A much cooler, but sunny, day in south Florida for the semi-finals in several age categories at the World Tennis Club. Tony Williams and i teamed up vs. the #2 seeded team of Bill Poist and Steve Lunsford.
Since we played into the night last night, my partner Tony, who is also playing ‘down’ in the 65 doubles, had to play his quarter finals in that group, before we took the court in the afternoon. That one went three sets, three hours in a loss for him and Rick Schultz vs Keenan and Wright.
In our match, our opponents presented a real challenge … Steve Lunsford hits forehands off both sides, or can hit a two-handed backhand, serves mostly lefty, and can hit overheads with both hands. Bill Poist is a veteran and savvy doubles player with incredibly good hands at the net and with hard balls hit within his reach.
Both of our teams did a better job of returning serve than holding it. So after a series of breaks, they ended up winning a close 6-4 first set. In the second set, they ran to a commanding 5-2 (two break) lead and were serving for the match. On the changeover, I said to Tony, “I do not want to go out with a 6-2 whimper!”
But they still hit winning shots and served for the match at 40-30, when Tony hit a screaming return down the middle for a winner. I said to him, “I want to write about THAT shot as the one that turned the match around!”
And we did go on to save another match point after that; and eventually won that game to go 3-5, me serving. We won a solid and fast game, giving up just one point… and the pressure went on them to hold serve at 5-4.
But we both continued our strong play (Tony really played well at this point); and we broke serve again to make it 5-5!
Tony served a good game; and we survived several game points against us… and had a good shot at my taking a very short lob on game point for us. I closed tight to the net and hit down on the shot, planning on bouncing over their heads; but the wind held it in, as they backed to the fence to retrieve it… and won that point; and eventually broke to serve 6-5 for the match again.
We again saved another match point, but it was not to be for us as they went on to a 6-4, 7-5 victory and facing Drilling and Kileff in the finals on Saturday.
Steve Lunsford was also #2 seed in singles and lost 6-1, 6-2 to Ray Bellamy (who i lost to 6-3, 6-4 earlier in the week). Drilling beat his dubs partner Clive and will play Bellamy in the 70 singles finals.
In 55s singles, I saw something I had never seen before… Larry Turville losing a set! But, he came back a cruised through the second and third set for a victory.
In the 60 singles, Bonita Beach friends Andy Bloom and Willy Hoffmann faced off, with Andy advancing to the finals.
In 65 singles, there was a rematch of last week of Mike Dahm vs. Don Long (Dahm won in three sets, three hours). This week, it was Don Long’s “turn” and he won in a third set tie breaker, also in three hours.
To see results from all categories, just click HERE.
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