Déjà vu Again?!?!

Knocking at the door AGAIN!

Today was semi finals day for the CAT II tournament at Sanchez/Casal (Naples Bath and Tennis); and for the second week in a row, Noble and I faced #1 seeded Hugh Thomson (former world #1 singles) and his partner Jerry Thomas (World 75 doubles runner up).

Last Week…

Noble and I were “knocking on the door” and lost a close first set 5-7 … won a strong second set 6-1 … but lost the third set 6-3.  Thomson and Thomas then went on to beat Hank Irvine and Evert Jonsson in the finals (also in three sets).

Today’s First Set

  • This time, Noble and I started out stronger and went up a break
  • I was serving at 5-4 … and we took a 40-15 lead (two set points)
  • They won both those points and went on to take that game
  • They served at 5-5; and we had a couple of break points and were able to convert one
  • So, Noble served at 6-5; and we again went up 40-15 (two more set points)
  • But they won them and the game to bring us to a first set tie breaker
  • We again took an early lead and they were serving at 2-6 (three more set points)
  • They won that point on their serve and the first point on our serve
  • So Noble served at 6-4 and we had a long point that ended with all four at the net and them hitting a strong volley down the middle to Noble’s backhand
  • Except Noble switched hands and hit a left-handed half-volley back that dribbled over the top of the net and landed in THEIR alley to give us the first set!

Second Set

  • They reversed the pattern from last week (where they won a close first and we won a dominating second set)
  • And they cruised to a 6-2 win
  • So I pointed out to Noble at the start of the second, “The pattern is now reversed from last week and WE are going to win the third set!”

Third Set

  • We did start out strong and went up a break, which held to the tale end of the set
  • They served at 2-5 and held a solid game
  • We served for the match at 5-3 and they broke us
  • They served at 4-5 and they held
  • Noble served at 5-5 in a critical game… and we held
  • Their stronger server (Jerry) then served at 5-6 to try to bring the match to a deciding tiebreaker.
  • We managed to go up 15-40
  • They won the next point to save the first match point
  • Then the serve was to me in the ad court at 30-40
  • He missed his big first serve and I went after the second serve cross court
  • They hit the next one with a short angle, wide in my alley
  • I ran to it and saw Hugh at the net and Jerry still deeper in their ad corner; so a drove a solid running backhand down the seem between them that went for the match point winner!

Lessons Learned?

  • At critical times, you can’t just “get the ball back in play”; because the better players will then take charge
  • The team that has the offense at the end of the match will usually win
  • I kept telling myself, “You can only control what YOU do and nothing else.”
  • Also kept reminding myself, “No story thinking” (i.e. what happens if you win or lose the next point or game); but rather have “Action thinking” (i.e. where am I going to hit the next ball?).

Tomorrow’s doubles finals (vs. Irvine/Jonsson) are all at 1:30. For all the other interesting scores (check out Larry Turville vs. Mas Kimball!) and match times, click HERE.

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6 thoughts on “Déjà vu Again?!?!

  1. Fantastic win. Proud of you. Sounds like you’ve read your own book! Play well and smart today.

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