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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sylvan Springs Park

After three matches in NOCO and North St. Louis City we headed to deep South County for our match.   This weeks location was Sylvan Springs Park located just off of Telegraph road near Jefferson Barracks.    The park is in a secluded location and has four hard courts.   We played at 7am and all was quiet except for a few dog walkers.    Since it was such a nice day we drove the Central Realty truck Betty a 1965 Volkswagen pickup.   We met at West County Mall at the Dove and were disappointed to learn the after 30 plus years you are no longer able to meet there because Nordstrom does not have enough parking.   The guard was kind enough to allow us to leave a car in the rear lot.   

The initial impression of the courts was not too great.  They had a good amount of debris and it looks like the asphalt is near the end of its life.   However the bounces were true and the match was decided by skill not funny bounces.   Fortunately the skill this week rested with Scott and the Mad Bulgarian was dispatched in a straight set affair.  6-2, 6-3.   Scott was able to play some good serve and volley and returned well enough that the Mad Bulgarian did not even hold serve once.

We finished the morning off with a stop at the Affton Eat-Rite diner.   Nobody was brave enough to order the slinger  - a St. Louis tradition.    Had we had a little more time we might have stopped at nearby Jefferson Barracks or the Missouri Civil War Museum.      

Ratings are as follows:
Location = 8
Courts = 5
Overall = 6.5

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dwight Davis Park

The name Dwight Davis and tennis courts usually brings to mind our outstanding facility at Forest Park. However, this week's event was held at Dwight Davis Park at the intersection of Riverview Boulevard and Lillian in north St. Louis.

The Park features two Laykold tennis courts, restrooms, pavilion, playground and a water fountain. The courts look really nice from the street but as we approached we noticed some broken glass, a large tree limb and that the nets were about two inches two low.

Nevertheless; as per our agreement, we play regardless of court conditions.  Our warm up was interrupted by a young lady curious because she didn't understand what white people were doing in this neighborhood.

We explained our project, removed the tree limb and The Mad Bulgarian went to work.  First set was a small battle with Stan (Bulgarian) jumping out to a 4-1 lead and Scott (NOCO) storming back to tie the set at 4-4.

We both found the ball seemed to fly out of the court easily. Courts seemed a little fast compared to others we have recently played on. Stan ended up closing out the first set 6-4 and then destroyed Scott in the second set 6-1.

This was the first straight set victory and an affirmation of Stan's 4.5 rating.  We had a couple guests with us (Albert Casey and Chris Gassel of Central Realty) so we decided to play some doubles.
The Mad Bulgarian partnered up with Chris and Scott took Albert. Stan and Chris dominated 6-1.  The final humiliation for Scott came when he had to run through the fountain as the loser....   Our new fan had remained nearby and applauded our match and thanked us for playing here!

Loser had to run through the fountain
Courts receive a rating of 7 - in pretty good shape just need net raised and a good sweeping.   Location - not including any socioeconomic factors is an 8.  Fairly quiet and undisturbed while playing.  All was made well with a stop at Ropers Ribs where we enjoyed award winning Brisket, Ribs and Pulled Pork!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Saint Cyr Park

NOCO gets his revenge for the stunning loss last week!

This week's adventure started as a trip to view a vacant commercial lot which Stan and Central Realty are co-listing for Bank of America.   The lot is at the intersection of St. Cyr Rd and Highway 367 across from a Shop N Save.   Afterwards as we were driving down St. Cyr road we came across a small park with two tennis courts.  Fortunately we had our tennis equipment with us and it was on!   The courts were carpet/astroturf with a sand base.   We have never played each other on this kind of surface so we knew it was going to be interesting. 

The Prince balls we obtained from Racketman really gripped the carpet and the result was a really slow court.  Underspin shots were really effective as they really bit into the carpet.   The result was it was really difficult to hit winners at all.   NOCO jumped out to an early lead in the first set and then Stan came back with effective use of underspin and consistency.

First set to Stan 6-4.   The second set NOCO began with a strategy change which was to really push up into the court to counter the short, low balls.   This worked pretty good and NOCO stormed out to a 5-0, 40-15 lead.  Unfortunately the Bagel was denied and the set ended up 6-2 in NOCO's favor.   A key shot in this set was a running lob hit deep to Stan's backhand which Stan tried to take as an overhead.   As he hit his shot his racket ran smack into a low hanging tree branch!  

The turning point in the match!
The third set tiebreaker was close but NOCO was able to close it out 10-7.   Overall a good experience here.   As far as courts go we rate the surface a 4.5 mostly because it was dirty, had moss growing on it and a drop off on the back of the court.

The bounces though were good and we enjoyed playing here.  There are also bathrooms and a small picnic shelter.  The park is operated by the City of Bellefontaine Neighbors.   Other points of interest in the area are Bills Market which has a great meat counter that is worth the drive and The General Daniel Bissell Home.    

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Spanish Lake Park

Courts need some work
Bulgarian is the winner!
Spanish Lake Park was chosen for our first experience as these are the courts that Scott Stinson (NOCO) first played on as a middle school age kid. The Spanish Lake  community is an old one dating back to the early 1800's. Spanish Lake Park is in the far reaches of  NOCO.

The courts are as remembered in a remote setting in between two lakes and surrounded by trees.   When we arrived at 6:57am the gates were locked but park employees showed up moments later and opened the gates.   There was originally two courts here but one has been converted to a basketball court. The remaining court is in good condition but in need of crackfilling/resurfacing.

NOCO loses this round
Upon beginning to warm up we both noticed that the courts were amazingly slow for hard courts.   We both adjusted quickly and the battle was on.   Stan Angelov (Bulgarian) was the victor in a 6-1, 3-6, 10-6(tiebreaker) battle.   No bad bounces were observed and the location eliminated any wind issues even though it was windy.    Court setting and location are a 10 with the court surface about a 6. 

We liked the slow play of the court.  Playing in the morning is probably the optimum time to avoid a basketball game on the adjacent court.   If we had played closer to lunch time we would have stopped at local favorite Ponticello's which is just up the street!  

Friday, August 05, 2011


This blog will serve as your introduction to all the neglected tennis courts in the St. Louis area.  As an added bonus, the creators of this blog will be playing on each court that is featured in the blog.  We will be adding an interactive map that shows the location of the maps and will mark each map with a logo based on who won on that court.  In one corner you have Stan "The Mad Bulgarian" Angelov and in the other you have Scott "NOCO" Stinson.  Check back soon for the first results.

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