The USTA Category I Men’s 75-90 Hard Courts is taking place in Laguna Woods, CA, in south Orange County, CA. It’s about an hour north of North County in San Diego. I drove up today to watch my dad play his semifinal match in the men’s 85 division. He’s playing with Wayne Hippenstiel from Carmichael, CA (near Sacramento). Years ago…30 years by now…I used to practice with Wayne and when we went indoors he beat up on me. Dad also used to play doubles with Wayne’s older brother Glenn, a superb doubles player who hit with two hands on both wings. He was crafty but Dad was fast…I remember him calling out when a ball went over his head, “run Graydon run” and Dad could fly in those days!
Dad and Wayne are the top seeds in the 85s here and played Leonard Bunge and Russell Fink today. The first set Wayne held once and the other team held not at all, so Dad and Wayne won 64. The second set was tight and there were more holds. Bunge/Fink went on a tear from 2/0 down, winning five of six games to lead 5-3 with Dad serving. He dug himself out of a 0-30 hole; they broke Bunge (who was much the stronger player on that team) after being down double set point (and Bunge let one ball drop instead of hitting it…it nicked the line for a winner). After tying the set at 5-5, they cruised to a 75 win. They play unseeded Hugh Stewart/Richard Eitel tomorrow and that will be a tough match. Eitel can run and Stewart has good hands. The comment from the audience was that at crunch time don’t hit it to Graydon because he won’t miss. Stewart said he was just thrilled to be in a national final again. Dad and Wayne were pretty happy to be there too. (My dad is the lefty below.)
I also watched the third set of Herm Ahlers/Bob Quall. Ahlers has been on the Bitsy Grant Cup the past three years and Quall was a Crawford Cup member a few years back; both are excellent players. Ahlers is north of 6’6” tall and Quall is south of 5’10” so it was quite a contrast in styles and heights. Quall was much more mobile; in the third the two were on serve till 5-4 when Quall broke at 15 for the match. He plays Lester Sack in the final.
I watched a bit of George Sarantos/Hank Leichtfried in the men’s 75 doubles but they were just too strong for their opponents, Saito/Saputo, winning 60 60; they play #3 seeded Tom Brunkow/Lenny Lindborg in the final; Brunkow was really impressive in their three set win over Robert Jones/Art Wahl.
In men’s 80 singles the final is between George McCabe and Neil Hurlbut; Hurlbut won the 80 Indoors last week; in doubles it is Richard Doss/John Powless vs Roger HIng/Saul Snyder for the gold.
In the men’s 85 singles final, Clem Hopp from Florida will take on Stuart Robinson of San Diego. Both advanced today with the loss of only one game; Robinson won the Asics Cat II and the Indoors already this year.
In the 90s, Bob Seymour struggled to a 76 76 win over Norm Walters while Yutaka Kobayashi from Massachusetts, the indoor champion last week, received a default. Kobayashi/Walter have sewn up the 90s doubles title, going undefeated in the round robin event.