Form is temporary, class is permanent. One of my optimistic tennis partners is quick to remind me of this whenever he is trying to coax me into a comeback from 5-1 down against "these jammy hackers". There’s nothing better than watching a turnaround gaining traction: the fear in the opponents’ eyes; onset of the dreaded "elbow"; the gnashing of teeth as the lead slips away.

Of course, I had no such luck last week when I had the misfortune to face off against Pinelands’ Stormin’ Norman, who might have caused me physical injury with his deadly body serves were he not such a nice guy...

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