Day #4 of Newk’s camp again started out cloudy but turned sunny and hot again. The morning clinic was given by doubles experts Brian Gottfried and Dick Stockton with these highlights…
• When they started out, their goal was to improve because they had a passion to play tennis; but today, there is more of a money motivation.
• When practicing, sure work on your weaknesses; but also work on your strengths too.
• When you start a match, be aware of what your opponent is doing or avoiding… do they choose to hit a backhand or forehand on a ball at them? Do they start too tight to the net to take volleys? Etc
• When you have a volley at the net… if it is at shoulder height, go at the player at the net. If it is below the net, go at the deep player.
• A good shot to the wrong spot is a bad shot.
• During the warmup, note which side they hit the ball deeper… that is their stronger shot.
• The volley SHOULD BE the easiest shot in the game; because you should be doing the least work.
• Volley like there is a wall right behind you; so you cannot take your racquet back behind you.
• Picture you are the last man in a chain of people passing a bucket of water to put out a fire: you reach back to get the bucket and then throw it on the burning building. That is what the forehand motion should be like.
• The volley is a like a boxer doing nothing but short jabs.
Wednesday Morning Matches
After the clinic, we started our morning singles/doubles matches with our Wankers playing against Newk’s (Willy’s) Kangaroos; and the Musclemen playing the Dunnies.
I was again paired with Jim Capito at #1 doubles vs. Marc Segan (two handers on both sides) and strong lefty, Byron Miller for another 2+ hour match.
We were serving for the first set at 5-4; but couldn’t finish and lost it 5-7. In the second set, we regrouped and won a solid 6-2 set; which brought us to a deciding ten-point match tiebreaker.
The first half of the breaker was close; and we crossed over with a 7-5 advantage. But while they played nervous the first few points, they made all the shots at the end and beat us 10-8.
I couldn’t complain about being tired, because on the court next to us playing singles was our 87 year old Dick Eitel from Seattle, who won the Charlie Hustle award last year.
At the lunch break, our Wankers were down 13-5 to Newk’s Kangaroos; and will need to win “just” 10 out 11 afternoon matches to get the victory. The Davo Musclemen were leading the Stolle Dunnies.
I was again teamed with Mark Wirth at #3 doubles vs. the very tough team of Willy Hoffmann and crafty lefty Joel Drucker. Our Wanker on-court coach, Luke Jensen said “those guys have more blades to cut you with than a Swiss Army knife.”
The first set was decided on just one service break, and they took it 6-3. They continued their strong play and were serving 5-2 (up two breaks) for the match. Luke was very supportive through the whole match and gave us valuable advice…
• Avoid Joel at the net
• Take your time between points and focus on winning just that point
• Give them a different look sometimes and start with two back receiving serve
• Use the Aussie formation in the ad court to “funnel the ball” down the line to the server’s forehand.
The tips help as we broke their serve to go 5-3… held serve to go 5-4… broke their serve to go 5-5. And I served then; but went down 0-30. But we scrambled back to win that game for 6-5; and kept the pressure on them to break once again to take the second set 7-5.
I was really sucking wind on another hot Texas afternoon as we started to ten-point match tie breaker. We kept the pressure on and were able to dominate for a two-hour, 3-6, 7-5, 10-4 victory.
Our Wanker team lost to Newk’s Kangaroos and Davo’s defending champ Musclemen won again 15-14 over the Dunnies; so they will play Newk’s Kangaroos for the championship on Thursday.
After a Mexican night dinner, Newk told about an upcoming TV show that researched his ancestor tree; to be aired on Australian TV and should stream live November 1st.
Then the annual Australian Boat Race (the team beer chugging competition) Commissioner Doc Al Eden went over the teams and rules and was then held in the bar at the same time as the third presidential debate and the Cubs game. I went to bed, but I would assume it was won, as usual, by Newk’s ‘very experienced’ combined Kangaroo/Wanker team.
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