Today’s Sarasota singles semi finals started with a big question mark…
I have been commuting nearly two hours each way from Naples, so I awoke to rain and called Payne Park at 7 a.m. to see what the situation was there. The courts were “under water” and expected drying time was about three hours. So I hit the road and got there about 9 … And was told I would get on about noon.
My opponent was Bob Hoffman from Long Island, NY, who upset the 2 seed in three sets. After our first six games on serve, 3-3, I learned that he had an excellent first that he came in behind every time… And an excellent first volley. But a very attackable second serve and if we got into a baseline rally, I would win most of those points.
To take away his set up time on his first volley, I moved in to return serve standing two feet inside the service line. This was just enough difference to both weaken his volley and put added pressure on his first serve.
I was able to break serve, but I then played a game “not to lose,” so I did. After two more service holds, I was able to break him again at 5-5 … And then served, and served it out, at 6-5.
In the second set, I continued my aggressive, but steady, play. Got an early break of serve, and that held up through the set, for a 7-5, 6-4 victory.
Saturday’s finals will be against the winner between the one and the four seeds ( that I am scouting, as I write this)!