The first round singles match was against Bob Busch of Edina, MN, who is a nice guy with a nice game: a retriever with a slice backhand AND a slice forehand. So it was my Top against his Chop. While I confess to some first-tournament pre-match butterflies,
I used some of the techniques in a â€œmental bookâ€ I am reading (to be reviewed another time) to relax and get into a good groove.
Although the score was very lopsided (6-1, 6-0), the points and all the games were not. In fact, it is incredible to think that those scores kept us on the court in 80 degree heat for almost two hours!
The pattern was my conservative forehand and backhand topspin would come back with a down slice shot that tended to get a little shorter each time. I would continue to press until I got a short enough ball to attack and I was usually able to topspin it off the court wide for a winner or a sitter.
My doubles partner, Tom McCune tweaked his back over the weekend and was playing the #5 seed, Bill Simonton from Concord, New Hampshire. I got there just as Tom was breaking Bill to take the first set 6-3. When I came back from doing my pre-match stretching, Simonton was up a break and serving at 5-4 in the second set. Tom saved four set points â€“ and actually had two break points of his own â€“ but lost that game and the set. After a ten-minute break (during which time Tomâ€™s back tightened up) they started the third set. But Tom made the smart move and defaulted after a couple of games.
Next: I play the #3 seed, Don Long, from NY Tuesday at 1 p.m.; and Tom feels he will be OK to play the doubles with me, starting on Thursday.