Thursday, September 29, 2005

"I'm going to buy 'EBL' a Hot Dog after the match." Posted by Picasa

"Tired...but a damn Good Tired" Posted by Picasa

After the match, let's go to Nathan's

"Ah, that felt good!" That was TennisTitan reaction after 90 minutes of intense action during two well played sets at the YTC this date. Again Titan benefitted from his pairing with "EBL," Bill Tully, he of boundless energy and that great first step to the ball, against the formidable duo of Roy 'Mr Spin' Marzullo and Tom 'GrayBeard' Campo. TT/'EBL' raced off to a 4 love lead in the opener only to see it fritter away through the determined play of the never-say-die opposition. Titan serving at 4-4 staved off the hemmorage by holding serve. Your TennisTitan also came up big in the deciding 10th game by winning a seven-ball volley at net against the more adept 'GrayBeard' and administering the coup d' grace with an unreturnable volley that left 'Mr Spin' scrambling to the back wall for an unreturnable ProPenn #4 (6-4). Set 2 opened similarly with TT/'EBL' gaining a four love advantage before Mr Spin/GrayBeard broke through against 'EBL's service after six deuces. Your Titan's role diminished in set 2 (6-1) as 'EBL' did his thing, alternately jack-rabbiting across the baseline to retrieve Mr Spin's lobs to keep points alive, and exploding to the net to dig out 'GrayBeard's sharp angled cross courters. How I wish I had those wheels! Titan loves this match-up. It features three competitive players more skilled than he, who are strategists on the court fully capable of exploiting each others weaknesses and anticipating each' tendencies. As the weary foursome left the court, Mr Spin opined, "TennisTitan, I think I'll rename you "Hobbling HotDog," to wit 'GrayBeard' chimed in, "Yeah, Titan, except you need some mustard on your serve." Thankfully, 'EBL' concluded with, "Titan, I relish being your partner!" Please, don't bust my onions on this piece.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Septuagenerian Success Posted by Picasa

'Irish' and TT console one another Posted by Picasa

Half a Loaf..

After ten days away from the courts TT could wait no longer. Still suffering from leg/knee problems resulting from too many miles traveled in a compact car, too much tennis played in too little time during a hiatus in his recent baseball stadiums roadtrip through middle America, and too many missteps on the uneven inclines of arena parking lots, Titan was determined to test whether his legs could stand the rigors of his favorite activity. TennisTitan opened his indoor season at the Yonkers Tennis Center with decidedly mixed results. TT teamed with 'Irish' Gallagher against 'Big Al' DioDati and Max 'Tutor' Tuchman for a set (0-6). Titan was more hobbled than usual patroling his half of the court and unable to lend creditable support to 'Irish' who is overmatched against this particular opposition. Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz faired only slightly better (2-6) in set 2 as TT's substitute. 'GK's' better court coverage kept the points and games longer before the inevitable miscue. In an abbreviated third set TT/GK split time with 'Irish' and were down a brake at 3-4 when play was halted. Making this a 'successful' afternoon for Titan was the fact that he played his 10 games with ice packs within his knee wrap for the first time and suffered no further ill effects to his ACL and menisci. The truer test for Titan is likely to come Thursday when he hopes to pair with Bill 'EBL' Tully against Tom 'GrayBeard' Campo and Roy 'Mr Spin' Marzullo.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Gavonne" indicates that Titan is #1 Posted by Picasa

"Coach" and "Gavonne" entertained TT Posted by Picasa

Bitter...Sweet (It's All Candy to me)

Your Titan was out there for the third consecutive day this morning, the spirit always being willing, if not necessarily, the body. TT was given another shellacking by 'Gavonne' (1 and 2) in under an hour. 'Gavonne,' an inveterate gambler, wanted to get his obligation in by playing TT before the NFL games started and not possibly have to leave the tube in late afternoon in a sense of duty as a proper host. Ergo, he executed the sure thing, early and often, again toying with the Titan as he romped to victory on hard court surfaces down the street from his home. Disdaining that TT could even think of duplicating his Saratoga upset Gavonne commented at the handshake, "Haven't you had enough by now Titan, don't you get it yet, you Suck! "

In the afternoon with all NFL bets accounted for and placed in the Win colummn 'Gavonne' overplayed his hand by attempting the trifecta. 'Gavonne' and 'Hoya' paired against TT and the 'Raging Bull.' Receiving minimal support from an erratic an over-hitting Russell, Gavonne was no match for the TT team. With 'Raging Bull' at his side, Titan enjoyed the fruits of victory taking both sets of doubles (0 and 1). "Don't you get it Bob, it's about fun!"

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Humiliated, Never Humbled

TennisTitan took to the courts at the Lincolnshire Tennis Club this morning with a sense of confidence that soon proved unfounded. "Gavonne' toyed with the Titan, imposing his will easily in a 1-6 rout in less time that it took for the Titan to swill down his five cups of coffee. Sensing Titan's increasing despair over his prospects against him, Gavonne proffered an opportunity to improve TT's game by playing simulated points under the watchful eye of wife, June, a tennis pro at the club. Hence, Titan's last half hour of play was tutorial. As Titan left the prestigious North Chicago Club, June was heard to say to the scheduler, "See if we have any room tomorrow in our 9-10 year-old program for the Titan." Gavonne chimed in, "June, dear, Titan is going to the track with me this afternoon, don't expect him to have any money left to pay for lessons."

Friday, September 16, 2005

A Journeyman's Journey

TennisTitan joined the Mid-West Senior Tennis Tour this weekend. Hosted by a TT nemesis, Bob 'Gavonne" Zanchelli, the Titan was treated most inhospitably on the North Park courts of Lake Forest Illinois. On Friday TT teamed with his son Russell 'Hoya' Briscoe in dropping two closely contested doubles matches on a synthetic surface to 'Gavonne' and his son, Chris 'Raging Bull' Zanchelli (3-6, 5-7). The 'Z' Boys rallied in both sets from on- serve, 2-3, in the set one and brake-down, 5-5, to capture the nightcap. Titan offers big time kudos to 'Hoya' for his valiant effort in carrying the ol' man to near victory. His hustle and wing span matched that offered by the 'Raging Bull' in keeping both sets competitive throughout the 90 minute struggle. Titan was overheard to chirp to 'Hoya' as they left the illuminated venue, "I'll get that son 'o bitch tomorrow morning when its mano y mano!"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Mid-West Tour?

Your TennisTitan is visiting several MLB parks this week (Cleveland, Detroit, 2 in Chicago and Milwaukee) with his son Russell who will be driving on to Austin, Texas to experience life as an emancipated adult.  The Titan is hopeful of a series of matches in the Chicago area against his nemesis, The Gavonne, Bob Zanchelli next weekend (see August 15, 16). TT will be back in action at Kinsley on Sept. 24th. See you then.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

"Good Reason to be Happy," Prosac Kid and Slats Posted by Picasa

Red Machine Falters Posted by Picasa

"Sorry-Ass" Posted by Picasa

Psychotropical Saturday

Your TennisTitan managed three sets of doubles on this beautiful late summer day in anticipation of watching Super Saturday at the U.S. Open in front of the boob tube. Titan teamed with 'Big Al' Dio Dati in the first two sets. TT/'Big Al' defeated 'Chemist'/'Happy Jack' (6-3) in the opener before dropping their second set to 'Slats'/Chris 'Prosac Kid' by the same score (3-6). Titan played poorly throughout the entire morning. Neither his level of play or his motor mouth quips could save his sorry-ass performance. He was unable to hold serve or rally effectively with pace to his opponents backhand. Indeed, Titan's level of play dropped even further in set three when TT/'Chemist' could not put away 'Slats'/'Prosac Kid after having enjoyed a 4-2 advantage. That lead was built against 'Slats' when 'Kraut' was his partner for the first 6 games. ('Der Kluger' strained his back while serving to Titan.) The third set was truncated to ten games (5-5) with 'Slats'/'Prosac Kid' capturing the tie breaker 7-5. A jubilant Frank Slattery was heard to comment to the 'Prosac Kid' as the winning duo left the court, "Kid, Titan gives me my therapy on Saturday morning, but I must say, YOU had the RIGHT MEDICINE for him." TT thinks psychotropics must be like steroids, "Kid, you played out of your mind today! You gave me a double dose of defeat!"

Saturday, September 03, 2005

"Titan, hands down, it WAS good for me too!" Posted by Picasa

"You've seen us in New Orleans," Posted by Picasa

The new "Big Red Machine?" Posted by Picasa

"He Ain't Heavy...

He's my brother." How else can TennisTitan explain that unique chemistry between "Happy Jack" Carey and moi? Titan was singing that refrain from the 1965 Hollies hit as "HJ," on the precipice of his finest victory, serving at 6-5 to complete the very unexpected comeback (3-5 down) against "Big Al" Dio Dati and "Spindley Legs" Gessmer at Kinsley today, bricked 4 consecutive volleys at net to send the first set to a tie breaker. TT/HJ then proceeded to run off the first five points of the breaker to take the set (7-6)(3). In set 2, with "Spindley Legs" on his usual short leash yanked from home, Titan paired with 'Big Al' against George "Chemist" and 'HJ.' The results of that foray (6-2) clearly indicate that the 'chemistry' between these two is volatile. HJ 'yes dear's" him to death and 'Chemist' shoulders slump even more as his pearls of tennis wisdom are cast to swine as HJ plays the role of mason at net. In the denoument, a set of singles between the Titan and 'Chemist,' Der Chemiker erased the memory of his recent sweep by TT gritting out a well played set (3-6). 'Chemist' was in his special 'retriever' mode, denying Titan the lines and keeping the leg-weary behemoth on the move. Titan, ever looking for the anti-choke excuse, opined as the warriors left the court, "My legs get especially tired after playing with Jack," to wit George retorted, "How do you think I got scoliosis, big boy?"