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Monday, April 14, 2014

Best of Five - Ackfield Park

Finally spring has arrived and this week we had a perfect morning to test out the courts at Ackfield Park in the City of Shrewsbury.   These two courts sit behind the Shrewsbury police station in a 6.8 acre park which includes ballfields and sand volleyball.   The courts are an astroturf surface and are in great shape except for a few large seams which have developed in a couple spots.

In the last couple years USTA has changed league rules so that split set matches are ended with 10 point tiebreakers.   We decided to try a new format which was to have our match consist of the the first to win three 10 point tiebreakers.   A mini best of five format if you will.  A can of X-Balls was opened and the match was on.

As we began our warm up we quickly determined this astroturf surface was faster than most and really reacted to both topspin and underspin.   Scott quickly got out to a 3-0 lead and increased it to 5-2 at which point Stan played a series of great points to get back in the tiebreaker.   Stan finally took the lead 8-7 and then finished the first tiebreaker with two great points.  The first was a spectacular lob over Scotts head after he followed a mid court volley to the net and the second was a deep down the line slice backhand past Scott at the net.  First tiebreaker goes to Stan.

Second tiebreaker started in a similar fashion.  Scott stormed out to a 5-2 lead and Stan battled back.   At 5-5 the turf seam came into play as Scott drove a forehand down the line and it hit the seam and dipped under Stan's outstretched racket.   At 8-5 Scott served two great serves in a row to finish the second tiebreaker 10-5.

Third tiebreaker.   This one again started out with Scott taking a 5-2 lead.   Again Stan battled back to 5-5. Scott fended off a couple great body serves with slice balls that dropped at Stan's feet.  Again at 8-5 two good serves by Scott finished the breaker 10-5.

Fourth tiebreaker.   Scott roared out to a 6-0 lead and tried to add a new rule the 7-0 shutout just like ping pong.  Stan wasn't buying it and took the next point getting Scott to hit a ball wide.   Stan fought furiously to get back into the tiebreaker.  At 5-7 Stan came to the net on a deep ball to Scott's forehand which Scott took right back down the line for a winner.   Stan got back to 8-6 with a perfectly hit dropshot.   The next two points and the match went to Scott for a 10-6 tiebreaker  and 3-1 match victory!

Surface was tough to adjust to but consistent on all except one point during our match.   Location is great right off hwy 44 and Shrewsbury exit.   Location is a 10 and Court Condition is an 8 for a rating of 9.   A great nearby eatery is the famous Porters Fried Chicken for an after match  snack.

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