The third Florida Super Senior Grand Prix tournament is finally in Naples this week at the Sterling Oaks tennis courts; and the singles started on Monday.
The “match of the day” pitted my doubles partner Tom McCune vs. Laszlo Nagy, who lives right there and had a crowd cheering him on. Tom won the first set; then I watched the tail end of the second as he lost (Laszlo hitting well and Tom looking tired). I went home after my match to jump in the whirlpool.
Tom was up a break and serving for the match at 5-4; but Nagy saved two match points and was able to then break Tom back to serve at 5-5 in the third set.
After three hours of tennis (in near-record 83 temp), Tom was somehow able to break serve … and then come back to hold serve for a great victory. (And for that great accomplishment, he gets to play #1 seed big, Dave Nash).
My match was against local tennis friend and former LA Dodger pitching prospect, lefty Paul Veltman. If you did the checklist like the TV announcers do, you would see:
• Serve: Veltman
• Returns: equal
• Groundstrokes: equal
• Conditioning: Wachtel
All other things considered, it was my legs and conditioning that carried the day. Paul started out missing shots and fell behind 0-3 on two breaks of serve. Altho, he changed his play to start crowding the serve and the groundstrokes, I was implementing my match strategy of “investing” in the ground game to move him side to side and wear him down.
He broke back twice and he was serving at 4-4. It was the pivotal game, lasting about ten minutes with him saving four break points; but I was able to convert the fifth chance.
That not only broke his serve; but his spirit as well. I was able to run the table from there for a 6-4, 6-0 victory (but a tiring hour and a half of singles).
My singles opponent is former pro tennis referee Norm Chryst, who upset the #5 seed. (and then after that match, Tom and I go back on the court for our first round doubles match).
For all the results, please click HERE.