Opening singles and doubles matches 7

As the top seed, I was put on the feature court. I love to play when people are watching as it is a constant reminder to hold myself to the high standards I set for myself of being a fair and respectful opponent, to play hard each and every point, to be accepting and non judgmental and to play with dignity and class. I want, always, to be an example that I see set by my sports heroes Federer, Nadal, Manning, Jeter, Gretsky.

In the singles I played fine tennis, staying well within myself, returning serve consistently, serving with good variety and keeping my error count low. I appreciate my own game when I stay away from overdoing anything. I hit shots that are within my level and feel solid knowing that I don’t need to be better than “just Bob.” This past winter I got in touch with a new level of confidence, a knowing that I can “just be Bob” that is being the best I am. To try to be better than that often escalates me into the error zone. Of course I continue to work on improving but that is so that I can just be Bob at another level. So I played with this confidence yesterday, doing what it took and I won against a solid, but somewhat inexperienced opponent, 6-1, 6-0.

Charlie and I played a strong doubles match against two fine players. My confidence carried forward. When feeling it there is very little that compares. I feel that I can make every shot and I am surprised when I miss one. I accept it and move on as it is part of the game but the quiet confidence and certainty remains. It builds with each shot and point. When feeling it I love forward to every shot and am willing to do go for it each time. Sometimes the confidence is fleeting but yesterday I took it out of my tennis bag and kept in with my on the court through both matches. We won 6-2, 6-2.

Matches will be even tougher today as, in the round of 16 seeds start to meet in both singles and doubles.

The US Open has me in a major tennis mentality. My favorite player Roger Federer is struggling and the question of whether or not he will continue to compete is thrown at me by a number of people. Will he be ok losing to players who have been behind him? Will he be able to deal with a lower ranking and earlier losses? Can he tolerate playing on the Grandstand rather than the Stadium? Of course, I don’t know what is going on in his mind and I am careful to avoid telling someone else’s story. What I do know, though, is my story. When I was going through recovery from hip surgery, I was faced with similar questions. My story is that I love competition. I love who I need to be as a competitor and that competing means playing against people that are challenging. If my level were to drop off, I would still have the opportunity to compete. I might have to make some ego adjustment but that would be healthy as attachment to an image is unappealing to me. Would I stop? No! There are only two reasons that I would stop. If I lose the passion for competing or if my body kept me from being able to do what I love.
I hope that Fed has not lost the passion and will continue to bring his majestic game to the court.image


with doubles partner Charlie Hoeveler

with doubles partner Charlie Hoeveler

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7 thoughts on “Opening singles and doubles matches

  • Suzanne Kingsbury

    You are a true inspiration. I love that you love when people are watching so you can remember to hold yourself to that high standard. That’s amazing in it’s integrity. Thanks so much for being out there!!!


    I love reading your blog…I ,too, have to overcome an injury that has made me think of quitting tennis(a torn rotator cuff}…But I have decided to play through the discomfort for as long as I can be competitive….Tennis makes me feel like a forty-year old, not the 75 that I am and that’s a Good Thing……so thanks for the inspiration…and Good Luck in the tournament……

  • Ricardo Neuberger

    Many years ago a shrink asked me …who is your partner when you play tennis?, obviously I told him my partner is who stand´s by me in doubles. No, he said the question is about singles….who is your partner? I did´nt know what to say. Your partner is the person you have in front of you. Without this “partner” you can not start and play any game. You need him.
    Good luck and “just Bob” in every match.

  • ed wolfarth

    Good luck Bob….but we know luck has nothing to do with it. Your preparation and mental attitude is superior. You start every game 30 – love!! Go for it!!!