Eight days later, another win for the Green Machine


In a match that took eight days, 2,324 e-mails and 27 phone calls to reschedule and complete, the Green Machine put the final touches on a 3-0 win over the Fighting Spirakises Monday evening in 18-over mixed 7.0 doubles action.

Torres sets up for a forehand winner, placing herself perfect in between the cameraman and the Hunter's Green logo because she thought the forest green background really made her top and visor pop.

Nini Torres sets up for a forehand winner, placing herself perfectly in between the cameraman and the Hunter’s Green logo because she thought the forest green background really made her top and visor pop.

Completing the sweep was the tandem of John Slatniske and Nini Torres, who overcame a shaky start that left them 2-2 in the first set before rains delayed the match . Monday, however, the duo was sharp against Scott Jankes and Marisa Martin, two of the club’s most promising 3.0 prospects.


Scott Jankes — fulfilling his obligations to his many sponsors by wearing an Under Armour hat, Nike wristbands, Coolibar shirt, Wilson racquet, Converse wrist brace, Adidas shorts, Fila socks and Reebok shoes — prepares to serve

Slatniske started out serving at 30-30 and made quick work to put the Machine out in front. After a break, it was Torres winning her serve and the Spirakises never recovered. A number of perfectly place balls down the middle solved the riddle, as they say, and the first set went to the visitors 6-2.


John Slatniske keeps his eye on the prize, a split second before closing eyes and completely missing this forehand.

Little changed in the second.  Jankes was coming off a weekend 4th of July bender, and didn’t look as sharp as he did a few weeks back taking out 3.0 club champion J.R. Daws in the flex league, and Martin chose to play off the net. That opened up the court for the more experienced Machineers, who were able to pepper the 6.0 squad with myriad of tricky shots on the way to a 6-2, 6-2 final.


In support of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, Monday’s players decided to each dress in the colors of the gay pride rainbow flag.

In the other matches, the Green Machine had one easy ride, and one stiffer test.

The team of Mike and Janene Culumber dominated in a 6-1, 6-0 win on the third line. It was Mike’s first match since, well, the end of last 7.0 season. He was so rusty, he originally took the court with a 7-iron, before his wife reminded him he had the wrong bag.

And at line 2, Chris Baker and Sylvie Wittman won 6-1, 6-4 in a match that opponent J.R. Daws claimed had to be the toughest of Baker’s career.

“I’m a 4.0 in a 3.0 player’s body, and today you saw that, we almost had ’em,” Daws said. “If not for a dozen or so bad serves, a few forehands into the net and 20 or so lobs that went long, and just six or seven volleys into the net, we would have won that second set. No doubt.”

The Machine is now 5-1 and all alone in first place — for the moment. Brandon, which has yet to make up its match with Arbor Green, is second with a 4-1 record.

Sunday, the Machine hosts Arbor Green at 9:30 a.m.


About johncotey

John was a sportswriter and columnist for the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Times for 25 years, before being pushed from the Titantic, and hopes all of you non-subscribers are happy reading your free news on the internets while his journalism brethren suffer. Not that he's not bitter or anything. His real true joys, however, are his wife, kids and tennis, though not necessarily in that order. Unless his wife is reading this. Then DEFINITELY in that order.
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