Today was day one of the first of the four southwest Florida USTA Super Senior Series, this one held at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Myers. I am playing only singles (since I have family coming in this weekend) and Tom is teaming with a Minnesota friend, Dave Spilseth.
My first-round singles match this morning was against a local, non-tournament-playing club player … so I was “supposed to win easily.” My little tennis book cautions: don’t focus on how easy or hard your opponent is, but on YOUR GAME.
He was a taller guy with a good backhand, steady groundstrokes, decent serve and good drop shot. He started serving and I played WAY TOO TENTATIVELY, and he held serve fairly easily.
On the cross over, he said, “Well, at least I got ONE game!” I said to myself, “Let’s make that statement come true.”
So I figured out at 30-30 on my first service game that he preferred to hit his backhand rather than his forehand (which he just pushed); so I played most shots to his weaker forehand, played with Controlled Aggression, and (with the exception of just a few points) stayed totally focused.
And I won the next twelve games. (6-1, 6-0). So on Tuesday, I play the #5 seeded player Tony Cessna from KY.
Tom McCune, on the other hand, had a real war. I thought there was an unwritten rule in these senior tournaments that you didn’t have doubles partners or guys who travel from the same far away states play each other in the first round; but Tom was stuck playing his doubles partner Dave this morning.
Both of them are just solid, steady, baseliners… so the match lasted two hours and twenty minutes.
The first set went to Dave Spilseth in a tiebreaker. Then at 3-3 in the second set, Dave came from behind in a long game to hold. Bob Wilkie and I were watching and agreed Tom shouldn’t try to out-steady the guy from the baseline; but he needed to be more aggressive. And, if he could win this set, Dave was tired and bending over, holding his hands on knees; and would wilt in the third set.
But Dave ended up holding serve; and with a series of unforced errors by Tom, Dave broke and held for a 7-6, 6-3 marathon victory.
Other Florida-notable matches:
• Rich Tarantino lost 6-1, 6-3
• Larry Albritton (one of the #5 seeds) won 6-3, 6-3
• In the 70’s, Bob Dilworth (5 seed) won 7-5, 7-5
• Bill Simonton (4 seed) won 6-2, 6-0
• Dave Williams lost to the 3 seed 1 and 0
• Bob Hayes lost 2 and 1
• And in the 75’s, #1 seed Gordon Hammes has a first round bye.
For the full draws, click here.