The National Men’s 70 Clay Court Championships are being played this week in Pinehurst, North Carolina. And, this is my first attempt at playing one at this level.
The draw started out with 61 players and 16 seeds (three or four players were injured and did not show up). With my results and light tournament schedule during the year, I was not seeded; and had a first round match against Bobby Hampton, A retired schoolteacher from Chicago.
Bobby has one of the biggest serves in the senior group and has a big topspin forehand and topspin backhand to go with it. I knew from having played and beaten him once before, that if I could get beyond those strokes and into a longer rally, my consistency and legs could win out.
The first set featured a series of service breaks, but I was able to hold on to win it 7–5 and over an hour. And unfortunately for Bobby, I could see that his wrist was bothering him on many strokes, including his big serve.
So rather then retiring, he soldiered on but lost the second set six – one.
My second round match will be early tomorrow morning at 9 AM (which reinforces my decision NOT to play doubles in this tournament). It will be against a retired judge from California named Bob Quall, a 5 seeded player.
For a link to the site to see all the other results, please click HERE.