Naples Bath & Tennis Tier II: Today was the first day of the â€œbiggie,â€ the international Tier II event as the second in the Senior Grand Prix series. My first round singles opponent in the round of 64 was Carl Gagliardi of Branford, Connecticut.
The bad/good news from online research before the match was that last year he had played in 17 tournaments; but he didnâ€™t get past the first or second round.
During warm up, it looked like he was basically a steady baseliner with no real â€˜weaponsâ€™ to hurt me. So my strategy was to keep the ball in play and deep to his backhand.
After the first two games, I was up 0-2 and I realized the only two points he had won were unforced errors by me. So I determined not to make any more. And didnâ€™t make any others that set, winning 6-0. In the second set, I was determined to maintain my focus and my momentum; and, while I did miss three returns of serve and two overheads, that was itâ€¦ 6-0, 6-0.
After the match, Carl said, â€˜this may sound funny, but that was a good win for you against me at this tournament.â€™ So now, â€œall I have to doâ€ to win this tournament is: win six consecutive singles matches, in six consecutive days, against the top 60â€™s players in the country! Donâ€™t wager too much on that happening.
Tomorrowâ€™s second round match is at 3 p.m. against Tony Cessna of KY, who beat Naplesâ€™ George Morton, 6-1, 6-4.