This was the weekend of the one tournament I play over the summer. For the last 20 years (!) the Colby-Sawyer College Chargers Club has hosted an excellent doubles-only tournament. Again this year, Bob Wilkie and I teamed to defend our 60 and over A Division title and B Manning and I teamed in the Open A Division against the young guys.
Disappointingly, we only had three teams in the 60+ … but honestly, they were the three teams that would have made it to the semi-finals anyway. So Bob and I played our first round-robin match late Friday in 95 degree heat vs. the veteran team of Whitey Joslin and Tom Diehl.
For the first eight games, I do not believe Bob or I missed a single return of serve or made an unforced error; and we took a 6-0, 2-0 lead. But then we came back down to earth (and Whitey and Tom played better) and we found ourselves with them serving at 4-4. We were able to break and then Bob served it out for a 6-0, 6-4 victory.
Getting off the court about 5 p.m., it was a quick turn around from Senior soft court doubles to an 8 a.m. Saturday morning match on the college’s hard courts … vs. a lefty, 40-something, teaching pro and his partner of about the same age, with a big serve and big forehand; but weak second serve and weaker backhand.
In the first set, they broke us at 3-4 and served out the set. In the second set, the weaker player was serving at 2-3 and I said to my partner B, “We win THIS game… we win the match!”
We won that game to go up 4-2 and B served a loooooong game, which we somehow survived to go up 5-2. The lefty pro held serve and I served out the set.
It was then a Champions Ten Point Tiebreaker for the match. We took a commanding (?) lead serving at 7 points to 2. But we proceeded to see them win the next FIVE consecutive points and tie it at 7-7.
We traded points and switched sides, with me serving at 9-8, match point to the lefty pro. We had been doing very well with my serving to him… playing Australian formation and mixing up serve placement, poaching or not, and my coming to the net or not. But, I dumped my first serve into the net and he hit a strong return on the second one to win the point.
At 9-9, my first serve was well placed very wide and he just reached the return; but it came back in a tough spot and we lost the point… and then the pro served out the match point for a 6-3, 3-6, 11-9 victory.
Back to the old guys on soft courts!
Whitey and Tom lost to the team of B Manning (my other doubles partner) and South African born teaching pro, Glen McEwen Saturday afternoon; so our Sunday morning match was for the championship.
B and Glenn came out playing great and took the first well-played set 6-2. They continued their solid returns and aggressive net play to be serving 4-2 in the second set.
But Bob and I were not done yet. We broke them for 3-4. Bob held serve for 4-4. And we broke again for 5-4 and me serving for the second set.
We closed out that game and the set, just losing one point on serve. So went to the ten-point Champions Tie break for the title.
B and Glenn regained their style and aggressive play; and they took a commanding (?) 8-3 lead. We clawed our way slightly back to 6-9; but B powered a serve down the middle (he served well all day) to win the match 6-2, 4-6, 10-6.
If I am going to lose to anyone, my good friend B Manning is one of the people I would choose.
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