ANDERSON — The rust wasn't readily visible to the casual observer.
Dennis Poe and Alex Poe, seeded No. 1 in the Father/Son Division, opened play in the Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Rob Crull and Bob Crull Tuesday night.
The rust came from the fact that the Poes aren't doubles teammates very often. "We didn't play together (in the Anderson Tennis Classic) last year because I was out of town," said Dennis, Alex's father.
"I think the only time we play together is in this tournament," said Alex. "So it might have been two years since we have played together, other than just going out and hitting together."
But the familiarity with one another's game made everything fall into place quickly. That knowledge comes from beyond just the familial relationship. Dennis also has been Alex's coach throughout his career, including being the varsity coach at Frankton.
"I know what I'm supposed to do and I know what he's going to do," said Alex. "It's doubles so we just try to get to the net as much as we can."
Dennis had a simple strategy he likes to employ when playing with his son as a partner. "I get it in play and we puts it away," he said. It certainly didn't appear that was all he did as he notched several points, especially with overhead smashes.
Even though the scores were a bit one-sided, many points were spirited with the balls making several trips over the net without touching the court surface.
"The dad got every serve in," said Alex. "They were solid. The son is a good left-hander, but the wind was carrying some of his shots long."
This was the first match of the tournament for the Poes and the second for the Crulls.
The Poes play again on Thursday against Joshua Deutsch and Michael Deutsch.
Play continues in the Anderson Tennis Classic today. Matches start at noon at Highland Middle School in the consolation bracket and at 12:30 p.m. at Anderson University in the championship bracket.
The tournament runs through Sunday with most championships decided on the weekend.