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Summer 2003

 
  Pat Johnson Memorial Tournament
June 21 - 22, 2003 - Arlington, TX

Click here for the main draw
Click here for the consolation draw

6/21/03 - Loss vs D. Hinnen
I don't remember a whole lot about this match, except for the fact that it was a horribly embarrassing milestone in my recent tennis history. Why? Try being up 5-1 in the first set, and going on to lose it 7-5. Very sad. I don't remember the particulars, just the numbers. I think I went on to lose the second set like 6-1. Talk about demoralizing. However, my opponent moved up to the 3.5 division after this tourny, so he must have been pretty good. I do remember being absolutely wore out by the second set, almost near heat exhaustion. Great way to start the weekend.
 
6/21/03 - Win vs A. Sneary
My buddy Alan lost to Hinnen in the next round, so again, Alan and I had to play each other. This was all the same day. For some reason I found my second wind, though, and tore thru Alan like Sally Struthers thru a box of twinkies. I think the final score was 6-2, 6-4. Good to get a tournament win vs old Alan for once, even if he was wore out from just having played!

6/22/03 - Loss vs R. Pietrucha
Man, this old guy really gets my goat. He plays with very little pace, and his serves are horribly slow. Yet I do nothing to take advantage of his weak game! I think the final here was like 6-2, 7-6. Yes, I did find a way to force it to a tie-break in the second set, but he was good enough to squash my chances. Funny, if we had gone to a third set, I might have pulled it off, simply because he is old and it was hot and he was deterio-rating more than I was (for once). But it wasn't meant to be. Good job, stinko!

Hurst Adult Open
July 25 - 27, 2003 - Hurst, TX

Click here for the men's 3.0 main draw
 
7/26/03 - Loss vs R. San Antonio: 6-1, 6-0
Well, this tournament had "disaster" written all over it before it even had a chance to start. For some stupid reason the director decided that my glorious tournament record deemed me good enough to be the #1 seed in the draw (at least for a draw consisting of only 8 players). I really, really tried to manage my own expectations, and not feel pressured to win. But it was nearly impossible, because not only was I the #1 seed, I had just returned from tennis camp a week before. So here comes your #1 seed with all new great tennis skills, and what happens? Thump, thump. It was too hot for me, and I was so toast. I was too jacked up for the match, and the adrenaline combined with the heat killed me before I had much of a chance to do anything. So the #1 seed went down in scorching flames, barred from ever competing in Hurst again. OK, that's not true, but I certainly felt like it might have been justified at the time.

Click here for the men's 3.0 consolation draw
 
7/26/03 - Win vs J. Webb: 6-3, 6-4
This guy is a decent player, but I finally found someone who makes more mistakes than I do! I've seen him in other matches before, and I'm surprised he doesn't win more often. He's very athletic, and makes some good plays, but he really needs to rein in his errant, over-powered shots. I'm surprised I recovered enough (both physically and mentally) from the morning debacle to win. From the low of the first match to a relative high in this one... on to the consolation finals!
 
7/27/03 - Loss vs R. Johnson: 6-4, 6-3
So #1 meets #2 in the finals... of the consolation round. Not quite how it should have ended up, but oh well. This guy was basically a mirror image of myself. The rallies were all long, no one ever came to net. We each just kept waiting for the other person to make a mistake. My strategy of being a relentless backboard failed here, because he was a better backboard. Everything I hit, he got back. Again, it wore me out, as by the middle of the second set I was pretty much done. Not a very good match, but it was competitive at least.

Click here for the mixed 3.0 first round
 
7/26/03 - Loss vs Garner/Rose: 6-2, 6-1
Kelly and I played in the 3.0 mixed doubles in Hurst also. We came up first against a very decent team. I really questioned whether the woman was really a 3.5 player and not 3.0. She was very accurate, had good all-around court presence, and just played at a very high level. Her partner liked to hit with a lot of pace but often hit things long, so I could see a lot of 3.0 in him. Kelly and I did our best, but that was nowhere near good enough.

Click here for the mixed 3.0 second round
 
7/27/03 - Win vs Stout/Mukadam: 6-7(4), 7-5, 10-5
Finally, we got our FIRST DOUBLES WIN!! We were very much equals to our opponents for once. (Which means our opponents weren't very good.) I think Kelly and I actually played down to our opponents' level somewhat, as we let the woman hold serve too many times (very weak, erratic serve that should have been pounded every time). The man's serve was better, yet we broke him a couple times. Kelly held her serve for the first time since we'd played together, so we were both proud of that. Honestly, holding your serve in doubles is very difficult, simply because you have 4 people deciding the fate of a point rather than just the 2 in singles. But we gutted this one out, after losing a tough tie-breaker in the first set. Definitely a very good win.
Pictures from the Hurst Adult Open
These are from my and Kelly's first match.

Warming up before the thrashing.
That's my new cool Laurence of Arabia cap
to block the sun.

Kelly waits patiently at the net
while I prepare another service fault.

This serve looks like it actually
might have a chance to go in.
 

Simon says, stand still with your racket in front!

Fort Worth Adult Major Zone
August 1 - 3, 2003 - Arlington, TX

 
Click here for the main draw
(ha ha! no consolation this time!)
8/1/03 - Win vs R. Heineman: 6-3, 2-6, (11-9)
This win was absolutely incredible and probably the best one I had all year. My opponent was a very well-rounded player. He had good pace on his serves and groundstrokes, and was not afraid to come to the net every now and then. I don't remember the particulars of this match, but I think I just let him make more mistakes. I had the upper hand after the first set, but he regained his form and blew through me in the second. The third-set super-tiebreak was epic. No one seemed to want to gain the decisive 2-point lead. I finally won 11-9 after he hit a shot long. It was a long, gutty match, under the oppressive heat of the Texas noontime summer sun. But I pulled it off, and my reward is a spot in the quarterfinals.
8/2/03 - Win vs S. Irvan: 6-0, 7-5
If the previous day's match was my best win of the year, then this one was surely a close second. My opponent was the #3 seed in the tournament, so I knew I was the underdog. Somehow I was hitting very cleanly, had a fair amount of pace, and was just keeping the ball in play enough to frustrate my opponent. I will say that I may have gotten lucky in this match. My opponent couldn't hang on to his racket to save his life. He mis-hit so many shots, especially on serve, due to sweaty hands, he said. That's basically how I posted the 6-0 blanking in the first set. He found his grip, though, by the second, and was doing much better. But another one of his failings, I thought, was that he would not take anything off his second serve. When he got that first serve in, boy, it was pretty good, and yet I was doing pretty well returning them. But when it came time for a second serve, he'd hit it just the same, and that led to a lot of double faults for him. Me, I don't really mind that my second serve is weak, as long as I can get it in and maybe place it, because at least you're not immediately out of the point like with a double fault. And at the 3.0 level, people will often try to do too much with a weak second serve... I've won many points off of other people's avarice. So, surprise, surprise. With this quality win, Shannon moves on to the semis!
8/2/03 - Loss vs J. Moore: 6-2, 6-0
As the only unseeded player to make it to the semifinals, I was feeling pretty special. Then I hit the brick wall known as John Moore. This guy is a very good player who I believe moved up to 3.5 after this year. He is very crafty, effectively using slice and net play to set up his winning points. I was very drained by the time this match was played, as I only had about an hour rest between the previous match and this one. By the second set I was huffing pretty good, and just didn't have the energy to chase shots around. Not that it would have mattered anyway, because this guy was just too good. I think I frustrated him on a lot of points, but just could not string enough of the points together to win games. Regardless, this tournament was an excellent showing for me, by far the best I've done yet.

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