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Monday, November 25, 2013

The Thanksgiving Edition with a little Extra!

Weather in St. Louis usually permits us to play a match outdoors around Thanksgiving and this year was no exception.  On a cloudy day with a scheduled high of 52 and a chance of rain we headed to Larson Park in Webster Groves for our first match in two months.   Larson Park is a quaint little park tucked into a residential area of Webster Groves.   There are two courts surfaced with astroturf/sand base.   The courts are in great condition.

Scott sprained his ankle six weeks ago playing tennis in a USTA tournament match.   After visiting Dr. Greg Galakatos  and confirming no broken bones, the protocol for a high ankle sprain was followed.    Since this was only Scott's second match after the sprain he decided it would be fair to bring an old racket for Stan to use and equalize the odds.

Scott knew he was in trouble the minute he pulled out the 1980's era Wilson Extra and handed it to Stan.   Stan's eyes lit up as he exclaimed " We played with a Polish copy of this racket growing up in Bulgaria"

As warm ups began it was clear Stan was very comfortable with this old Aluminum
racket.    In fact Stan could hardly miss a ball.   Even the slow play of the turf did not bother him at all.   The match began with dark skies and a temperature in the mid 40's.

Stan won the toss and easily won the first game, and the second and third.  Somewhere in the first 3 games it began to rain and continued to drizzle for the entire match.   Fortunately this surface handles rain much like a clay court and we played on.  Finally in the fourth game Scott held serve easily and it looked like we might have a close set.   Stan shut down any of those thoughts by acing Scott on his next serve and going up 4-1.   Then he finished up the first set with a 6-2 win.

Scott followed the old saying "Never change a winning game and always change a losing game"   He noticed Stan was not hitting too many topspin balls with the Extra and decided to serve and volley to the backhand.   This worked well as held serve and they went to 2-2.

Stan focused in and took the next two games for a 4-2 lead.    Scott broke back and hit what Stan called the best shot of the match by running cross court to pick up a Stan volley and passing him down the line.   That was enough for Stan and he closed it out for a 6-2, 6-3 win.

We loved this court location is a 10 and the surface is an 8.5 with the only issue being a couple large seams that occasionally produced a weird bounce.   9.25 overall.    We then proceeded to the nearby Hanneke/Westwood supermarket for a great lunch at a neighborhood store where they still know most customers by name!

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