This week was the inaugural play of a new ITF tournament at the Sanchez-Casal Academy (in Naples Bath & Tennis); and Matt Davie (age 77) “played down” to team with me for 70s doubles.
There were players from all over the world in this event, which precedes the World Team play, singles and doubles championships being played in subsequent weeks at the new USTA facility in Lake Nona, Florida. But the small draw in 70 doubles was an all-American affair.
My solid-serving lefty partner and I drew the #2 seeds, Don Long and Don Keenan, on Tuesday. Long is one of the top 70s players in the country and had teamed with Fred Drilling a couple of tournaments back to win the National Clay Courts in Pinehurst.
Matt and I squeaked out a close first set at 6-4; but shot out of the gate in the second set to take a (insurmountable??) 5-0 lead. But they held serve for 5-1… broke my serve for 5-2… held serve for 5-3. Matt was serving, with Mr. MO solidly on the Long/Keenan side of the court; but he did his thing and we held serve for a 6-4, 6-3 upset win.
Today, we had to face the #1 seeded team of former ATP touring pro and World #1 Fred Drilling and his first-time partner of Gary Pederson. It was extremely windy, with the ball moving 5-10 feet sideways on some shots.
The first set was mostly all on serve, until we broke and held for a close 6-4 opener. The second set was equally close… and again, we prevailed for another big upset and a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Fred could take solace in winning the 75 singles and taking home $100 in prize money ($0 for doubles winners); and Don Long could take solace in playing the 70 singles finals tomorrow. And Larry Turville will be playing the 65 singles finals as well.
For full results, click HERE and click on the “Results” tab.
What a Week!
With no false modesty, this has to be one of the most successful tennis weeks in my “middle of the pack” tennis career… in addition to the two big tournament wins, it started on Monday with a practice doubles match win with partner Howie Ames over Jimmy Parker!
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