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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Two guys walk into a bar.... after playing at Kaufman Park and the Highlands

A tip came in to the Stlforgotten hotline that University City had just completed the renovation of Kaufman Park's courts with state of the art post tension concrete.  Scott thought this would be the perfect place to test out Stan's hot weather stamina on a steamy June day.  The courts are part of a larger park and adjacent to The Green Center.   The courts are in perfect shape - we quickly warmed up and decided to play a match utilizing the Fast 4 format.  

Scott won the toss and quickly won his serve at love.

Stan followed suit and did the same for a 1-1 score.  Stan broke Scott by taking a slow kick serve on the backhand and blasting a winner down the line.  2-1 Stan who then proceeded to stretch his lead to 3-2.  With Scott serving on a 3-3 point Stan has his first set point but Scott denied it with a down the line backhand followed by a vicious cross court backhand winner.  Stan served at 3-3 game score and held at love to take the first set.

The second set started with Stan going up 3-1.  Scott started fighting back highlighted by a point with a great cross court rip followed by a short angle volley winner.  Eventually Scott gets back to 3-3 and Stan found himself at the net on set point and took a hard gut shot like a pro and volleyed it away to win the second set.

Scott who thought the heat was his friend now found himself down 2-0 in sets.  Unbelievably out of nowhere a flash thunderstorm appeared saving the day for Scott.  We decided to get some lunch and postpone the match finish for a quick trip to La Pizza.

We had some outstanding Calzones and decided to finish the match on another day.  Scott now had a much needed chance to rest and regroup.  Fast forward a couple weeks to mid-July and we found ourselves on the clay at the Highlands and decided to finish the match before another tennis engagement.   We had only played on clay once before and Scott was victorious.

The set started and Stan quickly found his drop shot and took advantage of the slow clay to go up 2-0. With his back against the wall Scott fought back to a 3-3 game and a 3-3 point on his serve.  Scott put a first serve in and Stan shanked the return for a 4-3 Scott set and a match score of 2 sets to 1 in favor of Stan.   Our tennis partners showed up so we agreed to postpone this match to finish on a third day.

This is when things get really interesting.  A couple weeks later Stan meets a gentleman randomly in a restaurant bar and the discussion gets around to tennis and our blog. The gentlemen says his he grew up in a house with a private court and suggested we play it for the blog.  A couple questions later Stan determined the house was for sale and closing in just a couple days. Of course we had to finish this match on the private court.

So in late July we found ourselves on a private court in Creve Coeur and the residence of the late Dr. Edward Graviss and his wife Joan.  They were both accomplished tennis players and well known in the tennis community. Dr. Graviss was a longtime player on the old West County Tennis Ladder.  The court was in a beautiful setting in a quiet area with a nice seating area to accommodate spectators.  We did not bring spectators as we were already worried with an unoccupied house that somebody would call the police....

We warmed up and found the surface to be very consistent and began to play.  Temperature at match time was 102 degrees and sunny.

Scott held to start and then Stan held in a tough sun serving situation and then broke Scott to go up 2-1.  Stan goes up 3-1 with a spectacular down the line backhand winner.  Scott gets to a 3-3 point on his serve with a let cord winner only to see Stan hit a sharply angled backhand to finish the game and the match pulling out a 4-1 set victory and a 3 sets to 1 match victory.

This match took almost 30 days and three different courts to complete.  We are grateful to the Graviss family for letting us play on their family court literally one day before the final sale.  We really wish we could have met Dr. Graviss and played on the court in its heyday.   Kaufman Park is a 10 all the way around with great work by the guys at McConnell and Associates once again to rebuild them.  The Highlands we have covered elsewhere in the blog.

Stan wins again...... the question now is can Scott get his mojo back or will the name of this blog be changed to....   Stan beats Scott Once Again.   Stay tuned.


  1. Nice job. You're welcome. And thank you.

    1. We enjoyed it! The court was in great condition too.