This last day of competition, with teams playing for the Championship, started cloudy and 59; and were treated to a clinic on “What to do with your other hand” by Mikael Pernfors and Mark Philippoussis.
- Lefty or righty, your off hand plays a role in most every stroke…
- The serve: the ball toss is the most important part of a good serve
- Mark’s father wouldn’t let him start serving until he could have his toss land in a box that was about a foot inside the baseline ten times in a row
- You don’t want to jerk the ball up, but guide it using your fingers to hold the ball (note: the picture shows how I toss the ball)
- And release the ball at the highest point; so you have your arm continuing up in the air
- And then, keep that arm up as long as possible and the right side comes through
- Forehand: The left hand points to the ball as you set up for your shot, which helps get your shoulders to turn
- Again, keep the left hand out there until the right side is coming through. If you don’t, you will open up too soon.
- Backhand: The left hand brings the racquet back to position behind you.
- And then, use the left hand as a counter balance as the right comes through (picture Federer)
- Volley: The left hand holds the racquet throat to control the position.
- Which as you are waiting, should be just leaning to the backhand side (as to not force the wrist in a back position).
- And then, the left hand brings the racquet head back, which helps you again to turn your shoulders.
- The Overhead: The left arm really points up to the incoming ball and stays up the whole time until the right side moves through to strike it.
- Most club players don’t really point up to the ball and they bring it down way too soon.
In a confusing day of team competition, our Wankers finished Monday’s match vs. the Dunnies; and Newk’s Kangaroos completed their match with the Musclemen.
Then in the afternoon, we completed our Wednesdaymatch with the Kangaroos, while the Dunnies and Musclemen did the same.
In the first match, Jim and I played vs. a very solid team. My game usually varies very little, up or down. But this morning, I played like crap. And we lost one and love.
I stayed and watch friend John Berry and his partner come back from a huge match tiebreaker deficit … the other team was serving at 5-1; but John and his partner won 9 of the next 11 points to take the victory.
In the afternoon, I played much better, as did Jim, but we faced Jim Marcus (about our level) and his partner, Big John from NY … 6’ 5” tall, 40-something years old, and had won the West Side Tennis Club singles championship three years in a row in his 30s. Another lopsided loss.
The Wankers lost the morning match; so were out of the championship competition; but hoped to play spoiler for Newk’s Kangaroos chances. But we didn’t and Newk’s/Willy’s Kangaroos ruled and they ended up TIED with the musclemen and they had to count sets won, which Kangaroos took by ONE …. And they won the week’s championship!!
After Happy Hour that included fresh shrimp from the Gulf and dinner of salmon and chicken breast there was the Awards Ceremonies. As Steve Contardi said, “This will be the longest awards presentation you will ever see!”
There were thanks all around to the Legends who made our week wonderful, the great ranch staff of young pros and in the kitchen, and to Steve Contardi who arranged it all. Then there were plaques and pictures for people who won all their singles, all their doubles, and all their singles AND doubles.
The official ending to another truly fantastic Fantasy Week of tennis with the Legends was Roy Emerson leading all the Aussies in their rendition of “Waltzing Matilda.”
MY HIP: On Friday, most will play morning drills; but the “Naples four+1” will fly AirBerry back to Naples. Considering my 75 year old body, new hip and two-a-day tennis on hardcourts, I am delighted that nothing hurts; so I will rest on Friday to get ready for Pelican Bay doubles on Saturday morning!
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