This morning, I played my first consolation singles round, my partner Tom played his second main draw singles (and got “hooked” badly); and then at the end of the day, we teamed up for doubles.
My Consolation Singles: was against a nice guy and nice player, Pat Stone, from Tallahassee. During the warm up, I couldn’t spot any real weaknesses: smooth forehand, steady backhand, and very strong serve.
Once we got into the match, I could see one advantage: my slightly better than average 66 year old wheels were better than his; and he would eventually make a mistake being run side to side. So I played a “mounting offense” game of slowly putting more pressure on each shot, till he was out of position and I could put it away or hit a shot he didn’t return.
He held serve the first game; but than I was able to “run” the next six for the first set. The momentum continued into the second for a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Tom’s Singles: Tom had another tough match, this time against the #5 seed. Before the match, Tom was alerted to “watch his line calls” and after the match, three people told me of his horrid reputation (one of them, a Naples pro said, “they won’t let him play tournaments in New Jersey”).
Well Tom’s experiences were the same. Some examples:
1) A ball that was clearly hit well out by his opponent was claimed to be his point; because Tom did not state or point it was out. The guy agreed that the ball was out but wanted to take the point because Tom didn’t call it loudly and clearly. The referee shamed him into changing his mind on that one.
2) He said he could call the referee because he claimed that Tom’s Bolle sunglasses gave him an “unfair advantage” and were therefore illegal.
3) After several bad calls, the referee was on the court. The bad calls stopped; but when she left, they started again. Tom had won the first set 6-3, lost the second set 6-4; and at 1-1 in the third set his opponent called a ball that was, according to the mark Tom pointed to, 16 inches in. Four people watching the match indicated the ball was in; but the guy insisted that wasn’t the mark and took the point.
4) Tom had had enough, walked to the side of the court and said he was going to QUIT; only to have the referee come on the court and convince him to finish the match.
Tom was so upset, he didn’t win another game. Many people came up to Tom and also to me to say what a “shame” that was. In my opinion, guys like that should be banned from senior tennis. (Ask me and i will tell you his name).
Doubles: Then with the sun setting and putting shadows on the court, we went out at 4:30 p.m. for our second round doubles against #3 seeds Don Long and Sam Corso (he of two gold USTA balls in senior doubles). The match was well played all around and close… they won the first set with one service break, 6-3; and then were up 2-4, with us serving in the second. We held; broke them; held again, to have them serving 4-5 break/set point. We didn’t convert and they then broke us and served out the match, 6-3, 7-5.