Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League Heads to Pelican Landing

Standing room only again at Gulf Harbour
Once again the Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League action was crowd pleasing at the very least, with four of the 10 matches played featuring a final set tiebreak or super tiebreak. Again upwards of 400 tennis lovers graced Gulf Harbour’s picturesque tennis venue, and shared an afternoon of on-court drama with the 40 USPTA Professionals (and substitutes) who thoroughly enjoy the bi-weekly skirmishes.
The drama continues this Friday, November 18th at 4pm for mixed doubles, 5pm for all other matches at Pelican Landing in Bonita Springs, a venue returning to the rotation after some years of absence. The growing popularity of the Pro League continues to attract the attention of new sponsors and new sites. Again, without the enthusiastic spectators this would not be the case, so thanks for coming out! On to the action….
Harborside Dental (HD) vs. AutoDrive (AD)
Jared & Denny strategize to take down Da Dawg & Serg

Gulf Harbour members & Da Dawg
On Court 1, I’ve gotta admit that, despite knowing the talent that they bring to the table, I was surprised that Denny and Jared took down Mike and Sergio in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. I mean Da Big Dawg and Serg were at home and both have serious game...Plus Da Dawg ALWAYS gets at least a point! No doubt Denny and Jared brought their A games to GH that day, giving AD two points. Mike and Serg will battle the undefeated Manuel Encalada & Tyler Owens this Friday.
Joel & T A battle Elliott & Kevin

At second doubles, Joel and I got off to another slow start, going down 1-4, but we had “been there, done that” last match, and didn’t worry. We came back to take the first set 7-5 and closed out the second 6-2, evening the score with our two points. A nice test awaits us next, as we go up against undefeated Frank Fourgeau & Luke Andreae. Hopefully I’ll be able to see Luke & Frank’s forehands, given our 5pm start. Those boys can smoke it! Obviously someone will drop from the ranks of the undefeated this Friday, and it doesn't bode well for Team HD.
In the most dramatic match of this context, third doubles went to AD with John Jerome & Alex Hermeto beating Mike Lawver & Mark Drons in a tough one, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9, posting another two points for AD. Mike and Dronsy, posted one point for HD, but are still trying to find their winning ways. They will have their hands full on Friday as they face another undefeated team in Jim Katterfield & Fred Hindle this week.

Big John & Christie take down Terry & Carolyn
On Court 4, Larry Gagnon & Rob Vinal took down Toni Halski & Fran Coryell 6-1, 7-5, scoring points five and six for AD. Larry didn’t complain last season when he could barely walk, and he still gave it all he had in Pro League, so it’s great to see him playing so well after getting his new knee. Toni and Fran will try to post their first win when they take on Dave Dooley & Rick Calton.
Playing for HD on the mixed court, Christie Bradley teamed with super-sub John Ramsey and posted a 6-2, 6-1 victory over the usually very tough team of Terry See & Carolyn Lawver, gaining one point. I can’t remember Terry and Carolyn going down by such a score. Had to be tougher than the score indicates. In any event, the Commish may have to take a look at Big John playing in the mixed slot (wink).
Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA) vs. Johnny Malloy’s (JM)
Manuel Encalada & Tyler Owens, playing and scoring two points for BRA on Court 1, are rolling along like Novak Djokovic on steroids! They put a 6-2, 6-1 beat down on Scott Harrington & Shawn Hedrick to remain undefeated after two matches. Manuel and TO have given up just six games in their last four sets! Pretty impressive against the caliber of players they have faced. I know both Scott and Shawn are used to delivering, rather than receiving, such blows. They’ll face Denny and Jared on Friday, so I hope Shawn went to church this past Sunday!
Frank & Peter take on Patrick & Jeff
On Court 2, it was a war of attrition, but Frank Fourgeau & Peter Redpath (second successful sub appearance) posted another point for BRA, outlasting Patrick Kangwa & Jeff Diggs, 3-6, 6-3, 10/6. It was the second consecutive tough loss for Patrick and Jeff, having lost a 12-10, second-set tiebreak in their previous match. Frank continued to show his grit, having won his previous match in a third-set tiebreak as well. Joel & I are going to have to keep these boys from getting to a tiebreak this Friday!
Katman & Fast Freddie upend Todd & Jorge

Continuing the trend of delivering tiebreak heartbreak, BRA’s third doubles team of Jim Katterfield & Fred Hindle edged Todd Wise & Jorge Magalhaes, 1-6 6-2 10-8, notching another two points for BRA. It was Jim and Fred’s second super-tiebreak win in a row, after dropping the first set. Hint to my teammates: Give Katman and Fast Freddie the first set! Maybe they won’t know how to handle that kind of early success. Yeah, ok coach; love the strategy….Oops, word just in: Katman is playing with Tom Fisher this week.
BRA failed to post points on Court 4, with both of their four-doubles players out of the lineup. Steve Shortridge & Anthony Hatori posted two points for JM, beating Jeff Timmer & Tom Fisher (sub), 6-1, 7-6. Steve and Anthony will have all they can handle against the undefeated team of Larry “The Growing Legend” Gagnon & Rob “The Body” (don’t ask!) Vinal. 
Mark & Erica take down Kerry & Greg
In mixed dubs, Erica Cossairt continued her winning ways, partnering with Mark Owens (sub) against Kerry Kendrick & Greg Copeland (sub) to post a 6-3, 6-4 victory, gaining another point for BRA. Erica is scheduled to team with usual partner Jeff Timmer against Christie Bradley & Harborside Dental team sponsor Dan Moenning on Friday.

Unless I have my scores incorrect, team totals for the match at Gulf Harbour and overall are: BRA- 6 (14 total), AD- 6 (11.5), HD- 4 (10 total), and JM- 4 (8 total).  We look forward to seeing you this Friday at Pelican Landing!  Game, set, match....T. A.

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