Men’s 80s

Meet the members of the 2009 USTA Gardnar Mulloy Cup Team.

 

Captain: Tony Franco, Briarcliff Manor NY. This is his 70th
year of playing and still trying to get up to a 2.5 NTRP rating (kidding). This
is his 5th straight Mulloy Cup team and his first time as a captain
and 7th overall. Tony is known for his jokes; he’s a master
deliverer of them and always has one handy.

 

Tony is coming off wins in singles and doubles at the grass
courts and the clay courts. He said it is possibly his best tennis year ever,
but definitely will be the best if they win the Cup. Tony is retired from IBM.

 

Nothing beats representing your country and winning it for
the US
according to Tony.

 

Clem Hopp, Sarasota,
Florida. Clem started playing
tennis in Detroit
when he was 9 in a boys’ camp and has been playing ever since except for break
when in his mid 20s and 30s.

 

Clem is currently one the world and in the US in men’s
80s. This is his 5th Cup team. He won the world championships in the
75s in 2003 and is a 7 time European champion. He likes the grass in Perth and says it’s the
best he’s ever played on.

 

Richard (Dick) Emmert from Willmington, DE,
is the rookie on this team. It is his first Cup team. He started playing tennis
at age 17, but turned down college tennis to pursue his chemical engineering
degree and then eventually got his masters and PhD. He worked for over 30 years
for DuPont, traveling all over the world, including Asia, but this is his first
trip to Australia.

 

Dick started playing nationals in the 70+ age division but
played in the Middle States while working as a chemical engineer. He started
playing a lot more after retirement, almost daily when he’s not in a
tournament. He’s a member of the Delaware Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

This is his first year in the 80s. He was thrilled to make
the Cup team. His goal going into the 80s was to reach the top 6 in the
country.

 

Graydon Nichols, Hanford,
CA. Graydon is playing on this 5th straight Cup team and 11th
overall and is the veteran of the team. He and Tony won the world championships
last year in doubles. He was recently inducted into the USTA NorCal Tennis Hall
of Fame. He still puts in many hours in agribusiness in California.

 

Nichols started playing tournaments when his sister
introduced him and his 7 siblings to tennis. Their dad allowed them to use part
of a field on their small farm for a dirt court and they used ashes to line the
court. He played sporadically till he reached his mid 40s, and hit his stride
when he hit the 70s. He’s been a top 5 player ever since.

 

His favorite surface is grass and he loves to serve and
volley.

 

The USA Mulloy Cup team finished second in 2009 on red clay
and hopes to regain the cup in 2009.

 

 

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