The third tournament in the Florida Super Senior Grand Prix series is at Naples Bath & Tennis (aka Sanchez-Casal Academy) in Naples this week; and today was my first round of singles (#8 seeded and bye yesterday) and first of doubles – with Ted Underwood as my partner again this week.
Today’s opponent was George Golfinopoulos of Vero Beach (Florida), who beat a solid player in the first round, Walt Peckinpaugh 6-1, 6-2. When I queried him, Walt told me that “he just didn’t play well that day.”
But when I started playing vs. George G., I found out why Walt “didn’t play well.” This is the kind of opponent who MAKES YOU not play well! He runs great, gets almost every ball back in play, and has a great running forehand (mostly cross court).
I started the first set trying to pressure him; but like Walt, “I wasn’t playing well” (i.e. he played better and I missed shots). He took the first set by a commanding 6-1.
“What did you do about it?”
That is the Hank Irvine inspired question that we all need to ask when losing a match. So I held serve to start the second set; and his first service game was a long, ten-deuce game where I tried my new strategy: hit high, heavy topspin deep to his backhand, take his ball in the air when possible, and then drive the ball cross court out of his running reach.
I was able to break him that service game and maintained control and mental focus to be able to win a two hour+ match 1-6, 6-1, 6-2. (George G., was that “kind enough”?).
After shower, lunch and a short rest, Ted and I took the court (unseeded this week) vs. the very tough team of Tom Diehl (good friend from New Hampshire) and tall Jack Moter (good friend from Pelican Bay, Naples).
We were able to take the first set with a one-break margin of 6-3; but lost all the MO in the second set, which they took at 6-1.
I am a believer in the philosophy that “the team that has the offense at the end of the match, WINS.” They won the first point of the deciding ten-point tiebreak; but Ted and I both played VERY aggressively – even playing Aussie in the deuce court for the first time in the match; and didn’t miss another shot to take ten points in a row for a 6-3, 1-6, 10-1 victory.
Round of 16 singles vs. Patrick Stone of Tallahassee at noon; followed by a rematch with #2 seeded Hank Irvine and Evert Jonsson.
For full results and all of tomorrow’s matches, just click HERE
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