Saturday was day two of the Daytona USTA Sectionals for our Super Senior 4.5 doubles team. Our morning match was against the other SW Florida team and then the afternoon against the (undefeated) St. Pete team.
Team captain George Morton switched our lineup at #2 and #3, flipping Tom to play with Spike… and me with Bob Dilworth; with Matt and Dick still teamed at #1.
All three of our teams lost the first set. And had to try to dig ourselves out of a hole.
On the second court, I played poorly; so Bob and I did not help the team’s cause.
Don’t know what it was; but I started off a little tentatively, giving them some better putaways than they should have had and my missing a few lines. That triggered a ‘regression’ of sorts, where I felt most of my strokes were my ‘old ones’ and not my ‘new and improved’ ones. And it only got worse as the match progressed.
The other two matches were much closer and better played. Dick and Matt fought back from being down 2-5 in the second set to bring that to a tiebreaker. And at the same time, Spike and Tom came back to win their second set and bring that one to a ten point deciding match tiebreaker.
I stood between both courts, turning my head (just like 30+ years ago, when I stood between two Little League fields watching my two sons in two different games at the same time).
Both tie breaks ended poorly for our team. Dick and Matt lost 7-3; and Tom and Spike were leading 8-6 when Tom went down trying for a shot and injured his wrist. They fought gamely; but at 11-11, lost two points and the match.
(Note: Tom drove back to Naples and emailed that xrays showed a wrist fracture. Maybe out for 6-8 weeks!)
In the afternoon, we played a ‘dead rubber,’ since St. Pete beat the Melnik team at noon to clinch first place. They didn’t field a full team for our late-Saturday match, forfeiting court 3. So Bob Dilworth and I moved up to #1 to play the very tough team of Jared Florian and Mark Mazzo; and Paul Veltman teamed with Steve Speer at #2.
Paul and Steve played great an won an upset at #2. Bob and I also played great, putting a real scare into this ranked team. They won… but the score was 7-5, 7-6.
There is something very rewarding about playing a ‘superior team’ just about even… and have them say ‘OK, this is enough, let’s turn it on and beat these two guys”… and we rise to the occasion and don’t let them!
Our match ended after 6 p.m.; so DeDe and I opted NOT to go out to dinner with the team; but to go to our room to share some beers and room-service burgers, while watching the NCAA Final Four (with our UCONN Huskies).
Ya know that great TV show, “The Good Wife”?