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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Thursday, July 11

good morning!
It’s hot out in DC, but your hoddler-in-chief has that cool cool touch. And ice on his knee.
Oh, and he’s now a two-time defending mixed doubles champion in Washington DC.
After a nervy start to our finals match at East Potomac Tennis Centre, my partner and I found our groove. She was solid on the baseline, while I put on a clinic at the net.
If you count volleys and returns, I probably 20 winners on the night.
“You think he’d learn,” I told my tennis partner sometime during the second set, as the guy on the opposite side of the court hit the ball right at me at the net for like the 50th time in the match.
Sure, he pegged me the first time after the ball ricocheted off my racquet. What, did he think he’d scare me? Lol no. (It was actually them who’d play two at the baseline later on.)
After more than a dozen winners at the net you think he’d learn his lesson. Not so. I didn’t care. I was happy to keep hitting winners.
We were up 5-2 in the first set when I hurt my knee. It was my serve, 0-15. Went for a split step during a serve-and-volley and felt a twinge in my knee. Did not feel great. I lost that service game on a double fault, pretty shaken up about the knee and nervous to move.
We broke them back. First set 6-3.
From there it was pretty easy. I think one major advantage my team has is that we know how to play doubles, and I love to come in at the net. Serve and volley. Return and volley. Attack, attack, attack. Move, look to poach. Be aggressive. (Okay but also be careful about that knee, fitizie).
After a while you sort of establish your identity. Your surface area expands and you find your range grow in size. From there it’s winner, winner, scrambled eggs dinner.
And then the players on the other side of the court get desperate. They hit the ball harder - why? It goes out anyways. They try to hit a passing shot down the line, the lowest probability shot. Why? If they get it, I don’t care. The players across the court sure as heck didn’t - they either hit the ball out or I covered it and hit a volley winner.
My main concern was my serve. My knee didn’t feel great and I was afraid to move. More than that, I was afraid about putting all that weight on my knee after I had served. Eek! So I try to protect it and take a little bit off the serve. It does okay. A bit casual at times since I’m afraid to make any real sudden movements. After a rough start it turned out fine.
We were well in control at 5-1 up in the second set. My serve. I dial it back - I don’t need to hit it 100MPH or more. I work the lines. 40-0 up, I’m feeling good, serving on the ad side. I know exactly where it’s going. I knew what was going to happen.
Kick serve on the edge of the ad box on servers side, ace. Right on the 90 degree angle. I knew it. I saw it before it happened.
Game set match. 6-3 6-1.
Strange match, this one. The last finals match my nerves were a mess and I wanted to throw up. Today I felt fine mentally after the first four games. Hell, maybe the injured knee took some of the focus away from my nerves.
Whatever and regardless of what it is, I am grateful for the tennis partner I have. The unsung hero of this story, buried beneath my vanity, as she endured and outlasted our opponents in long baseline rallies, recovered from a shaky start on her serves, hit the crispest volleys I’ve seen from her yet and be generally supportive of me throughout this partnership.
I’m looking forward to next season. Til then I’ll cool down with some ice on my knee and gin in my tummy.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Hot In The City, by Billy Idol

And now for your links:
Alasdair Gold: Tottenham academy director to remain at Spurs
BBC:‘Southgate stands on brink of glorious vindication’
USMNT sack Gregg Berhalter

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