The Last Day

With Brian Gottfried on the last day

This last day of competition, with two teams playing for the Championship (not my Wankers), started cloudy and 64, with rain still forecasted to come later in the day.  There was no morning clinic; so the play started right after Larry Starr’s warmup routine.

Morning Matches

As our team huddled together to get our match assignments, I said to Roy Emerson, “Emmo, your challenge this morning is to motivate us!”  He tried; but it didn’t work for me.

They mixed up the doubles pairings again and I was teamed with a doctor from Cincinnati, (Harold) Tom Pretorius; and I didn’t feel like i played very well.  We were facing good friend John Berry and a solid player from Maryland, John Theiss (who will be coming to Naples to play the January tournaments in the 65 bracket).

They both played very well … and my partner and I didn’t; so they cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Team Results

Willy’s Newk Kangaroos started the morning down 7 matches to 4; but the decider still ended up coming down to the last three matches.  To show how challenging some of these players can be, Willy Hoffmann – a very, very tough competitor in his own right – played #5 singles and lost 6-0, 6-0!

The Owen Davidson/Ross Case/Johan Kriek/Murphy Jensen Musclemen persevered over Newk’s Kangaroos to win the 2019 Championship.  And to add more to Newk’s misery, his beer drinking team got beat by the Dunnies/Musclemen team in the Australian Boat Race the night before.

More Running!

Since the formal competition was completed, we had clinics in the afternoon to work on various strokes presented by Brian Gottfried, Dick Stockton, Danny Visser, and Rick Leach.  Here are some highlights…

  • When serving (righties) in the deuce court, line your feet and body to be parallel to the sidelines.
  • When in the ad court, line your feet up aiming at your opponents left hip.  Those stances give you the options to serve anywhere in the box.
  • When practicing your serve, have a friend yell “wide” or “tee” when your toss goes up and react by serving it to that location.
  • On my forehand, I bring the racquet face back too open and too high… it should be slightly closed and lower – to come up and create topspin
  • On your backhand, take SMALL steps to get in position — and have the last ones going FORWARD towards the net.
  • Practice using TARGETS on the court to aim at (like Spike’s posting earlier).

Thursday Night

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.

Hall of Fame Inductees: Bill Macom and our own John Berry and Tom Mackessy!

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 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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7 thoughts on “The Last Day

  1. George, What an awesome experience! And, thanks for sharing game improvement insights. See you on the courts in Naples. Best, Tom

    tom, I hope those insights help you only when you are on my side of the court! george

  2. George,
    Certainly enjoyed reading your comments all week. Glad you had a good week and that your hip held up. See you in Jan in Naples but rental prices have gone up dramatically.
    Charlie Burns, Daniel Island, S.C.

    Charlie, both of us live in slices of paradise — which cost money! See you soon. george

  3. Hi George. Sorry I had to miss tennis fantasy this year but Enjoyed all the descriptive reviews of the weeks activities. Have a great tennis year and will see you next year at Newk’s

    Jeff, yes, several people noticed you were among The Missing — especially Willy and me as we sat on our balcony and watched Emmo’s 4 pm clinic. george

  4. Sounds like you had a great week. Is the Bill Macom you mentioned the coach of St Mary’s University in TX? If so I new him from Bay Head, NJ and played with his brother John an his dad Morgan, who was a top five national player.

    Doug, yes… he left the position in Florida because the school eliminated their tennis program. And brother John was there this year too. Thanks, george

  5. So jealous…what a fabulous week for tennis junkies!!!

    Scoot, and even beyond the tennis tips and tennis playing, i think you would have enjoyed the tennis stories. see you Monday. george

  6. George, Just wanted to express my thanks for your efforts of describing what John Newcombe and The Legends Tennis Fantasy Week is all about. Although I have experienced myself 31 times, it never gets old but at the same time very hard to describe it to people who have never been there. Sorry the Wankers could not have put up a better fight but as always it was a tremendous fun week.

    Again, thanks for capturing in words so brilliantly.

    Larry “the lobber” Starr

    Larry, it is always a pleasure to be with you, the Legends, and all the guys! thanks, george

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