Second singles vs. seed Having won the first match, Wednesdayâ€™s singles match was against the #7 seed, Tony Cessna from KY. He had beaten me two years ago at the Naples Bath tournament; but I had a plan.
He is a real solid player with a strong serve, powerful forehand, and good two-hand backhand; but what I remembered (and he actually mentioned two years ago), that if I had been able to get him into a third set, he was tiring. So the plan was to Andre Agassi him in the first set: win or lose, make him run as much as possible.
I was able to execute that somewhat, but he took the set 6-3. In the second set, it started paying some dividends: his backhand broke down a little and his forehand wasnâ€™t as good while on the run.
I jumped out to a 5-2, two-break lead, serving for the set. I focused on getting first serves in, which I did; but he really raised his game and broke me easily. He served well and held; so I am now serving again for the set at 5-4, and play a horrible game to lose and go to 5-5.
Regrouping, I worked it to a deuce on his serve and hit a good open-faced forehand deep to his backhand corner to win the point and bring it to my ad. But then, one of the tournament volunteers, thinking we were done with the game and changing over, came onto the court with more Gatoraid for the players.
Tony went ballistic, telling the guy he shouldnâ€™t come on the court; and I felt he would be distracted for the next point, which he was and hit it five feet long; throwing his racquet and yelling at the guy, â€œYou cost me the game!â€
So now I am serving for the set for the third time. I focus. He doesnâ€™t. And I win the game and the second set.
In the third set, I am feeling tired, but OK; and take another two-break lead and am again serving at 5-2. It had been just short of three hours in the Florida sun; I was dehydrated and just starting to cramp. So I gave it all that I had and was able to close out the game, set, and match!
My next singles, today at 11:30 is against the #3 seed, Steve Lundsford, a player with NO backhand! He hits two forehands off either side and serves both lefty and righty. I feel pretty good (but will also have to play our first round doubles match at the end of the day). We shall see.