The Dumb Row

After losing the Cape Coral singles match on Tuesday, I entered the consolation singles

Me and Bob Smith
draw. Because of my “lofty status” of being-a-seed-who-lost, I had a first round consolation bye and then played Bobby Hampton on Thursday.

Bobby is a regular tournament player, retired school teacher from Chicago; and as for tennis, has a huge first serve and big topspin forehand. If you are able to get by those two weapons, his game is beatable.

In the first set, (Thanks to Brad Gilbert) I chose to receive and broke his serve the first game. That held up for the set, with an insurance break later for a 6-2. In the second set, his serve was really on; so we stayed even and on serve to 4-4. He served and I was able to break him at love and then I served it out; and except for one stupid double fault (saying “Hello” to Bob Hayes between first and second serve), I won eight of the last nine points of the match. 6-2, 6-4.

Waiting a day for the other bracket to play their match, I played Bob Smith, a steady lefty from Kentucky in the consolation finals Saturday morning. In the round before, Bob beat a nice player from Atlanta, Roger Upton 6-2, 6-2; which gave me some pause, because I had beaten Roger two years earlier 6-1, 7-5.

Bob has both a solid forehand and backhand; but I felt if I could control the flow of the match, move him side to side, and take advantage of short-ball opportunities, I would do well.

I did all those things + listened to Hank Irvine’s advice and stood in the add court alley to take away the lefty spin serve. Playing “controlled aggression” the whole match, I stayed in control and was able to dominate and win 6-2, 6-1 (and take home $50 in prize money!).

In addition to all that, I also listened to Hank and really focused on a serve that skidded off the line; got it back; and won the point!

So the title of this posting? I am this week, “The Smartest Kid, in the Dumb Row.”