Saturday, August 27, 2005

Not ESPN, TT couldn't get it done today Posted by Picasa

Gazelle, Kraut, TT, Not ESPN Posted by Picasa

Introducing "The Gazelle"

TennisTitan hit the courts this beautiful Saturday morning with nine of his mates and engaged in a two sets of doubles. The Titan was delighted to welcome Clarence "The Gazelle" to the group for the initial time. 'Gazelle' adds a strong presence at net and has a variety of baseline slices to keep his opponents off balance. Titan most envies Clarence's agility and his quick first step to the ball. His speed and stamina make him a formidable opponent for all in our group. Also elevating today's level of play was "The Kraut" who returned after his eight week sojourn to the midwest. As a consequence the level of play TT was able to find on the doubles courts was very satisfying, if not the resuts. Titan paired with "Not ESPN" for both of his sets. The tandem of 'Gazelle'/'Kraut' eked out a (7-6)(4)victory in the opener and 'Gazelle'/'Chemist' more convincingly ended Titan's day with a (6-1)thrashing. On the adjacent court 'Slats'/'Spindley Legs' survived a late rush by 'Chemist'/Happy Jack (6-4). Earlier play also had 'Gazelle'/'Big Al' hold on for a (7-5) defeat of 'Koide Kid'/'Kraut.'

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"I've lost to WORSE players than TennisTitan." Posted by Picasa

"Well, not much worse." Posted by Picasa

"Three straight... I'm insulted!" Posted by Picasa

Der Chemiker and "Oxidization"

"I needed that, thanks Georgie!," was the parting words shouted by the Titan through the mesh fence to the 'Chemist' as George sped off after this morning's match against TennisTitan. TT had just completed a rare three set sweep (2,2,3) of an opponent whose game matches up well against the Titan. Titan has had a disasterous August vis a vis his tennis; far too few opportunities to play in Florida and in Saratoga, coupled with poor results against superior players. Until today. 'Chemist' could not find his 'A' game against TT. His cross court top spin forehand returns and slice backhands were errant throughout much of the play. Titan was able to break early and often in sets 1 and 2 and was uncharacteristically steadfast in the final set breaking 'Chemist' in the seventh and ninth games to complete the rout. Titan's varied service pattern, well known to all who play against him, presented more problems than usual for the 'Chemist,' but TT's back court game was precise today effectively keeping 'Chemist' on the baseline and in constant motion. Der Chemiker promises to shake off the rust (excessive oxidization, if you will) and return to form at our next meeting. Titan eagerly awaits such an opportunity and cordially extends a singles opportunity to any of his readers who wish to take his measure.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"Come on Dog" Posted by Picasa

And now you know the rest of the story...

A fitting title (think Paul Harvey) for the final chapter of Titan's 3 day, 2 night visit to the summer retreat of the transplanted New Yorker, now Chicagoan, Bob "Gavonne" Zanchelli for what was to be 48 hours of tennis. "Bloated Behemoth" could not answer the bell on Wednesday morning. Titan had had his Dunkin Donuts java and was juiced, ready to play through the pain but couldn't get a game with his host. TT played eight sets in 24 hours, winning but one, capitulating to the physical needs of his host ... but his win will never be forgotten by Gavonne, I won't let him.

First it was, "I got to study the racing form, Deke, so I can send you home today a winner at something." Then it was, "Let's go watch "The Rapper" hit with the Skidmore coach." Yada, yada, yada...

As TennisTitan left the Skidmore grounds, Coach complimented Titan, "you really have a passion for the game, don't you." Gavonne just rolled his eyes...

As TennisTitan left Saratoga Race track later that day down near $100 thanks to Gavonne's betting knowledge, it was TT who rolled his eyes at Raging Bull and Rapper as their dad searched the form for a winner in the 8th race.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"He took my cherry...that bastard!" Posted by Picasa

Gavonne refuses ESPN interview upon defeat to TT Posted by Picasa

The Saga Continues...

Titan, his 6'4" 235lb body ensconed on a rickety 4' 6" 25lb naugahyde couch for 6 hours of fitful sleep, greeted the Tuesday sunrise knowing that this day would be "his" regardless of the aches and pains of having played 3 sets 12 hours earlier. TT swilled down his usual 40 ounces of Dunkin' Donuts coffee and demanded his host take him to Saratoga State Park for the much anticipated singles match. "Gavonne" led TT down the Avenue of the Pines that ended at 4 clay (in use) and 4 hard courts (all open), and suggested that the duo await the availabilty of the clay surfaces. He, of the vaunted "dropper," wanted to maximize his advantage against The Titan by playing on the terbe tu. Not to be! "Let's play now, Big Guy!" The opening set ended disappointedly for Titan as he dropped the critical seventh game to "Gavonne" and succumbed meekly at (3-6) when unable to break back in the multi-duece eighth game that sapped his host of energy reserves. Indeed, TennisTitan, after trading holds in the first two games of set 2 galloped off to a comfortable 5-1 as the fatigued "Bloated Behemoth" gasped for air as he chugged his gatorade. Titan, setting "Gavonne" up for the all important rubber, enjoyed it immensely as "Behemoth" captured games 7,8, and 9 to crawl back into contention. In game 10 TennisTitan put his cramping, scowling host out of his misery closing it out eaily (6-4). TT rubbed down "Gavonne's" hamstrings with liniment and graciously agreed to defer the 3rd set to under the lights at Skidmore after texting "Raging Bull" that the "monkey is off my back, dad on suicide watch."

Prior to the evening match, Coach TT made sure "Gavonne" had made the necessary purchase of a wrap for his taut thigh muscle and provided "Behemoth" with the requisite ibuprofen. Again, "Gavonne" had just enough to get by TT at (4-6)in the opener before Titan allowed excessive verbal coaching on a neighboring court to completely distract him during a thorough thumping by the "Gavonne" (2-6). As "Gavonne" staggered off the court doing his best Roberto Duran, "No mas" Titan willingly continued on and earned the respect of the "Raging Bull" who provided TT with a bagel after three competitive games. Titan knew that he was expending energy that would be called upon the next morning against the now recuperating "Gavonne." Or so TennisTitan thought.

Monday, August 15, 2005

"Raging Bull" with 'full o' bull,' "The Gavonne" Posted by Picasa

TT consoles "Frenchy" in Defeat Posted by Picasa

"The Rapper" never put to the TRUE test...carry the Titan Posted by Picasa

Meet the Zanchellis

TennisTitan took his Senior Tour to the foothills of the Adirondacks to engage his HS classmate Bob "Gavonne" Zanchelli in what was to be 48 hours of intense on-court action. Soon after his arrival the Titan was on the home court of the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, NY. "Gavonne" elected to play doubles against TT, rather than the anticipated singles, and wisely paired himself with Nicole "Frenchy" Beaubriand in the opening set. "Gavonne" knowing his son Chris' game took advantage of the "hot" hand. 'Frenchy', a college player and an on-site summer instructor more than adequately supported "Gavonne" (6-3) as Chris, "Raging Bull" attempted to shake off the rust of tennis inactivity, quell his hormones, and adjust the power of his strokes against his female friend while learning the nuances of Titan's pattycake game. In set two, father and son, both warmed and familiar with each others' game cake-walked to a six love victory, as "Frenchy's" game fell and the "Raging Bull" beamed his lasers at a tiring Titan. Titan's best play of the day came in the third set when TT insisted that "Gavonne" not sit out the 3rd set to enable, Jeff, 'JZ' aka "The Rapper" to play with Titan so as to conserve his energy for tomorrow's singles play. Indeed, Titan and his fellow 'Bloated Behemoth' fell (6-2) before the fresher legs of youth. As the weary foursome left the court, Frenchy was overheard to say to the Raging Bull, "With the Titan here, it WAS MIXED DOUBLES, wasn't it?" The Bull responded, "Go easy Nicole, he brought a case of beer, so he does play a man's game in some respects!" 'The Rapper' whined to his father, "Dad, how will I ever know how good I can be, I didn't even have a chance to carry the Titan?!" "Son, be thankful for the small gifts we are given in life," was the Gavonne's rejoinder.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dan "Biker" Ross, "Diamond Jim" Brady, "Nick the Cop" Posted by Picasa

Let the Tour Begin

TennisTitan engaged in two entertaining sets of doubles at the Mid-Cape Tennis Club this morning in Cape Coral Florida. The Titan gives special thanks to "Gentleman Jim" Stephens who had introduced TT to a group of players at the Club during his Spring '05 tour. Titan connected upon arrival with the group's organizer "Diamond Jim" Brady who scheduled TT for this morning's matches. Titan's reputation preceded him as he was paired with the group's strongest player, "Nick the Cop," a refugee from Brooklyn NY's toughest precincts. Opposing Titan/"Nick the Cop" were the tandem of "Diamond Jim"/Dan "Biker" Ross. TT/'NC' dropped both sets (2-6, 6-7(9))played in the oppressive heat and humidity that is South Florida in August. Titan acquitted himself well in both contests limiting his unforced errors to no more than his superior partner committed. 'Nick the Cops' game was not at the high level that TT remembered from the Spring as 'Diamond Jim' easily countered his back court rallies and was more effective at net. Neither 'Biker' nor TT's play were the difference makers in either set as the quality of their play offset each other. Your Titan was completely drained from the 90 minute affair requiring a full 30 minutes to rehydrate and rejuvenate himself before leaving the court for his return to the gentle (but hot) breezes more readily available on Pine Island. (Pictures to be posted upon return to the Yonkers Tour).