Really Senior Tennis: Since I am out of both the singles and doubles of the Naples Tier II tournament, I took my lunch over to the venue to watch some of â€˜the better players.â€™ Trouble was: it was in between the morning singles and afternoon doubles; so I ended up sitting and watching an unbelievable singles game between two 90 year old guys!
Sure, we all make fun of how they really canâ€™t run much anymore; but it was something to see.
Before I actually walked down to the court, I noticed a slight commotion in the spectator area. Seemed that one of their wives had succumbed to the heat and was laying on the walkway, being attended to by one of the referees (and they had called the paramedics, who arrived a few minutes later). She ended up being alright; but the point of the story isâ€¦ after he husband saw that it was not serious, they continued playing while the paramedics were on the way!
The husband of the â€˜victimâ€™ was a smallish guy, who was slightly slumped over and shuffled like Tim Conway doing his Old Man routine; but he could really hit the ball well. The other guy was much more mobile and could actually run toward the unending series of drop shots his opponent hit (not getting there 80% of the time).
Most points were two to three shots long: the server would almost never double fault; the receiver would either attempt a drop shot, which if went over was a winner 80% of the time; and if not the point was over. Or if the server started anticipating the drop shot and kind of served and â€˜rushedâ€™ the net, the returner would drive the ball to the corner, usually for a winner.
The Tim Conway look-alike was up a break; but lost â€˜the momentumâ€™ and the set 6-4 in just over one hour. Toward the end of the set, he actually double faulted once and threw his racquet in disgust at himself.
On the way out I stopped and chatted with his wife, who said â€œHe really tried; but was up to his old tricksâ€¦ getting and then blowing a lead!â€ As I told her, â€œIn 30 years, that is where I want to be!â€