Monday, October 31, 2011

Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League Blasts Off (Photos by Jim Rollero)

And the crowd goes wild!
The 2011-2012 Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League got off to a terrific start at the Landings Yacht, Golf & Tennis Club last Friday (Oct. 21). According to Landings Director of Tennis, Patrick Kangwa, 300 – 400 spectators gathered for the bi-weekly display of local tennis prowess.

Patrick Kangwa
It may or may not have lived up to the drama quotient of an LCWTL match, but of the 10 individual matches played, eight included one or more tiebreak-sets and/or a super-tiebreak. When the green dust had finished flying in the fading light, only four points separated the four teams.
Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA) versus AutoDrive (AD)- Four of five matches went to a third set or a third-set super-tiebreak.
Tyler Owens & Manuel Encalada
First Doubles
On Court 1, Manuel Encalada & Tyler Owens (who is starting to sound remarkably like Shawn Hedrick- yeah, I couldn’t believe it either!) of BRA, came back from slow start in the first set (4-6) to dominate the final two, 6-1, 6-2 over Denny Rager & Jared Kalpin of AD. Guess Manuel and T.O. used my preview comments as bulletin board material. Yes, I’m a tad surprised at the scores of those final two sets.
Second Doubles
Frank Fourgeau goes airborne
In the battle of “boom boom” forehands on Court 2 “Cool Hand” Luke Andreae, who always seems to play best at crunch time, teamed with Frank, “The Fourth Musketeer” Fourgeau to edge Elliott DeBolt and Kevin Kearns, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 to earn another two points for BRA. I received no reports of concussions from the sonic booms of the fearsome forehands, so I guess we’re all good.

Third Doubles
Jim Katterfield & Fred Hindle
With League Commissioner Jim Katterfield on Court 3 for Bra, this match went strictly by the third-set super-tiebreak rule. Contrary to conjecture, this had nothing to do with the Commish being the only one on court secretly carrying an AARP card (he, he). In any event, playing by the book worked out well for “Katman” and partner “Fast Freddie” Hindle. After dropping the first set to Alex Hermeto & John Jerome, 3-6, Katterfield and Hindle bounced back to take the second set 6-4, and the super-tiebreak10-6.   
Fourth Doubles
 I have no idea what to make of what happened on Court 4, because I know Dave Dooley can ball, and I hear Rick Calton is no slouch either. They teamed up for BRA, taking on Larry Gagnon & Rob Vinal. All I know is that Rob had his primer before the match, and Larry has been playing like the docs gave him a new game, not just a new knee. Bottom line was that this was the only lopsided score of the BRA-AD matchup, with Larry and Rob dropping a breakfast sandwich (6-0) and an eight the easy way (6-2) on Dave and Rick. I suspect whoever plays Dave and Rick next might be in trouble.
Mixed Doubles
The mixed court remained consistent with the dramatic-finish theme of the day. Jeff Timmer & Erica Cossairt outlasted Terry See and Carolyn Lawver in a nail-biter of a super-tiebreak, winning 6-3, 2-6, 15-13 to complete a 4-1 match record in favor of BRA. The three-match disparity only resulted in a 2.5 point differential because of the substitute AD used on Court 2. Final point total was BRA 8, AD 5.5.
Harborside Dental (HD) versus Johnny Malloy’s (JM)- Four of the five matches included a tiebreak.
First Doubles
Mike ”Da Dawg” Curran teamed with Sergio “The Silent Assassin” Rebolledo for HD on Court 1 to take on JM’s Scott “Cash Money” Harrington & Shawn “Please be Silent” Hedrick. Not sure how this one actually transpired, but in his own inimitable style, Da Dawg reported, “Serge played like a mother tonight; rode his bleep like Seabiscuit!” Hmmm, wonder if Serge would consider himself rode hard and put up wet? In the end, Mike & Sergio won 6-4, 7-6, and I guess Shawn really is a pain in the bleep, cuz Mike can’t sit too comfortably right now. HD 2, JM 0.
Second Doubles
HD posted another two points on the scoreboard at the #2 position when Joel Hampton and I took on event host Patrick Kangwa and his partner Jeff Diggs. The story of this one was that no one seemed to want to win. Patrick and Jeff went up 5-2 in the first, before Niles & Hampton came back to take the first set 7-5. In the second set, Niles & Hampton were up 5-3 and served for the match at 5-4, but ended up having to win the second in a 12-10 tiebreak. A little drama and considerable comedy characterized this one, and we hope that compensated for the obvious rust we dropped all over Stadium Court.
Third Doubles
Court 3 was the only match in this skirmish that didn’t involve a tiebreak or third-set. Pro League newcomer Todd “So Very” Wise & Peter “The Ringer” Redpath (Peter’s a Court 2 player all the way) played third court for JM against Mike Lawver & Mark Drons of HD. I can only imagine that the Wise-Redpath tandem was pretty imposing, both being over six-feet tall and crashing the net with abandon. However they did it, they took down Lawver and Drons with relative ease, 6-2, 6-4.  
Fourth Doubles
Tony Halski & Fran Coryell, two perennial winners from last season, strapped on the sneaks for HD on Court 4, and faced Steve “So Very Steady” Shortridge & Tom “Fit Me in Anywhere” Fisher. This was another humdinger of a match that ended with a third-set super-tiebreak. Steve and Tom took the first set 7-5, before Tony and Fran recalled their winning ways and took the second set 6-2. Unfortunately, neither Tony nor Fran has a very good memory, and they forgot all about those winning ways in the super-tiebreak. Steve and Tom finally closed it out 10-7. Somebody introduce those boys to Ginko Biloba please!
Mixed Doubles
In mixed, Armor Persons & Kerry Kendrick of JM simply refused to lose. After dropping a first-set tiebreak to Dan “Da Man” Moenning and Christie Bradley, they came back to win the second 6-3, then held on to claim the super-tiebreak 10-6. I guess losing that poundage has turned out to be a good thing, right Armor (wink)?
All in all, it was a terrific start to the 2011 -2012 Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League. As usual the host club, the Landings, did a fantastic job of preparing the facility for players, their families, and spectators, providing readily available refreshments and ample seating.  
Next Stop on Pro League Tour
Gulf Harbour Golf & Country Club on Friday, November 4 at 4pm. This will be a battle between the top two teams and should be quite a show. Although HD is scheduled to play AD at 5:30pm, Joel & I are scheduled to play Chad Hedrick & Elliott DeBolt, and John Ramsey & Christie Bradley will play Terry See & Carolyn Lawver at 4pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

Standings through 10/21/11
Boston Retirement Advisors- 8
Harborside Dental- 6
AutoDrive- 5.5
Johnny Malloy's- 4

No comments:

Post a Comment