Tennis Prose



The Unexpected Win Syndrome

We touched on this topic in the past, when an out of form, low on confidence player suddenly and unexpectedly sparks him or herself into a surprise victory, such as Agassi at Wimbledon, Goran at Wimbledon, Karatsev’s semi at AO for just three examples.

Well here’s another example of the “Unexpected Win Syndrome”, from Johan Kriek…

True story….. Summer of like 1982 and I drove all the way from Naples, Florida to Montreal, Canada to play in the Canadian Open. I arrived two days early to get over my “Porsche lag” only to find out I wasn’t in the draw! ATP somehow missed my entry. Maybe Weller Evans had misplaced his glasses. Anyway, the ATP gave me quarterfinals points and money for my “no show”…..but what to do for the week off now?

Luckily, Lake Placid, NY was a couple of hours away south so I went to my favorite mayor of Naples – Bill Barnett’s camp Karisma – which was right on Lake Placid, has room for 26 people and he is one hell of a cook! So for the next week I “camped” on the lake, ate more peach and blueberry pies to last a lifetime, lobsters from Maine, steaks about three inches thick, etc.  The following Saturday I had to fly to California and play in the WCT event in La Costa (Carlsbad, CA) and panicked as I hadn’t hit a ball except the beers and the fridge! So Bill has this really badly beaten up from frost heaves hard court so we hit for like nine minutes for my prep in California.

In the finals I beat Roscoe Tanner 6-0 in the fourth set (actually 60 46 60 64) to win the biggest check of my career and I won the doubles with Fritz Buehning, probably only because his “shiner” went down from when his mom punched him for talking back to her.

So practice doesn’t always “make perfect.” Uncle Bill’s cooking will!

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