Finally, I'm up against a familiar opponent!Our history dates back to last season where he beat me in three sets in the spring and we played to a draw in fall. Third set was a victim of the rain.
His game similar to mine. The big difference is he does not get get as many free points off the serve as I do and I'm not as good from the baseline as he is. His forehand can misfire at times, so the plan was to force the ball to that side and let the unforced errors pile up
The warm-up saw ME making unforced errors off the forehand side it seemed as though every 3rd ball was into the fence or three courts down. As we started on another balmy spring day of 49 degrees the route was on! My opponent quickly raced out to a 4-0 lead. I broke to stop the bleeding at 4-1, but he broke and held for the set.
What happened to the plan? As Mike Tyson said," Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth!" I did add more spin to my forehand in an effort to keep it in the court, unfortunately that lead to the ball landing shorter in the court and his forehand that I thought would give unforced gifts gave me nothing but pain as hard topspin shots rained down two inches from the line. I kept the 2nd set respectable, breaking at 5-2 and trying to serve to make it 5-4. A flubbed volley wide at 15-40 gave him the match 6-1, 6-3.
As we spoke after the match he said that he had been working on hitting the forehand with spin for the outdoor season as he likes to hit flatter indoors. It apparently worked as was really able to take the offensive that day. I definitely have to come up with a new strategy for this guy. I thought his back hand was his strength but I may have to look to break it down if the forehand continues to be such a deadly weapon.
My next opponent has been iffy so I put in a raincheck and will get back to him later. My next scheduled opponent is a familiar foe. Whenever I play him the words of Ali come to mind, "To win, all I must do is suffer."