Upon arriving at the park we were both stunned at the size and quality of this park. It sits smack dab in between Normandie Golf Club and Glen Echo Country Club two of the oldest most celebrated golf courses in St. Louis. Also the Valhalla. Lake Charles and Oak Grove Cemeteries take up large chunks of real estate nearby. We also noticed a very large castle like structure adjacent to the park. We will come back to that later. In our last match Scott won in a third set tiebreaker giving him the opportunity to obtain his first two-peat in some time.
At First glance the four courts are well situated, quiet and secluded. The surface has many cracks and will need to be redone soon. Nets are all in good shape and the courts are playable. St. Vincent Park has walking trails, a water-park, restrooms and many other amenities. On to the match. Apparently the sting of the last match loss had demonized Stan for weeks.
He showed up with an array of new equipment which included a Volkl C10 strung with gut, new Nike shoes and Wilson Grips. As the match began we both struggled on one side of the court for 8 straight games and ended up with Stan finally breaking Scott with a series of cross-court forehand winners punctuated by a surprise winner down the line. Stan held for the set. First set to Stan 6-4. Things were looking good for Stan as he was finding his range with the Volkl; a brand most famously used by the obscure Grand Slam Champion Petr Korda.
The second set started off with Stan taking a 2-1 lead and then Scott unleashed his best set in blog history winning 5 of the next 6 games. They were earned with some great defense as well as some timely serve and volley plays and a couple sharp angled forehand winners. This was a very physical set with many of the points lasting 10-12 balls or more. Second set to Scott 6-3.
Scott at this point was very excited at the possibility of winning his second match in a row. It was decided to play a 10 point tiebreak just like a USTA league match. As it turned out the tiebreaker was a snoozer. Scott had expended his energy in the second set and Stan vanquished his demons with a 10-5 tiebreaker win. Victory for Stan, punctuated with a spectacular drop shot return of serve on match point.
St. Vincent's Sanitarium now known as Castle Park Apartments. It was built in 1895 and remained in operation until the 1980's.