Map of Courts Played
Bulgarian Wins = ReMax Logo / NOCO Wins = Red Square / Green Dudes = Team Win View NOCO vs Bulgaria in a larger map

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Washington University - a game called Horse?

Our blog has long had a tradition of playing an annual Thanksgiving match.   2017 was no exception - Climate Change/Global Warming or just plain fate had arranged for the weather to be in the high 60's and sunny in late November.

We decided to test our luck at the fabled Washington University Tennis Courts.   The official courts of the fabled Washington University Bears Tennis Teams.  These courts are among the oldest in St. Louis if not the oldest.  The 1904 World's Fair Tennis Championship was here as was the 1904 Olympics.  Dwight Davis, Karl Kammann, Butch Buchholz, Ted Drewes, Wray Brown all played for Wash U's teams.

Arthur Ashe practiced on these courts.  Carol Hanks Aucamp played on the mens team in 1963. The great Pat Purcell played on these courts in her college days.  These are serious courts with incredible history.  On this day the men of Stlforgotten courts decided to add to this storied history.....

As you might expect these courts are in tip top shape and even include a tennis scoreboard on the east end of the courts.   Since Stan has been drubbing Scott of lately Scott devised a game of racket skills instead of a traditional match to see if he could shake the Bulgarian.   The game was a tennis version of the basketball game called HORSE.   In a very original move we named our game TENNIS and utilized an igloo 5 gallon round cooler as our basket.

Prior to getting started we decorated the court with some owls, Thanksgiving tablecloth and our favorite festive beverages.  We uncorked a couple Samuel Smith Ciders - Stan picked the apple and Scott went with the pear and began our warm up.

Scott made the first call - The cooler was placed on the service T and we stood on the opposite service T.  The ball had to be hit into the bucket on the fly.   After exhausting an entire hopper of balls nobody had succeeded.   We moved on and Stan set up a deep cross court forehand shot with the call being you had to hit the bucket on the fly.  

About halfway through the hopper we had bounced over, hit on the bounce but nobody could get it on the fly.  All of the sudden Scott launched one and boom a T for Stan!   The next shot by Scott was a down the line short drop shot which had to land in the bucket on the fly.  This was bread and butter for Scott and he scored quickly sprinting out to a TE lead.   Next shot by Stan was a cross court backhand that had to hit on the bounce.

Again after both players being all around it Scott finally scored for a TEN lead.   Stan was in trouble - Scott called a short cross court forehand from service box corner to corner and Stan desperate added a caveat that in the bucket would add two letters.  Scott smelled victory and started lofting for the two points while Stan did the same.  Stan got nervous when Scott started closing in and unleashed a hard line drive to hit the bucket and get on the board.  TEN to T.   '

Stan then chose a wide serve to the Ad court and used a six pack container to mark it right in the corner.   About a third of the way through the hopper Scott nailed it on the fly to go to TENN to T.   Emboldened Scott called a short wide serve to the deuce side - a serve both players utilize and moved the six pack about halfway up the service sideline.   Literally just a few balls in Scott nailed it again on the fly to TENNI to T.  

Stan was really in trouble and called a down the line backhand deep with in the bucket being 2 points.  Stan's backhand is on point and this was a sure winner for him.   About a third of the way through with neither player hitting anything Scott was shanking most of his wide of the target.  Stan was zeroing in and then it was over as Scott not only hit the bucket but landed a backhand inside on the fly.  Game over.  A stunning defeat in a duel of racket skills for the Bulgarian.

Scott opened up an Urban Chestnut Stammtisch to celebrate......    Meanwhile the Bulgarian stewing over his loss threw out a challenge.   The challenge was another tennis first - The 17 point tiebreaker, switching sides every two points with a shutout at 9-0.   Scott enjoying his beer and feeling the exhilaration of victory of course said "Its on"

5 points into the tiebreaker Scott was in deep Kimchi.     Stan was up 5-0 and on a mission to end this thing quickly.  It was at that point that Stan double faulted giving Scott the point he needed to stay in the tiebreaker.   This tiebreaker was just not meant to be for Scott.  Stan was focused and raining deep shots to the corners and generally exploiting his better court movement.  

Scott managed to get back to 5-16 with a great pick up of a drop shot but then Stan finished it with a deep down the middle shot that Scott fouled off like a baseball pitch. Victory for Stan in possibly the worlds first 17 point tiebreaker!

We loved these courts.  Condition and setting are both 10's.   They are in first class shape and a great place to play when not in use by the Tennis Teams.

Stan was preparing to play in a Pat Purcell tournament later that night and needed some nourishment so we headed to the DeMun area to Seedz a great vegetarian restaurant where we downed some great stuffed peppers and an OM Marzen Beer.  Not wanting the fun to end we headed next door to Pull for some espresso and a fabulous Honey Mama's Peruvian Raw Chocolate.  Fully prepared Stan continued his tennis that evening and finished second in the singles tournament!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Forehand Challenge

Social media posts can certainly cause some controversy. In the spring of 2017 Scott made a Facebook post stating that nobody could beat him playing to his forehand. Immediately Mark Zolman who has quite the forehand stepped up and said he was up to the challenge.  Stan wanted in on this battle as well since of course Bulgarian forehands are the best.

A period of negotiations began which labored on for months.  Which court?, can you hit a backhand?, what parts of the court?, how many people playing at once?...   The final decision was made to play on clay at the Highlands with the rules being as follows:

Regular scoring and serving.
Balls could only be hit as a forehand
Court definition was the deuce side including doubles alley.
All points served and played to the deuce side.
Winner is the first to win 10 games with everybody playing same number of games
2 players at a time with one rotating out after every two games

On a perfect Sunday evening in July we assembled at the Highlands and completed a short warm up on the green Har Tru surface.  A quick spin of the rackets determined that Mark and Scott would begin the Forehand Challenge.

Mark started serving and won his game at love by breaking out the serve and volley tactic.   Scott fired back on his serve by winning his game at love.  Stan stepped in for Scott and split games with Mark.  As Mark stepped out he had a 2-1-1 lead.  

Scott came in and split with Stan leaving everybody tied at 2-2-2.   We remained on serve until 4-4-4 at which time the crafty Bulgarian began to formulate a winning strategy.  Even with the narrow court Stan began to serve to the T for an automatic winner and then in rally mode he would go wide to the forehand and then blast the next ball to the middle of court forcing his opponent to hit a backhand and automatically lose the point.

Using this strategy he vaulted out to an 8-4-4 lead.  Mark and Scott both won two games each off of Stan using some extremely deep long and physical rallies to get to 8-6-6 putting Scott on the court with Stan.  Stan promptly broke Scott following his new strategy.  

Stan then closed out the match by firing a couple serves right up the T forcing Scott to hit backhands.   The Bulgarian Forehand was victorious and will forever rule the Highlands!

We have previously covered The Highlands in our blog Bulgarian Down!   A great after match spot nearby is one of our favorites Layla located in The Grove just a short drive from here.

Terre Battue in the Lou

Red Clay....also known as Terre Battue is the stuff tennis players dream about but rarely if ever do United States players get the opportunity to experience this most rare of surfaces.   Recently we became aware of a local facility that has installed a red clay court.   An opportunity arose for us to play on this court and we of course jumped at the chance! 

On a beautiful October day we arrived at the facility along with Justan Vaughn and Bob Faust.   The court itself is a new hybrid system consisting of a fabric mat which is then covered with the red clay.

The result is a lower maintenance court with the qualities of the red clay.  We found the court to be very consistent of bounce - especially when compared to Har Tru at the Highlands.   The lines are permanently fused into the court eliminating any trip hazard common to clay court lines.  

As we began to warm up we could see that drop shots would be particularly effective as the balls just died in the soft clay.  Sliding into your shot was also a skill which could be used on this surface.  You definitely had to move towards the ball on every shot instead of waiting for it to come to you.   

After a quick warm up set we paired off with Scott and Bob Faust  against Justan and Stan.  Justan is the least experienced player in the group so he had the benefit of the speedy Bulgarian as his partner.  Scott and Bob play together often on their USTA team while Stan and Justan were playing together for the first time.

The racket spin was won by Scott and Bob. Scott grabbed the balls and stepped up to the line to serve.  Right off the bat Stan took the first serve and angled it cross-court for a winner.  Justan returned a deep ball over Faust's head and it was love -30.  Stan returned another deep ball in the corner which just ate Scott up and he could not get into position to hit it.   Scott hit a tough serve to Justan and Justan was able to throw up a lob which Bob hammered into the net.

The newbies win the first game at love.  Stan held his serve easily and then Bob held for a 2-1 lead to Justan/Stan.  Scott and Bob thought they would easily break Justan but instead hit both of their returns long and Justan with that lead held for a 3-1 lead.   Scott needed to hold and started out by hitting a wide serve to Stan's forehand which he ripped down the line past Bob for a winner...  A deep serve to Justan's backhand resulted in a weak lob which Bob put away.   15-15.

Another serve to Stan's forehand brought an error and another serve to Justan yielded another Bob put away.  Scott served down the T to Stan and Stan ripped a backhand at Bob which he easily volleyed away into the corner.   Stan held his serve after a tough game which ended when Bob blasted a forehand at Justan and he reacted quickly with a drop volley at an impossible angle which died in the soft red clay.  4-2 Stan/Justan.  Unfortunately for Justan and Stan that was the high point of the set as the experienced team fought their way to victory in the set by reeling off the next four games to win 6-4.

The second set started out much the same as the first with Stan and Justan sprinting out to a 4-1 lead.  Scott and Bob were trying to pick on Justan and he kept startling them with his quick reflexes and speed on the court.  Backs against the wall Scott and Bob fought their way back to 4-4 when Bob hit one of his patented forehand return of serve drop shots that was so good not even the speedy Stan could do anything with it.

Scott and Bob needed to close the match out and Justan and Stan were not having it.  Stan served the next game and a key point was played with Bob returning serve and Stan pounding Scott down the line 3 times in a row and each time Scott volleyed back to Stan.... frustrated Stan took a mighty swing and went down the line a fourth time and Scott stabbed a defensive volley that went up high in the air and landed mid-court where Stan could put it away.... but instead he hit the easiest shot into the net and Scott and Bob were able to go up 5-4.

Scott promptly lost his serve to bring the set to 5-5 with Justan again getting back some balls that most humans would not be able to retrieve.   A quick break of Justan's serve set Bob up to serve the match out.  He did just that with Scott poaching a Stan return and picking off Stan's baseline overhead with a drop volley to win the match!  6-4, 7-5.

These courts are a 10 in condition and location.  We really enjoyed getting to play on the red clay.

To celebrate the victory we retired to the newly expanded Village Bar for a couple beers and a Better Burger!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Two guys walk into a bar.... after playing at Kaufman Park and the Highlands

A tip came in to the Stlforgotten hotline that University City had just completed the renovation of Kaufman Park's courts with state of the art post tension concrete.  Scott thought this would be the perfect place to test out Stan's hot weather stamina on a steamy June day.  The courts are part of a larger park and adjacent to The Green Center.   The courts are in perfect shape - we quickly warmed up and decided to play a match utilizing the Fast 4 format.  

Scott won the toss and quickly won his serve at love.

Stan followed suit and did the same for a 1-1 score.  Stan broke Scott by taking a slow kick serve on the backhand and blasting a winner down the line.  2-1 Stan who then proceeded to stretch his lead to 3-2.  With Scott serving on a 3-3 point Stan has his first set point but Scott denied it with a down the line backhand followed by a vicious cross court backhand winner.  Stan served at 3-3 game score and held at love to take the first set.

The second set started with Stan going up 3-1.  Scott started fighting back highlighted by a point with a great cross court rip followed by a short angle volley winner.  Eventually Scott gets back to 3-3 and Stan found himself at the net on set point and took a hard gut shot like a pro and volleyed it away to win the second set.

Scott who thought the heat was his friend now found himself down 2-0 in sets.  Unbelievably out of nowhere a flash thunderstorm appeared saving the day for Scott.  We decided to get some lunch and postpone the match finish for a quick trip to La Pizza.

We had some outstanding Calzones and decided to finish the match on another day.  Scott now had a much needed chance to rest and regroup.  Fast forward a couple weeks to mid-July and we found ourselves on the clay at the Highlands and decided to finish the match before another tennis engagement.   We had only played on clay once before and Scott was victorious.

The set started and Stan quickly found his drop shot and took advantage of the slow clay to go up 2-0. With his back against the wall Scott fought back to a 3-3 game and a 3-3 point on his serve.  Scott put a first serve in and Stan shanked the return for a 4-3 Scott set and a match score of 2 sets to 1 in favor of Stan.   Our tennis partners showed up so we agreed to postpone this match to finish on a third day.

This is when things get really interesting.  A couple weeks later Stan meets a gentleman randomly in a restaurant bar and the discussion gets around to tennis and our blog. The gentlemen says his he grew up in a house with a private court and suggested we play it for the blog.  A couple questions later Stan determined the house was for sale and closing in just a couple days. Of course we had to finish this match on the private court.

So in late July we found ourselves on a private court in Creve Coeur and the residence of the late Dr. Edward Graviss and his wife Joan.  They were both accomplished tennis players and well known in the tennis community. Dr. Graviss was a longtime player on the old West County Tennis Ladder.  The court was in a beautiful setting in a quiet area with a nice seating area to accommodate spectators.  We did not bring spectators as we were already worried with an unoccupied house that somebody would call the police....

We warmed up and found the surface to be very consistent and began to play.  Temperature at match time was 102 degrees and sunny.

Scott held to start and then Stan held in a tough sun serving situation and then broke Scott to go up 2-1.  Stan goes up 3-1 with a spectacular down the line backhand winner.  Scott gets to a 3-3 point on his serve with a let cord winner only to see Stan hit a sharply angled backhand to finish the game and the match pulling out a 4-1 set victory and a 3 sets to 1 match victory.

This match took almost 30 days and three different courts to complete.  We are grateful to the Graviss family for letting us play on their family court literally one day before the final sale.  We really wish we could have met Dr. Graviss and played on the court in its heyday.   Kaufman Park is a 10 all the way around with great work by the guys at McConnell and Associates once again to rebuild them.  The Highlands we have covered elsewhere in the blog.

Stan wins again...... the question now is can Scott get his mojo back or will the name of this blog be changed to....   Stan beats Scott Once Again.   Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

We don't need no stinking warm up! - Heman Park

The month of April 2017 was mostly a deluge of rain and ended with massive flooding throughout the area. However on one Thursday afternoon we found a bit of sun and decided to play at Heman Park in University City. University City is an early suburb bordering the City of St. Louis.  It was founded by Edward Gardner Lewis and has a very unique history. Heman Park is home to the most active grassroots tennis groups in the area. It is the one place in St. Louis where you are almost guaranteed to get a pick up game.  If you are sitting on the bench with a racket, the odds are very good someone will walk up and ask you to play.  Heman also acts as the home court for the University City High School Tennis Team the Lions and The Heman Heathen's Racket and Beer Club.  It is also University City's largest park at 85 acres and is full of other amenities which are listed here.  Heman was named after University City's second mayor August Heman and is built on the site of a former landfill.  Mr. Heman was President of both the Heman Construction Company and Trinidad Asphalt Company and died at the age of 64 from a bout of indigestion.

Scott arrived first and while waiting for Stan sure enough a gentleman walked up and offered to hit some balls.   There are no tennis strangers at Heman Park!  On this particular day we had to squeeze the match in between some home showings for Stan and work around a meeting Scott had in Clayton. The result of that is we agreed for the first time ever to start the match with no warm up. Although warm and sunny the conditions were windy with air so thick with pollen you could see it.

The no warm up led to an interesting start to the match.  After 4 games the score was Stan 3-1 with no point going more that two shots and Stan winning all 8 points on his serve.   The wind was really a factor with many balls sailing long on both ends of the court because it was swirling and changing directions.  On the next game Scott served and fought to an ad point which ended with Stan at the net hitting a drop shot which Scott retrieved and deftly flicked a lob over his head for the game.  3-2 Stan who answered the challenge with a strong service game which included a ace out wide to Scott's backhand to finish it and go up 4-2.   Scott won his serve by serving and volleying to Stan's backhand and then hitting a volley behind Stan.

On Stan's serve a couple double faults led to a break and a tied score at 4-4.   Scott held serve easily to go up 5-4 and Stan did the same by taking an excellent down the line slice ball and ripping a forehand winner to tie it up at 5-5.  Stan followed up by breaking Scott on the next game to go up 6-5 and put himself in a position to serve out the set.  Scott was able to hit some deep hard returns and finish a couple points at the net to tie it up at 6-6.  A tiebreaker was played and Stan was able to stay on top and prevailed 7-4 for a 7-6 first set victory.

About halfway through the first set we had completed our warm up and the points started to get longer as we settled into the playing conditions.  The longer points were also starting to test footwork and endurance for both players.  Taking confidence from the first set Stan fired off an ace and held the first game and promptly broke Scott's serve with a great forehand winner to go up 2-0.  Scott was able to break Stan with a flurry of mishit wobbly shots and one hard deep return.   Scott held his serve by trying the can opener play hitting a wide serve to Stan which was returned about 2 feet wide.......but no the wind blew it back in the court it hit the line and Scott drove it down the line to Stan's backhand he was able to float up a cross court lob which should have landed in but the wind blew it 2 feet out this time.  2-2 Stan served efficiently and went up 3-2 and then broke Scott on a long, physical high ball rally which ended with Scott trying to hit a winner which sailed long.  4-2 Stan.

Scott quickly held and broke back to get to 4-4 again.   Stan's service game had six deuces with two break points for Scott which he could not convert allowing Stan to finally hold and go up 5-4.  That set up the most dramatic game of the match with both men determined to win Scott's serve.  Right off the bat Stan took a second serve and ripped a cross court winner.  Scott got the second point to get to 15-15.  Scott decided to sneak a second serve in on his first to surprise Stan.

He was not surprised and hit a perfect backhand drop shot winner.  15-30 brought a serve and volley winner for Scott.  30-30 - Again Stan rips a forehand cross court winner to get his first match point.   At this point Scott the match began to look like a late inning baseball game.  Scott was hitting his hardest out wide serve to Stan's strength the backhand.   Scott fired off a serve and Stan shanked it wide.   Deuce.  Scott hit a wide serve to Stan's forehand and had his first ad - Stan took the hard serve to the backhand and hit a cross court winner.  Deuce.   Stan earned another ad with a long rally.   Scott fired another fastball to Stan's backhand and he fouled it against the fence.

At this point Scott was serving like the fabled Mad Hungarian of the St. Louis Cardinals. Deuce - Stan again wins a long rally and has a third match point.  Another fastball to the backhand by Scott brought another error.  Deuce - Finally Scott earned a second game point with a sharp angled forehand winner.   But he missed his first serve and Stan stepped around the second serve and blasted an inside out forehand winner.   On the 6th Deuce Stan came to the net and after Scott retrieved three overheads he finally put the ball away.  On his 4th match point Scott hit another cannonball deep into the backhand corner and this time Stan had the answer with a cross court out wide winner to take the match.  7-6, 6-4.

Post match we just sat in the sun for awhile as we were both exhausted.  Stan eventually had to leave for another home showing and Scott found his way to OR Smoothie & Cafe to refuel.  Heman Park is a great place to play tennis and has a 10 for location and a 9 for condition for a 9.5 rating. Our only ding is the surfacing of the courts either needs a good cleaning or possibly a resurfacing at some point.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stinson destroys Angelov 6-0,6-0 at Tilles Park

Fake News or the truth..... read on and you shall find out!

On a beautiful March afternoon Stan and Scott decided to take a break from their respective real estate duties at ReMax Select and Central Realty and play a match at Tilles Park. The name Tilles Park in St. Louis commonly means a large park in St. Louis County off McKnight road. We have played there before and discussed Andrew Tilles history in our blog The Quest for the Golden Set.   However on this day we wanted to explore the other Tilles Park in St. Louis City. This park is located at the intersection of Hampton and Fyler and was created by the City of St. Louis selling the Tilles Park in St. Louis County to the County and using the proceeds to buy these 29 acres in the 1950's.  Additional funding for this project came from a massive 110 million dollar bond issue passed in 1955 by Mayor Raymond Tucker.  

Upon arrival we quickly made notice of a couple things.  This Tilles park is much smaller but cements together its Tilles Park Neighborhood.  Right outside of the courts was a large playground which was in heavy use the entire time we were playing.  

The next thing we noticed is that these courts have recently been resurfaced as part of a comprehensive program the City of St. Louis parks and recreation dept has been implementing.  For tennis players the bad news is where there were once three courts there is now only one.  The remainder have been converted to very nice pickleball courts.

The park packs a lot of amenities and also includes  a roller hockey rink, 3 soccer fields, a soccer kick board, 3 softball/baseball fields, a basketball/volleyball court, 2 racquetball courts picnic pavilion, an exercise station and walking path.

As we began our warm up we noticed this new surface was very slow and theoretically would be an advantage for Scott.   We completed our warm up on one of the pickleball courts and then moved to the remaining tennis court to start the match.  After warming up on the pickleball court we both noticed our perspective was off on the normal court.  It took a couple minutes of hitting to get our normal tennis strokes back.

As the match began it was a tug of war with both players winning their serves until the score got to 3-3.  At that point Stan's backhand was dialed in and he really took control of the set winning the next three games by stroking winners from almost any position on the court.

After the first set Scott realized his only chance was to try to blow Stan off the court with aggressive shotmaking.  Implementing this new strategy did not seem to make a difference as Stan's defense was rock solid and eventually Scott would wear out during the points.  Finally at 0-3 Scott had a great game where at 30 all he ripped a cross court backhand winner.

The next point with Stan at the net Scott ripped a hard backhand right at him
which was dumped in the net.  He was on the board and thought he had some momentum.  He did not - Stan focused even harder and kept returning the barrage of hard hit balls eventually closing out the second set 6-1.  Another win for the Bulgarian 6-3, 6-1.

This court was in excellent shape and receives at rating both in location and quality of 10!  After the match we headed across Hampton to the highly regarded Salume Beddu which prepares artisan cured meats. We enjoyed a quality lunch of soppressata sandwiches, Billy Goat Chips and an appetizer of Lonza Ends.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Return to North County! Dunegant Park.

Winter 2017 has been really mild in St. Louis this year and recently we found ourselves with a Thursday morning with predicted weather of sunny and a high of near 70 degrees.  By coincidence this day was also tennis legend John McEnroe's birthday.  As we began researching courts we found that our first 3 choices of courts appeared to be relegated to the dustbin of history. Those were Jackson Park, Frostwood Park and Musick Park. Personal inspection of all three showed courts either abandoned or in unplayable condition.

We finally settled on Dunegant Park in Florissant.  Dunegant Park is a large park that includes multiple amenities such as Tennis, Handball, Frisbee Golf, Ball Fields, Soccer, BBQ and Restrooms.  Who was Dunegant you ask?  Well that is where things get really interesting. Francois Dunegant was sent to North County in the late 1700's to found San Fernando which later became the City of Florissant.  He was granted a significant amount of land and we wonder if this park was donated by his family at a later date.   Here is good history of Francois Dunegant.  The tennis courts come in two varieties - 4 astroturf courts with light poles literally in between the courts - slightly dangerous if running to get a ball and 2 courts that were hard courts where the nets shared a middle pole.  We decided to play the match with one set on each surface and then if split sets the third set surface would be determined by a racket spin.

Scott broke out a can of pink "Hope" tennis balls which support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Stan brought out for the first time in this series a pair of Volkyl tennis racquets switching from his former brand Head.  Warm up was quickly completed and then Scott won the racket spin and chose to serve.  Stan quickly broke Scott and then Scott broke right back.  Scott's next service game was tough but Stan found his range and quickly hit down the line winners to both sides and took a 2-1 lead.  Scott broke Stan again with some aggressive returning.

At 2-2 Scott had an excellent service game punctuated with a rare ace down the T to Stan.  3-2 lead Scott.  On Stan's next service game he started off by hitting the line on his serve which created a high kicking bounce that Scott
could not handle.  He finished the game for a 3-3 score.  Scott held a tough service game by hitting a great passing shot past the speedy Bulgarian and then broke Stan for a 5-3 lead.

Closing out the Bulgarian is always tough and Stan went to work and in a few short minutes worked the score back to 5-5 with some excellent volleys and a wicked drop shot.  Scott served out a service game with a couple deuces and took a 6-5 lead.  Stan's first serve on the next game was ripped cross court by Scott at a sharp angle and kissed the line for a winner.   Scott parlayed that shot to a break and took the first set 7-5.

We packed up our stuff and headed over to the hard courts.   The hard courts have a plaque naming them the John Schneider Memorial Courts.  Scott remembered a former John Schneider who was a Missouri State tennis champion from the now defunct Rosary High School.  John also appeared in a tennis movie and was a teaching tennis pro. The John Schneider plaque honors a former state politician from Florissant.  Unfortunately the courts are not honoring him very well as they are completely devoid of any surfacing at this point.

We elected to start the second set with no warm up on the hard court and immediately got to work.   These courts were faster but also had more grip since the balls were basically bouncing on bare asphalt.  There were some major cracks which also might be a factor at some point.  Quickly the score got to 3-3 and then Stan ran away with the second set for a 6-3 win.

Stan was getting much more consistent while Scott seemed to struggle to hit a clean ball.   As a third set was required the racket was spun and Stan chose to stay on the hard courts but to switch to the other court.   This match would now be played on 3 different courts.  This last hard court had even more cracks which could
affect the match at any point in time.

New yellow balls were opened for the third set. Things really started to look bleak for Scott as Stan quickly pulled out to a 5-1 lead.  Scott served to stay in the match and Stan tried to finish it quickly.  Stan reached his first match point and Scott played a long defensive point lobbing Stan who finally tried to hit an overhead from the baseline which landed in the net.   Stan won the next point and match point number two was saved with another deep shot to Stan's backhand which he pulled wide. Finally Scott was able to save the game and get to 5-2.

Stan served and quickly got to his 3rd match point which Scott saved with a backhand stab dropshot which was held up by the swirling wind.  Scott won the game by charging the net on a weak ball from Stan and angled it off the court to get to 5-3.  Again on Scott's serve Stan got another match point opportunity #4 and Scott saved it with a monster cross court forehand winner.  

It looked like an amazing comeback was in the making at this point.   Stan had other plans however and quickly unleashed two great shots one a down the line winner to Scott's backhand side the the second was an amazing return of a Scott angled backhand return causing Scott to put the ball over the middle of the net only to find a smiling Bulgarian there who cashed in on his 5th match point with an easy volley.   Match to Stan 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

The location of these courts is a 10 being in a relatively quiet setting.  Although we did not really have many bad bounces these courts need some serious attention.  The carpet courts were in better shape than the hard so we will give an overall score of 5 for a 7.5 average.   Florissant has been spending money on their tennis courts at other locations so hopefully these are due for a makeover.

After tennis we drove a few miles east for a great BBQ lunch at the Ferguson Brewing Company located in downtown Ferguson.  

Within two weeks of this match John McEnroe's father John McEnroe Sr. passed away as well as politician John Schneider.   Both left long and proud legacies.