Three men’s singles matches along with one men’s doubles were played today.
In the men’s doubles match Geoff Isaacs & Gideon Stone took on Walter & Philip Reid. Geoff is a generally accurate and strong player but Gideon’s play is unknown, at least to me. Walter is defensively solid with a wide wing span. His son, Philip can hit the ball rather harder. Apparently the tactic of Geoff and Gideon was to keep the ball away from Philip as much as possible, but, according to Philip, they were caught off guard by Walter’s consistent play, volleying and occasional strategic slice backhand lobs. The Reids won 6-2 6-1 and now face the fourth seeds Marcio Sugui & Tim Simpson.
There had been various rumours floating around that my co-webmaster James McKenzie was injured, was saving himself for doubles matches scheduled later, and would withdraw from the singles. This was despite the fact the match between him and Alberto Zanatta had been clearly marked on the draw sheet as scheduled for the evening of Monday 17th almost ever since the draw went up. Imagine everyone’s surprise then when James not only turned up to play the match, but also won it 6-1 6-0. James might like to contribute some words on how it went……
In homage to Huckleberry Finn’s creator, I can avow that reports of my injury were greatly exaggerated. Admittedly I was fearful of a torn leg muscle, but three days of solid rest was enough to ensure that my limb had limbered up sufficiently. Alberto and I had a lovely match, with plenty of long rallies, occasional ventures to the net and a few cheeky drop shots. As many of the games went to multiple deuces, the score makes it look more comfortable that it was.
Whilst James and Alberto were playing on the first grass court, Logan Mair and Stan Vasiliev were playing their singles match on the middle court. Whilst this was initially billed as a total slug fest between two of the hardest hitters on the West Heath circuit, such a tour de brute force only appeared for the first few games. Logan’s wisdom eventually realised that he was not capable of outhitting Stan the Man, so adopted a more consistent, and less pacy, style. Clearly the strategy worked, and it seems that Stan’s fast-paced game was undone by having to generate all of his own power. Logan came through to win 6-2 6-2.
In action before all these matches was the contest between Matt Wasser and Leo Colle. Taking place on the third grass court, Leo triumphed 6-1 6-1 in a surprisingly long fixture. Leo progresses to play the defending champion in the round of 16.
The men’s singles draw is the largest and is progressing well, with all but two first round matches played, with one of these scheduled for the today (Tuesday).