In an unofficial kick-off to the court tennis season, the recently formed Team New England took on the also recently formed Team Tuxedo.  Camden Riviere and Rich Smith represented NE, while Tim Chisholm and Josh Bainton represented Tuxedo

In the first match, the sparks were flying as Rich Smith and Josh Bainton battled for supremacy.  The first set saw some game swapping as Rich dominated the service.  In the fifth game, a very long reste seemed to tire Rich out as Josh pulled ahead to 4-2.  A couple more games were swapped when Josh cracked a straight force that grazed the inner thigh of Rich.  Don’t worry, revenge would come in the third set.  Josh won the first set 6-3.

The second set saw a virtual role role reversal, with both players serving wide, allowing the receiver to abuse the server’s backhand.  During a point in the sixth game, just after he served, Josh dropped his bat but was quick enough to pick it up and return the blazing main wall force service return.  But to no avail.  Rich took the second set 6-2. 

The final set was Rich all the way.  Josh finally got a game in the fourth game, but that was it.  The last game saw some loose serving from Josh, which resulted in four straight forces in a row aimed right back at him.  Josh showed his disgust for what he considered too aggressive play, but the dedans agreed that none of the shots were unsportsmanlike.  In the end, Rich took the set 6-1.  First match to New England. 

The second match was what we were all waiting for: Chisholm v. Riviere, old friends and old rivals.  The first set was a surprise to many, as Chisholm had been away from the game for a while living in Madison, Wisconsin, selling boilers or some crazy thing.  He had just returned to the game in May as the head pro at the Tuxedo Club.  Since then, he had dropped about 35 pounds.  He looked a lot like he did at the 2002 World Championship, almost gaunt.  Cam, on the other hand, has been bulking up a little with his muscles seemingly growing by the day.   

Tim took the first set fairly convincingly, 6-3.  After trading games, Tim finally took the fifth and sixth games.  For a while it looked like Cam was staging a comeback, but Tim just tried a tad harder and closed it out in his favor.

Cam was not pleased.  We could hear him saying: “Come on, now.  This is your home court.”  He turned it around in the second, reeling off three games in a row.  But these games were hard fought with multiple deuces.  Tim won the fourth game and grabbed another game, but Cam was ahead 5-2 when the rain began.  Of course, when it rains outside it rains inside at T&R.  It looked like the night was over, but the rain blew over.  Unfortunately, it was getting quite late, as Tim and Cam must have played two dozen deuces throughout their match.  Cam decided to default in order to move the night on and get to the doubles. 

The doubles was a short 8-game pro set.  Continuing the theme, NE and Tuxedo traded the first four games.  It looked like it was going to be a long night after all, despite the relatively short doubles restes.  Then, Cam and Rich seemed to sync up, and they took the next six games in a row to win the match 8-2 and the evening’s contest, to boot.

Ken Forton

T&R Tennis Committee