Friday, May 18, 2012

Ultimate Tennis Spring Season Wrap Up

It wasn’t the best of days for me on Ultimate Tennis Finals Day last Saturday, but thanks to generosity of my opponent, No.1 Seed and Defending Champ Damir Sejdic, I walked away from the Longwood Athletic Club in Sarasota as the 5.5 Champion for the 2012 UT Spring Season.

I honestly believe that Damir had to work really hard to give me that match. It’s hard for me to imagine that a player of his caliber (protests of being out of shape notwithstanding) could lose to someone playing the way I played on Saturday. It was quite telling when, after the match, another competitor asked whether our match had been the 4.0 Final!

As for the match itself, Damir served for the first set at 5-2 and allowed me to come back to take it 7-5. He went up an early break in the second, leading 3-1, and then did all he could to let me back in it. I accepted that set, 6-4, and the match.

While I suppose the bottom line is that I got the “W,” the real bottom line for me is that I had better not perform like that at the Fast-Dry & 10s Supply 2011 Grand Prix Circuit @ Club Med - Port St Lucie in a couple weeks or it will be an early exit from that affair. But enough about me…Let’s see how our other locals did in the UT Finals.

Men’s 5.0
No.2 Seed Miguel Scheel, of Bella Terra in Estero, made up for his loss in last summer’s UTL 4.5 Division Final, by claiming the 5.0 Division in his first effort in that division. Scheel ended his undefeated season by downing No.4 Seed Michael Gough of Sarasota, an 11-season, UTL veteran, 7-5, 6-0. He will be obliged to move up to 5.5 next season. Congrats Champ!

Men’s 3.0
No.1 Seed Monroe Smith of Paseo proved that he was the cream of the crop in the Men’s 3.0 Division. Smith punctuated his undefeated season, one in which he was pushed to a third set just once, by dispatching first-time UTL player and No.15 Seed Frank Joseph of Palmetto, 6-1, 6-3. It was Smith’s fourth and most likely final campaign in the 3.0 Division.

Men’s 2.5
Alberto del Valle of Three Oaks Park in Fort Myers got redemption in the Men’s 3.0 Final, by edging Timothy Kenaga of Jim Jeffers Park in Cape Coral, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.  del Valle had lost to 5-7, 2-6 to Kenaga in Week 4 of the regular season, but apparently figured out the winning formula in the Final. Along with his title, del Valle gained entrance to the 3.0 Division.

Women’s 3.5
Unfortunately for No.4 Seed Renee Bailin, playing out of Cape Coral Racquet Club, she ran into a player who refused to lose. Sue Anderson, seeded sixth, won her fifth consecutive three-set match to claim the Women’s 3.5 Championship.  Renee still is to be congratulated for making the Final in her first UT attempt, and I should be chastised for not preparing her for a moon-baller.

But the 3.5 Division was All about Anderson. In the last match of the regular season, she won a third set tiebreak after losing the second set in a tiebreak. In three of her four playoff victories, including the Final, Anderson lost the first set before claiming the final two. In the Semis, she won the first easily, lost the second, and then held on for the third. Yes, Sue Anderson did it the old-fashioned way: she earned it!

Women’s 3.0
No.3 Seed Jenny MacDermott of Fort Myers Racquet Club (FMRC) made it through to the Final after a controversial finish to her semifinal match with Joy Dickey of FMRC, but couldn’t get past No.4 Seed Julia Owens of Cape Coral. MacDermott struggled to be competitive in the first set, losing 1-6, but battled back gamely in the second. She couldn’t quite get over the hump and lost the second 5-7.

Next Up
Thanks for the terrific customer service as always Solvi! As I have said, you are the heart and "Sol" of Ultimate Tennis :). Well, Spring Season down, Summer Season about to begin. Without special dispensation I'll be on the sidelines cheering on everyone else. I may have won the battle, but I lost the war, right Damir :)? That's okay. Less than two weeks to Port St. Lucie and the big boys. Game, set, match...T. A.

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