarah and I were embarking on a project of idiotic proportions! But as it turns out I quite like tennis. The games are quite quick, power is both a blessing and curse and when you perform a trick shot (knowingly or unknowingly) it's really impressive. Sarah pulled off a great shot today that plinked off the net and quickly bounced twice on my side; it was met with some great 'oohs' and rightly so!
As Sarah says, we were blighted by January last year and although perhaps not the traditional tennis weather, I can't think of a nicer way to start our 2014!