With 21 players in the Men's A/Open draw, anyone can take the championship belt. Early favorites are World Health Club's Allan Macaulay and Cale Williams who have already moved onto the quarter-finals. The 4 players winning their first round to get into the round of 16 include myself, Ciaran Godfrey, Andrew Gilbert and Glen Handley.
Glen played a determined Rick Gray who hits the ball low and hard. Glen's backboard style and athleticism extended points long enough for Rick to force shots and make errors. Glen won 3-1 and faces number 2 seed Fabio DeStefani in his next round.
Andrew Gilbert had a shaky start agains lefty Mike Hiller. Mike's penetrating length dominated Andrew as he walked over him in the first 2 games. Andrew attempted to extend rallies, but Mike continued to hit the ball past Andrew time and time again. Andrew collected himself after losing the 2nd and completely changed his gameplan, looking to go short and force Mike to move off the T. With a new strategy, Andrew began to dominate play as he roared back to win 11-9 in the 5th. Andrew moves on to play unknown Micaala Seth.
Ciaran Godfrey started his tourney against veteran Greg Henderson who tried to extend rallies long enough for Ciaran to find the tin. Greg put up a good fight losing one game in extra points and surprisingly taking a game off Eau Claire's top ranked player. But Ciaran was too much for Greg in the fourth as his blistering pace made most of his shots unreturable. Ciaran now faces Medicine Hat's Todd Christianson.
In a re-match of our first round last year, I was given the opportunity to redeem myself against Jeff Schneider (who beat me in 5 last year). The gameplan was to extend points and tire out Jeff as I know he hasn't played a lot this summer. I took the first game 11-8. After coming off court and getting some sound coaching, I kept my racket up and looked to go short on loose balls and play high crosscourt lobs on low drives. I took the second 11-2. I continued with this strategy and finished strong 11-3. My next match will pit me against hard hitting Larry Laine.
There are still lots of matches left to be played, including much anticipated Kelsey Souchereau who will play Reg Munro later today. Stay tuned for more updates on the Fit Plus Men's Tournament.