Thursday, April 28, 2005

first Spanked, then Thanked

TennisTitan and 'CC Flash' met for the fifth and final time on the Spring Southern Seniors Tour this date. Titan continued his winning ways dominating 'Gentleman Jim' in much the same fashion as CC had administered punishment to TT in their opener last week. 'Flash' got off to a strong start today breaking an unprepared Titan in the first game of Set 1 and rolling to a 3-1 lead before Titan got on the board again...and again...and again...and again...and again. Titan ran off five games in a row to take the set (6-3). Titan worked Flash' backhand effectively today, never going for too much early in the point. 'Gentlemen Jim' wrestled with controlling his returns and steadying his temper as much as dealing with Titan's well placed serves and impeccable down-the-line placements. 'Flash' was unable to regroup mentally and self-destructed in the second set. CC was facing the dreaded 'bagel' before salvaging the 6th game and falling meekly (6-1). Titan owes a huge debt of gratitute to 'Flash' for providing outstanding competiton to TT on short notice. Furthermore, he has introduced TennisTitan to a group of superior doubles specialists at his club that will provide TT competition on the Summer Southern Seniors Tour when Flash returns to his roots in West Virginia. Titan reminds 'CC', "Montaini semper liberari," "Mountaineers are always free" (sic) 'to lose to yankees.' Titan reminds Gentleman Jim that the original name for West Virginia before being admitted into the Union in 1863, was Kanahwah, an Indian name. Titan thinks it should be pronounced, "Kan Nah Win."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Journeys of a Journeyman

TT has experienced the highs and the lows of the game since our last posting. On Monday he engaged 'CC' Flash' in singles coming away with a sweep of both sets at 2 and 1. Titan basically played conservative, error-free tennis and watched 'Gentleman Jim' implode as 'Flash' could not gain control of his strokes. After splitting the first 4 games of set 1 CC could do nothing right and dropped 9 of the next 10 games before calling it quits at love-30, down 5-1 in set 2. Indeed, 'Flash' is aptly named for both his speed and volatility on the courts. 'Flash' exceeded his 2004 record by tossing his racquet at the net and into the surrounding fencing three times in the 80 minutes of play. Way to go, CC! TT, ever the psychologist, channeled Flash' anger more appropriately later that evening by taking him to a Florida Everblades playoff hockey game.

Today, Tuesday, Flash and CC played doubles at the Mid-Cape Club wherein the boys teamed for a drubbing by more accomplished clay court doubles players (1-6). Flash opposed TT in the second doubles set and helped rally his team to a come from behind victory (7-5). Titan is hopeful that this win will improve CC's mind set for their next and final meeting on this segment of TT's Senior Southern Singles Tour scheduled for Thursday morning.

Friday, April 22, 2005


TennisTitan and CC Flash were back at it again today. TT was on the courts for a third day in a row and it showed by his level of play during the two sets played against Gentleman Jim. Titan was down 5-love before he got on the board in the first set. 'CC' dominated from the start, even having re-aggravated the hamstring in today's second game, which had curtailed play on Wednesday after one set. Titan succumbed meekly (2-6) and showed the ill-effects of playing on a third consecutive day. TT was unable to control his returns or take advantage of a less than 100% opponent. Titan's fortunes seemed to improve considerably in Set 2. Opening his own 3-love lead Titan fell victim to his own sloppy play and struggled to keep the set on serve as 'Flash' hung in tenaciously and leveled the set at three. TT breathed a huge sigh of relief when 'Flash' failed to hold serve in the twelfth game enabling Titan to escape with an (7-5) undeserved victory. Flash gently remined TT as they left the court, "Titan, us Mountaineers are used to operating on one leg, with our history of moonshining and tales of having a wooden leg and all, but don't pat yourself on your back too hard; afterall, I've played five days in a row and I gave that second set to my yankee friend cause we fought on the side of the Union."

Thursday, April 21, 2005


TennisTitan hooked up with 'CC Flash' on Wednesday for a rematch. Titan was still smarting from the spanking given him by 'Flash' at their last meeting, 2 and 2. Titan fared much better today winning the only set played (6-1). Indeed, 'Flash' was not the same player due to physical limitations (hamstring tightness) that inhibited his ability to chase down TT's 'winners' as he so often does. 'Flash' also had played two sets of doubles on clay at his club in the interim that undoubtedly also effected his play today on the hard courts. But enough of the qualifers, Titan enjoyed having his way with 'Gentleman Jim' and graciously suggested that they cease play after concluding their only set. It was an added bonus that 'Flash' had accepted an invitation for he and TT to play doubles on Thursday at the Mid Cape Tennis Club to which he belongs. Titan and 'Flash' have just completed their doubles play this Thursday. Titan dropped both sets (6-1, 6-1). Titan assesses that both he and 'CC' were not up to the ability level today of four of the six other players. Indeed, TT was paired for both his losses with weaker members of the group. Titan hopes to play better on Tuesday in his next doubles opportunity and trusts that the 'luck of the draw' will be more kindly to him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Possums and Skunks

TennisTitan engaged Jim 'CC Flash' Stephens in the first of several matches to be held on his Southern Seniors Tour. Gentleman Jim provided the Titan with a rude welcoming back to BCK this beautiful Monday morning. 'CC' came out firing from the first toss and convincingly dominated TT in the first set (6-2). 'Flash' opened a three-love lead before TT got his game in gear. Jim was near flawless in his offensive shot selection and quickly earned his sobriquet, 'Flash,' with extraordinary defense in game one by covering the baseline from side to side so effectively that he forced TT to go for "too much" throughout the seventy-five minute onslaught. Titan managed to go up a break at 1-2 in the second set, but CC Flash would brook no dissent as to who was the superior player today as he stormed back to take set two (6-2). Titan can only hope for a better outcome at our next meeting but is not encouraged by Gentleman Jim's comment as they left the court, "Titan, us boys from West Virginia are sometimes known for hunting possum, sometimes for playing possum, but let's say that today you got skunked!"

Saturday, April 16, 2005

And now for the Snook

Titan will be trolling the waters of Southwest Florida for the prized Redfish and Snook he craves for the next few weeks. Not to worry, dear readers, he expects to engage Jim 'CC Flash' Stephens in a series of matches that are sure to challenge TT's stamina and ability. And knowing the Titan's ability with rod and reel, TT will likely win more sets on the courts of Blue Crab Key than boat keepers. But I bet you already knew that!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Big Game Fishermen, Titan with EBL Posted by Hello

Mr. Spin and Gray Beard

Mr. Spin & Gray Beard, Snookered today Posted by Hello

Snookered today, Snook next week

TennisTitan was after big game fish today, his last play opportunity in Yonkers before rejoining the Southern Senior Tour for the spring season next week. TT had the good fortune of hooking up with Bill "Energizer Bunny Legs' Tully against Roy 'Mr. Spin' Marzullo and Tom 'Gray Beard' Campo. This is a wonderful pairing of opponents in TT's tennis world. Titan likes nothing more than being the weakest player in a foursome. 'Mr. Spin' & 'Gray Beard' are formidable opponents for the Titan, ones that Titan would not expect to defeat with any regularity in the singles world. But did I tell you, this is DOUBLES! And Titan for all his mobility limitations can make a difference in any well played match. 'EBL' is the consummate all-court player, providing coverage at net and on both ends of the baseline during most extensive points. Titan's primary job is to STAY OUT OF EBL's WAY and be ready when needed. TT's other job is to hold serve (4/5 today) and deliver a mixture of bombs and off speed deliveries that provokes far too many unforced errors and/or defensive returns that EBL buries immediately. The tandem of 'EBL/TT' followed similar scripts in both sets played today. Down 1-3 in set 1, Titan led the charge back by winning games 5 and 9 at love in the rally that led to the (6-3) victory. In set 2, down 0-3, TT held in a multi-deuce game that turned the tide in another rousing come-from-behind victory (6-4) as 'EBL/TT' reeled off five straight games before 'Gray Beard' held serve. Fittingly, 'EBL' served it out at love. After the obligatory pictures were taken by that intrusive camera hound, EBL was overheard to tell 'Gray Beard,' "Tom, did you really say you were going to kick the Titan's ass today? If you did, let's just say you got snookered." To which, 'Mr. Spin' commented, "Bill, I don't get it, why did the Titan keep asking 'Gray Beard', are you sure your middle names are not U lysses E dward?" Titan will be sure to tell you how many snook he caught in Florida when he returns for the finale of this grouping on May 5th.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

"That was some comeback, eh Titan?" Posted by Hello

"Not today Titan." Posted by Hello

Soured 'Kraut,' Delicious Dessert

TennisTitan and Bob 'Kraut' Kluge did battle today against 'Big Al' DioDati and Frank 'Slats' Slattery. TT/Kraut got off to a strong start in set 1 racing to a 3-love advantage before Slats & Big Al knew what hit them. 'Kraut' continued his strong play from last week by dominating on service and playing a self-contained return game. Titan did his part by bookmarking the alleys and 'owning the middle' with his returns, leading to a very decisive 6-2 victory in the opener. In set 2 the tide turned in the ninth game when 'Big Al'/'Slats' down 3-5, staved off double set point to begin their remarkable comeback. Titan was beside himself with the play of the 'Kraut' whose game inexplicably collapsed. Titan's whining was heard all the way to Morsemere Av. as TT was given a code violation by a passing dog-walker, who contemptibly told Titan, "Hey loud mouth, can't you let my yorkie take a shit in peace?" This quieted the usually irrepressible TennisTitan for the balance of the set, a (5-7) defeat. TT/'Kraut' accepted the 'winner take all' challenge issued by a revivified 'BigAl/'Slats' duo for set 3. Big Al was suddenly willing to postpone his departure for his early afternoon birthday party, and 'Slats' comment of "My wife will just have to wait for me to scrub the tub" spoke of his resolve. At 2-2 in games, with 'Slats' about to serve, came the very predictable refrain from the other side of the net: "Titan/Kraut, how about the first team to four wins?" Dear readers, does he like to load the deck or what?... No problem for the Titan; at 3-3, 'Big Al' serving, down 15-40, Titan crushes a return directly at net wherein 'Slats', shielding his face, watches perplexedly as the ball ricochets off his racquet, back over the jubilent Titan, and into the fence. "Game, Set, Match."

Friday, April 08, 2005

"I must bow to TT today." Posted by Hello

"Even I knew I stunk out there today" Posted by Hello

First the 'flogging,' then the blogging

TT hooked up with his occasional doubles partner and long time singles adversary, Frank 'Slats' Slattery, for a spirited afternoon of one-on-one tennis Thursday afternoon. Your Titan was prevented from publishing the details of 'this massacre at Kinsley' only because of the 'crashing' of his blogger site, not due to any lack of enthusiam about the results! And as the late Bob Murphy would say, "now for the happy recap." Titan made 'Slats' look the venitian blind part that he is so aptly named for (...easily broken). TT used his racquet like a wand, tilting 'Slats' forward before cagily lobbing over his head, or fluttering the ball deep into the backhand corner then pile driving the weak return into the open court. For good measure Titan occasionally applied the handcuffs when Slats would come to net. Expecting the lob or the passing shot - TT had it all working today - Titan drove that spherical missile straight into Slats' left hip. Ah, the look in his eyes, so precious to behold. After taking set 1 (6-3), Titan raced off to a 5 - love lead in the night cap only to see Slats salvage his pride by staving off 2 set points that prevented the bagel (6-2). When TT querried Slats as he left the court about how his daughter Julie, an accomplished collegiate player, might advise her father, Slats opined, "Titan, are you crazy, I ain't telling her about this, she's seen you play, she'll disown me."

TT was not able to bask in his success very long as he was invited to fill in as a doubles player on the adjacent court. Titan, subbing for Gil 'Manila Mauler' Bugayong, paired with Bill 'Electrolux' Ching against Ed 'Lensman' Whitman and John 'The Neck' Manzi in another one sided affair. 'Lensman' and 'Neck' dominated both on their service and return games. 'Electrolux,' usually very deft at net, had the hands of a brick layer. Titan provided inadeqate support from the baseline and had no answers in this (1-6) debacle. But, you know, that is what I love about tennis! (pictures below)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ed "Lensman" Whitman & John "The Neck" Manzi upset "Electrolux & TT Posted by Hello

Bill "Electrolux" Ching & TT Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A happy TT and Prez salvaged Set 2 Posted by Hello

Irish with a determined "Gimpy Knees" Cruz Posted by Hello

Where was the fire today?

TennisTitan and 'Prez' paired again this date against 'Irish' Gallagher and 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz. GK/Irish put out the fire in set 1, taking it 6-3 before succumbing to TT/'Prez' in the night cap, 4-6. Titan notes that Prez' play was most likely affected by his tardy arrival at the YTC, preventing him from participating in any warm-up. However, neither Prez' consistency nor Titan's serve was as lethal this week as it had been last week. Gimpy Knees was determined to play better than he had last week against TT, and indeed he did. Titan still controlled the doubles alley effectively but GK met with greater success at net and on his own service. 'Irish' play was sufficient to negate Prez' hustle and endurance advantages. In retrospect, this match was very evenly played with neither side able to dominate and the results so indicate.