One Goal Met After the first round walk-over, my second round singles match in Tournament #3 at Cambier Park was against the #5 seed, Jerry Fong of Miami Beach, Florida.
While we were waiting for the court to be groomed, he volunteered that in his win yesterday (against my Swede #1, who I beat in the first tournament) that he should have lost, because he got tired â€“ but his opponent just missed too many shots at the end. So, why do you tell this to the guy you are about ready to play?
He also asked about my tournament pedigreeâ€¦ which big names I have played and what my scores were. He seemed to be impressed that I have lost to some of the best players in the country.
I had seen him play some in Ft. Myers, where he played serve and volley tennis; and scouted some yesterday, where he played baseline tennis. During warm-up it was obvious he really liked to hit his forehand and hit a â€˜heavy ballâ€™ with a lot of topspin on it.
He won the toss, elected to serve; and lost a long first game. He was mostly coming to the net behind everything; so I kept telling myself, â€œjust stay calm and under control and you will be able to pass him.â€ Which I did and took the first set 6-2.
The pattern continued into the second set and I was up a break, with his serving at 1-3. He was able to hold and then changed his strategy to drop shot almost everything he could â€“ including off my first serve. He gained the momentum, running off four games â€¦ until I found myself with his serving at 5-3, set point against me.
I think my small group of watching friends felt the set was over then; but I was able to save that point, plus come back to break him to get on serve.
But with me serving at 4-5, I faced another set point against me. I thought back to the matches I had lost earlier this month and told myself I was going to hit it hard and deep, no matter the consequences. I was able to fight off that second break point and hold serve.
We both held to go to a tiebreaker, where I went up a commanding 5-1. Did I say â€œcommandingâ€? Next thing I knew I was serving at 5-4 â€¦ but my mantra was â€œoffense, offense, offense.â€ I came to the net and he missed a forehand. Match point I had a short backhand which I rolled crosscourt for a topspin winner!
So one goal reached: beating a seeded singles player!
Tomorrowâ€™s singles match is at 12:30 against Hank Irvine, who I lost to last year at Naples Bath. Hankâ€™s Claim to Fame is when he was on the pro tour, he lost to Rod Laver in five sets at Wimbledon!
Then following that singles match, Steve Feldhaus and I have our first round doubles match at 3:30 p.m.
Todayâ€™s match was just over two hours long; and my pulled thigh was only talking to me just a little bit during the match. As I write this, it is being iced and should be OK for tomorrowâ€™s double header.