It must have rained during the night; because after my breakfast (cheese omelet + toast + cereal + bacon + juice) I see the courts are all puddled and the staff is rolling them to be playable (if the rain stays away). So they changed the schedule for our Wanker team to play doubles in the morning on the five indoor courts against the defending champ Musclemen (Davo, Case, and Woodforde).
I again teamed with Tom Sansonetti at #2 dubs against a good 41-year-old rookie Charlie from Dallas and David, a teaching pro from Brazil. To squeeze in all the matches needed on the five courts, we played first games to eight, win by two, or play a 10-point tie breaker at seven all.
We played from behind the whole match and found ourselves with Tom serving to stay in it at 4-7. He served a long game (with our using Emmo’s on-court coaching to play tandem to the pro in the add court and serve him wide to take away his good cross court return). We held.
Then we were able to break the pro for the first time; so I was now serving 6-7 to stay in it. For anyone who has ever played with me in that situation, they know what I will say to my partner: “I am going to try to get a high percentage of first serves in; and I need you to be aggressive at the net.” I got four first serves in; and Tom put away every return that came back for us to win a love game and bring us to the deciding ten-pointer.
They out played us and won the tie breaker and the match. And as it turns out, that was the deciding match for the seven dubs in the morning, which we lost 3-4. So we will go into the afternoon needing to dominate in singles – which looked like it may be a full match outdoors, if the weather holds. After lunch, we met at the courts to play our singles matches, only to get there the same time as a big band of rain that soaked all the outdoor courts.
We were forced to go inside and play eight-game pro set doubles again – against the same teams! It was like the movie “Groundhog Day,” repeating life over and over. Tom Sansonetti and I again played #2 dubs against the same team, with a similar bad result.
So having lost the morning’s matches 3-4, we had to win by a similar score to tie (which would have given us a victory, based on games won). And as is often the case it came down to our #5, 6, and 7 teams.
At #5, Rich Tarantino and Jack Valenti pulled out an 8-6 victory over a very difficult team; but our #6 team lost by the same score. So it came down to our #7 team of Allan Boyer and Robert Peyser, who were down 1-4 at one point. They were able to bring it back; but lost 8-6. So the Wankers (and everyone else) will now cheer for Fred Stolle’s Dunnies (with John Berry) to upset Newk’s Kangaroos (with Willy Hoffmann) to make all teams even going into the final day.
Half the camp was late getting to 7:30 p.m. dinner because Newk’s and Stolle’s teams were on the court finishing their indoor match. Since they had some sunshine in the afternoon, they started singles matches; so they had a total of 20 matches (singles and doubles to play for the day). It ended in a 10 to 10 match tie!
They went to a total games tiebreaker, which Stolle’s Dunnies won 133 to 130! So that means all the four teams are tied at 1-1 going into the last day.
The forecast is again for a day of rain; so we will probably have to squeeze in the abbreviated doubles matches. By a drawing, our match with Newk’s Kangaroos is to go on first at 8:15 am. If it is doubles only, I am disappointed that I will not get to play Florida friend Willy Hoffmann at #3 singles. We will see what Thursday brings.
Tip of the Day: Wimbledon doubles champion Ross Case and I were talking about the match his team just beat us in doubles and the role of the partner while the other is returning serve.
He says, “The biggest mistake the average player makes is to automatically start moving in beyond the service line, when their partner returns serve. They need to first watch to see if the net man is poaching; and then wait to see where the return of serve went… if it goes too high and the incoming server is hitting down, hold your ground. And keep holding your ground, until the time your team gets the offense during that point. But if the return is low at the server’s feet, THEN you can start moving in.
After a Mexican night dinner, they had the annual Australian Boat Races… a team beer chugging competition, which is usually won by Newk’s ‘very experienced’ team. But in a sign of the changing times, they could not come up with four full teams; so Newk’s beer drinkers agreed to take on a team of camp “all stars.” I went to my room to watch the baseball and go to bed early.