Croquet: Sport in the Time of Pandemic


The tennis nets around town have been taken down. Solitary running and my home gym set up only goes so far. I need competition. I need a sport to play, one conducive to social distancing. Croquet anyone? I have an old backyard croquet set I inherited from my father. It’s very ordinary, but I guess you could still call it an heirloom. The mallet heads are grass-stained and dented, and you...

3 Things I Must Work on in Singles Tennis


How to attack a short ball from an opponent when I have time and choice. My opponent hits a weak return of serve, or a short floater in the ground game. It’s going to bounce before I get there. But I do have time to move up into position for an attacking shot. Too often I put an inside-out forehand into the net. I’m hitting down on the ball, trying to strike a winner. If I compensate...

6-4, 6-3, Tennis Friends


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...

6-2, 6-7


That’s Danielle Collins in the photo, competing at the US Open. I was inspired by my day at the Open, where I saw the world’s best players compete with intensity and ferocity. I couldn’t wait to play again, and this morning I did. I won the first set handily. I was hitting my shots, my opponent wasn’t. I tried to focus on moving my feet and getting in position to hit the...

6-3, 7-6


Today I beat a better player than me. Also younger by a dozen or more years. It doesn’t happen often. It might not happen again, because David is a strong player who hasn’t had the court time I have had this summer. He was inconsistent, firing some spectacular winners, but missing, too. I was also inconsistent, but I played well enough to win today. Tennis is my sport now. As...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.


Get in touch