Naples Tier II Doubles:

Naples Tier II Doubles: Tom McCune and I started our doubles match against two guys down for the week from Massachusetts at 3:30, under sunny skies, and ended after 6 p.m. under the lights – in a match that the spectators called “very entertaining.”

As it turns out I played against one of our opponents, Peter Allen, nearly 20 years ago up in the New England 45 doubles; and he was a very solid, all around player – but his partner was slightly weaker.

The first set was a series of service breaks until they held to win it 6-3. In the second set, we still struggled and found ourselves down by a break, with them serving at 6-5 for the match.

We were able to focus, play aggressively (the key), and break them to force a tie breaker. We stayed aggressive and won the tie break fairly easily.

We then told ourselves to stay focused and stay aggressive, which we did and went up with Tom serving 5-2 for the match.

“A funny thing happened on the way to the victory stand…” We lost the offense and they filled the vacuum to break us. In the next game, I pulled a left thigh muscle; while they held serve to have us change over, with my serving for the match at 5-4.

I told Tom of the injury; but thought I could play through it. Trouble was I couldn’t really push off on my serve, so ended up ‘arming’ the ball in and we lost my serve to go 5-5.

They held and then Tom stopped the bleeding to serve a good game and bring us to the deciding tie breaker.

They took over the offense again (the obvious key to the match on either side) and went up 6-3 in the tie break. On that ninth point, Tom ran into the fence trying to retrieve a shot and pulled his hamstring! So the two of us limped to the other side on the change over (one of our friends said later, “you know, they looked like two 60+ tennis players then.”).

I asked Tom if he wanted to default, and he said NO. So I told him I would try to serve aces on my next two points: I didn’t; but served hard enough to win both and bring it back to them serving 6-5 for the match.

The Cinderella Story ends there: they put a good first serve in, closed tightly to the net, and put the next shot away for the victory.

It was a great comeback by both teams; but a very disappointing loss. I iced my thigh last night and have it wrapped this morning; with a couple of days rest, all should be OK for next week’s third tournament in Cambier Park.