Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Who would've thunk it?

It's always great to get an opportunity to play tennis on a rainy day and today was such a day. The rains from Hurricane Jeanne beat on the metal roof of the YTC throughout the 90 minutes of action. TT was paired with 'Prez' for this afternoon's play. The boys quickly fell behind to 'Big Al' and 'G-Man', love-2, but came on strong to win the first set 6-3. TT had dropped his opening service game, and should have anticipated from that alone, the events that would transpire in the second set. Prez/TT were up 4-1 in set 2 when the proverbial roof "caved in." Shots went errant and the opposition held tough to win three multi-deuce games in a row and eventually found themselves with a 5-4 lead after TT dropped serve for the second time this day. Then 'Big Al' was broken, but so was Prez, leaving it up to G-Man to hold serve in the 12th game of the set to complete the remarkable and well deserved comeback. Kudos to Big Al & the G-Man! Prez, we've got work to do.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Can You Figure It Out Posted by Hello

Does this help you to understand.jpg Posted by Hello

'King Gene & Super TT" Posted by Hello

Carl "Spindly Legs" Gessman Posted by Hello

"Build (promote) it... and they will come."

TT was most gratified by the fantastic turn out of 12 hackers at Kinsley on this beautiful early fall Saturday. Making his long awaited debut in TT's blog was Carl 'Spindly Legs' Gessman whose picture accompanies this post. TT, being one of the late arrivals, was paired with King Gene in the 4 doubles sets that he participated in. The pairing of KG/TT SWEPT to victory in their first 2 sets against the duo of 'Slats' & 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz (6-3, 6-4). Undoubtedly Slats/GK Cruz were unduly confident in their ability to defend court 1 after easily outdistancing the combo of 'Happy Jack' & 'The Chemist' in the first set of day. Particularly disappointing to that duo was their inability to hold a 4-0 lead in set 2 after having dropped the final 3 games in set 1 against KG/TT. TennisTitan rallied his team with consistent serving, service returns, and fine back court play that enabled KG to overcome his early morning overhead miscues and return his game to 'king form.' Awaiting TT/KG in set 3 was George 'The Teacher' and 'The Prez' who had secured challenge rights to court 1 with a fine second set victory (7-5) against the team of 'Big Al'/'Not ESPN,' who had taken the first set (6-4). TT/KG cruised to an easy 6-1 victory. 'The Chemist' & 'Spindly Legs' Gessman emboldened by their easy victory over 'Kraut' Kluge and 'Happy Jack' Carey came up short in set 4 against SUPER TT/KG (6-2). The coup de gras of the day was the final singles contest between KG and 'The Chemist.' This was as much a test of endurance as it was a test of ability as KG broke through at 3-3 to win the set at 6-4. The set featured extensive exchanges of lobs, topspin forehands, and dinks that made for a fantastic finish to a Super morning of tennis.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

"No Mas, Amigos"

TT enjoyed another afternoon of very competitive tennis at YTC today with 'EBL' Tully, 'Mr. Spin' Marzullo and the redoubtable, 'Tutor' Tuchman. Again TT had the good fortune to be paired with EBL against the more senior duo. One wonders if a revision of teams may be in order at this foursome's next meeting given today's results. EBL/TT swept both sets that were played to completion (6-2, 6-0), and were ahead 3-0 when 'tt' (lower case letters for 'Tutor Tuchman') did his best Roberto Duran, "no mas, amigos." Indeed, TT was well aware that after splitting the first four games of set 1, EBL/TT 'had run the table' and had won 13 straight games, albeit many multi-deuce games comprising both sets. EBL is a craftman with his net game and superior court coverage, but TT must acknowledge the indefatigible efforts of Mr. Spin from the back court and his ability to hang in the point with effective lobs. TT remains far more susceptible to those lobs and the twists of Mr. Spin's returns than EBL, but Roy Marzullo concedes nothing in his rallies and loves to go cross court with EBL, whatever the consequences. TT continued his recent effective serving, coming up with a few aces, but more importantly, seizing the offense on his service games. This is the weakness of both 'Tutor' and 'Mr. Spin's' games. Limited shoulder mobility effectively limits them to just 'starting the point' with their serve, making service placement paramount. TT was overheard to ask 'Tutor' leaving the court, "Max, do you like bagels in the afternoon?" to which Max quickly retorted, "If you're buying the lox, TT."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

G-Man, TT in Victory Posted by Hello

Will TT write something nice about me Posted by Hello

Vanquished Posted by Hello

Welcome Back Frankie, Baby

At the YTC TennisTitan was privileged to play along side the man TT prefers to call the 'G - Man.' Frank Gentile returned to the tennis wars after a 4 month hiatus. 'Frankie, Baby' does not play the oudoor season. 'G's' fine all-around game was much in evidence today. He distinguished himself as per usual by staying stroke for stroke against 'Prez' and 'Big Al' who dropped two highly entertaining sets to 'G'/TT at 6-4, 6-4. 'G' was also formidible at net putting away several overhead smashes (his trademark shot), often unleased as a result of ineffective returns of TT's serve. TT's serve was 'on,' holding 5 for 5 in service opportunities, including 4 aces among a dozen or more service winners. Similarly effective was 'G's' approach shot down the line. Kudos to 'Prez' who managed to hold serve more than usual for him and the consistent, steady play from 'Big Al.' But today their efforts couldn't get it done. TT looks forward to playing against 'Frankie Baby' which can't happen soon enough. Come on over to Kinsley on a Saturday morning G-Man! For now TT's wondering, would the tandem of 'G' with 'Big Al' or 'G' with 'Prez' be the more formidible opposition? What do you think?

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Prestigous Award Posted by Hello

Big Al receiving award from TT Posted by Hello

He's Been Inducted... will you?

Although the remnants of Hurricane Ivan wiped out play at Kinsley today, TennisTitan still made time for an important 'Tennis Event.' Your humble correspondent was present at the party celebrating "Big Al's" 75th birthday given by family and friends. TT brought the crowd of more than 100 people to their feet in raucous applause as he bestowed upon Al a true accolade in designating him as the first receipient of the prized TENNIS PLAYER OF FAME AWARD. (see accompanying photos)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

TT giving serving tips to Big Al Posted by Hello

"Gimpy Knees" Cruz; "Prez"; "Big Al" Posted by Hello

DioDati Day

Big Al celebrated his 75th birthday just the way he wanted it... with a sweep of both sets at the YTC, 6-3; 7-6 (7-3). TT paired with 'Prez' against 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz and Big Al. TT was able to go stroke for stroke against the duo but was unable to overcome the erratic play of his partner. TT held serve 5 of his 6 opportunities but the more consistent play of 'GK' going cross court against 'Prez' was too much to compensate for. 'Huey' (read U.E.) Prezioso could not sustain the long rallies against the more accomplished play of 'GK,' who regularly dropped balls before the speedster after pinning him to the baseline earlier in several rallies. TT's best play is always reserved for 'GK' and today was no exception with both players coming up with spectacular winners against each other. Happy Birthday Big Al and keep stroking that ball!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Motley Crew Posted by Hello

Kinsley doings

TT and 8 of his cronies enjoyed a marvelous morning of tennis this date. A total of seven doubles matches were played in ideal weather conditions. TT was paired with 'Slats' in three of the four sets TT participated in. First up against Slats/TT was the duo of Stuart "not ESPN" Scott & Sab "Koide Kid," who put up a formidable struggle before succumbing at 6-4. The winners advanced to meet "Happy Jack" & Joe "Gimpy Knees" Cruz who had stunned Big Al and George 'The Chemist' Hauss at 7-6 on court 1. TT/Slats proceeded to knock off 'HJ' & 'Gimpy Knees' easily at 6-2 as they took control of court 1. But that was to be the end of TT's dominance. 'Not ESPN' Scott & 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz rallied from a 2-4 deficit to knock off the tiring TT and an ineffective Slats 7-5 to end Slats day at the court, (not a moment too soon). Simultanous action on Court 2 first featured 'the Chemist' & 'Big Al' rebounding to defeat Bob 'Kraut' Kluge and 'Koide Kid.' The duo of 'Kraut' and 'Gimpy Knees' was more than sufficient to defeat 'HJ' and the 'Chemist' in the finale on court 2. The final match of the morning saw the more fit and agile pair of 'Kraut' & 'Chemist' erase an early TT & 'Gimpy Knees' lead of 3-1 and cruise to a 6-3 victory.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Max "Tutor" Tuchman Posted by Hello

Roy "Mr.Spin" Marzullo Posted by Hello

Bill "EB Legs" Tully Posted by Hello

...We were left hanging...I'm pissed

TT opened the indoor season on this late summer day at the Yonkers Tennis Center joining seasoned veterans Max 'The Tutor' Tuchman, Roy 'Mr. Spin' Marzullo, & Bill 'Energizer Bunny Legs' Tully in a remarkable 85 minute set that was not played to conclusion. As TT served at 40-30 to level the set at 10, play was halted when the YTC pro (doing his Pied Piper routine) led a group seven eight-year olds on to the court for 'warm-up' running drills. Ah, and they say this promotes tennis? Of greater benefit to these youths would have been the pro imparting this fact: These old farts are 7, 8, 9 times your age and compete with an intensity unmatched by most men half their age. Is that too much math for the products of 21st century urban education?!? We should know, all having worked in that field and now being happily retired. As for the match itself, how could TT not admire the boundless energy of 'EBL Tully' and the remarkable repertoire of 'Mr. Spin's' shot selection which seems to age as well as the man himself. TT knows Mr. Spin's greatest asset is his ability 'to turn a deaf ear' to those banal comments emanating from the bearded bloviator on the other side of the net. Both 'The Tutor' and TT witnesses several 10-12 ball cross court rallies punctuated by deep lobs and sharp angle shots between EBL and Mr. Spin. Indeed, The Tutor, who seems to charge for everything in this grouping, was overheard asking TT as they left the court, "Tom, do you think you can kick in a few bucks next week for the clinic EBL and Mr.Spin put on for us today?"

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A day of tennis is ALWAYS a good day.

TT joined his compatriots for another wonderful afternoon of tennis. TT enlisted the services of George 'the Chemist' in set 1 against Big Al and George 'the Teacher.' Off to an early 4-2 lead the TT duo were caught at the wire by the crafty artistry of veteran players who used the sun wisely, some loose service play in the critical 9th game, and some fortuitous calls. To their credit Big Al & George 'the Teacher' delivered on the decisive points throughout the latter part of the match, especially in the tiebreaker to win the set 7-6 (7-3) for a much deserved come-from-behind victory. The winning duo defended their court most admirably in Set 2 cruising to 6-2 victory against Sab and 'Happy Jack.' Big Al said "caio" and Sab said "sayonara" leaving 'Happy Jack' to pair with 'the Teacher' against TT and 'the Chemist' in set 3. Jack continued his fine serving in set 3 but it was not enough to buttress the tiring legs of his partner nor stave off the victory-starved team of TT and 'the Chemist' who finally got his bunsen burner lit. The final score was 6-3.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

A real ass kicking today Posted by Hello

Happy Labor Day Weekend Posted by Hello

"Great Game Guys" Posted by Hello

Stuart "...no ESPN" Scott Posted by Hello

Jim 'Patriot' Devine Posted by Hello

... 6-2, 6-2, 6-2... boo hoo, boo hoo, boo hoo

Can no one carry TT anymore? TT was gratified that Joe Cruz reappeared at the park at his request this date after a two month absence... "his game is due to come back any day now," was TT's indelicate response to bystanders who watched Joe and TT get flattened by the duo of Big Al and Slats in set 1 (6-2). "Happy Jack" was next up with TT, who begged off singles play today in deference to his aching body and declining skills. Newcomer Stuart Scott paired with Big Al and that twosome had little difficulty replicating the 6-2 score in set 2. "Happy Jack" had had enough when TT querried at the conclusion of the set, "Jack, are you paying for those lessons you claim to be taking?" Stuart "I don't work for ESPN" Scott was gracious enough to step in as TT partner is set 3 after "Kraut" Kluge interjected, "TT, I'm hurting too, let me play with 'George the Chemist' in the finale. Alas, TT is 'onto the Kraut's game'... he's always claiming 'my back is hurting'... yada. yada... (read) "I can't carry you either TT." The upshot for TT... another 6-2 defeat. Stuart Scott was overheard saying leaving the court, "Hey TT, ain't you heard, we blacks don't have to carry baggage anymore?"

In preliminary sets Big Al & Slats cruised to victory over Happy Jack and the Chemist; Jim Devine & the Chemist were less fortunate against The Kraut and Joe "I can do better next time Tommy" Cruz.

Friday, September 03, 2004

... a day at the park..

TT just can't get enough tennis these days... Enjoying his much needed day of rest TT traveled to Kinsley with camera in hand to 'scout' his regular opponents. A fine 2 set match was played on this glorious Thurday afternoon. "Big Al" DioDati & George "The Chemist" Hauss teamed against George "The Teacher" Febles and Sab 'The Most Venerable' Koide. TT continues to be amazed by the level of play authored by "Big Al" and the "Kiode Kid." The accompanying pictures below this narrative are illustrative of the proper preparation these men bring to their game. Sab just smiled meekly when TT opined, "Is the secret to your game a glass of saki every night," after "The Koide Kid" led his team to a stirring 6-4 victory in set two. "The Chemist" and "Big Al" had steam rolled to an easy 6-1 victory in the opener. As always, "Big Al" attributes his success to, "good living, baby." TT eagerly looks forward to the upcoming matches this Saturday.

Team Talent Posted by Hello

Team Galant Posted by Hello

Ready Position Posted by Hello

'Perfect Form' Posted by Hello

'Without' Form' Posted by Hello