Being the Pigeon

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.

Hank, me, TD Don Caprio, Referee Allan Thompson, Walt, Noble

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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5 thoughts on “Being the Pigeon

  1. Hi George
    Stopped by and watched some of your match. Thought they certainly “picked on you”, but you were up for the challenge. Seemed like you hit 75% of the shots. Couldn’t stay for end!
    Congratulations to you and Hank

    Steve, i was actually looking for you! george

  2. In any 75+ match (and many younger age divisions), you are now more often the hawk than the pigeon!! You can hold your own with anyone! To paraphrase another movie, “You can be my wing-man anytime”!!

    Steve, Roger that, over and out! thanks, george

  3. Hi George, Having seen all three of your doubles matches, I can say that you & Hank were great! You, as the designated “pigeon”, were amazing & certainly held your own! Thanx for three fun afternoons of superb tennis! I’ll miss you next week, so…see you next year! In the interim, I’ll enjoy your newsletters.

    Caroline, thanks for being part of a very small fan base! Stay well and looking forward to your blog comments! george

  4. Hi George, since hearing about the pigeon at the fantasy camp, I have been joking with my group that my partner must be the pigeon, because they seem to hit over 60% of the shots to him. The reality is it is much about playing style. More and more, my partners seem to hang back at the baseline or, if they come in, they are still further back from the net from me. So I guess the lesson is that if you don’t want to get picked on, get to the net!

    John, no question … when one player is back and another at the net, most shots should go to the deep man (except if you have a high volley to crush at the net man)! thanks, george

  5. Champions again…way to go!!….planning my next trip to Plaza San Marco….Venice, Italy,….to be with my fellow PIGEONS!!!

    Scoot, 🙂 thanks, george

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