Tourney Caters To Singles Who Like Doubles
By Andy Staples
Reprinted From The Tampa Tribune.
. . . . Tampa -- Ed Krass didn't want to stop playing tennis after knee surgery last year. He just wasn't sure whether his repaired joint could take the pounding of a full singles match.
So Krass, who runs a series of exposure camps for aspiring college players, decided to derive a competition from a serve-and-volley drill professionals used to prepare for doubles. After playing that way for a few months, Krass figured other players would enjoy the format.
The upshot is this weekend's One-on-One Doubles Championships at Hunter's Green. Play begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, and admission is free.
The tournament is the first of three for doubles enthusiasts who love the speed and excitement of doubles but not having to team with another person. In the new format, players use only half the court -- plus the alley -- to simulate doubles play without the muss and fuss of two more human beings.
Krass also hopes the style catches on for another reason. Players accustomed to hitting the variety of shots required to win a serve-and-volley match will enjoy more interesting standard singles matches.
"It's to spearhead the movement to get the serve and volley back in tennis," Krass said. "We need to get that back into the game."
Krass said the combination of lobs and volleys players must use should offer more excitement than watching two players hit away from the baseline. Players have little choice but to come to the net in the new format.
"It's going to be exciting to see the variety of shots," Krass said.
Several of the area's best players have registered for the tournament. St. Petersburg's Jeff Davis has been ranked as high as No. 2 in 1999, while brothers Dan and Derek Brooks played at Ole Miss and were members of the team that won the USTA-USA League Tennis open division title last year.
Krass said several out-of-town players also have committed. One is Australian Peter Doohan, who stunned then-reigning champ Boris Becker at Wimbledon in 1987.
At this weekend's tournament, the purse will be 30 percent of the money collected in entry fees from players in eight divisions. Boys and girls 18 and under must pay $35 each to play, while players in the men's and women's open divisions, men's 35s, 40s, 45s and 50s must pay $45 to play.
Registration is still open. For information, call (813) 684-9031 or visit www.oneononedoubles.com.
Krass said he hopes three tournaments this year can generate enough interest to produce a full-blown circuit with corporate sponsors next year.
"This is a drill," Krass said of the format. "Basically, what I'm doing is legitimizing it into a prize money circuit."
Reprinted from The Tampa Tribune, Tuesday, February 10, 2004
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