Naples 9.0 doubles

Well, I went from playing Super Seniors yesterday to “Juniors” today. Marc Vandam and I had our first round 9.0 doubles match against two 28 year old big baseline bangers from Ft. Myers.

When I got the public courts at Cambier Park, the only two guys there were these two “kids” banging the ball back and forth; so when Marc arrived , we agreed we needed to play solid, senior tennis (even though Marc is only 40 himself).

In the first set, we had a series of service breaks; but they ended up with the advantage and the set at 6-4. In the second set, we really focused on getting the ball back in play and taking control of the net. We went up a break; but gave it back. On serve at 4-5, we were able to break them to take the second set.

With the temperature near 90 degrees, we all took the full 10 minutes before starting the FULL third set.

I started serving with the new balls, which were old by the time that five-deuce game was done. We held for that important first game; but I started to feel the heat and my tenth match in eight days.

We were still able to break them; but then played a weak game to give it back to go 1-2.
The set stayed on serve, with my serving the critical 4-4 game and really starting to feel the heat and fatigue. But Marc and I both played a strong game to take some momentum into the change over. I said (in a very tired voice) to Marc, “OK, three good returns of serve and one double fault, and the match is ours.”

We took a 15-40, double break point lead; and with them serving to me in the deuce court, they blasted and missed the first serve. I crowded him on his second serve and, as predicted, got the double fault at match point!

The keys to victory:

  1. Not being intimidated by their service aces/winners and big ground strokes.
  2. Taking control of the net.
  3. Regularly using Australian to take away their favorite cross court returns.
  4. And signaling each other when we were returning serve that the ‘off man’ was going to cross after the return.
  5. And, playing solid aggressive tennis.

So, the final scores were 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.  We were spent; but luckily the muscle cramps didn’t start until i got home.

Next up: two more young bangers (who happen to be the #1 seeds).

7 thoughts on “Naples 9.0 doubles

  1. George,

    Remember the Stolle/Emmo formula for killing young guys:

    Lob, dink, chip, slice,
    Lob, dink, chip, slice,
    Lob, dink, chip slice,
    Repeat ad infinitem.

    Good luck, teach the young guys a lesson,
    Arnie

  2. Hi Arnie – Thanks. i saw that you and your partner traveled to the Atlanta Invitational. How was that experience?

  3. George,
    The tournaments are a lot of fun. Bill and I finished 2007 as #26 in 60’s doubles, so we are pleased. We are also doing reasonably well this year. The problem is getting enough tough matches to prepare us for the tournaments. The skills of these national players are at a very high level. But we have a great time and get to meet some really nice and interesting guys. An amazing number are teaching pros.
    We plan to continue to play until we are physically unable. We are going back to Atlanta for the 60’s Clay National Championships in September. It should be fun. Then we may be able to play in the 50’s National Clay Championships here in Sarasota. It is fun also.
    We will try to get together at some time when we are in Naples. I am hoping our USTA team gets to play in the S.W. Adult Region Championship in Bonita Springs on July 18 – 20. If so we should at least have dinner together.

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