Playing a World #1

17-66When I would tell my late, great mother that I was going to play in a tennis tournament, she would usually say, “Oh, I know you will win it!” And, I would try to explain the high quality of players who come to these events, like the CAT II this week in Naples, for example ….

• Jimmy Parker – 25 world championship titles and 118 Gold Balls
• Fred Drilling – World #1 in the 60s
• Hugh Thompson – World #1
• Joe Bachmann – US #1 in the 60s and 65s
• Larry Turville – 2010 World Champion and five time doubles Champion
• Evert Jonsson – Current World 70s Doubles Champion
• Gordon Hammes – USA World team member
• And others I am surely not aware of

Bob Wilkie vs. Hugh Thompson

Yesterday, New Hampshire friend and doubles partner Bob Wilkie had the challenge of playing Hugh Thompson. I said to DeDe that I thought Bob would do OK vs. the former Aussie World #1 … predicting a score of 6-2, 6-3 (which, as it turns out was Bob’s exact goal) … saying I would be surprised if it was much less … not surprised if he did better … and a slim chance he could win.

Well, right on schedule, Hugh won the first set 6-2. But the second set was 6-1.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Bob WON the second set!? He said that he knew he couldn’t rally with Hugh, so he attacked every ball he could and played aggressively.

Hugh took the allotted ten minute break (to break Bob’s momentum?) and started the third set going up a break. Bob got the break back, but gave it back; and Hugh served for the match at 5-4. Bob saved two match points and went on the win 7-5 in the third!

Me vs. Bobby Hampton

In a rematch of our cold and windy match from last week, Bobby and I squared off with the sun shining and temperatures 30 degrees higher. But the result was the same… I was able to keep the ball in play one more shot than the hard-hitting Hampton and won 6-2, 6-3.

My match today is vs. one of the above legends: Joe Bachmann. And back to my dear, departed Mom’s positive attitude, I will try my best; but in order for me to win this tournament, all I have left to do now is… beat Joe Bachmann today, beat Fred Drilling tomorrow, beat Don Long on Thursday, and beat Jimmy Parker on Friday.

Taking any bets?

For the link to the tournament site, please click HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Playing a World #1

  1. Nice job George!!! You’re articles add an interesting dimension to the play–always applying some much needed humor–as we often take ourselves too seriously. Am remembering Jerry Kirk–a good guy.

  2. George
    Really nice to see a photo of your Mom! It certainly brings back a lot of fond memories in Valley Stream!
    Good luck in your upcoming matches!

  3. It should also be mentioned that Bob Wilkie also beat a former US #1 (Fred Robinson) in the 60s doubles final last Saturday.

  4. George(Dalphon), you forgot to mention that my partner was you, and by far you were the best player on the court. Thanks for the win.

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