Although tennis was not his favorite sport he was a devoted follower of our blog and had several times suggested that we play at Francis R. Slay park located near his house on the border of St. Louis City and Maplewood.
Francis R. Slay Park is named for the father of the mayor of St. Louis who passed away in 2011. He was a long time restaurant owner and Democratic party activist in city politics. The park that bears his name is located just south of the Arsenal Bridge over the River Des Peres on McCausland. It contains a couple softball fields, a restroom and a solitary tennis court.
The racquet was spun and Scott won and chose the side hoping he could benefit from the sun. Stan promptly shattered that strategy by blasting an Ace by Scott for the first serve of the match. As the set went on a couple things became very clear.
This match was not going the way Scott intended. He decided as the second set started to just keep the ball away from Stan's backhand at all costs. This strategy did not seem to work very well as Stan went up 2-0 and then 4-2. At this point the humidity was really taking its toll on Scott and he was ready for the match to just end quickly.
Alas no, the strategy began to work and the match began to get interesting. At 5-3 Stan served for the match and went up 40-15 for his first two match points. Scott got back to deuce by showing off his own down the line backhand shot and then wins the game to serve at 4-5. This next game was really tough and featured about six deuces. Again Scott saved a couple match points and held on to tie the match. At 5-5 Stan started the game with a great wide serve to Scott's forehand which Scott ripped at a sharp cross court angle for a rare winner against the agile Bulgarian.
Scott wins the game for a 6-5 lead and a chance to win the second set. At this point the humidity took its toll and one of the most stunning collapses in sports history occurred. Scott lost his serve at love and the tiebreaker that followed 7-1.
Stan's physical conditioning and his strategy to reduce his unforced errors prevailed. As we both collapsed exhausted St. Louis City Park workers cajoled us to get back out there!
Scott wished he had followed the heat preparation instructions we advised in our blog post Shootout at the Ok Corral. The conclusion on this court is we were very pleased. The large sideline crack did not come into play and the surface was consistent. Court surface a 9 and location a 9 for a rating average of 9. Nearby is the fabulous Southwest Diner run by the daughter of a fellow tennis player!