Today was day #1 of tournament #1 at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Myers. My first singles match was against Jim Johanson, who is wintering here from Sweden. Jim is a solid player with good groundstokes and a fairly steady game.
My early strategy was to avoid his stronger forehand and hit deep to his backhand and come in when possible. That worked and got me up a break and serving 3-2; when I played a terrible game and gave the break back to him.
But in the next game, he played an equally bad game â€“ and was really spraying his forehand all over the place. So I focused on his forehand and ran off three games and the first set at 6-3.
He settled down at the start of the second and we were on serve for the first five games. The temperature was a near-record 86 degrees and I was starting to wilt a little; but I thought he was wilting a little more than I was.
I broke to go up 4-2; but like the first set played another poor game and gave the break back. Playing tournaments do really test you both physically and mentally!
I was able to get my act together; basically just keeping the ball in play for long points, till he got tired/frustrated and missed a shot. Final score: 6-3, 6-3.
Tomorrow’s match is the #2 seed, Evert Jonsson from Destin, in the north of Florida.
By the way, my doubles partner Tom McCune reached one of our common goals: he played well and beat the #5 seed, Rich Boddicker from Denver (who was also suffering from transition shock to this climate).