My first round singles match today was against Gary Wilson from D.C., who played well in the first two tournaments; so I expected we would have a close match (even if I am now a â€œBig Timeâ€ seeded player!)â€¦ and we did.
During warm-up, I could see he hit a hard, deep forehand, a nice two-handed backhand, and served well. But he started off the match nervously and I was able to break his first service game. Trouble was, my serve was giving me all kinds of trouble; so even though I broke him three times in the first set, I kept giving it back the next game.
I was serving at 4-5, 15-40 (two set points against) and hit a topspin, cross-court backhand that he called out (I thought it looked to hit the line); and he then examined the mark on his own and reversed his call. I was able on the next break point to hit another topspin backhand to pass him at the net; and struggled to hold my serve; and then break him again to go up 6-5 and serving.
But alas, my serve let me down again, losing that game and not showing up for the tie breaker.
In the second set, he was the one who went up the break and I kept coming back, except for the last time; so he held to win at 7-6, 6-4. Two sets in two hours and ten minutes. I felt had I been able to get him into a third set, he would have not had much left in the tank. But I didnâ€™t; so was able to be on time for dinner with Willy Hoffmann, fellow Newk camper, who just moved down here from Jersey.
I opted to save myself for the doubles, which starts on Thursday and not play in the consolation singles round.