Dave Taylor and I played the quarter finals of the 70 doubles yesterday in University Park vs. the #4 seeded team of Thay Butchee and Ivo Barbic.
Having beaten a good unseeded team in the first round and then the #5 seeds in the next round, we went into the match with a good level of confidence. That followed into the first set of this match, with us taking an early break lead and serving at 5-3.
But the MO switched and we fell to a 7-5, 6-1 loss… ending my four January tournaments.
Butchee/Barbic then went on to win the semi’s easily, 6-3, 6-1 vs. Lunsford/Poist; and they play the finals today vs. Jimmy Parker/Baily Brown.
I was happy with my play during the match: running down deep lobs, net cord dribblers, down the line shots, and hard balls over the middle. As we shook hands at the net, Ivo Barbic said, “How old ARE you?! You played well and ran very well!”
• In each age group, there is a top tier of players (Jimmy Parker, Fred Drilling, etc.) who are far superior to everyone else.
• But I NOW feel I can play with (and be one of) the lower tier of seeded players – in both singles and doubles.
• My three doubles partners and I played well together, considering they were all new pairings. Thanks to them.
• Some players are “aging” better than others
• The Florida Super Senior Grand Prix is a great series and my second favorite tennis time of the year (Newk’s camp being #1).
• But I am happy living out of my trunk for four consecutive weeks is over and I can go back to my local “routine” (a friend came up to me as I was taking my bag out of my trunk and I said, “Welcome to my home.”)
• All tournaments are NOT created equal… the University Park is the best, with its friendly volunteers, great facility, excellent provided food, etc.
• Playing in the tournaments is similar to going each year to Fantasy Camp to visit with a great group of players who gather from all around the country
• 99% of players are top notch people and fun to be with and play against
• Next week is a week off, then the series is centered around Sarasota/St. Pete (not sure I have the enthusiasm to travel more).
For dates and places, click HERE for Larry Turville’s site.
For results through last night at U Park, please click HERE.
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