The Jensen Brothers on Doubles
After breakfast, Luke and Murphy Jensen gave a clinic on how to improve your doubles practice and play…
• If you want to win, you want to keep it in. The team that gets the most balls back in play will win… it won’t be the “spectacular TV shots” that win the match
• Warming up, you should start both at the net; but using quick volleys in the air. Then you continue to move backwards.
• When practicing, don’t always go back to you practice opponent… when you get the ball you want, hit it for a winner.
• The closer you are to the net, the shorter your swing needs to be.
• As soon as the ball goes up on a lob, turn sideways
• The goal of each shot is to produce an easy NEXT shot
• Your practice drills should be “situational,” mimicking the actual situations you will find yourself in during a match.
• People do not practice hitting the important topspin lob.
• The return of serve should be much like the volley stroke: short stroke using the server’s pace.
• When you come on the court, recognize where the sun is and the wind direction
• “Find the pigeon” … for the big points, make sure to hit to the weaker player – and to his weaker shot.
While some went off for their singles matches, I was paired with Jim Capito (Columbus, OH), who I teamed with last year to go undefeated in doubles together. But since our top guys were playing singles, Jim and I played #1 doubles vs. a very strong team of brothers from California. Greg and John Washer were slightly injured (thus, not playing singles) but were very powerful players.
When you combine very strong opposition with both Jim and I not having our best day, we got blown out 6-1, 6-2.
The rest of our team ended up on the short side as well; so we were down just 10 matches to 8 at the lunch break. And Newk’s Kangaroos bested Stolle’s Dunnies.
In the afternoon, I teamed with 50-year-old Mark Wirth from NC vs. two 50 year olds, Charles McArdle (Texas) and Dan Sinclair . It was two-hour+ doubles match in brutal 97 degree heat.
Mark on I played well, winning the first set 6-4 and I was serving at 4-1, game point, when things started to go wrong. We didn’t convert the game point, lost that game for 4-2… and they held for 4-3. On the changeover, I told our Wanker coach Dick Stockton, “Both my partner and I were starting to fade from the heat.”
They broke Mark’s serve in a long game and they had all the MO, serving at 4-4. Somehow we righted the sinking ship to break serve and I was able to serve it out for a grueling 6-4 6-4 victory.
After the first full day of team play, my Wankers came up one match short, losing 15-14 to the defending champion Musclemen; and Newk’s Kangaroos dominated to Dunnies for their victory.
I dragged myself over to the central gazebo to get some bottled water and beer to
take to my room; but looked at the board to see that I was scheduled to play my Fantasy Doubles match in TEN minutes with the great doubles pair of Mark Woodforde and Rick Leach. I told someone that I had to go to my room and at least change my sweat-soaked clothes and shoes.
While I am trying to put my shoes on and stop my feet from cramping, I hear Steve Contardi on the load speaker calling my name to get down onto the court for my match. I was paired with Aussie Mark Woodforde and warned him I was starting to cramp and everything was “yours.”
He played great and I played in a haze and we somehow made a match out of it, losing a close 6-4 set to Rick Leach and Dan Sinclair. I dragged myself back to my room and went to sleep and for the first time, skipped the Happy Hour.
Dinner was Italian night (Willy’s least favorite), with chicken parm and lasagna followed by Doc Eden returning to the podium as Commissioner of the Australian Boat Race beer drinking contest, improving his record of nasty joke ratings.
Then there was a discussion of Rod Laver’s 1969 Grand Slam run — but I missed it, because I snuck out, went back to my room, took two Aleve, and went to bed for the night!!
If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com
My Book: and if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page.