Tennis Fantasy – Wednesday, Day 4

A chilling morning (50 degrees) for our second round of team play against the Davo/Case

Dick Stockton
Dick Stockton
Musclemen; while yesterday’s other winning team, the Stolle/Stockton/Gottfried Dunnies played Newk’s (Willy Hoffmann) Kangaroos. The morning clinic was Brian Gottfried and Dick Stockton talking about communications between doubles partners…

• It is critical for a successful team to communicate with other throughout the match.
• When serving, the net man wants to know: where is the serve going and if the poach is on.
• You want to “create havoc” on the other side of the net by making your opponents wonder what you will be doing
• The most common signals are open hand for going and closed for staying; and some indication where the serve should go (while the net man is calling the signals – like a baseball catcher – the server can always change it)
• When returning serve, tell your partner, “If you get this return down at their feet, I will be going.”
• Don’t be concerned if you don’t win any point on a poach – you are at least laying the groundwork for future confusion
• Sometimes you can talk just to give the impression that something is happening
• Communicate when retrieving lobs: tell your partner to come back and/or call for the shot
• Or if you lob short, warn your partner to be ready or get back (Brian has never seen that warning called as a hindrance, even though it is while the ball is going towards your opponents).

Morning Singles

My morning singles match was against Bob Gebert, a 60-year-old lefty from Chicago. In the first set, he was nervous and erratic — and I was neither; so I won an easy set at love. Two of the reasons for my fast start: I have been coming for ten years and have survived prostate cancer; so I feel very little pressure.

But after his nerves settled down, Bob played very well… running around his two handed backhand and hitting lefty topspin forehands to both sides of the court. He won the second set 6-3.

In the Champions Tiebreaker, he continued his momentum with a quick 6-2 lead; but I brought it back to “on serve” at 5-6. But he finished stronger and took it 10 points to 7.

The morning’s singles matches came down to our #4 player, Aden Levine vs. their Charles McArdle; and that too went down to a 10 point tie breaker. Our Wanker pulled it out; so our team led 9-7 at the lunch break.

AFTERNOON DOUBLES

Yesterday’s doubles partner moved up to play at #1; so I teamed with California emergency room Doc, Aden Levine at #3 doubles. We played the strong team of Lee Goldberg and Charles McArdle.

They got off to a fast start, winning the first set (6-2), breaking our serve in the first game of the second set, and serving at 40-15 in the second game.

Aden and I really bore down, broke the stronger server in that second game and then had a series of service holds (with some very, solid tennis points being played) until we were serving at 5-5. They broke us and then served out the match in a tough game, with some amazing shots.

The day’s final decision came down to the next to last doubles match still in progress: our #1 team in a ten point tiebreaker. We won it; and we won the day to go 2-0 in team matches. Newk’s Kangaroos lost again; so we play the Stolle/Stockton/Gottfried Dunnies for the Championship on Wednesday.

Davo, Paul Koontz, me, Ross Case
Davo, Paul Koontz, me, Ross Case

FANTASY DOUBLES

With my morning singles and afternoon doubles now done (in more ways than one), I had a beer and then my Fantasy Doubles match to play as my third match of the day. As it turns out, the Legends I played with were the captains of the team we just beat: Owen Davidson and Ross Case. I teamed with Ross and the other camper with Davo.

One of the big goals of each camper is to try to ace a Legend during their fantasy match (on HarTru!); so the first time I served to Davo, a lefty in the ad court, I hit two big serves (for me) down the middle; and he just got the tip of his racquet on each to prevent the ace. The second game I served, I asked my partner Ross to play Aussie and those who know me know what I had in mind … hugging the center strap and serving as hard as I could down the middle … for and ACE!

As the capper, Ross and I won a very close 6-4 set that we finished up at 6:30 p.m. — to give me one victory for the day.

My Naples Mates did better: Willy played well in the morning, Willyfying his opponent in singles and but lost his afternoon doubles. Rich Tarantino won both morning singles and afternoon doubles.

After a Mexican night dinner, there was another great story-telling panel of Emmo, Ross Case, and Marty Reissen. (and, I got my ACE certificate).

Davo/me
Davo/me

Then the annual Australian Boat Race (the team beer chugging competition) was held in between innings of the World Series. When I left the bar, they were arguing over one drinker who had too much “spillage”; but I would assume it was won, as usual, by Newk’s ‘very experienced’ combined Kangaroo/Wanker team.

Off to bed for rest before the final day of team matches, dreaming of a three-day victory and a Wanker championship.

3 thoughts on “Tennis Fantasy – Wednesday, Day 4

  1. Good luck to you on Thursday George and to Team Wankers — Purposeful intensity
    and no mercy!!
    — Jimmy

  2. Lob short – OK to tell partner to get back? Never being called is different from being an appropriate tactic. It is never called because a short lob is too good an opportunity to call a distraction and replay the point but it is inappropriate in my opinion. In a similar situation playing doubles against the legendary Joe Bouquin 15 years ago or so, his partner and mine had a multi-shot crosscourt baseline rally with Joe and I looking for opportunities to poach. After his partner hit a shot he waited and then yelled “go” to Joe as my partner was preparing to strike the ball. He hit it wide and looked at me saying “that distracted me”. I admonished our opponents but let the result stand under the no “heads we win, tails you lose” theory. My partner could have stopped the point but once he hit it, I felt we would have taken a winner so we have to accept the error. My point is my partner should not have to process an opponents verbalization as the ball is on the way to him.

  3. Winder – i side with your partner on this one … if the opponents talk JUST as you are hitting the ball, it is virtually impossible to stop your swing and claim hindrance; but it still is one. george

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