From time to time I book a court with a practice wall in Leuven. I find that my ground strokes benefit from this because by hitting against the wall, you get to feel the correct grip and movement. And this wall has a parabolical shape and a line painted where the net comes.
Even better is that the wall is a bit hidden behind trees so that no one sees how bad you play.
So today I am whacking the ball when all of a sudden I notice that 2 toddlers are watching me from behind the fence. Two cute boys, 3 maximum 4 years old. After a while, they go to the gate and try to open it but it doesn't work since they can't reach the bolt even when they stand on their toes. Then they start to yell at me, "we... also... play". I go up to them and ask them what's up. Well, they tell me they also want to play. I explain them that I am practising now and that you can't really play on this court and on top of that, they don't have a racket. One tells me he has a racket but it is at home and the other one says that Santa Claus will bring him a racket but for that he still has to wait a looong time.
Then I ask them if they like to watch tennis on TV and the two little heads nod vehementely "Yes". So I ask them which players they like and it comes out synchronously, without hesitation and without one syllable missing: "Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin".
WOW. That went straight to my tennisloving heart. Too young to utter a full sentence but in one breath: "Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin."
Shows how tenniscrazy Belgium has become. Kids learn to say "Mommy and Daddy" and next "Kim and Justine".
Let the US Open begin.