The second Florida Super Senior Grand Prix is being played this week at Naples’ World Tennis Club; and so far Pavel Slozil and his crew of volunteers are doing a fantastic job of hosting their inaugural event (replacing Cape Coral).
With more than 32 players in my 70 singles, they had 16 seeds; so I was one of eight players seeded at #9. After a first round bye, I had an easy round of 32 match on Tuesday, winning 6-1, 6-0 (one game with loss of focus).
With 15 of the 16 seeds advancing in play (one withdrew for family emergency), today’s match was much more challenging vs. #5 seeded Ray Bellamy from Tallahassee. He is a solid player with a good serve, excellent forehand cross court, steady chip backhand cross court, and down the line drive. And he is a net rusher.
In the first set, he broke me at 3-4; and then held for the one set lead. I told Bob Wilkie, who was watching, that “I was investing in the ground game,” and hoped to take his legs away.
In the second set, I was down a break and serving at 2-4, when I sensed he was tiring. I was able to continue trying to run him and play steady tennis … held serve easily; and then broke him to get back on serve at 4-4.
I felt he was tiring; and if I could get into a third set, it would be mine. But he continued to rush the net (and rush me) and was able to break back and hold for a 6-3, 6-4 (hour and forty-five) victory.
After the match, he said he had heard I was playing “on fire,” so was concerned about the match. I confessed that I missed more shots today than in matches last week; and he correctly countered, “I would hope that my pressing you made that happen.”
In 75s singles on Tuesday, Naples friend Jack Lease took #5 seeded Hong Kim to a second set tie breaker; but came up short in the 2.5 hour match.
The winner of our match plays the winner of (5) Bill Simonton vs. (9) Bobby Hampton … and that will be Bill, who survived a 2 hour 20 minute 7-6, 7-6 war.
PLAYING A MOON BALLER
Tom McCune had a good 65s first round win on Monday; but then ran into the incredibly tough #3 seeded, moon-balling Wolfgang Jaeger on Tuesday. Three of us watching from a bench behind the court came up with these observations (this game is so much easier from outside of the court!):
• You cannot stay back and hit moon balls with a moon baller – that is their game and they will beat you at it.
• Look for those floaters that are attackable in the air and angle volley them, while coming into the net
• When he hits a short one, hit an attacking groundstroke, and come in behind it
• And when at the net, put some stick on your volley; so he doesn’t have an easy shot at lobbing over your head (one of his favorite shots, since it is just like his moon ball)
• And if you can reach his overhead, hit that with some authority too.
• In all these scenarios, it is better to lose the point trying to hit an offensive shot, than letting him demoralize you with one of his.
This week’s doubles partner is Tony Williams (MN); and we had a walkover today (from that same seeded player who withdrew from singles); so tomorrow we advance to the quarters without playing a match.
To see results from all categories (and this tournament is updating during the day), just click HERE.
If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com