The January Senior TournamentsÂ – Well, it is THAT time of year again: time for the start of the USTA Super Senior series of Florida tournaments.
The first one is this week at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Myers; next week goes a little further north to Cape Coral; the third week is at Cambier Park in Naples; and the month culminates in the huge Category II at the former Naples Bath & Tennis.
I will be playing both singles and doubles in the first, third, and fourth tournaments (taking week to off to fly north to Connecticut on business). Since I am eligible to play in the 65â€™s (celebrate that milestone in June) and Tom McCune is still in the 60â€™s, my doubles partner will be the very steady Dick Valentine. For our pairing, I will be the deuce court aggressor and he will be the add court steady one (although, neither of us plan on missing more than two returns of serve per set).
Due to a 34-man draw in my singles, I had a first-round bye yesterday (I am not seeded) and played my first round this morning against Jim Persinger, a steady, lefty from Indianapolis.
The keyword for the match for me was FOCUS.
During the warmup, I could see that he didnâ€™t have any real weapons to beat me with; and if I could just play my solid baseline game, I would win. Confessing to having some first-tournament, first-match butterflies, I am happy he won the toss and elected to serve first, which gave me a chance to just focus on getting my return back in play, cross court and deep. I was able to do that to break him; and then I held serve.
I kept telling myself to FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS all through the match, which I did (with the exception of just a couple of brain-dead lapses on a couple of double faults and dumb drop shot); and worked hard all the way to a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
Tomorrow, I play Tony Cessna, a seeded player from KY, who beat me last year in Naples. But right now, I am sitting by the courts on Wifi, waiting to watch three Naples friends (Tom McCune, Steve Feldhaus, and George Morton) all of whom won their first round 60 singles yesterday and will play this afternoon. More to come.