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T.A. Tennis Blog - 10/19

December 2, 2008 12:33 AM


USTA State Championship & USPTA Grand Prix at Addison Reserve

You may have missed my whining about being unable to play in the USTA Florida State Championships at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, but it has been underway and I have been kept abreast by No.1 seed Eric Ernstrom of Ponte Vedra. Of course my other credible source at the event, Keith Dunlop of Boca Raton, informed me after the first day of play that Arthur Heller of Weston was going to be the State Champion in the Men’s 45 Division. C’mon E, say it ain’t so!

I don’t know Mr. Heller, but when I spoke to Eric the day the draws were posted, I assured him that I was speaking to the next Men’s 45 State Champion. I hope Eric hasn’t heard of the “Niles curse,” cuz if he has, he’s toast tomorrow. I’m thinking that Eric is going to gut it out tomorrow though.

Speaking of toast, I played the USPTA event at Addison Reserve today. My first match, I managed to come away with a quality win against a classy opponent, Tim Lynch of Orlando. One break decided the first set in my favor, 6-4. I was broken at 4-5 in the second set to take the match to the deciding super tiebreak. It was nip and tuck most of the way, but I came away with the 10-6 win. Phew! After being up a break in the second set, I would have had much to think about had I lost that match.

But I haven’t gotten to the “toast” portion of this story. The toast portion (with butter AND jelly), was the 6-1, 6-0 pasting I took from the racquet of Horacio Rearte, this year’s Men’s 45 National Clay Court Champion. Having watched him win the National Championship averaging three lost games per match, and claiming the final in a 6-2, 6-1 romp over the player currently ranked 3rd in the country, I wasn’t planning on laying any bets on me.

A good thing too, because on my best day with him being a bit off his game, he would probably win 6-4, 6-4. I gladly took the charity game he donated at 0-5, and gave it all I had, which wasn’t nearly enough to cause Horacio even the slightest unease. I suspect he won’t lose too many games tomorrow either. 

So how upset am I about getting my clock cleaned? Not very. I played pretty darn well for a guy who is still adapting to the rigors inherent in the life of a full time tennis professional. Compared to what I did at the USTA Florida Mixed Adult League Section Championships…but that’s another story.

Game, set, match…

T.A. Niles






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