What do you do when your opponents are serving and their “net man” is playing on the baseline, with the server? That is what Noble Hendrix and I faced in our second round robin match at Longboat Key on Thursday.
After surviving his three-set, three-hour singles match on Wednesday, good friend Chuck Kinyon took the court vs. #9 seeded Ron Tirapelli (Chicago) today. To make his own life as challenging as possible, his first set went to a tiebreaker; and although Chuck won the one hour a ten minute set, he “won the battle, but lost the war.” After losing the second set and into the third, he was forced to retire with injury.
Teddy and Swanny
Other Naples friends Ted Underwood and John Swan are also in the 75 doubles round robin. On Tuesday, they won their first round match; and on Wednesday they faced the tough #3 seeded team of Frank Hagelshaw and Bob Anderman… and stunned (read “frustrated”) them 6-4, 6-1.
And today, in the fading light, they squeaked out a third victory 10-8 in the third set Match Tiebreaker!
Noble and I faced the solid team of Charles Muntan and Rich McGrath (both of Longboat Key) for our second match. Because Charles had a strong and somewhat overpowering serve, Noble and I started two back to return serve … and came in either when we got the ball back in a good spot or he had a second serve.
We couldn’t do much with his service games; but had more success with lefty Rich McGrath’s serves. After we successfully lobbed over their net man, they opted to play two back on their serve! (I am not sure how many times I have ever seen that). So we…
- Had our net man play inside his service box and slightly toward the middle (like we would do when serving)
- And our returner tried to drive the return deep and down the middle, between the two baseliners
- And assuming their next shot was not too powerful, the net man “roamed” and our returner stayed back to cover the lob.
In the first set, even though we lost my service games all three times (!) we were able to get into a set tiebreaker and win it. The second set was an almost-equally close affair with us going up a break and giving it back; but we were able to break big Charles’ serve at 4-5 for the victory.
“Early to bed, early to rise”… our third round doubles match is scheduled for 8 am vs. the tough upstate NY team of Tom LaPenna and Bill Berry.
After that, Noble has to play his quarter final singles match vs. #2 seeded two-forehands/no-backhands Steve Lunsford.
And then, after that (!) we take the court for our last round robin match vs. #2 seeded Lunsford and Lazenby.
For all scores and matches, click HERE
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