The first tournament of “the season” is this week at the Longboat Key public tennis club and many of the “usual suspects” are here to compete.
Although he had to drop out as the #1 seed in doubles to do it, Evert Jonsson will be sworn in as an American citizen this Friday. Congratulations to him on officially joining the greatest nation to have ever existed on this planet!
As forecasted, my first round match was vs. the very tough Doug McCrea (MD) today just after noon on a very hot Florida day. After he beat me easily last year at World Tennis, I was advised to “hit short to his backhand and come to the net.” I tried that at the start of the first set and found myself down 0-4.
In addition to his good first serve, solid topspin forehand, his backhand slice can either go straight down the line or cross court for a killer drop shot. So I found myself at a real loss with this strategy; so I went back to my basic game of trying to keep the ball deep off both my forehand and backhand.
I was able to gain a little traction; but still lost the next two games and the first set at love.
The Second Set
While I was playing more comfortably in my own game, Doug still was able to jump out to a 4-1 lead. I served the sixth game and it lasted a good ten minutes with multiple deuces and ads; but I was able to hold on to win it.
He then played a very loose game serving the next game; so I broke to make to 3-4. He then broke me to serve for the match at 5-3. I was able to break him back to serve at 4-5; but he came back to break me in a close game for the match 6-0, 6-4.
The bright spot… over the summer on the New Hampshire ball machine, I must have hit at least 2,000 “drive” backhands… and it was an effective weapon today. Practice pays!
Doug goes on to play the #2 seed, two-forehanded Steve Lunsford; and I went to sign up for the consolation singles; but was told the first match wouldn’t be until Thursday afternoon (when Chuck Kinyon and I have our first round doubles match). So I opted out.
As it turns out fellow Newk Camper Tim Ruark, was there watching my match (having just bought a place across the street from the tennis club) and he and I will hit tomorrow to get ready to defend our #3 seed in doubles.
For the full results of the first day’s matches and future draws, just click HERE.
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