The tennis was great at the inaugural Green Machine Team Tennis season opener, but was it a success?
- Three players failed breathalyzer tests afterwards — and were all from the same team, the Serve-ezas.
- After being mocked for having a blister on his foot from swimming (wtf?), one spectator challenged the team captain who was mocking him to a 1600-meet swim off (wtf?) in the Hunter’s Green pool. Seriously. I mean, wtf?
- John Slatniske hit two forehands over the net in the same point.
- After weeks of promising fair play with fair match-ups, one captain who was playing against a 3.0 subbed himself out after like 5 minutes for a 4.0.
- One player subbed herself out for being too drunk and was replaced by another player…who was even drunker!
Welcome to Team Tennis, y’all.
On the court, Smash Inc. pulled off a 29-20 win over Stephen Hunter’s Gummy Bears squad, and the Bay Area Bombers, led by captain Erik Hajek, dropped Santiago’s Team Serve-ezas.
The tennis was hot from the outset. So hot, that Hunter, after falling behind 3-0 to Jimmy Hann, pulled himself from the match and substituted Fred Tichanuk. The first sub in GMTT history backfired, though, as Hann held off Tichanuk for a thrilling 5-4 win.
While Tichanuk, a 4.0, made a valiant recovery for his captain, he claimed he was in a no-win situation against the younger 3.0.
“Did Aaron Rodgers take it easy on Matt Ryan Sunday? Did Sonny Liston take it easy on Cassius Clay? Did Tom take it easy on Jerry?,” asked Smash cap John Cotey. “Listen, we will have to let history sort out that debate. If Fred wants to use the kind of Alternate Facts that are so popular in today’s World O’ Trump, what can I say? Our only comment is: Scoreboard.”
That set the tone for Smash the rest of the night. Though they couldn’t sweep every line due to workhorse Carolynn Boutell pulling off a win at singles 5-4 for the G-Bears, the mighty Smash outscored the Hunter’s squad in the four doubles matches 20-11.
In women’s doubles, Phuong and Cherie, who was later subbed out for Daniela, beat Carolynn and Amy “Bling” Rairigh 5-2, and Cotey and Larry Palombo toppled Tichanuk and Pat Rairigh 5-3 in men’s doubles. In mixed action, Daniela and Larry posted a 5-3 win over the Boutells, and the Hanns Clan, Jimmy and Kara, closed out the victory with a decisive 5-3 win over the Rairighs.
“Despite the incessant trash talking from Carolynn, which I found a bit aggressive and intimidating, I thought our team really rose to the challenge,” Cotey said. “Hunter set the tone by subbing himself out down 3-0 in the first match of the night. Rookie mistake.
The Bombers rode a strong performance at mixed doubles and took five of six matches against the Serve-ezas to pick up a crushing 26-16 win that had many wondering if the language barrier between Santiago and his teammates might be too much to overcome.
“No creo que eso sea cierto en absoluto,” said an angry Romero. “Creo que son las fuerzas que dirigen este equipo de tenis tratando de sembrar semillas de division.”
Mike Bitting put the Bombers on the path to victory with a 5-2 singles win over Slatniske, and Tibbie followed up with the only 5-0 score of the night to win her ladies singles match.
“Ballgame,” said Bombers captain Erik Hajek. “You don’t come back from that. You just don’t.”
Hajek was right. Although Slatniske and Santiago, thanks to a ridiculous advantage in their 8.0 combined ranking to just 6.5 for their opponent, were able to pull of a 5-1 rout of Andy Ritter and Dave Mardo. It showed the levels to which Santiago would go for victory, though in the end, it was merely a speed bump on the way to defeat.
“Eres un verdadero imbécil y no aprecio la forma en que estás expsoing mi falta de conocimientos de tenis,” dijo Romero. “¿Por favor deje de?”
James Hann, SMASH: Played the entire singles match, holding off a challenge from a 4.0-rated player. Then picked up a crucial win at mixed doubles with wife Kara to seal the team victory.
Carolynn Boutell, G-Bears: Picked up the only win of the night for her team at singles, and also had to play ladies AND mixed doubles. Ironman for her team, and accounted for 10 of their 20 games won.
Mary Dunlap, Bombers: Dunlap accounted for 10 points by winning at ladies and mixed doubles
Wine and Beer, Serve-ezas: ‘Nuff said.
Janice Fisher and Mary Dunlap, a pair of feisty 3.0s hoping to impress the 3.0 team captain Nikki Spirakis, shocked Spirakis and Jenna Ryan 5-4, and Dunlap and Bitting teamed up in mixed to win 5-1. And in the match of the night, Hajek and Lara Slatniske thrilled the overflow crowd with another shocking upset, this time 5-4 over Santiago and Jenna.
“A great win,” Erik said. “Listen, it’s not just about me and my greatness as a singles and doubles player. It’s about the little people, like Andy Ritter and Dave Mardo, taking a game off Santiago and Slatniske, an 8.0 combo. I mean, who would have expected that? It’s about Tibbie laying the smack down and earning a new nickname, Tib-BEAST. And, yes, it is about me, as well. Alot about me, actually. But give some credit to those other people, couldya?”
Overall, the night was a success. Check out the tweets from those who were watching via our live Periscope feed on Twitter!
STANDINGS W-L GW GL
SMASH, INC. 1-0 29 20
BOMBERS 1-0 26 16
G-BEARS 0-1 20 29
SERVE-EZAS 0-1 16 26
This week, Jan. 27, 6 p.m.
Smash, Inc. vs. Serve-ezas
Bombers vs. G-Bears
And here’s some photos from the night: