"Game, Miss Worthington" the umpire called out. "Miss Worthington leads by 5 games to 4, first set".
Robyn sat down in her chair at the change of ends, a little happier for the first time that day.
All you have to do is hold serve she told herself. Claire had miss hit a drop shot at 30-30 in the previous game to make the score 30-40. Then Robyn had hit a perfect second serve to break Claire's serve for the first time. The crowd had roared their approval and Claire had seemed a little upset when she went to her chair.
The umpire called time and the two girls returned to their positions to resume their battle. Robyn served her first ball and whacked it over the net. It was too fast for Claire and it was an ace, 15-0. Second point was also an ace making it 30-0. On the third point Claire just reached the ball with her racket but hit it out, and it was 40-0.
The crowd exploded and Robyn had a set point. She asked a ball boy to throw her a towel and tried to compose herself. She looked down at the tennis ball in her hand and it started to shake. She bit her lip, bounced the ball three times onto the court raised it into the air, jumped to hit it with her racket and boom!.
There was a groan from the crowd as the ball hit the net. A fault. A nearby ball girl retrieved the ball and Robyn moved to serve again only to agonizingly clip the service line with her shoe.
"40-15" the umpire informed the crowd. Robyn couldn't look at her team in the stands, but she knew exactly what her coach was thinking at this point.
What a time to serve a double fault, Robyn he would have said to her. The next time she served she got it in open play, but Claire managed to get it back. Robyn hit a volley only for Claire to succeed in pulling off the drop shot she had missed the previous game, making it 40-30. The crowd booed as the shot went in, and although Robyn knew they were booing Claire it made her tense up again. The fleeting happiness of five minutes ago had gone and a superb return of serve from Claire made the score 40-40.
Robyn went back to her chair for a swig of water. Out of the corner of her eye, she spied her coach and his face was like granite. She put her water down and returned to the service line, wiping a stray tear as she did so.
Don't blow it. she told herself. Win this BLOODY GAME But Claire won the next point giving her advantage. Robyn felt her stress level spike again. If she lost this next point it would mean the scores would be level at 5 games apiece, and Robyn would have to win two more perishing games to win the set.
Concentrate you idiot!! she scolded. She served and the rally started but after five strokes Robyn hit the net.
"Game Miss Tuttle" the umpire announced. "Five games all"