Fantasy Tennis – Thursday, Day 5

Sunrise court sweeping
Sunrise court sweeping
Well, this is the last day of competition and we woke to rain-soaked courts and a beautiful sunrise sky. My three months of conditioning (+ a dose of Aleve every morning and night!) seems to have really helped; because I was only modestly tired and nothing hurt.

The morning’s clinic was given by Luke and Murphy Jensen on how to practice doubles

• They always start off with reflex volleys, which is one the most important skills to have in doubles
• They start straight on and then do ad to ad court and deuce to deuce court
• Even though the idea is to hit to your opponent and not hit winners, you should work on the placement of your volley
• They work on each element for either three minutes or a total of about 100 strokes total
• Too many people work on their close in volley, but need to work more on that first volley from the service line
• Then one man is at the net and the other at the baseline, hitting back to each other, “like playing catch with a baseball”
• Work with your partner on their weakest serve return
• Use an “abbreviated back swing” on your return to have more control

Jensen Brothers
Jensen Brothers


Then we started the “Championship Thursday” matches against the Davidson led Musclemen, who were 2-0, needing to beat them to win the Championship … unless Newk’s Kangaroos who were playing the winless Stolle/Stockton/Gottfried Dunnies; and hoping to combine their win with ours to create another three-way tie.

Because of the wet courts from the overnight rain, the Legends decided to play the doubles in the morning and singles in the afternoon.

I again teamed with Charles McArdle vs. the tough #4 team of Californian Rick Morgan and Lance ___, who thought the matches started at 10 am, so was a half hour late. It was a close, hard-fought match, with them breaking us in a long 5-6 game for the first set; and then breaking us a 4-4 in the second and holding for a 7-5, 6-4 (2+ hours) victory.

At the short lunch break (we finished at 12:15), we were behind the Musclemen and Newk’s Kangaroos were winning their side.


After lunch, I slowly walked to the outer courts for a singles match vs. California emergency room Doc, 54 year old Adin Levine. Given the age difference and the long week, I decided I had to forgo my usual “aggressive baseliner” game and play mostly serve and volley tennis.

I was holding my own in the first set, until I served a long 3-4 game, which Adin won and served out the set. In the second set, I started well with a service hold and a break to go up 2-0. But with tough points and tough games he was able to come all the way back to serve for the match at 5-2. I just slowed down a step or two … feeling that if I pushed it, something in my leg muscles was going to “pop” and put me on the disabled list. Although I saved three match points, I succumbed (in more ways than one) on the fourth. Two sets… two hours.

The Musclemen ended up winning the day and the Championships – even though Newk’s team did win and end up with a similar 2-1 record (but lost head to head).

While I stood around watching with a beer in hand, Willy played a great Fantasy Doubles match with the Jensen brothers.

Willy & Chas. with Jensens
Willy & Chas. with Jensens

Thursday Night

After Happy Hour that included fresh shrimp from the Gulf and dinner of salmon and pork tenderloins (yes, we did eat a lot all week long), there was the Awards Ceremonies. As Steve Contardi said, “This will be the longest awards presentation you will ever see!”

There were thanks all around to the Legends who made our week wonderful, the great ranch staff of young pros and in the kitchen, and to Steve Contardi and his whole family who arranged it all. Then there were plaques and pictures for people who won all their singles, all their doubles, and all their singles AND doubles.

John Newcombe “called out” Rod Laver and asked him if he would return again next year. When Laver hesitated, the crowd of 130+ started chanting “Rocket, Rocket,…” and he agreed to return!

The official ending to a truly fantastic Fantasy Week of tennis with the Legends was Roy Emerson leading all the Aussies in their rendition of “Waltzing Matilda.”

Friday morning, most will play morning drills; but I will take a day of rest (!) and then fly AirBerry back to Pelican Bay (and I will rest to get ready for our regular doubles on Saturday morning!).

If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at

9 thoughts on “Fantasy Tennis – Thursday, Day 5

  1. Well done, George. Thanks for your reporting…it kept me informed and feeling like I had a pipeline into the camp. Safe journey back home.

  2. Enjoyed the 5 days recap – the tennis greats from our youth are unique. Sounds like a great experience for the fantasy campers.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Winder, thanks. George

  3. Thanks so much for the informative updates George. Your posts are a much appreciated lifeline to Camp and friends. Blue skies and green lights to you!

    Jimmy, thanks. We should have used a crafty lefty on Thursday! George

  4. Wonderful stuff, George. Great job capturing the essence of each morning’s clinic. Fun as always to see and play with you and I can’t wait to dive into your book more.

    Joel – thanks..,. means a lot coming from you. george

  5. George
    There is a comment from Paul Veltman. If he is from Grand Rapids I have played with him for years. If you would let me know if it is the same one. A pleasure to see you again and to get to know John Berry.

    Jim – i do believe that Paul V is from MI and i will probably see him this week and will ask! george

  6. George: thanks for the great posts all week, as always-Being a Muscleman and first time ever champ in my ninth season, allow me to correct the record: we were undefeated and won outright with a 3-0 team record-a great week for sure and it flies by more quickly every year. wonderful to see you there again

  7. George,

    Great job of capturing the highlights of a memorable week!

    All the best. Phil

    Phil – Thanks and it was good to see you again, altho we didnt spend much time together. george

  8. George,

    As always, a great job of covering the TF week and great writing. Also, many thanks for signing you book – I also got Emmo to sign it also. Really enjoyed reading it and will use it as a good reference in the future. Many thanks, Larry

    Larry – I was honored that you thought enough of it to bring to camp! thanks. george

Comments are closed.