I gotta tell you about this match. What a weird one. New Jersey State 45s at Upper Ridgewood. My opponent is an attorney, tall guy, long arms, huge serve. And a character. We'll call him Don. He wears adidas whites, the new white black and green Barricade VI and uses the Babolot racquet.He immediately tried to dictate by complaining before the first point about my using three small white towels and dropping them at the fence. He said they were a distraction. So I put one back. I've been using three lately in this 90 degree heat because they all get so set so fast. Then he didn't like two towels separate, he wanted me to put them together so it looked like one. Amazing huh? Shouldn't he be focused on the court instead of the towels laying at the fence? Should I have complained about the striping on his shirt as being distracting? I mean, come on. So we start, I start off serving very slowly. He tries to attack from a few steps behind the service line but can't quite get a handle. I manage to hold after a couple deuces. His serve is wicked, big spin, velocity and hard to handle. He holds easy. 1-1. I manage to hold again barely. The pattern continues. At 3-3 I hold easier because I find that even an average serve down the T on the deuce court troubles him. This bouys my confidence. It seems to be a hole. I can sense frustration in his body language and face. Don does not like the way I play and the kind of balls I'm giving him.But I'm concerned about this guy because he has a big game, he plays serve and volley, and before the match I checked and saw he has some good results in USTA tournaments, taking the defending champion to 61 62 last year. That's actually a good effort because the champ is a former ATP top 150. He's played some other USTA warriors competitively too. Don has an impressive game. This is one of those toss-up matches. I begin to connect on some good returns which are directed to down the middle at his feet, he pops up some volleys which I laser for winners both up the line and cross court. The lob gets him too. He misses two easy overheads when he angrily tries to slam them to death - he didn't take any practice overheads in the warm-up - I hold to go up 4-3 then break for 5-3. It's clear Don is very annoyed that he has to be playing a junk baller like me, he wants to play real tennis. I think he expected to crush me, as I saw him talking with some of the other players before the match who undoubtedly told him about my game and what he should do to combat it. I am mixing it up perfectly, junk and quality shots, he is playing my game. I have sucked him down to this level of ugly tennis (Thanks again Brad Gilbert, author of "Winning Ugly.") Anyone would think Don is the superior player but the best player doesn't always win. Early on I have learned that Don's baseline shots are average and not damaging - once I get his serve back. He has not been able to hurt me with any clean winners and his heavy topspin is not really effective.Then trouble starts. At 15-all in the 5-3 game I pass him up the line with a perfect slow topspin forehand just inside the line, while he's at the net. It's good. There's no doubt about that. But when I go to serve, he says the score is 15-30. I tell him he's crazy, that ball was INSIDE the line. Are you really going to steal that point? He is indeed taking the point. So I drop my racquet and march up to the pavilion to get an official to umpire for us. When she gets there he immediately begins complaining about me taking too much time between points. I'm ticked off now. This guy cheated me out of a huge point, which is actually a two point steal, 15-30 should really be 30-15. Now he's whining about me taking too much time. But it's hotter than heck and half the time I have to go and pick up his balls (20 yards away) from wild serves, misses and overhead slams. Fortunately, I get it back together and don't let this form of cheating disrupt my flow and I win the game to take the set 6-3.The momentum continues my way in the second set. I break him at love and he is totally out of sync now. The presence of the umpire is hot helping him either. After another miss at the net with a ball at his feet, he is muttering something about "feeling like he's on another planet." After missing a return of a slow serve: "That was the slowest serve I ever saw." He keeps trying to chip returns from about a foot behind the service line but misses about half of them. Yet he keeps trying the same tactic. Then when he makes a return I can pass him, or break him down with patience. He does make a couple of perfect returns deep. A couple of times I ran down his shots from in the alley all the way to the other side and ended up winning the point, which baffled him.Then he said: "I feel like I'm on mars." I kept on doing the same thing, jabbing returns off his high kicks into the middle range of the court at his feet by the service line and he kept popping up shots which I could get to and hurt him with. Total control. I break him twice and lead 4-0. He holds easily after making some great serves. But I hold on and cruise to the 6-3 6-1 win. It was another nice, hard-fought win.After the match Don refused to shake my hand, yet he was the one who cheated me, blatantly. I pushed my hand to barely touch his anyway and he said don't touch me, that's assault. I played a good match, hit some excellent placements and used the right strategy to frustrate poor Don who is a good player but by complaining about towels and taking too much time, showed he is a typical tennis softee. In boxing parlance, they call it, "He showed bitc*."But next up will be the defending champ tomorrow at 5. Ron is a machine, played at North Carolina, had ATP points and has dominated me twice 7-5 6-2 and 6-0 6-1. He dominates just about everybody on the 35s and 45s circuit. Gonna have to play and serve the match of my life to even have a shot at the champion.