No Man’s Land

Definition #1: In Tennis, the space between the service line and the baseline
Definition #2: In WWI, the space between the trenches of opposing armies

You hurt your opponent with a deep shot into the corner. You need to move into no man’s land, anticipate the weak return, steal their time before they steal yours. No man’s land a space to move into and out of quickly on your way to somewhere else: the net, the trenches, the baseline, death. Poppies, rats, gas, bombs. Not enough time if you plant yourself there to find your gas mask, get your racquet back. No man’s land changes, changes again. The weapons different. So much variety and speed your head might explode. Changes fast, faster like time itself till you are older now, a super senior. You must stay much longer in no man’s land to cover the drop shot, the lob, when your knees are 80 years old. Closer to death, closer. A snap of a finger, the mystery of what come’s next.  Groans, death rattles, nights. A forehand bomb at your feet. 

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13 replies on “No Man’s Land”

Nice analogy! Not just collegiate tennis but also junior events (unfortunately) can feel like this. If you win you fight most likely again the next day. If you lose it’s back to the practice regimen feeling not so good. Part of anyone would ask the logical question: why do we do this? The answer is to have the chance of winning makes it all worthwhile & I assume the same for real combat.

At my age I am learning to spend more time in no man’s land. That’s part of the fun of lifelong learning from this great game.

Excellent article, I’m a big fan of tennis and i just finished reading ‘all quiet on the western front.’ i feel like this article is very appropriate to me right now haha …

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