Adrenaline Rush - injected myself into open level mixed doubles tournament final on red clay

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
Yesterday I was planning to play my usual hitting session playing singles for an hour against a teaching pro.

Earlier in the day, the club director, an ex Top 700 WTA pro, had mentioned to me that she was playing the final of an open-level mixed doubles tournament that evening. The match was at the club. So I decided to show up early for my session so that I could watch some of her match.

When I arrived, I asked if she was ready? She says that her partner couldn’t make it, so the final wasn’t going to be played.

I’m not sure why, but I volunteered that I could fill in. Really, she asked? I said sure. It will be fun. She asked the opponents if they still wanted to play the match against me as the “suplente”, and within a few minutes, the match was back on!

The match ended up being quite an adrenaline rush. The other 3 players on the court had much more skilled groundstroke technique than me. The opposing guy had a heroic heavy forehand. The opposing gal had a Henin-like 1hb and super fast hands at net. My partner was a heavy groundstroke machine. At first it was a bit intimidating.

But I had a few advantages over the other players, in that even though I have ugly self-taught strokes, I have a doubles background, getting within a match of the state high school doubles title 30 years ago. And I felt like I had the strongest doubles movement instincts on the court. And I was the strongest and most confident volleyer.

I struggled to hold my serve. Got broken 4 times (I was the only one serving and volleying, and probably needed a little more juice on it). But I was able to find a way to partly neutralize the other guy’s hero fh return by using Aussie formation on my serve to deuce down the stretch.

My partner was a bit reluctant to close tight on the net. So I found myself charging the net after my returns and assuming the dunker position close to the net strap to fill the space in the forecourt.

I didn’t spend much time at the baseline. There was one point where I got trapped in a DTL baseline rally vs the opposing guy’s hero fh. Decided that would be last time I stay back.

Many points ended up stuck in the pattern where other players were rallying crosscourt with heavy balls — looking like they will never miss. I was the most active poacher out there, but I got burned a few times.

We came from a break down to steal the first set in a tiebreak. Then I got broken all 3 of my service games in the 2nd set, before we somehow grabbed the momentum at the end and pulled out the super. I was gasping for air during the second set due to the cardio heat stress, so I think the 3-minutes rest before the super revived me.

My body was not accustomed to playing 2.5h in 90F heat and high humidity, so every muscle in my body was cramping afterward. But what a thrill rush!

It had been 20 years since my last tournament match played with such quality players on the court.
 
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travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
My body still doesn’t feel fully recovered from Friday night. Played a couple hours of doubs on hardcourt with low-level players last night, and my knees felt old and creaky.
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
It seems that this story is not concluded. I found out today that the match I played Friday night was not the final. I was invited to play again, tomorrow night.

I was told that if we win, then we are the champions.
I know that the opposing male player is the head pro at a rival club. I believe he is an active tournament player with an a current age group ITF ranking.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
It seems that this story is not concluded. I found out today that the match I played Friday night was not the final. I was invited to play again, tomorrow night.

I was told that if we win, then we are the champions.
I know that the opposing male player is the head pro at a rival club. I believe he is an active tournament player with an a current age group ITF ranking.

"Sweep the leg."
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
"Sweep the leg."
Since my partner is this person, I might not need to resort to any underhanded tactics:

 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
yeah, I'm now totally convinced. The 'former Top X' works mysterious ways in third world countries. in 2019, the time of this post:
One of regular weekly practice opponents this year is a former Top 900 WTA pro.

[..]
the said player was ex 900 WTA.
now, few years later, and apparently _without_ playing on WTA tour anymore, the same person has improved to be top 700.
Yesterday I was planning to play my usual hitting session playing singles for an hour against a teaching pro.

Earlier in the day, the club director, an ex Top 700 WTA pro, [...]
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
yeah, I'm now totally convinced. The 'former Top X' works mysterious ways in third world countries. in 2019, the time of this post:

the said player was ex 900 WTA.
now, few years later, and apparently _without_ playing on WTA tour anymore, the same person has improved to be top 700.
Top 700 in doubles. :)
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
Opponents in the final were not quite strong as Friday night. Unlike the gal from Friday, this one never attempted a tweener.

This time more points ended with me poaching like a maniac. Someone from the stands kept yelling “El Americano” every time I crossed and hit a poaching winner.

Opposing gal had an excellent clay forehand, but clearly wasn’t accustomed to playing against such an active poacher and complained afterward of having to play someone from “otro mundo”. We won 6-1, 6-2, but with the one-sided scoreline it wasn’t nearly as exciting as Friday night’s epic battle.
 

tennis3

Hall of Fame
Opponents in the final were not quite strong as Friday night. Unlike the gal from Friday, this one never attempted a tweener.

This time more points ended with me poaching like a maniac. Someone from the stands kept yelling “El Americano” every time I crossed and hit a poaching winner.

Opposing gal had an excellent clay forehand, but clearly wasn’t accustomed to playing against such an active poacher and complained afterward of having to play someone from “otro mundo”. We won 6-1, 6-2, but with the one-sided scoreline it wasn’t nearly as exciting as Friday night’s epic battle.
Did you report these scores to UTR?
 
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