Fantasy Tennis – Tuesday, Day 3
The doctor said two words to me that really got my attention: Heart Failure.
Last night was a decent nightâ€™s sleep; but I started the day still very congested and trying to figure how I will last in a singles match. Just before our morning stretching, I was standing next to a heart surgeon from Grand Rapids (yes Dean Bacon, your friend Jim Delavan). When I described my symptoms to him, he said it was a virul infection in my lungs; and he had the same problem and was not playing any tennis this week.
He also said that his daughter had had a similar situation and insisted on still running cross country for her school. After her run, she was exhausted and he was sitting with his hand on her back. He felt her heart going into early stages of failure. The doctor explained that the infection creates a mucous membrane on much of the lung air exchange points; so the body cannot get enough oxygen, goes into deficit and cannot run the heart.
So I went to my coaches, Roy Emerson and Marty Reissen â€“ who had already completed the lineup for the day â€“ and told them I wasnâ€™t sure I could/should play singles; but was willing to play doubles. They had me lined up to play either at #4 or #5 singles and wanted to talk to me.
So they had to get the agreement of the other teamâ€™s coaches, drop me from singles, and both teamâ€™s reworked all the lineup. As it turns out, I would have played Rich Tarrantino: my friend from Connecticut who is a real backboard â€“ and probably would have sent me to the hospital!
Before the morning matches, John Newcombe gave a clinic on ways to hit the forehand. He said with his Eastern grip, there were three options:
- Drive â€“ raquet head path is roughly parallel to the ground and you drive through the ball for penetrating groundstrokes.
- Slice â€“ the raquet head goes from high to low and you put downward slice on the ball, which works especially well with higher short balls you approach on.
- Topspin â€“ Obviously, raquet head goes low to high to put safer top spin on the ball.
Newk said he thought Federer would do better with Nadalâ€™s high topsin â€“ especially when it comes to his backhand — to use a slice, rather than trying to come over the ball.
Afterwards, I did team with Terry Long for a morning doubles match, which we lost 6-4, 6-4. Our team as a whole did poorly in the morning round and will need a miracle in the afternoon (all doubles) to beat last yearâ€™s team champions.
In the afternoon, the coaches moved me up to play #2 doubles (out of our 10 doubles teams) and I partnered with a nice 40-something player Mike ____ from N. California against two other 40-somethings. i/we held our own; but again lost 6-4, 6-4.
A half hour after the match I was laying down in my room and my heartbeat was still nearly 90! After an hourâ€™s nap, it went down to 70. This is from a guy who usually runs a morning resting pulse at an incredibly low 46-48 beats.
But it was a wise (mature??) decision not to play singles, even though I have been training for three months and felt very disappointed. Right now, I feel OK and am off to happy hour.
Dinner was Italian night, followed by another Legend panel discussion with Emmo, Charlie Pasarell, Marty Reissen, and Fred Stolle. They told great â€˜war storiesâ€™ about the early days of professional tennis and the legendary Pancho Gonzales, who they labeled as the greatest tennis competitor of all time. Well, off to bed and a night that will hopefully see a brighter morning.