A beautiful day on The Key for the Thursday singles and doubles matches. My “third round singles match” (not having played one yet) was at noon vs. #5 seeded Thay Butchee, a very solid player from Nashville. Then Chuck and I were to team up again, this time vs. the #2 seeds of Bachmann and Howe.
Thay is an all-around player with no real weaknesses; so our match was very close. After an exchange of early breaks in the first set, I was serving at 4-4 and he broke me.
He served for the set at 5-4, but I was able to break him. After both holding serve again, we started the tiebreaker; and I made two bad, unforced forehand errors to go down with him serving 4-1.
But I said to myself, “my forehand is the weapon that will win or lose this match, so stick with it.” I continued to keep the image of Jim Courier in mind (running around his backhand to hit his forehand) and was able to claw my way back and take the tie-breaker 7-5.
In the second set, something seemed to be wrong with Thay… he just wasn’t moving as well as normal. I forced myself to stay with the game plan and was able to manage a relatively easy set for a 7-6, 6-2 upset.
After the match, I asked him what was wrong and he Federer-like said, “There was nothing wrong. You just played better than me.”
Chuck and I were scheduled to play the #2 seeds at 3 p.m.; but there was a court available at 2:45 … but Ralph Howe was no where to be found. So we lost that court and didn’t get started for almost an hour (comes into play later).
Bachmann and Howe are two crafty and veteran tournament players; but Chuck and I were able to over-power them in the first set for an easy 6-2 lead. We broke them their first service game and were serving at 2-0 when the wheels came off!
Without their doing much different (altho Howe did serve me underhanded several times) they took the second set at 6-4.
It was now 15 minutes till darkness and we all decided to play the third set after the morning singles matches.
So I play #2 seeded Evert Jonsson at 10.30 (who has beaten me four times in a row)… then we play our suspended doubles third set … then the winners play the regularly-scheduled doubles match at 3 p.m.
THANKS to Guy Larreur and other friends who stayed around to watch.
For full results and the draw, please click HERE
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