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

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pioneer Park - Playin on Plastic!

An extraordinary court and a great match!  We started our adventure by meeting at our favorite local tennis store The Racketman for some purchases.   Once our supplies were in hand we headed over to nearby Pioneer Park in Des Peres.   These courts were suggested to us by our friends the McGuires for their unusual surface made of interlocking plastic squares.    
During warm-up it became apparent that the balls did some funky things on this surface.   Bounces were inconsistent and the court was fast.    This worked really well for the Bulgarian.  Meanwhile Scott (NOCO) could not find a comfort zone.   First set went to Stan 6-1.

Second set was a different story as Scott began to get a feel for things and began to control the play with his forehand.    Second set went to the north county boy 6-3.  Points in the second set were much longer as both players adjusted to the court surface.

Third set became an all out war!   Stan took the first two games and then Scott won three in a row to go up 3-2.  At 5-4 Scott held two match points....Stan
rose two the occasion and denied the first one with a return of serve that just kissed the baseline.    On the second point Scott came to the net and the Bulgarian hit a short angle passing shot that clipped the sideline.  Match Points Denied!

At 6-6 a tiebreaker was played which Stan was able to win easily.  Total time for the match was three hours!  Afterwards we visited The Pretzel Boys for some nourishment and refreshments.  Court location here was a 10 and the condition was an 8.  Pretty good experience on this strange plastic surface!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tower Grove Park

Tower Grove Park is a beautifully maintained Victorian Park located in south St. Louis City.  Central Realty has a listing on some really cool office space nearby at some property owned by our friends at Cfx.  Prior to playing we took a stroll through the Tower Grove Farmers Market which is held here every Saturday right next to the tennis facility.   The Tower Grove tennis facility features 13 courts.  Ten hard courts and the regions only public grass courts.
Unfortunately the grass courts were not available so we played on the hard courts.  We mixed things up this week and played a doubles match for the West County Ladder.  West County Ladder is hosted by the Racketman and is a great inexpensive way to get a lot of matches during the summer and meet a lot of great people.  Our opponents were Suvit Nopachai and Billy Niemann.  Courts were in pretty good shape but could use a repaint.  Unusual for a public park that it costs to play at Tower Grove.

Bounces were good and courts were medium to slow speed.   Match started out the wrong way as Suvit and Billy went up 2-1 right off the bat.   After analyzing the situation Stan and I made a couple of observations.  Billy has great hands at the net and Suvit loves hard hit balls.  Accordingly we decided to keep the ball away from Billy at the net and hit Suvit some junk.  That seemed to do the trick we came back and won the first set 6-4 and the second set 6-3.

Lots of good points were played.  This was the Mad Bulgarians second match of the day as he previously played mixed doubles with Toni Kovar whose father is the teaching pro at Tower Grove Tennis.  The Missouri Botanical Gardens are nearby and would be a fitting addition to any trip to Tower Grove Park.  

Location = 10
Court condition = 7.5
Overall =  8.75