Graydon Nichols and Alex Swetka took different paths to victory on Thursday at the National Hard Courts. Nichols, playing in his first year in the 85s, dominated the division, losing only 4 games in winning his second national 85s title. He won the Indoors last week. He beat Ed Tyler in the final 62 61, and combined with Jim Mackey to beat George Druliner/Tyler 63 62 to win the doubles and his 40th gold ball.
Swetka, playing in his fourth year of the 90s, had a much tougher route to the gold. He and his final round opponent, Bob Sherman, advanced routinely to the final, but the final was far from easy for either player. Swetka started swiftly, using his lefty spin effectively in winning the first set 61. Sherman rallied to take the 2nd set 63 and led 3-0 in the final when Swetka dug in, made some good gets and started controlling the points with his groundstrokes. It was an excellent match, won 63 in the third by Swetka (the 90s players had voted to play a full third set prior to the start of the event…no match tiebreaks for them!). Sherman and Swetka teamed up to win the doubles, also in three sets, over Gerry Ells from Australia and Hernamann, also a foreign player. The 90s had a draw of 16 singles players.
In the 75s, Buddy Lomax advanced easily to the final, when George McCabe retired after losing the first set 61 with a leg injury. He faces Neil Hurlbut, a 3 set winner over Rollie Odell.
In the 80s, it’s a battle of Russells…Russell Seymour who advanced easily to the final over John Bradshaw, last week’s indoor winner. He faces Joe Russell, a 3 set winner over Mel Lewis. Seymour has lost only a smattering of games in reaching the final, helped by a default in the quarters.
The 75 doubles was decided today, with Lenny Lindborg/Jim Nelson edging John Powless/Dick Doss, last year’s top team in three sets. Doss/Powless looked down and out in the 2nd set before rallying to take 5 games in a row and force a third. The better mobility of the victors was a big factor in their win.
The 80 doubles was won by Fitzgerald/Foran over Owen/Hand.