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.
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.
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.
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).
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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