Too Much Tennis?

Playing in 45 mph winds!

Most people like good chocolate chip cookies; but if you had 10 or 15 at one sitting, that would probably be too much (for MOST people).  This week was the fifth tournament in the Florida winter series (my fourth) being played at the new Lakewood National club … with the Pelican Bay Club doubles championships bracketing the week at each end!

Pelican Bay Round Robin

Everyone knows the secret to winning doubles: picking a great partner.  So, Bob Wilkie and I teamed up for this annual event, starting with a four team round robin last weekend.  While we were not the strongest team of the group, we survived in our last 8-game pro set on Sunday (three hours of tennis) to be one of the two teams moving on to the finals this Sunday. 

Lakewood National Tournament

After three days of “regular” Naples tennis on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I drove two hours north to “the fastest growing planned community in the United States,” Lakewood Ranch for the fifth winter tournament.  Thanks to my good friends Mike and Maryann Russell, who live just a few minutes from the venue, I had great housing.

I also had a great partner, pro-veteran Hank Irvine, who was seeded #1 in singles and doubles (Hank did verify his seeding by winning the singles).  This was NOT a round robin but traditional single-elimination format.

We can get THREE credit cards under my feet! (great Rick Crootof photo)

Playing in a Hurricane

Our first-round match was on Thursday vs. colorful Wendall Walker and Charley Coflin.  It was the strongest wind I have ever played in, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour!  (Hurricane force winds start at 65 mph).  But Hank and I were able to persevere for a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

On Friday, the winds were less of a factor; but our opponents were more of a factor.  We faced Roland Klieve and Terry Tezlaff (who had once beaten Hank in singles).  They took the first set at 6-4 and continued rolling to a 4-1 lead in the second set.  Hank (as many of the top players can do) raised his level; and we took 12 of the next 15 games for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 come-from-behind semifinal win.

A Weekend of Two Finals

In the Saturday finals, we faced the team of Ray Brodeur (who I played with nearly 50 years ago on the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance tennis team!) and Bill Berry – who survived a three-set semifinals vs. Bob Royden and Doug Dancer the day before.

They were tired and we were solid; so we cruised to an easy straight set finals victory.

Me, Hank, TD Nate Griffin, Ray, Bill

Today, Bob Wilkie and I will be underdogs in the Pelican Bay Club Championships Open Doubles final at 12:30 vs. the team that beat us last week 8-5 in the pro-set round robin.


For more on other matches at this past week’s Lakewood National tournament, click HERE.

For the draws for next week’s USTA tournament at the Meadows in Sarasota (where I am happily again teamed with Hank Irvine), click HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Too Much Tennis?

  1. Looking a little like Sampras with that scissor kick on the overhead.

    Chris, that’s where the similarity ends! Thanks. George

  2. *Great* pic! That’s a *lot* of tennis. 🙂 But, I’d sure find a way to drag my ass out there if I had a chance to pair up with Hank!

    BTW, I experimented with the “continuous” shooting mode at the Longboat Key tournament, and posted *way* too many shots in a Flickr “album” at

    Can’t figure out a way to organize them, since I don’t remember many of the names. But, should anyone want to slog through them. . .

    Oh, and happy to take any of them down should anyone object to a shot of himself. It *is* set up so that the pics can be downloaded.

    Turns out that the shots don’t fire nearly close enough together to pull off what I was hoping for with that mode. Oh, well. Yet another failed experiment.

    Kevin, maybe Rick Crootof share his methods. George

  3. George,

    You boys should get Iron Man Awards! Or at least something for endurance! There is much to be said for regular training. With that said, part of the regular training is the off-court work to build and maintain body strength. Personally, I find that tennis tears down the body and unless one stays focused on off-court work, injuries can become all to common place.

    And then there is much to be said for “resting” which has always been my greatest challenge. This means days where you do “NO” physical work and “charge the batteries” so to speak. If you simply can’t “stop” then use this day to simply watch matches of your favorite players and make notes from studying their tactics. The key word here is “BALANCE”.

    Fred, I too don’t rest well. But I also believe in strength training, stretching, sleep, meditation, and massage … all keys to staying healthy! Thanks. George

  4. That’s LeBron James vertical on that overhead…..great pic…and congrats on playing fantastic tennis!….and please pass the chocolate chip cookies!!!

    Scoot, thanks! george

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