In senior tennis (on clay), how important is it to have a good serve? One tournament player at Colonial today proved it is “not important”!
Timm Rinehart, the #6 seed in the 70s singles, has a bad shoulder and cannot serve the ball over-handed; so, he played his first-round match today serving all under-handed … and won 6-0, 6-3!!
Granted Timm is a solid baseliner; but he was matched against a good player, Pat Dineen, a friend of Willy Hoffmann’s from NJ. Timm explained his situation before the match and just “started the point” by serving a reasonable groundstroke-type of service motion and used his solid play to win the points.
So, what does that tell you about the importance of the serve?
My Singles Match…
Was vs. 69-year-old (turning 70 this year) Jim Feely, a very solid lefty from Washington, DC. As my scouting reports told me (Thanks guys), he runs very well, gets all balls back in play, is very “tenacious,” but doesn’t hit the ball real hard.
He started out playing his game; but I was a little overly-aggressive, so he took a quick 4-0 lead. Playing to his backhand, I found his slice backhand had a lot of bite on it; so I could not really hit over the ball on my backhand. I started slicing back his slice and going for more on my forehands and was able to win three of the next four games.
As I was moving him side to side, he reverted to using the moonball effectively and took the set at 6-3. The second set was much like the first; but under the heading of “What did you do about it?” I tried to come in and take his moonballs in the air.
The points were close. The games were close. But he outlasted me 6-3, 6-2 in something under two hours.
P.S. Play to his forehand
After the match, two friends (one of whom watched and one of whom lost to him last year), said, “his backhand is stronger than his forehand.” Next time!
For all the results (Fred Drilling seemed to be somewhat challenged when I left), click HERE.
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