Battle at the Bath

Clive Kileff

Today’s semifinals doubles match vs. Fred Drilling and long-time partner Clive Kileff was a rematch of the one two weeks ago, where I had heat exhaustion and faded in the third set.  It ended up being a wind-blown “Battle at the Bath” (i.e. Naples Bath and Tennis).

First Set

Matt Davie and I started strong and Fred/Clive found themselves down one break and serving at 2-5.  They were able to hold; then they broke our serve; and they held again to bring it to 5-5.

I served a long game; but we were able to hold and stop their momentum.  They held serve and we also did, to bring it to a first set tie breaker.  They took an early lead and to the tie break and first set.

Second Set

Their MO continued into the second set and WE were switching over and down one break, serving at 1-4.  I commented to the crowd of about 25 friends and tennis buddies, “The crowd has really gone silent!  But the Fat Lady has not yet sung.”

We were able to hold serve and stay within just the one service break; but Fred was serving at 5-3 for the match.  Matt and I gutted it out in the wind (which was gusting up to about 35 mph … and moving Clive’s regular lobs 10-15 sideways!) … and we were able to break his serve.  Matt served at 4-5 and held serve… and then we were able to break Clive’s serve to bring it to 6-5 on my serve.  We held and took the second set on a big comeback 7-5.

And Then….

The wind really started howling and it was almost impossible to hold serve; so the third set started with SEVEN CONSECUTIVE service breaks.  We switched over with me serving up 4-3 and were finally able to hold serve.

Fred then served at 3-5 and we had a match point, serving to me.  I somehow was able to hit three solid forehands from the baseline at the two of them at the net; by Clive closed on the third one and hit a winning volley to save the match point.

Fred then was able to hold serve and we served for the match at 5-4.  But it was not to be ended there.  Almost predictably, they broke serve and two holds later we went to a deciding third set tiebreaker.  It was close; but Fred and Clive bested us for a thrilling 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 victory — in three hours and thirty minutes.

But, No Cramps!

Thanks to all the blog contributors who shared their muscle cramping remedies after my “episode.”  So this time I …

  • Drank plenty of water for the days before the match,
  • Had a good turkey sandwich on bagel for lunch before the match,
  • Had a pickle and drank the pickle juice with lunch,
  • Bought and drank Gatorade (G2) during the match, along with plenty of water on each changeover,
  • Took my MediLyte electrolyte pills before the match,
  • And ate a Cliff bar at the end of the second set.

So there was no physical reason for not winning… they just played a couple of points better than us.  And Thanks to Matt for teaming up with me for the three Naples area tournaments … he is a great partner to have.

For the results of all those other matches played today in the wind, just click HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Battle at the Bath

  1. Great match to watch today! So Close…. The wind was unbelievable but made for some entertaining points!

    Chuck, of course I would rather have won, but it was fun! Thanks. George

  2. Wow can I relate to that, George. Rick Parker and I played them in the first round two years ago in Ft. Myers. Fred played the add and we won the first set 6 to 1. Unfortunately they were smart to switch Fred to the deuce but we still cut off many of his forehands at the net but lost something like 6 to 3. We went into the tiebreaker and had two match points, one of which was I think at 9 to 10 with them serving and I still remember my forehand arm tightening up and it went long and they won 13 to 11. Fred amusingly says to me after the match, “You’re not going to forget that return for a long time”. Fred said they were lucky to win the match and Clive recently said it was their toughest match which both felt good to hear. A great experience and I know how you feel. Just staying with them is a win.

    Dave, “misery loves company.” thanks for your story. george

  3. George, from your description, this sounds like a “good loss.” Keep it up. It sounds like you are playing well.

    Marty, yes, felt good … played good. PS Chuck Beckner, Andy Hallock, Rich Tarantino, and Willy all in the tournament! george

  4. Hey George, I was there watching along many other fans and not sure if you noticed, but we were all hanging on each shot that last set! Great drama, what with the wind and all adding an extra, if mostly unwanted, dimension. Great play!

    Mike, thanks for coming and thanks for recording. Let me know if you see anything “revealing” if/when you watch it. George

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