“The best laid plans…”

of mice and menSo, really looking forward to playing doubles this week (and next week) with former touring pro Hank Irvine, I drive two hours from Naples to Payne Park in Sarasota this morning; only to find him waiting for me at the entrance and saying, “You won’t believe what just happened!

Pulled Hamstring

Hank is the #1 seed in both singles and doubles at this tournament and played his second round singles match this morning vs. Rich Ferguson (one of our scheduled doubles opponents for the afternoon match). Hank was cruising at 6-1, 5-1 when he went for a drop shot and pulled his hamstring!

He said he tried to finish off the match (how many of us would do the same in the same position?!) – and actually had three match points unconverted. When the score got to 5-5 and he couldn’t run for any balls, he threw in the towel.

Our Doubles?

He apologized; but said it hurt so much he could not even play doubles. But #2 seeded singles player Timm Rinehart overheard and very nicely volunteered to take Hank’s place – if the tournament would allow. They did!

So never having played together, Timm and I took to the court vs. a very solid team of Dave Boehk (West Falmouth, MA) and Rich Ferguson (Sarasota and former doubles partner of Bill Plummer).

We played very well together and cruised to an easy first set win of 6-1. But in the second set we had at least SIX unconverted break points and found ourselves down with them serving to me in the ad court at 5-2 set point.

Mr. MO Moves

My return was solid and low and we saved the set point. They won the deuce point and had a second set point coming my way. My return was again solid and low; but after a couple of back-and-forths, they hit a “put-away” at me, which I reflexed back (Thanks, Bob Wilkie for practicing the day before with me)… and then they blew the next shot.

You guessed it…

We broke their serves, broke their spirit and then ran out the set for a 6-1, 7-5 comeback victory!

The Future?

Timm plays his semi-finals singles match in the morning and then we team for our semi-finals doubles match after that. For the full draws, please click HERE.

Next week: in the second Sarasota area tournament at The Meadows next week, Hank is again seeded #1 in singles and doubles (with me tagging along) IFFFFF he is able to play. We shall see. Those draws are HERE.

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