Re: Johnny Groove vs. David J. Neitzel, Tamarac Men's Open R64
vs. David J. Neitzel, Tamarac Men's Opens, July 5-6, 2014
Match was scheduled originally for 9 AM, but with torrential downpours and multiple delays, we did not take the court until 1:30 PM.
This Neitzel had some very funky shots with all kinds of wicked spin on them, very unorthodox strokes, but also very effective. Many times he would hit his shot, and I would try to adjust while the ball is in the air, and then it bounces and again I have to adjust even more and then try to hit the shot, as it bounced completely different than what my expectation was.
First game I served and held for 1-0. He then holds for 1-1. I hold for 2-1, he holds for 2-2, then I hold for 3-2.
He served at 2-3, 15-40, 2 BP to me. In a rally, we battle, and eventually one of his crazy spin shots hits the service line and bounces all weird and I send a forehand very close to the line. He calls it out, then I question it, run over and inspect, and indeed it was juuuust out.
30-40, he bounces a serve into my backhand. I slice it cross court, deep and very close to the sideline. Again he calls it out, again I go to investigate, and again my shot was juuuust out. Wide this time. Fuck.
At deuce, he again serve to my backhand, again I miss the return. Rinse and repeat on the next point, and he holds for 3-3. My backhand return is my biggest weakness.
At 3-3, my first serve goes away. Perhaps a slight mental let down, slight lack of focus, excessive perspiration from my hand causing slippage, perhaps all of the above, but I am forced to put in 2nd serves all game, and he takes control of the rallies. He breaks to 30, a double fault from me to give it away at 30-40.
At 4-3, him serving, again I have a chance, a 30-30, but he puts in a serve to my backhand, weak drive reply, winner for him. Next point he serves to my backhand, this time I slice, but the slice is not good enough and again he bosses the rally and holds for 5-3.
At 3-5, I save a set point and pumped up and hold for 4-5. I know I am going to have a chance to break here. Some solid backhand returns, a wicked forehand pass down the line and on the line and I have 0-40. But now, he is clutch. First serve in at 0-40, I get the return back into play, but I am admittedly too passive in the rally. Too much slice on the backhand and I am unable to draw the error. I had made some errors with the drive backhand all match so I tried to play too cautious. Mistake. At 15-40, he serves a 1st serve into my backhand and I miss, trying to be aggressive with the drive, trying to make amends for the previous passive point.
At 30-40, again a serve into my backhand, this time I slice, trying to just get it back into play and deep, and it sails long. Damn. Deuce, he wins, ad in, I save set point, deuce again, we have a rally, and his backhand clips the tape and skips over, out of my reach.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" I say to myself. This guy is getting every little thing today.
At set point, once again, serve into my backhand, once again, missed return. 6-4 to Neitzel.
2nd set, I served first, and once again, just a slight lull in energy and focus from me and he was able to break to 30, his confidence sky high after surviving that first set. Next game I have 15-40 and can't get a backhand return into play.
"All fucking match," I say to myself, frustrated beyond belief at my inability to consistently put backhand returns into play on big points.
He holds for 2-0, and then once again breaks me to 30, as I toss in a double fault to give the break away. My serve had been great all match, only like 4 double fault. One when I had 30-0, one when I had 40-15, and 2 on break point down. At 3-0, he serves and once again I have a break point and once again my backhand return is not good enough and he takes control of the rally immediately. 4-0 to Neitzel.
At 0-4, I am able to hold for 1-4, then he holds for 5-1, no break points for me in this game. I serve 1-5, he misses the backhand return, 15-0. The weather had been deteriorating all second set, lightning strikes in the distance and clouds gathering. I looked up to serve and rain was pelting me in the face. At 15-0, the rain picks up and it starts pouring. We rush off and we are suspended for the day.
This morning, we come back onto court. From 15-0 to 30-40 and I save a set point, then hold for 2-5. At 5-2, he serves. I make the return, then he hits a wicked forehand spinner that I simply cannot read, and shank my forehand into the net. At 15-0, I return with a slice backhand, we have a rally, he drops a ball short to my rally backhand, and I tried to step in and be aggressive on the backhand, but missed it very badly. At 30-0, a backhand drive return attempt, missed. At 40-0, a backhand slice return, rally, and like the first point, a forehand with wicked spin spins shorter in the court than I had expected and I am unable to get there and my forehand lands in the net, game set and match Neitzel, 6-4, 6-2.
I walk up, shake hands, wish him luck for the tournament. I tell him he's got some funky shots and that it was difficult to read. He smiles, laughs and thanks me. He looks up at the clouds and remarks that it may be another long day, to which I tell him that I hope he is able to get his matches in.
I tell the tournament director the score and decline consolation this time as I wanted to watch the Federer-Djokovic Wimbledon finals, and the rain was going to terrorize things all day anyway. Plus, my father and my brother from his 2nd marriage were down here in Florida from Alabama from the weekend and I wanted to hang out with them all day before they left as well.
So, tough match, need to improve the backhand return. Future schedule:
July 12- Coral Springs Designated, worth double ranking points
July 19- Tamarac again
July 26- Plantation
August 2- Pompano
August 9- Plantation
August 16- Tamarac
After that, graduate school starts that Monday August 18, and I am not sure how many tournament I will play then as I want to focus entirely on school and get very very good grades. So we'll see.
Last edited by Johnny Groove; 07-06-2014 at 05:16 PM.