The Green Machine scouting department, billed by Tennis Magazine as “the most thorough, analytical and intricately-executed talent evaluation team in club tennis today”, has scoured the hillsides of Peru and Ecuador, the massive sandy expanses of the Middle East and the dense jungles of Vietnam for its players.
But for talented new 3.0 mixed doubles player Julie Sakre, it only had to look down the road to Tampa Palms.
Teaming up with 4.0 Chris Ricketts, Sakre made a splash in her Green Machine debut, winning a key line in a 2-1 victory over Brandon on Sunday, moving the undefeated 7.0-over 18 mixed team to 3-0 record and sole possession of first place.
An accomplished singles player who has already beaten higher-rated 3.5 players at line 1 for Tampa Palms this season, Sakre was able to drive her service returns to the alley, keep the ball deep and serve well in a 6-4, 6-4 victory in her first mixed doubles match ever.
“Thankfully, the pressure didn’t get to me,” said Sakre. “Sure, it was nervewracking. I imagine getting called by Mr. Cotey to play tennis is what it must be like when the New York Yankees call on you, or the president calls you for a secret mission, or Brad Pitt calls you to be in his movie, like a movie where he is playing Mr. Cotey, though personally I think maybe a Javier Bardem or Chris Hemsworth or Zac Efron might be better in that role. But yeah.”
After a loss at Line 3 that will not be mentioned here because there is no need to throw anyone named Janene Culumber and John Slatniske under the bus, Cotey and Nini Torres pulled out the clincher. After winning the first set 6-3, JoNini stumbled in the second before regaining their footing at dominating a third-set tiebreaker 10-5.
In keeping with his new policy of not putting pressure on his players, Cotey again declined comment. But the Tennis Digest did report that between the first and second sets of his match Sunday, Cotey’s LG G3 cell phone was found in the men’s bathroom, and was open to the Travelocity app where someone had apparently searched for hotel rooms in Daytona Beach from May 20-22, when the 7.0 sectionals will be held.
Cotey denied the report.
The Green Machine will be back in action next week when it hosts Harbour Island, which lost 2-1 Sunday to previously winless Arbor Green.