Starting With Yesterday …
John Bradbury, who was to be my first round singles opponent, came to the court to apologize and give me a copy of the email he sent to the tournament director Monday at 3:16 p.m. After his withdrawal notice, he wrote, “Please notify my opponent George Wachtel so that he doesn’t have to make the trip from Naples.”
Today’s Comedy of Errors…
So with Chuck Kinyon and I scheduled to play doubles at 1.30 and my singles match set for 3 p.m. AFTER the doubles (the tournament referee seemed surprised at that scheduling sequence), I spent the morning on the beach and watching Chuck tackle the experienced Hank Irvine.
Chuck played a solid first set and took it 6-3. But then Hank followed his own advice (“and what did you do about it?”) and really started chipping and charging on every point he could… putting pressure on Chuck to come up with the passing shot.
Although the points and games were close, Hank was able to put together a great comeback victory 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 in just over two hours.
You Won’t Believe This…
• Chuck and I show up at 1 p.m. for our 1.30 doubles match
• At 1.35, no opponents have checked in
• But I spot a guy who I think is one of them, Klaus Esselle
• It is; so I ask him where his partner is
• He doesn’t know and has never met his partner
• After my checking at the tournament desk several times, about 1.50 p.m. (now past the time we could have called for a default, which we did not want to do); one of the tournament officials hears us talking and says, “Oh, I drove that player over to an off-site location to play a consolation match. I will go get him.”
• At 2 p.m. he shows up and we are assigned to a different off site location to play our match
• I give him directions and the street address; and we head off in a car convoy. Except I tell DeDe I only see two cars behind us.
• Turns out this guy (a retired doctor) disregarded what we had told him about where to go and had his wife drop him off at the place he had played his consolation match.
• We connect by cell phone and he eventually finds his way to the court by 2.30 or so (remember, I am supposed to play singles at 3 p.m. — but I alerted the tournament desk before we left that there was no way I would be back by then).
• Chuck and I win the first 13 points in a row and take the first set at 6-2
• But then, I had trouble getting in my first serve and Chuck had a severe “energy dip” and trouble getting the ball back in play. We lose the second set 6-4.
• At the start of the third set, I ask the offsite coordinator to call over to the tournament desk to tell them my situation. He said he already did and there was no way we would get in a singles match today.
• Even with that psychological release, we still go down a break 0-2.
• But I find some chocolate and nuts to feed to Chuck and he comes alive.
• We win six straight games and the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
There is More…
As I am leaving the court, the offsite coordinator hands me his phone to talk to the tournament desk. Seems my opponent did not want to wait around and play under the lights; so he left and is demanding that I be DEFAULTED for “not being available to play.”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They are considering this as a real option, till I point out that THEY scheduled my singles match for after the doubles, that I did nothing all morning, and that my doubles opponent was a half-hour late because he was playing a consol match and was not defaulted.
I told them I was ready to possibly play THREE matches tomorrow … today’s singles match first thing in the morning; and then the winner to play the next round (vs. #5 seeded Thay Butchee, who beat Jim Lazenby); and then our second round doubles match vs. Joe Bachmann and Howe at 3 p.m.
“They will review, call my opponent and get back to me.” They call back within 15 minutes to say my opponent has refused to play and defaulted himself and I am now into the next round of singles!!
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