I finally won a tennis match at Tornadoes, the Table View-based club so named for its diabolical swirling winds that rip across the exposed courts and leave visiting players flaying and cursing like King Lear. I have more than once been tempted to scrawl “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!” on the cloakroom wall. But I refrained, fearing misinterpretation and a nasty diplomatic incident.

I remember one horrible match in a howling gale when my partner Ray — who has an unusually high serve toss — was being called for foot-faulting with the wind whisking the ball into the court. In frustration — standing well behind the service line — he managed to tonk two of his normally accurate first serves onto the top windows of the adjoining Virgin Active gym. One of the resounding impacts caused a lady to stumble dangerously while busy with her treadmill routine. ..

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