Marc VanDam and I teamed up last night for our twice-rain-postponed first round doubles match in the 4.5 (any age) doubles down at Cambier Park, Naples.
Our opponents were two forty-something (Marc is also 41) local players who:
- Had big serves,
- Had huge topspin forehand drives,
- Did not come in behind their serves,
- Had weaker backhands,
- But were quick enough to run around most shots to hit their big forehand weapons.
In the first set, they overpowered us, winning 6-3.
Then in the second set, I suggested to Marc: we need to stand within armâ€™s length of the net to take away that big dipping forehand (they tended NOT to lob). We did and successfully reversed fortunes to take the second set by the same 6-3 score.
For the third set, they went and got a new can of balls (we were not going to remind them that we could!). With several close games, we were up a break and then gave it back; so they were serving at 4-4.
Some people do NOT believe there are just a handful of key points that can determine the outcome of a match. I do. And one of them came as we started building some momentum and they were serving to me at 4-4, deuce, second serve.
I try to really attack second serves; but in this case just â€œsmotheredâ€ my forehand into the net. They won the next point, the game, and then broke us to take the two-plus hour match 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.