Wednesday, June 06, 2012
The well known Dwight Davis facility at Forest Park is certainly not a forgotten court. It is St. Louis's Premier tennis facility. Last weekend it was the host to the Central Regional Championships which was a USTA event with over 200 teams competing. Stan and Scott decided to play at the 4.5 level mens doubles.
We started with a practice match on Thursday afternoon and were able to play on an empty center court. Our opponents were a 4.0 and a 4.5; Doug Druker and Dan Berg aka "Double Ds". The match started out as we had hoped. We rolled to an early 5-2 lead in the first set. Then Doug and Dan started clicking and came back and won the set 7-6 in a tiebreaker.
With our backs against the wall after dominating much of the game, we found our groove in the second set and were able to get to a 5-2 lead. "Double Ds" started to push back, but we ultimately closed it out the set with a gratifying 6-3 win. It all came down to the tiebreaker. We continued our excellent play and won the tiebreaker in what proved to be a very satisfying practice match to get ready for the real deal soon to be played out on center court.
The real tournament began on Friday and it was so great to see Dwight Davis filled with so many great tennis players of all skill levels. These events are always fun as you get to reconnect with lots of old friends/opponents. We had a tough draw right out of the box with Bill Schlueter and Dan Hurley. We had only played them once before and lost in 3 sets.
We were very determined to prove we could beat them, but unfortunately our losing streak against Bill and Dan continued. We lost this one 6-4, 6-2 and really could not get past Dan's kick serve. Either we hit it out or right to Bill at the net. Next time, we are going to pound it right back at them down the line! Great match all the same.
Things only got worse from then on as we had to play the #2 seeds who were upset in the first round. These guys had a former 5.0 and a strong 4.5 on their team. We played well though, battling to 4-4 in the first set before losing 6-4. With the tides quickly turning against us, we tried to dig deep and force a tiebreaker, but we ended up losing the second set 6-2.
This set us up for our final match against two opponents with whom we are very familiar; Brian Malcomb and Burak Taysi. First set was close but we again lost by the score of 6-4. Second set got very interesting when we were down 5-2, but we persevered and came back and forced it into a tiebreaker at 6-6. Unfortunately, we were unable to pull out the tiebreaker and our tournmament was over! It was a great experience and we look forward to coming back and making our mark. Thanks to all the great players that participated.