Naples 9.0 doubles

Marc Vandam and I faced the #1 seeded team late Wednesday, starting at 4 p.m., with the temp in the high 80’s, but the humidity low. The opposition was Rob Bankowski, a 40-year-old lefty and Jim Harris, a 32-year-old 5.0 righty – and last year’s champions.

In the first set, it felt like I was back at Newk’s camp playing doubles with strong Jimmy Miller as my partner and the target painted on my chest. I was able to hold my ground at the net; but we were unable to hold my serve two times and lost quickly at 6-2.

Marc and I agreed that we had to be more aggressive on my serve, like we were on his: with Australian, poaching, and fakes. The plan seemed to work, as we held my serve and went up a break on them in the second set.

Unfortunately, we gave the break back to them; but then had another great break opportunity with their serving at 3-4. We didn’t convert and I had to serve the big 4-4 game. We played a real strong game and won easily, to have them serve at 4-5.

We were rock solid and they felt the pressure of our taking control of the net; and we broke them to take the second set 6-4.

In the third set, we kept the pressure on them and broke to be serving at 4-2. We had a couple of chances to take the game and a 5-2 lead, but didn’t; so they broke back to be on serve 3-4.

They held (a much too easy game) and then we served and lost another quick game to go down 4-5.

We changed court sides with the lefty serving for the match. He had had trouble holding serve under pressure; but did this time for the third set and the match.

It was in our grasp; but not taken. All in all, I felt happy with how I/we played; but much rather would have been reporting another upset victory.

Next up: my 65 singles opponent forfeited with an ankle injury; so I move forward to the finals against an opponent to be determined by a match to be played.

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