Anthony Rasile, an in-shape, lefty, baseliner originally from Long Island and now from Naples, and I played our Naples 65 Singles finals this morning. From my scouting, I knew that he had an excellent lefty topspin forehand and could run very well; but had a weaker backhand and attackable serve. So I had wanted him to serve first from the north side (with the lefty facing the morning sun).
He won the toss and chose to serve; so I put him in the sun and broke him. But on my first service game, I fell behind 15-40 on the strength of his getting a lot of balls back. I was able to regain focus and control to hold serve; and then maintain that same combination the rest of the way.
My strategy was to hit to his forehand to open up his weaker backhand side; hit to that and come in behind a pressing shot, when it came up. The points were good and he had leads in several games; but the first set score was 6-0.
Key word to myself was â€œfocus,â€ which continued into the second set. Toward the end of the second set during a changeover, he said, â€œThis is my worst loss ever! I even got a game from Fred Drilling.â€ So there was my challenge. Final score: 6-0, 6-0.
At the end of the match, he paid me the best compliment I could hear, by not telling me how well I played; but how well I analyzed his game and exploited his weaknesses.
Next, The Wachtel Family Traveling Circus heads north this Friday.