One uneventful day, as I was staring off towards a boring wall in my room,it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could play tennis with it. I purchased a set of foam sponge balls for kids on Amazon and quickly tried. There is no space to let the ball bounce, so by default, it was a “no-bound” volleying rally with myself. This worked out perfectly and was a great pick-me-upper during the stay-at-home period. It turned out to be decent exercise when hitting to the music and engaging my knees and core. Crank up the Drake while volleying with the wall, and in my mind, I am Naomi Osaka. In my mind. In reality, Naomi put a smile on my face with social media uploads of herself in her gorgeous home, displaying puppy love with her boyfriend, and making cute dance moves. With the pro tennis tour postponed, it must not be easy for these athletes to maintain their concentration and routines. The players, despite the unsure future ahead, have kept their fans, who are staying cooped up, entertained in many ways. Especially enjoyable was Rafael Nadal’s Instagram live sessions, where he reeled in his athlete buddies Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and finally Marc López (who hails from the same country as Rafa) and streamed their non-ironic, everyday conversations. In Japan, these sessions took place in the early morning, but I tuned in from the comfort of my bed without struggling. It was a treat for my eyes. It was like spying on extravagant Zoom drinking sessions (but in actuality, they weren’t drinking at all, just chatting) one after another. 2020 is pretty incredible that it has brought together tennis players all over the world like this. I can’t even imagine the kind of stress these athletes are going through as they wait patiently for the tour to start again. I can only hope that they persevere and that the day when they can return to the courts and wow us with their plays will soon return. And so, as a big tennis fan, in the corner of Tokyo, I continue my volley drills with a wall.
Text by Saya Kawada (Town)