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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Holloway Park - Return of the NOCO!

Yesterday was a sunny 70 degree day in St. Louis.    After the last couple of matches our blog fans were calling for a better player to step in and challenge the Bulgarian's supremacy.  Four wins in a row by Stan is really taking a toll on Scott's Psyche.   Holloway Park is located in Ballwin at the intersection of Baxter and Holloway  Roads.   It features two lighted tennis courts and is adjacent to the North Pointe Aquatic Center.

So both players came into this weeks match on a roll in their USTA leagues.  Stan has won four matches in a row on his USTA 4.5 level team and Scott has won three in a row on his 4.0 team.    Scott has also been training for a bike ride on the KATY Trail so has ridden his bike over 100 miles in last 10 days.  

Despite all the buildup the match seemed to start in the same familiar pattern.  Stan was taking a lot of mid-court balls and hitting them for winners and quickly built up 4-0 lead.   Scott, smelling another bagel fought hard to win his serve by hitting a netcord winner.    Bagel off the table Stan made quick work of the remaining two games for a 6-1 lead.  
Scott focused hard on hitting his backhand deep with topspin to eliminate the mid-court balls for Stan.   The first two games of set two were very hard fought but Stan won them both and then held serve easily for a 3-0 lead.  The wind started to kick up and this helped Scott win the next two games to get to 2-3.   Scott was really hitting his forehand hard and the points became long and very physical.

Stan made a great play by recovering a drop shot and then rushing back to hit an overhead on Scott's lob volley to make it a 4-4 tie.   Scott was able to hold his serve with another netcord winner and then broke Stan for a 6-4 second set win.  

At this point both players were exhausted and out of water.   The decision was made to play the match out instead of a tiebreaker.  Stan summoned his reserves and stormed out to a quick 5-1 lead.  It looked like the end was near.   Scott made a great "get" on a short forehand ball and was able to rip it cross court and hit the line for a winner.   Somehow Scott kept his momentum and won five games in row to get a 6-5 lead.  Stan served to stay in the match and promptly went down 0-30.

He did not give up and charged the net several times making great volleys to tie the match at 6 all.   The tiebreaker had to be played after all.   It began as a back and forth affair and Stan finally earned a match point a 6-5.  Stan hit a great wide serve and Scott hit a weak forehand that barely went over the net and landed on the line for a winner.   Scott took the next point with a deep cross court sliced backhand earning his first match point.

Stan aggressively tried to defend by coming up to the net on the next point but Scott was able to get a  down the line shot by him to win the match 7-6 in the third! The courts here are really nice, good bounces and clean, crack free surface.  Fences could use a little repair and there is some traffic noise from the nearby roads.  Could be even noiser during swimming season.  Condition is an 8.5 and location is an 8 for an average of 8.25

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