Thursday, March 31, 2005

Frank with 'Kraut' Posted by Hello

The Beans... We Stunk! Posted by Hello

a Frank with 'Kraut' and Beans on the side

TennisTitan welcomed back into the fold today Bob 'Kraut' Kluge who paired with Frank 'Slats' Slattery in a two set sweep of the Titan and George 'Teacher' Febles (1-6, 5-7). Play was marked by fine serving by the Teutonic One, but more so by the uncharacteristically poor play of the 'Teacher' at net. George couldn't buy a volley in either set as he bricked more balls ordinarily put away by him than Titan has excuses for a defeat. This in no way diminishes the impressive 2005 debut of the Kraut and the consistent defensive style played by 'Slats.' The duo played a 'heady' match and determined early on that the winning formula was to play "Titan-Keep-Away." A defeated Titan offered words of consolation to his deflated Mexican partner as they left Kinsley Park, "Georgie, since we played Frank and the 'Kraut' it was only fitting that we provided the beans... and we did... we stunk."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

'Prez'/TT were Arsonists today! Posted by Hello

'Irish' & 'Gimpy Knees' were Lit Up Posted by Hello

'GK' and 'Irish' were lit up

TennisTitan & 'Prez' paired against Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz and 'Irish' John Gallagher this date at the YTC. Unlike two weeks ago the tandem of 'GK'/'Irish' did not find success as they had against TT/G-Man. Indeed, 'Irish' played as he had one week ago when he reverted to form against 'Big Al & 'Prez' as the Titan's partner. However Titan had it all going for him today, leading his team to 6-4, 6-4, 3-2 victories before play was called. He lit up 'GK' on several serves and "bookmarked" the alley to Cruz' forehand side at least a half dozen times. 'Prez' brought his usual hustle to the table, and after shaking off a spate of several double faults in the first set, settled in to play a consistent match. TT is hoping that his fine play today will carry over to his upcoming outdoor match on Thursday when he anticipates pairing with 'Slats' against the tandem of 'Chemist' & 'Teacher' in a reprise of the scintillating match of March 19th.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Back from the Dead Posted by Hello

Excuses, Excuses... TT's got 'em all! Posted by Hello

There's a moral to this parable somewhere

TT hooked up with the 'Chemist' in a tightly contested doubles match against 'Big Al' & and 'Slats' at Kinsley this beautiful early spring morning. TT/Chemist got off to a commanding 5-2 lead in the first set only to see the opposition gallantly fight back to take the set (5-7). Undoubtedly TT/Chemist "were counting their chickens..." before they got egg on their faces by dropping six straight games to a sudddenly torrid duo. Chemist assured the Titan, "TT even with my bad leg (injured in a non-sanctioned match yesterday) these guys do not have enough game to beat us two in a row." And right he was. After dropping the first game of the 2nd set, TT/Chemist reeled off four straight games to open up another substantial lead. After giving back two games to make it 4-3, all parties held serve enabling TT/Chemist to square the match at one set apiece (6-4). Big Al was overheard to comment to Slats as they left the court, "Frankie, TT thinks he resurrected his game with his play in the second set, what must he think of OUR LORD this Easter weekend." To wit, TT replied to the Chemist, "Georgie, these guys witnessed a miracle with their comeback today, 'Slats' turns "outs" into "ins" like Christ turned water into wine." Big Al opined, "Tom, don't you know the story of Lazerus?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Italian Stallions:'Prez' & 'Big Al' gave it all. Posted by Hello

'Irish' & 'Titan' lacked Fire Power Posted by Hello

Not Enough Fire Power

TennisTitan was back at the YTC today. TT was paired with 'Irish' Gallagher against that pair of Italian Stallions, 'Big Al' DioDati and Rich 'Prez' Prezioso. TT was on his game but did not have sufficient fire power to overcome the sporadic play of his partner. The stallions were able to exploit 'Irish's inability to drive the ball and wisely played their game primarily against him. Whereas last week 'Irish' was able to successfully lob against the G-Man/TT combo, today he was not able to wear down 'Prez' with his lobs or drop shop him effectively. The result was a less than satisfying 6-4, 5-5 result for the Titan. TT notes that 'Irish' had 11 unforced errors in TT's last three service games. This remains the best match up between these four participants but TT must resolve himself to go for more on his second serve and to drive the ball at any opportunity given him to counter the 'Stallions' ability to control the point against 'Irish.'

Monday, March 21, 2005

"Teacher" & "Chemist" came up short! Posted by Hello

Slats (Concrete Hands) TT (Concrete Feet) Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

"Teacher" & "Chemist" came up short! Posted by Hello

"Slats" (Concrete Hands) & TT (Concrete Feet) Posted by Hello

I'm back, ALL THE WAY BACK...

At least that is how TT feels after the match he played at Kinsley this date. On this glorious last day-of-winter day Titan regained his touch and played a solid three set match. TT was paired with 'Slats'- his long time doubles partner from the late '90's when Saturday at Kinsley meant a match of this doubles team against 'Big Al' DioDati and George 'the Priest' Riberio. Those sets were in the same barn-burner tradition as was offered today when TT/Slats went shot-for-shot against a pair of Georges - 'Chemist' & 'Teacher.' All 3 sets were really not decided to the last ball of the final game. Multi-deuce games containing long rallies featuring an array of lobs, drop shots, and clothes line returns were the norm. TT/Slats prevailed 7-6 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (4). In retrospect 'Slats' most significant contribution might have been in leading TT in a stretching regimen prior to the first toss. TT is accustomed to 'withering on the vine' at crunch time late in the second set when the mind is still willing but the legs have left the school yard. But not today as TT was dominant on serve throughout (6/8 holds) as he led a comeback from 1-4, double-break down. 'Slats' was given to call TT "Mr. Heart" in set 3 as the Titan's game didn't suffer its usual let down as the duo broke back in game 12 to force another tie breaker. TT knows that his three fellow players can and often do play better than they exhibited today. But 'Chemist' & 'Teacher' saw TT at his best today. 'Slats' put it best as the triumphant duo left the court he opined, "Can you imagine how easy we would have won if I hadn't had 'hands of concrete' at net today, since apparently those 5 cups of coffee you had dissolved the concrete in your sneakers?"

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

'Irish' eyes are smiling...with reason! Posted by Hello

Titan has no reason to smile today Posted by Hello

Horseshoes and Shamrocks

TennisTitan returned to the 'wars' at the YTC this date...with little success. Titan paired with Frank 'G-Man' Gentile against John 'Irish' Gallagher and Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz. Gallagher sported green socks today in deference to St. Patrick's day this week rather than his traditional, distracting red socks. 'Irish' played one whale of a match. G-Man and TT agree that this was his best outing ever and the results showed it. Irish/Gimpy Knees took the first set 6-3 and came back from a 1-4 deficit to take the nightcap 7-5. 'GK' played his usual solid game coverting many 'droppers' at net while deftly mixing in his powerful top spin forehand with his slice backhand, keeping TT & G-Man off the offensive. But that being said, 'Irish' was the difference maker today raising his game appreciably to compliment 'GK's' fire power. The disgruntled Titan was overheard to ask 'G-Man' as the defeated and disspirited duo left the court, "Frank, do you think John had a horseshoe up his ass today, or was it the four leaf clover shamrock he used as a vibration dampener that did us in"?

George "the Engineer" strikes an intimadating pose against TT. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Pratt falls and such...

Many thanks to my new friend George 'the engineer' Pratt of the Tarpon Springs Sail and Tennis Club who provided outstanding opposition today on this the last full day on my Southern Seniors Tour. As in our previous meeting, the 'engineer' fell rather meekly in the first set to the Titan (6-1), but again was remarkably resilient in set 2 as he had been last Wednesday when he rebounded to outlast TennisTitan (5-7). TT was well rested for today's match played in gusty, threatening conditions and again gave away a 4-2 lead in set 2 to the 'engineer' to face set point(s) at 15-40 in the twelfth game on George's serve. Somehow Titan got it together to win that game and prevail at 9-7. George's hustle and unrelenting defensive ability is the linchpin to his game. Titan knows that the 'engineer' will be an even more formidable adversary as he acquires more singles experience and learns to 'build' points by exploiting Titan's limited mobility and questionable stamina. Kudos to the new Wichita Lineman! TT looks forward to a rematch.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

...a let down...

TT hooked up with George the 'engineer' for a rematch this afternoon. The Titan cruised to an easy 6-1 victory in the first set but became complacent and dropped set 2 (5-7). Titan decided to only spin his serve in today to somewhat even the playing field. George hung tough in set two and pulled the match out by winning the final three games of the set in surprisingly easy fashion. TT's errors began to creep into his game in the middle of the set as more and more balls were hit errantly as the big guy tired perceptibly and did not handle the windy conditions well at all. TT had mixed feelings about the loss. Titan knows that today's result firmly establishes the 'engineer's' interest in playing against TennisTitan on subsequent visits to Tarpon Springs but TT's despises his own loose play in critical games in any match. It reinforces TT's belief that he is unable to perform as well on the second consecutive day of play regardless of the opposition.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Opportunity Knocks...

TennisTitan always has a racquet in the trunk of the car and is ever on the prowl for a prospective match. The Titan now ensconced in Tarpon Springs Fl. was introduced by his host to an avid tennis player at the condo complex. Wallah... a match ensued this date. Titan was thrilled for the unexpected opportunity to play but somewhat disappointed with the level of competition offered today by George - yes, another George - this time the 'engineer' - who succumbed easily before the Titan at 1, 0, and 2. Titan is hoping to connect with other players at the Tarpon Sail & Tennis Club over the next week. More singles is on tomorrow's card and there is hope for doubles on the weekend. The facility overlooking Lake Tarpon is beautiful and has only recently enhanced its desirability in TT's eyes by resurfacing its two hard courts and installing lights. George the 'engineer' is originally from Wichita, Kansas and, of course, I am now his "B-T-K" killer; no, not bind, torture and kill, but rather, Bullshit, Taunt, Kibbitz. Don't you all just miss my lame-ass commentary? I'll be back in Nueva York on March 9th and will be bringing good weather. The beach got 6 inches of new sand last night, too bad I left my shovel in the driveway.