Previously, we have talked about how to identify “the pigeon” in doubles – the player who is weaker than their partner or just having an off day; but how about playing when YOU are the pigeon?
Playing as the Pigeon
When you team up with a doubles partner of the quality (and reputation) of Hank Irvine – as I have done these past two weeks/tournaments – you are by definition “the pigeon.” And to even accentuate the situation, one of our doubles opponents this week pointed out that he had read that posting – and just smiled at me!
So, what do you do? You play the match knowing they will try to lob over your head and, given the choice, will hit the ball to YOU at the net. And for me, being ready for those two things to happen, I played BETTER.
“The best I have seen you play!”
That is what partner Hank said to me after these two tournaments together. In addition to being always ready to get the ball hit to me, I told Hank that after three years of playing together, I am now totally relaxed playing with him as my partner. When you team up with a superior partner, it is only natural to NOT be able to play your game; but now I can; and it makes us an even better team.
What have YOU done when you ended up being the pigeon?
The Meadows Tournament Results
Again this week at the beautiful Meadows CC in Sarasota, Hank was seeded #1 in 75 singles and doubles; and he again won the singles title. In doubles, there was a draw of eight teams; so our first match on Wednesday was a quarterfinals. We played solid and cruised to an easy straight set win.
Our Thursday semi-finals was vs. the tough team of Roland Klieve and Terry Tetzloff, who had taken us to three tough sets last week. We put into practice what we learned in our come-from-behind victory at Lakewood CC (be more active at the net) and were able to maintain control of the points for a 6-3, 6-3 win.
Yesterday’s final was vs. the team of Noble Hendrix (my January doubles partner) and Walt Peckinpaugh, who had knocked off the #2 seeded team. Hank and I cruised through a 6-2 first set; but found ourselves down 0-3 in the second set. We regained control to win the next five games and have two match points with Walt serving at 3-5.
We didn’t convert either of them; and they won that crucial game. But we (Hank) was able to serve it out for a 6-2, 6-4 championship win.
All Other Results
|Men’s 55 Singles|
|F||(2) Kevin Collins d. (1) Selim Benbadis||3-6; 6-3; 6-1|
|Men’s 60 Singles|
|F||John Wallner d. (1) Steven Brady||5-3Ret (inj)|
|Men’s 65 Singles|
|F||(3) Greig Redding d. (2) David Gottsch||6-2; 4-6; 6-1|
|Men’s 70 Singles|
|F||(2) William Rogers d. (1) Mas Kimball||7-5; 7-5|
(a great match!)
|Men’s 75 Singles|
|F||(1) Hank Irvine d. (3) Terry Warner||6-2; 6-4|
|Men’s 80 Singles|
|F||(1) Frank Hagelshaw d. Julien Hennefeld||6-2; 6-0|
|Men’s 85 Singles|
|F||(1) George McCabe d. (2) Oz Winters||6-4; 6-2|
|Men’s 70 Doubles|
|F||(1) Kimball/Rogers d. Bailey/Christensen||6-2; 6-2|
|Men’s 80 Doubles|
|F||Hagelshaw/Seputa d. Gibson/Koziol||6-3; 7-6(3)|
For the other results from the Meadows tournament, click HERE.
For the draws for next week’s Palm Aire tournament (which I am NOT playing), click HERE.
For details of the St. Pete CAT II in two weeks (which I am playing with Noble Hendrix), click HERE.
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