Monday, December 12, 2011

Fort Myers Senior Pro League

On Friday, December 9, new Director of Tennis, John Ramsey, and League Coordinator, Armor Persons, brought the Fort Myers Senior Pro League (SPL) to Kelly Greens. Given the cheers, banter, and gathering after the event, I believe the members were happy that they did.

The participants played one mixed doubles match and two men’s doubles matches, and one of the men's matches provided every bit as much drama and excitement as you would find in an open (as opposed to senior) Pro League event. Seriously, I’m not kidding.

The match pitting Terry See & Steve Shreiner against Armor Persons & Marius Espeleta extended well into the beer and pizza time. Lemme put it this way, when Oliver Stenger and I had finished our first two sets against John Ramsey and Mike Harley, those guys were asking if they should play a Coman tiebreak for the first set!

We had finished our third set and were into our second beer and third slice of pizza (Oliver was anyway) when those guys switched courts to play the third-set super-tiebreak! Terry and Steve ended up with the 7-6, 6-7, 11-9 win. Armor, aren’t you getting tired of these super-tiebreaks (wink)?

As promised, Marius got to every ball imaginable, crushed a multitude of forehands, and the other three displayed their well-over-a-century of experience and skill. I found myself watching their match more than the ball on our court! Oliver still carried me to a victory over John and Mike.

I don’t think John and Mike relaxed until the third set, because they lost the first two 6-2, 6-0. In 37 years of playing this game, I had never been in a match where the server double faulted four consecutive times to lose a game. I felt for Mike, but I was glad he broke my record of three doubles in a row (shared by one of my best buddies, right Dawg?) during a match in last year’s Pro League.   

Mike and John shook off those opening sets to manage a comeback from 1-3 in the third to go up 4-3. But Oliver was not to be denied on his birthday, and we claimed that set 6-4.

In other action, Kerry “Boom Boom” Kendrick really earned her nickname, and she and Fran Coryell dropped a 6-2, 6-4 bomb on Erica Cossairt and Rob Vinal. Everyone knows that Kerry hits it hard, and when she brings her A-game, life can be tough on the green stuff.

Truth be told, neither Erica nor Rob looked the least bit perturbed afterward, and I’m thinking that it had something to do with the old adage, “Alcohol heals all wounds.” Oh, it’s “Time” that heals all wounds you say? Uh, talk to Rob; he’ll straighten you out on that one.

Well, in case you didn’t get the drift, the bottom line is that the members and players had a good time at the most recent installation of the SPL, and you can do the same at the following opportunities:

January 20 at Pelican Preserve;
February 17 at Cape Coral Racquet;
March 16 at a yet to be determined site
Hope to see you out there! Game, set, match...T A


  1. As the "server" who did lose an entire game by myself... I thank you for the shout out. In 37 years I have never read of anyone but the server double faulting. However, I appreciate you guys letting us play a third set for pride. I did start drinking after the 4 Doubles. LOL!

  2. Ha, ha, it was painful Mike! I felt for you cuz I did three in a row in pro league a couple years ago. Fortunately, we won that match LOL. Anyway, glad you were a good sport about it. T. A.