Chris is one of those guys who is a tennis friend. I like him. I like to play tennis with him. He is about my age, a steady player, a variety of shots, quick on his feet, willing to go for angles and winners.
But . . . Chris is loud. He talks a lot. He screams the word “OUT” when my shot is long. And he just talks. During games, between games. Mostly about himself, sometimes about tennis. A running commentary.
I don’t let it bother me, because I’m good at shutting out distractions when I play (not the same as playing well). But today I played well, avenging an earlier loss to him that bothered me.
I fell behind in both sets. Came back in both by staying focused, wanting it, hitting enough winners while he hit enough unforced errors.
I like having tennis friends. Players near my level I can compete with and have fun with. I’m not friends with them outside of tennis. Chris is one of those.