Joe Russell, Chagrin Falls, OH, completed an impressive year in the 85 singles and in so doing ticked off another item on his “bucket list”. He won the Indoor, Hard, Grass and Clay Category I Nationals without the loss of a set; only once did he get to a tiebreak (against Lou Wick at the Indoors) and after winning the set won the second 60. He also took three of the four 85s doubles nationals (the Indoor and Hard with Clem Hopp and the Clay with Joe Beeson). Joe is shown below with his final round opponent at the Clay and with his wife Lucy.
As impressive as Joe’s year was, Tony Franco had an even more impressive year in the 90s, winning all four Category I National Championships in singles and doubles…without coming close to dropping a set. He beat his doubles partner, Graydon Nichols, in all four national finals. Tony is shown below (red and blue jacket) with Graydon; in action hitting a backhand (Tony is the righty, Graydon the lefty) and far right, Tony & Edith Franco, Virginia & Graydon Nichols