The following is a chapter I wrote just recently about an old mate of mine, Ted Adams. Sorry Ted I put it to a draft copy when I was tidying up this site just recently. It's now top of the page again out of respect for the man who won me a local doubles title through an act of sheer brilliance. Enjoy Big fella....
'OK, I read your blog and you are still managing to piss people off.
You were obnoxious as a 15 year old and, while I will concede you have mellowed a little with age, you still come across obnoxious and a little truculent as an adult (I use the term 'adult' loosely!)
You wouldn't play 'Pennants' for Lawley Park when you were a kid and it appears you still 'dont play well with others' now.
You broke rackets (Emrik Blitz's) like they cost you nothing! Sometimes I know they did?
You would ride your bike everywhere and sometimes you had a fat passenger on the back.
You loved to eat snickers bars but never put on weight.
You were the only serious tennis player in the Southern Hemisphere that still wore Dunlop 'Volleys'.
You went to Queensland with Kieron and when you guys came back he still couldn't take me.
And in all the years we would hit together I never did beat you.
That was an email I just received from 'Big Ted', a mate of mine from way back in the 80's. I used to ride about 7 kms to Ted's house, he then sat on my seat while I dinked him down to the Lawley Park Tennis Club. The hardest part of our training session was in fact taking Ted on my bike as the big fella was just that, a big fella even in High School but boy he could serve.
It's funny but Ted and I trained a lot, as we also did with our other buddy Kieron ( as Ted mentioned ) yet we only played a couple of tournaments together as juniors. I recall Ted and I losing to two South Australian kids in the semis of the 18's Boys Doubles at the Albany Open Junior Tournament one year but we made 'em earn it.
Ted and I didn't really have any success on court together until we were around 30 years of age when we put in a late entry for the Albany Open Championship just for a bit of a laugh. In our second last match we faced match point against Max Loveridge and John Quinn and Ted did the most ridiculous thing, yet it worked a treat.
I actually said to Ted "Just get it back mate, nothing fancy, make 'em play", so this is what Ted did. He ignored me, took Max's serve half way to the service line, chipped it on his backhand and came to the net where he hit a sublime backhand volley winner in the tram lines past John.
I remember looking at him with a rather wry smile and nodded in appreciation at his rather gutsy move but it was tough to watch. It was all up to Ted whether we won that match or not.
We saved one more match point then I served it out from memory to 15. We won our last match easily to take the title, classic day out at the Emu Point Tennis Club. I believe it was the year 2000.
Absolute legend of local tennis here in Albany was Big Ted and I am grateful for being able to play against guys like him in my junior days. Our practice matches were plentiful and most involved 4 or 5 sets where we put the friendship aside for several hours and did our best to kill each other on court. There were no niceties when Ted and I trained at Lawley Park in the 80's.
Ted won me my first ever Albany Open with a display of guts that I was simply in awe of as most players would tighten up at match point down, not Ted, he only knew one way of playing.
One day Ted when you get back to the land of Oz we will renew our rivalry down at our old tennis club but we may just cut that best of 5 sets down to best of 'one' as the old legs may struggle to do much more.
Legend you are buddy......