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Monday, October 15, 2012

Flynn Park - Can the Bulgarian be stopped?

Our choice for our most recent match was Flynn Park in University City.   These courts are centrally located and University City just had these redone with new post-tension concrete.   For tennis court aficionados - post tension is a more expensive method but produces the longest lasting courts.   There are five courts here as well as a childrens playground and some greenspace.   No restrooms are available so it is important to properly hydrate and dehydrate before you play here.

For regular readers of this blog you will know that our last match ended up with Stan blowing a sluggish Scott of the court in the second set with a bagel or 6-0 score for the non-tennis players.

This week Scott left the Central Realty world headquarters feeling pretty prepared.  He had followed the 1978 Jimmy Connors strategy (ordered 55 pounds of steak for U.S. Open) and dined the night before on steak and homegrown heirloom Kale.   As the match started Stan won the toss and held serve pretty easily.  In Scott's second service game Stan broke to go up 3-1.  Scott fought hard to earn a break point on Stan's next serve and finally earned an excellent chance only to blow it by pushing a forehand winner long by about two inches.   4-1 Stan.

The points were starting to get really physical and neither player was giving much away.  Scott fought hard and was able to get the next three games to even the set at 4-4.  On Stan's next serve the game went to deuce and Scott was able to save a couple game points to earn a break point.   On the break point Stan pushed Scott into his backhand corner with a drive and came to the net.  Scott stabbed a beautiful lob over Stans head and started to push forward thinking the game was his... only to watch dejectedly as Stan spun around and crushed a forehand winner down the line.  5-4 Stan.     On Scott's next serve Stan earned a set point and Scott was able to save it and hold.   At 6-6 a tiebreaker was played which Scott was able to win 7-5.    After a such a tough first set against a younger, fitter and higher USTA rated opponent Scott was focused on trying to close the deal in straight sets.

Stan had a little bit of a letdown early in the second set and Scott was able to push out to a 3-0 lead.  At that point he made a big mistake by reminding Stan that he was trying to avenge the bagel from the week before. Not one to be bageled Stan went on the offensive and won the next two games to get to 3-2 Scott.

Scott stiffened his resolve and won the next two games and had an opportunity to serve for the set at 5-2.   Denied, Stan wins 2 games in a row and serves at 4-5 to tie up the set.   Stan goes up 40 love and it looks like another tiebreaker is going to be in order.   Scott is thinking just keep the ball in play and see what happens.   He wins two points to get to 30-40.   Again Stan gets aggressive and punches the ball hard to Scott's backhand and comes to the net.  This time Scott got lucky and came up with an impossibly angled slice backhand passing shot for a winner.   Deuce.   Now Scott's turn to take back the aggression and he wins the match with two crosscourt forehand winners in a row.   For those that know the Bulgarian - hitting three winners by him in a row is not easily done.

Unfortunately we both had to go back to work selling real estate or we would have visited The Kitchen Sink or Fozzies two of our favorite nearby eateries.    Courts and location are 10's.  Location is really good here being close to Washington University, Clayton and The Loop.  Court is very consistent and medium speed.

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