Thursday, December 30, 2004

TT wielded both Broom and Racquet today! Posted by Hello

"Close" is good in horseshoes boys" Posted by Hello

...for auld lang syne...

TT and three indominable cohorts returned to the concrete courts at Kinsley this balmy early winter day. TT had marshalled the troops on Tuesday via phone with temperatures still hovering in the mid-teens and three inches of snow on the ground with the clarion cry, "We play on Thursday at 11. Champions report to the yard on Thursday at 10:30 with rollers, squeegees and brooms." And it was the Titan who wielded the broom, indeed. Paired with an oft erratic 'Slats' against a determined George the 'Chemist' and upstart Rich "the Prez" Prezioso, TT held sway throughout the well-fought 2 set contest (6-4, 7-6). 'Chemist' played inspired ball but likely did not have enough in the tank to overcome his playing on a second consecutive day, the anticipated arrival of his son from Buffalo interacting at his home with "Chemist's" aged parents who are up from Florida, while Georgie frollicked with the Titan, plus the added weight imposed on his shoulders by 'Prez' style of play. Ah, such problems! 'Prez' was last seen at net when checking his final pay stub in June 2000. 'Slats' was heard commenting to TT as the victorious duo left the courts for the last time in 2004, "Titan, you kept 'Prez' on his heels at the baseline so much today that he is walking on his toes to his car to balance out the wear on his sneakers!".

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

"Irv, I did good for YOU today." Posted by Hello

Italian Stallions - BROKEN Posted by Hello

"Who is this guy Max, a ringer?" Posted by Hello

Merry Christmas from TT Posted by Hello

"...never thought I would amount to much"

Prez, Big Al, and TT were joined by Max 'Tutor' Tuchman to round out the foursome this date at the YTC. The combination of TT/'Tutor' was far too much for the "Italian Stallions" to handle as the boys were dispatched 6-2 in all three sets. 'Tutor' was effective with deft volleys at net while TT maintained control of the baseline and occasionally showed some hustle coming up with a few running forehands to entertain the crowd of 272 on lookers who witnessed the one-sided contest. 'Tutor' had dedicated his play today to his beloved brother Irv, "who never thought I would amount to much," as his testament to filial devotion. 'Tutor' applied deadening guile to many of his drop shot returns by using the frame of his racquet as a novel way to keep his opponents off balance. He craftily applied 'neither pace nor spin' to his first serve to lull his adversaries into complacency after they had faced the 'rockets' offered by TT. 'Tutor' was heard commenting to the several autograph seekers who hovered around him as he exited the court, "Playing with a TennisTitan, goyim that he is, is a (sic) mitzvah, but he's got (sic) Yiddish-a-kopf on the tennis court!"

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all, A Good Night"

Saturday, December 18, 2004

HJ "dropped" more than his pants today Posted by Hello

A Triumphant Return, indeed Posted by Hello

The 'dedicated' or is it the 'certifiable?'

TT enjoyed his return back to the familiar confines of Kinsley Park. Only the dedicated came out on this 30 degree, sunny, windless, last Saturday of fall. Speaking of WinLess, that would be Happy Jack Carey who dropped all three sets played today. Paired initially with George "the Chemist" HJ endured the regular counsel afforded to him between each and every point by his pedantic partner and performed admirably in defeat for the first two sets (4-6, 2-6) before the likes of 'Slats' and TT. HJ/TT paired in the finale with the near predicatable outcome. HJ had informed TT prior to the set, "Titan, do you know that since you've been in Florida I have aced 'Chemist' three times, maybe I can get the 4th now." At the conclusion of the bagel prepared for HJ/TT by 'Slats' and 'Chemist,' TT was heard murmuring as the foursome left the oudoor courts for the last time before Christmas and winter arrives, "Happy Jack, I guess you've got another item to add to your list before Santa arrives."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Jim Stephens, aka "CC Flash" Posted by Hello

Flash warms up Posted by Hello

" Jim, Thanks for a great week of tennis' Posted by Hello

... the wind at my back..."I'm Irish ain't I?"

TT completed his whirlWINd six day, four match, eight set sojourn on the Nuveen Southern Senior Tour in grand style on Wednesday just hours before his departure back to Nueva York. Again facing the indominable 'Gentleman Jim' Stephens, aka, "CC Flash" in adverse conditions (temperature 42 degrees, wind out of the north at a steady 25mph) on his beloved BCK courts, TT rose to the occasion to even their season series at 4 sets a piece with 10-8 and 6-3 victories. Undoubtedly TT was helped by the wind that seemed to more greatly hamper 'Flash.' Jim had stormed back to seize control of set 1 from a 3-love deficit to have the chance to serve it out in games 10, 12, 14, and 16. TT rallied from triple set point in game 16 to win the pivotal multi-deuce game in heart stopping fashion. The 'Titan' then held his serve for the first time in 5 opportunities and broke 'Flash' in the deciding 18th game. 'Flash's 2-0 lead in the second set was short-lived as TT roared back with 5 straight games and closed it out in the 9th game after 'Flash' had held serve for only the 4th time in 13 opportunities. 'Flash,' ever gracious in defeat as well in victory, was kind enough to drive TT to the airport after the two combatants celebrated their week of intense tennis competion at Ruby Tuesday's. Waitress Diane was overheard to comment to another server, "These guys must be tennis pros the way they talk of each others' ability" to which the hostess replied, "Diane odds on, YOU serve better than them!" TT awaits with great anticipation resumption of play on his southern tour with "Flash" on January 4th, 10am at BCK.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

No wind but NO WIN either.

TT and "CC Flash" met on the BCK courts for the third time yesterday. Play was held in calm, comfortable conditions in ideal temperature (65 degrees, no humidity). I am at a loss for a viable explanation as to why I was completely dominated for a second consecutive day. That's not true, dear readers, "Flash" is now playing a smarter more effective game against TT. He has superior conditioning and mobility. In both sets "Flash" served well, chased down every ball that TT thought had 'winner' written on it, and did not fall victim to his tendency to try and over hit with unnecessary power. TT was broken in the 6th game of both sets that were identical in outcomes as "Flash" closed out each set at 6-2. TT and "Flash" are scheduled for their final match of TT's week at BCK on Wedneday, prior to "Flash" driving TT to the airport for the flight back to New York. TT would dearly love to square their matches at two apiece by performing at his highest ability but realizes that to do so he must get "Flash" out of his rhythm and force him to make those errors which have been sorely absent these past two meetings.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

"Not this time, Charley"

TT was no match for "CC Flash" this date on the grounds of his BCK court. Indeed, TT was 'blown out' at 1 and 2 in sets played in winds reminiscent of hurricane Charley that hit Pine Island on August 13th. Okay, okay, I am guilty of hyperboli I admit but "Flash" had his way with me throughout both sets that were played in the gusting, swirling 25 -30 mph winds at the complex. TennisTitan thinks that he was fortunate to not have had "Flash" read the commentary of our previous match for fear that today's beating could have been worse! TT's rationalization for today's spanking is this: Even though the horrific conditions were equally problematic for ball control for both players, "Flash" had a distinct advantage. Jim "Cape Coral Flash" Stephens can not weigh more than 150 lbs. soaking wet, whereas TT tips in at 235 lbs. on a double-bowel movement day. How precious are those dear readers? Ergo, TT's bloated body mass meets considerably more wind resistance in his feeble attempts to chase down balls on windy days such as today. "No other way to spin it", however, TT said as he left the court, "I got a real ass-kicking today." See you for the rematch on Monday.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Florida "HEAT"

TennisTitan made his seasonal debut a successful one (7-5, 5-1 retired) on his home court at Blue Crab Key. TT's opponent was the highly regarded "CC Flash," aka, Jim Stephens of the Royal Tee Country Club in Cape Coral. Jim is a worthy opponent for TT. He has a seemingly inexhaustible amount of energy, coupled with incredible speed, and powerful ground strokes and serve to round out his court reportoire. "CC Flash" and TT have played several times over the past 2 years during TT's excursions south. "CC Flash" has demonstrated an ability to outlast TT in many of our matches played in the gruelling conditions of heat and humidity in the Florida sun. However, "CC Flash's" own 'heat' is often his most significant opponent, with yesterday's match being a typical case in point. "Flash" rallied from 2-4 down in the first set to go up 5-4, 30-0 in the all important 10th game only to let it slip away after multiple deuce points. TT followed with a strong showing on his service in game 11 shifting the momentum of the set and watched the "Flash" self-destruct at love in the deciding final game. "Flash" retired at 1-5 down in the second set, seething that his "game had let him down again." "Flash" is the type of competitor who becomes easily frustrated when his body (read 'mechanics') fails to heed what his mind instructs it to do on the court. "Flash" does not often use his superior athleticism to his ultimate advantage; all too often he is looking for early winners against a tiring TT and refusing to adjust his second serve to accommodate mother nature (the wind and sun). Jim knows but one speed... full speed ahead! He just doesn't recognize that TT is the TITANIC. TT and CC Flash have scheduled a rematch for Saturday.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

On the Road with TennisTitan


TennisTitan is taking a much needed respite from the grind of Kinsley Park and The Yonkers Tennis Center to rejuvenate in the warmth of the Florida sun. After a week in Georgia visiting his son Jeff, his family, and spoiling his first grandchild TT is now in Tarpon Srings Fl. enroute to his winter abode in Bokeelia, Fl (on Pine Island) 150 miles south of here. TT will be leaving this wonderful beach community where he has enjoyed afternoon temperatures in the low 80's and the bevy of beautiful bikini clad women sunning themselves at Howard Beach Park for his personal residence in Lee County. Why so, you may ask? Naturally, it is because TT has arranged Tennis Matches for himself on Thursday and Saturday of this week. Indeed, your blogger has set his sights on getting some tennis in and catching some fish in Pine Island Sound over the next seven days. TT looks forward to personally embelishing his sojourn upon his return to Yonkers on the evening of Dec. 15th. I hope to see you at Kinsley on Saturday December 18th (I will be bringing good weather home with me).

Monday, November 29, 2004

A Vocal "Adieu"

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Slattery name defended. Posted by Hello

The 'King' on his court. Posted by Hello

It must have been in the GENES

How else can TT explain 'Slats' long awaited doubles win today? 'Slats' had lost eight straight sets (4 with TT, 4 against TT) in the past 8 days before 'cousin Gene' got him off the schneid. The poor man was like a bug splattered (Slatteryed?!?)on a windshield after dropping today's opener with TT against 'Kraut' Kluge and 'King Gene' Slattery 7-6 (2). Sadly this outcome was all too reminiscent of 'Slats' defeats to the 'Kraut' and the 'Chemist' (see blog of 11/20) in that a comfortable 4-2 lead was again squandered. TT/KG did some sqaundering of their own in set 2, also letting a 4-2 lead get away before rallying in game 12 to force another tie breaker. 'Slats' came a little closer in that breaker managing 4 points in the tie before extending his winless streak to 8 sets. Not to worry, TT had orchestrated the order of the day's play so that 'Slats' would be rotated through to play with cousin 'KG' for the finale. TT had shot his load for the day in the previous sets and by now the 'Kraut' was as cold as his countrymen storming Russia in the winter of '41. 'KG's' broad shoulders were more than ample to carry the beleaguered junior Slattery to net for the unfamiliar winner's handshake (6-2). Slat's was heard to chortle, "At least I can face my girls tonight." to which cousin Gene remarked, "Face the girls??, cousin, I won 3 sets today, I'm going home through the front door...maybe you should back in."

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Turkey Trio Posted by Hello

Turkey Time

TT/'Irish' John Gallagher dropped an 80 minute set to 'Prez'/'Big Al' today at the YTC (11-9). TT was 4/5 with service holds in the elongated match but could not overcome 'Irishes' limited mobility and erratic net play in the twentieth and final game. 'Prez' & 'Big Al' played just well enough to hang in the match breaking 'Irish' at 4-5 and 6-7, denying TT the much sought after win. To his credit 'Irish' came back from love-40 when serving at 8-9 to continue the match for another three games before his luck ran out. This commentary lacks TT's signature wit because these participants do not take the trouble to check the website. Their loss!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

"TT, YOU"VE Been Swept!" Posted by Hello

"I should be unloading groceries now." Posted by Hello

Another 'sweep' by the 'Chemist' Posted by Hello

It's About Marriage, Not Tennis, Stupid!

It DID rain on my parade today. TT/'Slats' was the pairing against 'Kraut' Kluge and George 'Chemist' Hauss in the three sets played in tough conditions. The court was very wet and puddled when play started, and sets 2 & 3 were played in a steady drizzle. At the end of the 2 hour 15 minute match a few of TT's tears were rippling in the puddles also. The German Luftwaffe clearly out classed TT/'Slats,' sweeping the contest (7-5, 6-3, 7-5). Particularly depressing (or impressive as the case may be) was the manner in which it was done. Luftwaffe won 10 games in a row fighting back from 1-5 down in the first set to cruise to a second set victory of 6-3. 'Slats' comment of, "TT, we got off to a good start" was answered by the 'Kraut's "So did my marriage, but look where it got me now," as he boomed in his first serve all-too-often in the stellar comeback. 'Chemist,' again strong at the net, was ever so effective deadening the water-soaked balls as he deftly deposited them before the water sogged shoes of TT. To make matters worse, that ingrate had the audacity to do it with one of TT's racquets in the 3rd set! 'Chemist' has been on a roll these last 2 days, sweeping on both Friday and Saturday (so has 'Slats' incidently, but that's for another blog). TT's analysis was "the wet conditions, heavy ball, playing three days in a row were too much for me to overcome," was put in perspective by the 'Chemist' as he retorted leaving the field of play, "TT, with your ability to come up with excuses so readily, you should get married again. It worked for me!" To wit 'Slats' chortled, "Hold on TT, unless you want to help me with the groceries."

Friday, November 19, 2004

Hunting season... or road kill?

Upon arriving home from yesterday's exhausting match I was already resting on my laurels when I listened to the answering machine. It was 'Slats' wondering if I were up for some tennis Friday afternoon, given the threatening forecast for Saturday morning. Are you kidding? I was ready for Sampras the way I was feeling. I rounded up George the 'Chemist' by phone and 'Slats' contacted Big Al'. A rematch of the epic battle of November 6th was now in my forecast (or so I thought). Are you wondering why no pictures accompany this post? 'Slats' and 'Big Al' exited Kinsley so fast after having been served their bagel in set 3 that there was no time for TT to reach into his bag for the camera. They got out of the park almost as quickly as set 3 was played. It had been bad enough during the 45 minutes it took to play sets 1 & 2 which they also dropped handily at 2 and 2, but this bagel was toasted in 17 minutes. It was an afternoon when they could do nothing right and TT/Chemist could do nothing wrong. TT and the Chemist were heard discussing the upcoming hunting season as they left the yard. It went something like this, "George, you know poaching is illegal this time of the year." "I know, the Chemist opined, "but TT, at least I don't shoot ducks in a barrel." Damn, I sure hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Quite an experience... like a wedding night, Tutor Posted by Hello

Mr. Spin is worn out... how about a drink. Posted by Hello

Who the hell is Dinah Washington?

What a difference a day makes! And for that matter, a set makes. Words of (song by) Dinah Washington, vintage 1958 chart topper. But it's descriptive of TT's play today at the YTC as well. TT & 'Tutor' Tuchman had the hinges blown off the door in set 1 as they dropped the opener 2 -6 to 'Mr. Spin' Marzullo and 'Big Al' DioDati. These Italian Stallions got out of the gate so quickly that the baker had already sliced 'the bagel' before these redoubtable opponents broke through at love - four to appear somewhat competitive. 'Big Al' was extremely effective at net and 'Mr. Spin' had that look on his face of, "TT, you're no EBL in the backcourt," as he lobbed his sorry ass off. Ah, but what of set 2 you might ask...a different story. Down 1-3, TT/Tutor began to perform more to expectations. TT's serve gained the offense immediately (3/5 service holds) as his first serve boomed in, and 'Tutor' began to regularly make important points at net to counteract 'Big Al's dominance. TT gained control of the alley with power strokes down the line and 'Tutor' gave Mr. Spin a case of lobitis gravus (Roy's own medicine). Set 2 see-sawed back and forth as TT/Tutor were unable to close it out at 5-3, but the duo had the goods in the 13th and final game to win the set 7-6. Tutor's comment to TT as they left the court for their victory lap, "TT, playing with you is quite an experience, thank God you let your racquet do most of the talking today." Nuff said!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

'Irish' deserves the credit today. Posted by Hello

"No reason to smile broadly" Posted by Hello

Better Luck Next Time...Maybe?

TT was again paired with 'Irish' John Gallagher this date against 'Big Al' and Rich 'Prez' Prezioso. 'Prez' was just back from a Carribean cruise and the hope was that he had left his hustling legs at the buffet table. No such luck. TT's play today was as poor as he can remember and he contributed little in the the contest. TT/'Irish' managed a split in the 2 sets that were played to completion (3-6, 6-4, 2-0). Of particular annoyance to TT was his inability to win any of his five service games, nor was he able to gain control of the alley with his power shots down the line. 'Prez/Big Al' played well in the opening set but their level dropped just enough in set 2 to enable their opponents to eke out a victory in the second set despite TT's erratic play. 'Irish' deserved much credit for the success attained as he was able to serve effectively using slices exclusively, and keep his back hand lobs in play for the most part. 'Big Al' was effective at net putting away several of TT's returns for winners.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

"I should pay for this?... Are you kidding?!" Posted by Hello

"Irish Eyes Are Smiling... think of us as the RAF today." Posted by Hello

Blitzkrieged! Posted by Hello


TT joined forces with Bill "Energizer Bunny Legs" Tully in a 2 set match against Roy "Mr. Spin" Marzullo and Tom "Gray Beard" Campo this date at the YTC. 'Gray Beard' was able to offer more support to "Mr. Spin" than TT had last week against 'EBL' & Tutor Tuchman. Indeed, set 1 today was super competitive with EBL/TT prevailing at 8-6. In set 1 'EBL" was masterful with his all court game and exceptional court coverage and TT was able to 'deliver the goods' with explosive serves to win game 13 at love. The duo went on to break 'Gray Beard' in game 14 to win the 65 minute epic battle. 'Gray Beard' was notably rusty at net (his forte) during the first half of the contest, going wide with all too many sure put-aways but GB, nonetheless, demonstrated great skill going cross court with EBL from the back court, winning many a long point. TT was a bystander during many of these fiercely fought rallies but he was able to contribute substantially by going backdoor on 'Gray Breard' off 'Mr. Spin's' serve, and by preventing 'the Campo Poach' against EBL by controling the alley with some precision. The score sheet indicated that TT, after dropping his opening service game, held serve for the balance of the afternoon (5/6); EBL dropped his serve in set 2, game 1 but was otherwise perfect (4/5). TT/EBL went on to cruise to a 6-1 victory in set 2 in front of a flabbergasted 'Tutor' Tuchman who was in awe of TT's net prowess in the finale. TT was heard to chide Tutor on their departure, "Max, if I knew you were going to show up this set, I would have told you to bring some lox; I could have put a bagel on the menu!"

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Italian Battalion was in action. Posted by Hello