We had a first round bye and then played Mike Fenster and Mike Gainer from NC in the quarters. During warmup, I felt this was a team that we “should beat” in the 3 and 2 neighborhood. And we did.
Emmo (and Dick Valentine) would be pleased with one stat: in the second set, I missed ONE return of serve; and in the first set, I didn’t miss ANY!
Saturday, we were scheduled to play the semis against the #5 seeds (who got bumped off in their first match); but one of the players was in the 65 singles finals in the morning (losing to Jimmy Parker). So they defaulted to us.
We then waited around for three hours and played the finals against two Kentuckians, Bob Smith (who I beat in the MidCape consolation singles) and Ken Cheek. They are a solid team, with lefty Smith playing in the deuce court and big forehand topspinner Cheek in the add court.
Tom and I started strong – with both of us having a 100% return of serve for the set, which we won 6-1.
In the second set we returned almost as well (I missed two and Tom missed only one); but Smith and Cheeks really raised their games.
They broke us and were serving for the set at 5-4, set point. We saved that point and broke serve… only to give it right back to them; so they served again for the second set at 6-5.
In consolation matches, you play a ten-point tiebreaker in lieu of a full third set; so we didn’t want to have them win the set and have the momentum going into the tiebreaker. But they still took a quick 40-15, double set point lead.
We saved those two set points and then another add; and were able to break them to bring it into a second set, seven point tiebreaker.
We now had the momentum and carried it forward to take the breaker and the match. So, Tom and I are now the “Smartest Kids in the Naples Bath Dumb Row.”
And we recognize the end of a good month of weekly tournaments. Thanks to Tom for teaming up with me for the dubs: I think we made real progress as a team!