The word for the day was “COLD”. With a cloud cover and temperature hovering around 50; the 10-15 mile north wind brought it down to somewhere around 40 degrees on the court this afternoon. My second round match was against Gary Wilson, #5 seed, from DC, who beat me two years ago in two hours 7-5, 6-4.
I started serving into the north wind and was promptly and easily broken. He served, struggled; but held his serve for 2-0. I won the next three games to go back on serve; but he broke me again at 5-5 to serve for the first set. He had a set point, which I survived; and I ended up breaking him to bring it to a first set tie breaker.
I stayed aggressive in the tie break, forcing myself to “go for my shots.” I did and won the tie break 7-5.
In the second set, I went brain dead and he had me 0-40 in my first service game. But was able to regroup, win the game and break him to have him serving at 2 games to 4. This ended up being a marathon game, just like the one I had yesterday… with me having SIX break points (to go up two service breaks at 5-2); and he had two game points. He saved all six break points and converted his second game point to bring it to a psychologically very close 4-3.
Andre Agassi says in his book that no other athlete talks to themselves as much as tennis players do… and I was talking constantly to myself: to run him side to side and take his legs away and to go for my shots. I stayed aggressive, got some lucky shots and was able to hold on for a 7-6, 6-3 upset in two very cold hours of tennis.
Tomorrow, I play the third round against #4 seed Hank Rhawn, who survived a very similar match score against my doubles partner Tom McCune, 7-6, 6-4 (also in two hours). And then after that, Tom and I team up for our first round doubles match.