Dec. 2, in the 2017th year of our Lord.  Eagles Landing Tennis Complex, Allen, Texas.

God save the Queen!!

Vantaggio Royal Court

*Queen Rachel
*Prince Fess
*Duke Tyler
*Earl Joseph Vita

No Man.

     The reign of Queen Rachel has begun.  This killer of Kings, this punker of Princes, this demoralizer of Dukes, this executioner of Earls.  No man!  No man could beat her this day.

     In the Valparaiso Sports Hall of Fame the name Rachel Janssen is enshrined, her accomplishments documented, revered, known far and wide.  A literal Crusader.  The put-away artist.  The set-up specialist.  Think of nothing, she said.  Perhaps watch the strings hit the shot.  Pray.  Simple basics was the only solicited advice she offered.  She wanted every point, she loved to play, she was sleek and swift.  Precise and merciless.  To win a single game against her in the morning round was the highlight of my peasant effort.  King Of the Court 10 ended in historical fashion.  A woman wears the crown.  Queen Rachel.  Immediately, the ramifications were clear.  Marty The Missing no showed for beers, King James' bid for the elusive 3rd title ended in discrace, and JD Miles is singing the Bag Of Ice On My Big Toe Blues.  The Queen only shrugged, accepting the accolades and responsibility in easy stride.  Like her game- graceful, classic, constant.  In truth, the tennis kingdom was ready, another breakthrough, long overdue.  Billie Jean King, tennis culture is freed!  This, however, was not about show business.  Commerce was not sought, statements were not made.  Only points and games to be won, and they all mattered.  All of them.  They mattered most, evidentely, to Queen Rachel.  God, be with her.

     Prince Fess serves the tennis kingdom in his princely way for an unprecedented third time, his gentlemanly exterior hiding a vicious tennis nature.  Keck played him tough, but he was too formidable.  Sellars, jacked up on testosterone, succombed to the experienced Fess, and Frankenh felt the blade end of his royal knife as he played in KOtC for the very first time.  The most lethal and loyal of all the royals, Prince Fess don't mess around.

     The Kid is the Duke.  The Eagles finally fly high again.  With the notable exception of 2- time Prince Dayton Hancock, their royal record has been inconsistent.  After disposing of Bobby Pierson's mixed doubles game, Duke Tyler tied Frank Friday 5-5 in their afternoon Mahut after falling behind 3-5.  It proved to be the difference, despite Frank's triumphantly celebrated moulette of Vito.  The kid showed grit.  And grits are good.

     The bottom courts, the ones with trash on them, the ones with deep cracks, the ones where vulgarities are allowed, was where Earl Joseph Vita did his dirty work.  Sometimes, royalty is taken at the expense of blood.  Royal history is full of the decapitated heads of family members.  Bill Vita's noggin was cut clean off by his brother.  2-8.  Brutal.  The royally, and perpetually, tough Bob Rodgers ruined my chances for Earl with a lethal mid court game.  Even a headless Bill tied me in our Mahut.  To be clear, I did not lose to Earl Joseph.  He clinched mathematically with a 3-4 loss to me.  Congratulations man, hope it helps your brand.  Vantaggio!  Advantage Joe, for now.

Allow a moment for nostalgia as we've redefined scoring methodologies and cultural taboos of tennis, reclaiming its glorious future.  Always know, the past should only be remembered, not protected.  Always forward.  KOtC 10 merely represents a royal foundation.  Collectively, 160 tennis warriors showed up on those ten mornings, 960 mahuts were played in heat and wind and chill, 9600 games were decided in all.  Ten Royal Courts of all shapes, nationalities, personalities, skill, and genders were made immortal, remembered forever.  May all the royals be blessed, may their subjects be grateful, and for Christ's sake----May God Save The Queen!

The Modern Court.

Only delusional dreamers would try that.  Who, in their right minds, would attempt it?  Take on the established, normalized cultures of our lives.  To resist expectations and surprise.  Outlandish.  Usually, wrapped in prestige, tradition, and respectability.  Just enough righteouness to keep it sustained, just enough for a slow, but steady, growth.  Keep it together for a hundred years and no one on earth will know an alternative.  Nationalism, religion, economics, political philosophies, relationships of all types.  And, yes, scoring methods.

The morning of King Of The Court 10, a rejection of the numbing scoring systems of the past, a repudiation of idleness, a slap at subjective ratings and carpetbagging strategies.  A flip to the USTA for propping up this nonsense through fees and grants.  An app could replace the whole operation.  Along with the Isner Scoring Method, a tennis revolution could emerge in America.

If tennis is to thrive and realize its potential as the greatest sport in the world, it must bloom.  To gather for a common reason, to exhaust the body, to test the mind.  No sitting around, no excuses, no whining.  Only grunts and screams and slams and drops and slices and down the lines.  Some loves and deuces and moulettes.  Overheads and bailouts.  Wides, longs, and just missed.  Double faults.

Watch the ball to the strings, take the short angles, limit the backswing, and finish the motion.  The morning is here, the future is unknown for now.  Royalty will be decided by early afternoon, they will be celebrated and toasted by dusk.  The modern tennis court.  The Royal Court of KOtC10.


Perfect Texas Winter morning.

There are no friends during a Mahut.

The Players.

Group 1
- John Sellars
- Frank Friday
- Bill Vita

Group 2
- Rachel Janssen
- Jason Keck
- Paul Gorman
- Vito Nguyen

Group 3
- JD Miles
- Chris Fess
- Joe Vita
- Bob Pierson

Groups 4
- Marty Feldman
- Matt Frankenh
- Tyler Cameron
- Bob Rogers

Every game matters.