Another week, another missing doubles player for my doubles league match and another singles match against a sixty-something retiree.
This time, it was a different guy and he was built. He was a semipro basketball player before the Vietnam War, Ex-special forces in the Army and was a personal trainer until he retired. He played with his shirt off and if I could look that fit at that age, I'd play with my shirt off too. I've not taken my shirt off since puberty though. If we'd been boxing or MMA fighting, I'd have been screwed, but we were playing tennis.
I have to say that his serve was tough. He knocked the crap out of the ball just like you'd expect a guy with those guns and pecs to do, but there was a slight hitch in the form of his serve that took off just enough power that I could keep up with it usually. His problem was consistency in his ground strokes and half volleys. If I hit a shot that bounced high, he'd hit in the net and if I set him up for an easy shot, he'd often hit it long. If I made the mistake of letting him get his racquet on a ball at the net, I paid for it. I don't think he lost a point all day when he managed to hit a volley. On my side, I managed to find my serve again last week and it stayed with me today. I didn't loose a serve game until the very end of the match when I was starting to get tired.
The only bit of embarrassment for me was after the fifth game of the second set. I'd already won the first set 6-3 and I was up 4-1 in the second set. I just had to win two more games and the match was over. The only problem was that his game picked up (he never even started to breathe hard even though it was over 90 degrees out) and I started making mistakes because I was tired. I didn't move like I should have and I'd get wishy-washy about a shot and end up screwing it up. I ended up letting the match get to 5-5 before finally putting it away 7-5.
It was nice to get a win for the first time as a singles player, though. Maybe I can get a little of that success to follow me into my next tournament this weekend.