Saturday, April 29, 2006

Battle Royale!

"Well after Thursday's Country Lickin' this was more like it," was the best TennisTitan could offer as he and 'CC Flash' exited the courts at Blue Crab Key this date. Titan had raised his game considerably from Thursday's debacle and was able to hold his head up without shame... but he had only managed a split in today's action due to the tenacity and overwhelming speed advantage 'CC' brings to his game. TT had raced to a four-love advantage in the opening set only to hold on valiantly in the ninth game to close out his (6-3) victory. The Titan had rallied from 14-40, 0-40 in a few games to put a serious crimp in 'Flash's confidence but it took a flawless effort in the 9th game on Titan's part to salt away the victory. 'Flash' who had let some miscues effect his concentration in the first set was all business in the second set (2-6). He told Titan who had had five aces in the opener, "Bloated Behemoth, you've had your last ace today" and kept to his word. Indeed, Flash honed his serve in the second set and scored five aces against the 'man of limited movement' who could not keep pace with the 138lb dynamo from Dunbar, West Virgina. CC reminded Titan as they left the battle ground, "Titan, we West Virginians have to scramble for recognition, whereas you Yankees seem to think everything - even tennis balls - should come right to you. Ain't gonna be with me, big boy!"

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Country Lickin'

TennisTitan opened his abbreviated Southern Seniors Tour on an inauspicious note this morning. Titan and Jim 'CC Flash' Stephens got together for a two-setter that TT would just as soon forget at this writing. 'Flash' took firm control early in in the first set and cruised to impressive victories over the Titan (3-6, 0-6). 'Gentleman Jim' was most ungentlemanly on the court this morning as he ran off five games in a row in the first set and followed that up with the 'bagel' performance at TT's expense. 'CC' handled the windy conditions with aplomb and tenacity as he readily tracked down Titan's shots to either side of the baseline, and deftly used the wind to deaden many balls on the first bounce in front of 'the man of limited movement.' 'CC's' broad smile as he exited the parking lot at Blue Crab Key was one of confidence and satisfaction. His four aces down the T during the match were no crisper than his parting remark to the 'bloated behemoth' who had had no pop on the ball or quickness to his step, "Titan, there's a rule in West Virginia, 'Anyone who's treated to a breakfast bagel three times in a row expects to be taken out to dinner'! Start cutting your coupons, big boy."

Monday, April 24, 2006

LLL with WWW Posted by Picasa

"YoSemite Sam" Posted by Picasa

Cartooning Around

TennisTitan joined three of his mates on this rainy morning for three sets of tennis at the YTC. Titan paired with Ed 'LLL' Gor for the opener and with Yossi 'on Israeli' time for sets two and three. 'Gimpy Knees' Joe Cruz was a last minute fill-in for Tony 'No Baloney' Guido. Titan/'LLL' dropped the first set (2-6) to 'GK'/Yossi. 'On Israeli Time' continued his exceptional play as TT's partner in the next two sets doing much of the 'heavy lifting' at net in leading Titan to hard fought (6-4, 6-3) victories. Yossi was dominant in his volleys and played near error-free tennis at the backline. As the foursome left the court Yossi was heard to ask Titan, "TT, if Ed can have the nickname 'LLL' in your blog (lean, lanky, lefty) and loses three sets, can you call me 'WWW' for Wonderful, Wiley and Wicked after today's play?" After all, I won all three sets today." Titan rejoined, "Yossi, you would have given the Road Runner fits today. I think the appropriate name should be Yosemite Sam. You are a Semite, aren't you!"

Friday, April 21, 2006

Landlord, TT, Triple L, Shillelagh Man  Posted by Picasa

The Rich Get Richer

TennisTitan partook in a three set affair this morning at the Yonkers Tennis Center with Ed, 'LLL' Gor, Don 'Shillelagh Man' Carmody and Perry 'Landlord' Gault. Titan paired with Triple L for the first two sets and with the 'Landlord' for the finale. TT practiced his reduced-effort game this date featuring only second serves and arching lobs in an effort to extend points and give everybody (but TT) much needed exercise. If you have read Titan's article from yesterday's match it should come as no surprise that TT paid a heavy price last evening with severe leg cramps that had him writhing on the floor for 45 minutes groping for the massager. Thanks again 'EBL'! But I did say reduced-effort! Titan/'LLL' scored easy (6-3, 6-1) victories. TT especially enjoyed the third set. TennisTitan gave adequate support to the 'Landlord' who had been heretofore overmatched. 'Lanlord' raised his game (but not his rents) as TT added some pop to serves and returns which led to a very satisfying (6-1) triumph. An ecstatic Perry commented to the Titan as he left the court, "Titan, with your help, maybe I could ask for a tax abatement and meet with success too."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

'EBL' says, "Titan, you made me sweat today." Posted by Picasa

TT holds up an exhausted 'Mr.Spin.' Posted by Picasa

The Holy Grail

Your TennisTitan very much enjoyed this afternoon's match with his Thursday group at the YTC. It was TT's final appearance this indoor season as he prepares for another short jaunt to the Florida circuit. But there is nothing that the Titan enjoys more than playing with Bill 'Energizer Bunny Legs' Tully, except maybe playing AGAINST 'EBL'. And today Titan got his wish. TT/'Mr Spin' Roy Marzullo paired for the first time in many months against 'EBL'/'Big Al' Dio Dati. Two splendid sets were completed that left all four participants well satisfied with the level of play displayed, yet probably mildly disappointed that they couldn't pull off a sweep. In the opener Titan reached very deep to effectively support 'Mr. Spin' at crunch time. 'Mr. Spin' had continued his mastery of the high lobs down the alley and the cross-court dinks that are vitually unstoppable early in the contest. But it was TT serving in the 9th game, down love-30, having just seen 'EBL'/'Big Al' erase a (4-2) deficit who pulled the iron out of the fire. Titan thought "Not again, the last time I had 'EBL' on the ropes (with 'Tutor' as my partner) Titan served for the set and lost a 40- love advantage and the set, (5-7). Damn, not again." Readers, that's right... NOT AGAIN. How sweet it was to capture the next four points, particularly so in acing 'Big Al' on two consecutive first serves and beating 'EBL' in an extended rally! Such gifts! Then to capture the set by breaking 'Big Al' in a relatively easy game as 'EBL's critical short cross ball went just wide to the amazement of TT. Can you say "ejaculation?" Well in the next set, post coital malaise must have set in. 'EBL'/'Big Al' rolled to a much easier (2-6) victory by winning 5 of the last six games. TT's/'Mr. Spin's levels dropped just enough as 'the man of limited movement reappeared.' 'EBL' took total command at net and re-commited himself to getting every ball back at the baseline. TT summed it up nicely as he left the court, "EBL, I think I will go rest on my laurels." To wit 'Big Al' chimed in, "Titan I screwed you out of playing time in our Tuesday group twice this season because I can't keep track of scheduling, perhaps you weren't scheduled to play the second set today?" "Touche, 'Big Al.'

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lou "Golden Hands" Avitabile Posted by Picasa

"Golden Hands" with "Limo Man" Posted by Picasa

Golden Hands or Golden Retriever

TennisTitan got the opportunity to play with and against Lou Avitabile this morning at the YTC. Lou is the elder statesman of the group that TT has been playing with these past two months. Lou is in his eighties and has been having shoulder difficulties recently, necessitating a hiatus from the courts. Titan welcomed him back in fine fashion. Lou 'Golden Hands' Avitabile paired with TT for the opener and contributed substantially at net in the first set (6-2) thrashing of Yossi 'on Israeli time' and Jeff 'Limo Man' Berkon. 'TT/'Golden Hands' started slowly dropping the first 2 games before running the table. 'GH' truly showed his mettle in the second set when he paired with Yossi and gave TT/'Limo Man' a run for their money. Both men, giving away 15-24 years to their adversaries hung very tough, chasing down many balls that Titan 'takes a vacation day on,' and converted miscues hit by 'Limo Man' and TT with alarming regularity. Inceditably they opened a 2-4 lead before the Titanic onslaught. The (7-5) victory was entertining, inspiring and satisfying. TT admired his opponents tenacity and alacrity on the court. TT will not comment on their visual acuity, however. Suffice it to say that was the satisfying part. Time ran out in the third set with Titan/Yossi up (3-1 partial) against 'Limo Man/'Golden Hands' who was "Retrieving" like gold. That's the inspiring part for the Titan. Let's hope that this report on the match is the entertaining part for you my dear readers!

Monday, April 17, 2006

'NB' and Triple L gave Titan Trouble Posted by Picasa

Belt Tightening Tip

Your Titan knew it when he stepped on the scale first thing this morning at 6 A.M. Those extra five pounds from Easter dinner would have an effect. That unnecessay 2nd helping of cheesecake or was it the third plate of stuffed shells and chicken marsala. Whatever! TennisTitan managed to squeak out a second set victory (8-6) with Tony 'No Baloney' Guido against Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz and Ed 'Lean,Lanky Lefty' Gor at the YTC dragging his sorry-ass around the court. This should have been the "gimme" set after Titan/'GK' more easily handled 'LLL' in the first set (6-2) when he had paired with 'No Baloney.' But Triple L would have none of it. He gave 'GK' fine support in a spirited effort to snatch victory away from 'NB'/TT. 'GK'/'LLL' raised their game in set two from what they had displayed in the opener with different partners. The turning point came in the 11th game when TT/'NB' came back on 'GK's serve at love - forty to win a multi deuce game that would have given them the set considering that they were able to break Titan's serve in the 12th game to lead it to "a let's play in out" decision. Titan had pop on his serve this date which enabled him to score several aces/service winners with speed and with guile. 'NB,' leaving for a ten day trip to Italy later this week, zinged TT with his parting quip, "Titan, tighten your belt when you go out to dinner. This way you will not be prone to overeat! It's bad enough that you over talk with that mouth of yours"! "Ouch," TT whimpered as he put down the post game chocolate Easter egg to pick up his camera.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Yossi says, "Joe, I'm on NY time now." Posted by Picasa

TT says, "It's only ONE 'L' today!" Posted by Picasa

It was a pretty Good Friday

"No triple L today" was TennisTitan's first words to the Lean, Lanky, Lefty, Ed Gor this morning as they took the court against 'Gimpy Knees' Joe Cruz and Yossi 'on Israeli time.' Your Titan was determined that Ed would not suffer the same fate that befell him on other play dates he has had with the Titan. Ed would not walk off the court with three losses under his belt again. TT knew that if he could just hold his own against 'GK' that 'LLL' could out rally the man 'on Israeli time.' And so it unfolded. In the first set Titan got his serve cranking early and often and took advantage of the same quick start Ed had had in set one on Wednesday. The result a convincing (6-2) thumping of 'GK'/Yossi. The air came out of the balloon, however, a few games into set 2 as 'LLL's game declined and Titan's level dropped a notch also. TT/'LLL' pittered away a 2-1 lead into a (3-6) defeat as Yossi began to "be on NY time" and convert some winners at net. The third set ended with TT/'LLL' trailing at (3-4) with the outcome very much up for grabs. Titan's parting shot was this ace sent 'GK's way. "Joe, thanks for the wake up call at 5:45 this morning. Perhaps, I should do the same for you when you plan to time my serve!"

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"What's this Seder stuff, Titan?" Posted by Picasa

Thoughts of the Seder

This morning the Titan rotated himself through a foursome of 'Rockin' Rick Ricci, Jeff 'Limo Man' Berkon and the 'Lean, Lanky, Lefty,' Ed Gor at the YTC. TT/Triple L dropped the opener (3-6) in the most competitve set played this date. 'LLL' opened the set in strong fashion, both serving well and hitting his spots with his sliced backhand. TT/LLL did not get the benefit of three very close calls in game seven that swung the set to the winners as they broke through. TT povided adequate support but did not have the gusto or the ability to play error-free tennis to steal the set. The crestfallen 'LLL's' game declined precipitously subsequent to the controversial line calls that deprived him of two service winners. 'RRR' paired with 'LLL' in set two and also did not have enough gas in the tank to defeat (6-2) Titan/'Limo Man.' The third set (4-0 partial) was played in true holiday spirit as Jeff Berkon opined to fellow Jew, 'LLL,' "Eddie, I'll be the sacrificial lamb now. Possibly the goyim, Titan/'RRR,' will provide us with a bagel before our Seder tonight." To wit, 'Rockin' Rick' replied, "That's a LOX!"

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tutor and TT, 'Ho-Hum Artists' Posted by Picasa

"I'm in jail. I was late for the match." Posted by Picasa

Shell-Shocked Duo, Big Al and Irish Posted by Picasa

Better Never than Late?

TennisTitan participated in two sets of doubles today at the YTC. TT paired with 'Tutor' Tuchman against 'Big Al' Dio Dati and 'Irish' Gallagher in what has become for Titan a ho-hum affair. It is difficult for the Titan to get up for a match involving 'Irish' because he is not able to complete at a level equal to the other participants. 'Irish' prefers to partner with 'Big Al' more than anyone else. With 'Prez' prolonged absence from the group it is impossible to create a balanced pairing among the remaining participants. 'Big Al' can carry the play with 'Irish' only so long and he can not overcome the other side with his play unless it includes 'Prez' with Titan or with 'Tutor.' Today's (6-3, 6-3) results were not as close as the scores suggest. TT honed his first serve and practiced his lob during the match. 'Tutor' worked on his volleys and his approach shots. Titan's parting comment to 'Tutor' as the tandem left the court was telling. "Maxie. the fact that you came 25 minutes late had no bearing on the outcome of this match. Only that there would not be a third set. Matter of fact, it's even money that the results would've been the same had you forgotten entirely about today's game!" "Titan, retorted the 'Tutor,' I'll be sure to mention that at my Seder."

Monday, April 10, 2006

"Titan, you 'rocked' my world today!" Posted by Picasa

TT,'NB' had the 'mojo' working today Posted by Picasa

Mayhem in the A.M.

TennisTitan continued his recent resurgence today at the YTC. Again he paired with Tony "No Baloney' Guido against Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz and 'Rockin' Rick' Ricci. What can I say? Again TT was on fire and had his mojo working throughout the 90 minutes of action. Titan mixed effective serving (6/6 holds) with consistent support from the baseline to enable he and 'NB' to score impressive (6-3,6-3, 2-1 partial) victories. 'NB' was spry at net, covering the forecourt so effectively that the few volleys TT bricked were inconsequential. This tandem dominated most games on their serve, and the few that they did not, hung tough to pull out the game by playing near flawless tennis on the long points. Titan's serve had pop. TT had a slew of services winners along with three aces that brought oohs and aahs from the gallery. He painted the alley with winners and drove opponents into the netting attempting to retrieve cross court lasers. The 'man of limited movement' generated 23 winners as opposed to his 14 unforced errors. Titan is hopeful of siding with 'GK' against 'NB' and Rockin' Rick' at their next match. Indeed, Titan chortled to Rick Ricci as the foursome left the court, "Ricky boy, today I rocked your world. You and my amigo (GK) might as well have taken a vacation day when Titan brings his 'A' game!"

Friday, April 07, 2006

"TT, I shouldn't have to pay for this abuse!" Posted by Picasa

"Tony,Get Your Eyes Checked!" Posted by Picasa

It's Only a Game, Damn It!

TennisTitan looked forward to this morning's match at the YTC since last Monday. It was to feature the Titan rotating through a strong foursome including 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz, 'No Baloney' Guido and Hanibal 'the Caballero.' Not to be. TT did not want to again burden 'No Baloney' who had left Monday's match with a tweaked hammy in his effort to carry Titan. 'GK' claims to feel presure to perform when along side the Titan because of TT's competitiveness. And it's clear Titan will not be on 'Caballero's Christmas card list. Indeed, TT was almost replaced by Ed 'Lean, Lanky, Lefty, Gor at game time because of, ahem, "chemistry." Hence, 'GK'/TT paired in three-plus, high quality sets of tennis (6-3, 2-6,6-2, 3-1) against 'NB'/'HC.' Titan was 'well tuned' coming off yesterday's one set performance. The 'boisterous behemoth' toned down his yammering a tad to appease the tempermental Argentinian but raised his game far above Monday's sorry performance. TT managed to hold serve in 7 of his eight opportunities and effectively supported 'GK' from the backline throughout the 105 minutes of playing time. 'NB' raised his game to his accustomed level that he had abandoned on Monday and engaged in many hard hitting rallies from the baseline with 'GimpyKnees.' 'HC'/'NB' won more than their fair share at net, with Caballero's play ranging from excellent to needs improvement. (Titan still thinks like a school teacher.) Titan was not at all surprised that 'HC' refused his photo op! Hey, at least he didn't refuse to let me play. "Atta boy, 'No Baloney,' you saved me again!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Not another picture, Titan?!" Posted by Picasa

Big Game Hunters, TT and 'Abada' Posted by Picasa

Big Game Hunter

TennisTitan engaged in a one-set tune up at the YTC this afternoon in anticipation of his 'big' Friday morning match. Titan replaced Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz for the final set in the foursome of Max 'Tutor' Tuchman, 'Big Al' Dio Dati and Jim Addiss 'Abada.'TT witnessed 'GK'/'Big Al' succumb easily to the tandem of 'Tutor'/'Abada' (6-3, 6-2) as the winners dominated both sets from the net and the backline. 'Abada' was particularly sharp, offering crisp volleys and well placed overheads that ended most points quickly. 'GK' continued to attempt his power game against 'Abada' to no avail. He was out-volleyed as well as out hit. TT, who has had success against the more skilled 'Abada' in the past, was disappointed to partner with Jim Addiss in the final match which brought forth the predictable results (6-2). Titan wanted to go against 'Abada.' Titan is more adaptable with his game plan than 'GK' and TT is capable of taking away 'Abada's strengths. 'Big Al' does not complement 'Tutor's net play from the back court when confronted with hard hitters or adept volleys. 'Tutor' quipped to 'Big Al' as the disgruntled duo left the court, "Al, who knew that the Titan would use us as a "tune up" for his "big game"? TT always claimed that we were Big Game in his eyes."

Monday, April 03, 2006

"Titan, have another plate." Posted by Picasa

"Pasted" this morning Posted by Picasa

Over Eating/ Under Hitting

"So Titan, are you sure you said you are a widower," opined Tony "No Baloney" Guido as he limped off the court having strained his hamstring in a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to prolong the second set at the YTC this morning. The duo of TT/'No Baloney' had just dropped the second set (6-8) to Joe 'Gimpy Knees" Cruz and 'Rockin' Rick' Ricci. 'Gimpy Knees'/'Rockin' Rick' had earlier pasted (2-6) the 'boisterous blowhard' and the usually adept-at-net Guido in set one. 'No Baloney' was in no mood for TT's bombast. "Why do you say that, Tony?" Tennistitan meekly asked his partner. Titan had gotten but 29% of his first serves in and mishit a half dozen or more easy backhands due to poor foot work that enabled 'GK/'RR' to win games in a come-from-behind fashion. 'No Baloney's' volleys at net were neither crisp or precise. A formula for defeat for sure. "Because Titan, I could sue you for non-support off your performance this morning. I wanted to know if you'd been through it before." "Tony. I am suffering from the disease I got Sunday night... "TMTBT".... too many trips to the buffet table... I went to King China and got my money's worth!"