CHANGING OF THE GUARD
So last night, at 1030pm, 3 hours of dubs, the D1 player and the top player at the local club decide to play a set 'just for fun'.
Although I was exhausted, I decided to stick around for this one!!!
SK, the reiging club/city champ is a 50 year old all-court player whom I would rate conservatively at 5.0.
He definitely plays 'old school' tennis, prefering consistency and placement over spin and power. He comes through the ball with more of an eastern FH grip and can hold his shot forever and a day waiting for you to commit. He is extremely consistent and moves with an economy of motion that is mesmerizing. He also has the benefit of 45+ years of tennis experience stored in his crafty brain!
The young buck, JM, is an extremely fit athlete who came to tennis a bit late in life.
He is quick. He is fast. He is strong.
He punishes the ball off the ground on both sides.
His heavy serve has both pace and spin and is just lacking a bit in consistency and placement. His 2nd serve is better than any of our 4.0 player's first serves.
Borrowing a phrase fro Euroka- he seems to take a 'perverse pleasure' in swinging volleys. I'm not sure if he's trying to obliterate the ball, the opponent, or just put a divot in the opposing court.
I figured this would be one hell of a match.
I was wrong.
Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi
The King is dead, Long live the King.
The old lion had no answers for the raw power and physical game of the yute.
He tried S&V.
He tried rallying.
He tried short balls, soft balls, hard balls.
It didn't matter.
The only time SK was able to string together a few points was when JM had a mental lapse and made unforced errors. 3 in one game. But, by then, it was too late. The new King was swinging freely and savoring the moment.
In the post match 'interview', JM was both humble and gracious, stating that SK was 'taking it easy on me'.
Those in attendance knew better.