Saturday, July 29, 2006

We'll bring tea next time!

Titan, we're hungry. Bagel us.

PK, can you see the camera?

Titan, Big Al...came up short

Side Effects of Prozac

TennisTitan made his final appearance at Kinsley park this morning prior to his upcoming two week stint on the Florida Tour. It was most appropriate that today's two setter was played in the same sultry conditions he anticipates contending with in August. Titan and 'Big Al' Diodati did battle in the first set against George 'Chemist' Hauss and Chris 'Prozac Kid' Tyrone. 'Big Al' had warned TT that 'PK's game had improved in recent months and that he was likely to play well against the 'bloated behemoth,' returning most balls hit his way regardless of pace.' What Al did not report was that the Prozac had firmly taken control of the 'Kid's vision and you can not expect to get accurate calls on line shots. The Kid makes his 'out' call as he takes his swing. And so it was this morning. All that hard work for naught. 'Big Al'/TT succumbed to 'Chemist/'PK' (5-7) having valiantly fought back from a 1-3 deficit to level the match at five. A few blown calls, and several missed opportunities at net and suddenly your Titan's string of 9/9 holds of service this week was history. Gulp! Titan doubled faulted on his 4th attempt to stave off set point. With 'Big Al's departure for set two the pairings were shuffled. 'Chemist' joined Titan and the duo provided a thorough thrashing of 'Prozac Kid' and the fleet footed Clarence 'Gazelle' McArtzo (6-0). As the exhausted foursome replenished their fluids courtside, the former British subject McArtzo remarked to the "boisterous blowhard,' "Titan, this ain't criquet! In Jamaica, when someone serves his guest a bagel, it's proper to provide tea, not water!"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"You can call us "The Grucci Brothers." Posted by Picasa

"Titan, Where's my partner? Sulking!? Posted by Picasa


"Titan, you may be suspected of arson," was Tony 'No Baloney' Guido's comment after he and TennisTitan captured the rubber of the three set match this morning against 'Rockin' Rick Ricci and Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz. Indeed, dear readers, your Titan was on fire from the first toss. TT was juiced the moment he realized that 'Gimpy Knees' was more deserving of his new sobriquet, The Sulking of Swat. No Babe Ruth was he, Joe's desire to defeat the Titan was absolutely palpable. He avoided talking to TT in the parking lot, chose to walk to the courts alone, and made sure that he got the pairing he wanted by joining 'RRR's side immediately for the warm up. Titan was more than up to the task today. With 'No Baloney' getting off to a slow start due to a prolonged racquet layoff the tandem of TT/'NB' rode the 'bombastic blowhard's back in a memorable comeback from 1-4 down in the opener to a spectacular (7-5) victory as TT served it out at love. To their credit 'Sulking of Swat'/'RRR' wrested control of set 2 by breaking 'NB's' underhand service twice due to Tony's problems with the sun to prevail (3-6). Breaking 'Sulking Joe' in the opening game of set 3, your Titan practically hurdled the net to get to the "sun-side" and consolidate early. Titan completed his run of 7/7 service holds in game 6 as a fitting prelude to breaking 'Sulking Joe' one last time to close it out (6-1). With 'Gimpy Knees' refusing post match pictures, sitting slumped shouldered on the courtside bench, 'RRR' opined, "Titan, I think you and Tony got your games confused today. I mean it was you, not Tony, who couldn't miss..." To wit the venerable sage 'No Baloney' replied, "Ricky-boy, it was I who lit the Titan's Fuse! TT had plenty of pop on the serve, he lasered the doubles alley early and lobbed effectively. You and Joe were just collateral damage!"

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"See Titan, I CAN keep the ball on my racquet!" Posted by Picasa


Well readers, did you get it? Your TennisTitan was back on the courts today less than 22 hours after his exhausting match with 'Rockin Rick' who prevailed in the third set because TT "ran out of gas." But your tennis slut could not say "no" to his long time friend Rich 'El Presidente' Prezioso who still harbors hope that he will sometime, somehow, knock the Titan off his lofty perch and win a luncheon at Squires courtesy of the 'Truculent Tightwad.' Well, it wasn't today. Indeed 'Prez' took away some motivation from Titan when he booked this opportunity by indicating that a scheduled afternoon eye doctor's appointment would negate a post match meal. But your Titan is a man of commitment, if not talent on the court, and responded with aplomb and precision on the Briarcliff Manor clay. TT, without his thunder stick and using a retired racquet in its stead, and with his legs aching so badly that passerbys shouted unabashedly, "That horse on the courts even looks like Barbaro" still did his thing. 'Prez' needed rolller skates to stay in most points as Titan pounded the backhand at the baseline and interspersed a sufficient numbers of droppers at net to have 'Prez' mumbling, "this is like the Jews against Hezbollah!" Oh yeah, I almost forgot - the results: (3,2,1). Maybe they didn't add the "bagel" to the Squires menu afterall!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Ricky Boy, Have I Your Respect?" Posted by Picasa

"Depend on me not to get swept TT" Posted by Picasa

"Fill 'er up,Titan?" Posted by Picasa

Respect and Dependability

"Well, Titan, maybe you should bring some STP gas treatment in your tennis bag next time." Such were the words of wisdom offered by 'Rockin' Rick Ricci as he sped off in his Mazda convertible sportscar having averted a three set sweep by Tennistitan. TT and 'RRR' had just completed a three set singles match that took place in two different public courts in Yonkers. Titan had roared to a 5-love lead in the opener and was salivating over the prospects of an early morning bagel when the tide turned. 'RRR' found his rhythm and forced TT to serve it out at (6-3) at Kinsley Park. However, the boys were unceremoniously bumped from TT's domain after two games of set number 2 by a Yonkers Recreation Youth Tennis Program. Not to worry dear readers, the combatants picked up the set at 1-1 when they relocated to Trevor Park after a 20 minute respite. With the second set leveled at three TennisTitan ran the table to close out the set (6-3). The third set started similarly but with a more pleasant ending for the better conditioned athlete. 'RRR' forged ahead of the 'Tiring Tightwad' and secured the critical break in game seven to go up (3-4). Both men held for the balance of the match enabling 'RRR' to secure the (4-6) victory. Titan lamented that he "just ran out of gas" as the beleaguered warriors made their way back to the parking lot. 'Rockin' Rick duly noted, "Titan, you never seem to run out of excuses!"

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Weary Veterans Posted by Picasa

"Them's the Breaks"

Your Titan engaged in a one set donnybrook with 'Rockin' Rick Ricci at Kinsley Park this afternoon. Titan dropped his first service game to the wily veteran and trailed 'RRR' (0-3, 1-4, 2-5) by that one break as he faced set point down 3-5 in the ninth game. 'RRR' was a master at net and deftly used his short return and lob against the 'bloated behemoth' and seemed to have the match well in hand. TennisTitan did not rely on his folly floater and managed to find pop on his serve as the match lengthened. TT got that break back in that crucial 9th game through persistent improved play from the baseline as 'RRR's game dropped a level. Both men then held service through fourteen games. 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz watched in awe from the sidelines as these two stalwarts steadfastly fought off break points. In game 15 Titan got 'RRR' to blink. TT eked out a victory in a deuce game and proceeded to seal the victory (9-7) with a comfortable hold. As the weary veterans collapsed in their court side chairs, 'Gimpy Knees' was overheard to say from the park bench, 'Thank God it ended when it did, neither of you guys are smart enough to stop before you pass out."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

"Let's Eat!" Posted by Picasa

Lunch is on me Titan Posted by Picasa

Let's add "Bagel" to the menu. Posted by Picasa

Squire's Pub in Briar Cliff Manor Posted by Picasa

Tennis Course: "302"

"Prez, the course you enrolled in is for Intermediate Players. I am afraid that you did not take the prerequisite courses for Advanced Beginners," such was TennisTitan's caustic comment as they left the clay courts this date to adjourn for lunch at Squires Bar in tony Briar Cliff Manor. TT had eagerly accepted his buddy's invitation to get together for a three set match that culminates with beverage and burger courtesy of the loser. Titan must sweep the three sets, Rich 'El Presidente' Prezioso needs but 2 out of 3, to have his tab picked up. Otherwise, we go Kraijcek - that is 'Dutch' treat. Your Titan managed (6-3, 6-0, 6-2) victories and pleased his palate with several Coors Lights and a Bleu Cheese Burger. TennisTitan so admires Prez' extraordinary hustle on the court to chase down ball after ball to prolong a point awaiting a Titan error. The question is, does Prez admire TT's 'hustle' both on and off the court? As the boys left the bar, Titan asked the perplexed bar maid to make an addendum on the luncheon menu, "Hon, do you think next week you might list a bagel as one of your featured specials? I don't think 'Prez' enjoyed his today at the park."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

RR,PP,Doc "Had Enough Titan?" Posted by Picasa

"Doctor Dave" Posted by Picasa

Myriam "Pepper Pot" Rubin Posted by Picasa

Pepper Pot Stew

"Titan, didn't I tell you." "... she gets to everything and all of a sudden you've lost a point you thought you had won." These were TennisTitan's thoughts as he reflected on this days events at Edgemont HS tennis courts. 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz and 'Rockin' Rick' had forewarned Titan in the past that she was formidable. So today - Mitch 'Ad Man' Leiser had bailed again - as TT was about to serve out the first set up (5-4) against the tandem of 'Ad Man/Rockin' Rick Ricci, - tennis interruptus. Titan had had his game meld comfortably with 'Doctor' Dave to be but one game away from a first set victory. The next thing TT knew the aggressiveness came out of his game and 'RRR' and Myriam 'Pepper Pot' Rubin waltzed to an easy (1-6) thrashing of 'Doctor' Dave/TT. 'Pepper Pot' is built low to the ground, is quick afoot, and blessed with good hands at net. The pop was gone from TT's serve, 'Doc's' hands became wooden at net and 'RRR'/Pepper Pot controlled each point. The finale saw 'Pepper Pot'/TT overcome some early resistence put up by 'Doc'/'RRR' and walk away with a (6-3) triumph. As 'Doctor' Dave retreated to the parking lot he opined, "Titan, I wish some of my surgical residents had Myriam's hands, then my insurance premiums might go down." 'RRR' quickly chimed in, "My wife's got great hands, Doc. You got to come over for her lasagna!"

Saturday, July 08, 2006

"Ad Man" with "King of Queens" Posted by Picasa

Nathan "King of Queens" Heilweil Posted by Picasa

Gimpy Knees, TT do a victory dance Posted by Picasa

"Tennis Interruptus"

Your TennisTitan was itching to play today. Having watched so much Wimbledon recently with no opportunity to play, this week was torture for the 'boisterous behemoth.' How accommodating for the 'Ad Man,' Mitch Leiser to include TT on his afternoon card both today and tomorrow. Merci! Or do I mean Mercy!? Titan and his goomba Joe 'Gimpy Knees' Cruz paired for three scintillating sets at Edgemont HS against Monsieur Mitch and his stalwart, Nathan 'King of Queens' Heilweil. The boys from Yonkers got off to a slow start dropping the opener (3-6) before 'GK' had hardly sipped his rum in coke. TT relies on Advil to dull the pain in his aching bones prior to the contest whereas 'GK' is more imaginative with his refreshment breaks at change overs. TT/'GK' elevated their game in set two to bring about a more favorable result (6-3). Titan had a good mix of 'pop' on his first serve and had the 'folly floater' working to keep the opposition at bay. 'GK's soft hands suddenly became more effective and TT displayed his deadly left handed running forehand on two occasions for winners. 'KQ's effective serve, along with his consistent play from the back court had Titan/'GK' back on their heels after an early break in the third set. 'Ad Man's slice backhand was a similarly effective tool in turning the tide of the match. Down 3-5 and unaware that there were time constraints, TT/'GK' rallied to level the contest at (5-5) only to have Monsieur Mitch be a bitch. "Adieu, mon frere, I must get a part for my car before the store closes." As a tired threesome retreated to their cars minutes after 'Ad Man' had departed for Auto Zone, TennisTitan was overheard explaining 'coitus interruptus' to 'Gimpy Knees' as the 'King of Queeens' pondered aloud if he were "entitled to a reduced EZ-Pass fare" on his ride back to Queens.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

"Scooter" and "Ad Man" Doubles Trouble Posted by Picasa

Mitch "Ad Man" Leiser Posted by Picasa

Ralph "Scooter" Hernandez Posted by Picasa


TennisTitan met with considerably less success in the second half of his Saturday tennis schedule. He had his 'ears pinned back' by Mitch 'Ad Man' Leiser and Ralph 'Scooter' Hernandez at Edgemeont HS. It was TT's first encounter with either of these two doubles specialists. Titan paired with 'Rockin Rick' Ricci in the three set affair that was dominated by 'Scooter's agility and movement at net and along the baseline. 'Frenchy' did his part in the sweep of the sets (3,3,2) by being rock solid at net and effective on serve. 'Rockin' Rick' was uncharacteristically weak with his net play and troubled by his vision, missing several balls completely. Your Titan has no such excuse for his inability to produce a better result. TennisTitan did not have the necessary control on his return game, or was he able to back up any 'pop' on his serve. Moreover, TT was a non-factor at net, ceding too many short lobs to the peripatetic 'Scooter' and to the soft hands of 'Ad Man.' As the disheartened Titan headed to the parking lot, 'Ad Man,' this group's tennis organizer quipped, "Titan, I'm going to put your number on my speed dial. You have the ability to make me feel young again!" The Scooter imparted his final ace of the day against TT with his retort, "Mitch, don't you know the words 'speed' and Titan should never appear in the same sentence." "Ouch," yipped Titan as he keyed the ignition.

Titan with his Coach Posted by Picasa

Coach O'reilly lauds the 'Teacher' Posted by Picasa

Chemist and Slats "dogged" it Posted by Picasa