The Super Senior Tennis News November/December issue received today has an article about this “blog” site. Doug Crary, a ninety year old tennis championship player is the reporter for this news letter which covers tournaments and other news about tennis players 55 and over. Doug recently participated in the USTA National 85 and 90 grass court championships at Longwood Cricket Club, Chestnut Hill, Maryland. There were fourteen entries in the 90 year old division. Doug covers most major tennis tournaments in the USA as well as the International Tennis Federation tournaments. The ITF World Championships in Philadelphia this year drew over 700 players from 25 different countries.
Senior tennis has regularly scheduled tournaments all across the country every year, all year long. Every five years players move up into the next age group. A player may play down in age but you cannot play up. Since I will be 80 in June, I will be eligible to play in the 80’s age group on January,1,2005. I plan to play more tournaments in 2005.
I didn’t take up tennis until I was 55 but I caught on fairly quickly and have won over 200 awards since1983. Locally, I won the Tri-County 65 doubles three times and was runner up twice. My best local wins were singles titles in 1996-7 at the Twin City open in Bloomington –Normal defeating formerly 17th nationally ranked and Bradley University coach John Moorhouse (now deceased) and former Bradley star, Bob Orr. In 1999, Bob Orr and I won the Midwest national 70 doubles in Lansing Michigan winning 8 matches in three days. I have been a finalist in both singles and doubles at the World Senior Games in St. George, Utah. I have 12 first or finalist titles from the Midwest Hard Courts Tournaments in Danville, Il. I also won the Phoenix, AZ. Senior Open in the 70 age group. My highest ranking in the Midwest has been #4, but I have not played enough national tournaments to get a national ranking and the players are too good! Maybe in 2005 I’ll earn a ranking.
In 2002 I was selected to play on the Midwest intersectional tournaments at Tucson, AZ. playing singles and doubles, a total of 8 matches in four days. Unfortunately I was the only one to win a match in the 75’s from the Midwest. I’ve also been ranked # 1 several times in Middle Illinois. I have also been a finalist on the Florida Grand Prix circuit that attracts some of the best player from the USA and Canada.
I’m planning to play two tournaments in Naples, Fl. Starting January 17-30. I’m in need of a doubles partner so if anyone is looking, contact me.
Some outstanding players regularly enter these tournaments including many times World Champion Jason Morton from Phoenix. Jason sat in the umpires chair during the famous Bobby Riggs-Billy Jean King match in Houston many years ago. I had the good fortune to be Jason’s doubles partner in Seefeld, Austria in an ITF tournament. We only made it to the quarters but Jason lost in three sets in the semis, losing to an Austrian he had previously defeated four times. I’ve played with and against Tom Brown who won the U.S. Open with doubles partner Jack Kramer and lost to his partner in the finals of the singles that year. I’ve played the legendary Pancho Segura, Torben Ulrich from Denmark, Bob Howe and Hugh Stewart from Australia. I’ve played Bob Sherman who is another Santa Barbara legend winning 60 or more World Championships. Since we seniors have National tournaments on four surfaces, indoor hardcourt, outdoor hardcourt, clay and grass, it is possible to win 4 Nationals in one year and players like Morton, Sherman and Fred Kovaleski of New York and Florida, have done that many times. I’ve played against other famous names like Ed Kauder, King Lambert, Wayne Hippenstiel, the Seymour’s, all national and international Champions. I’m friends of Irv Converse and his wife Mary(Irv is Peorian Ralph Converse’s dad),and his doubles partner Dan Miller (I’m sorry to hear Dan is off the tour taking care of his wife Mabel) both of which I have played against or with. Irv and Dan also are national and international champions now playing in the 85’s.
But back to my friend Doug Crary who keeps the Super Senior News interesting and up to date. Doug travels the country in his trusty Volkswagen, plays in as many tournaments as he can, takes pictures, writes all the articles and he is at least 90 years young!! The great part of playing the senior tour is the meeting and making new friends, playing at the great clubs who are hosts to these tournaments such as the Foothills Country Club in Santa Barbara, the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va. where I was playing on 9/11, Naples Bath and Tennis Club where I’ve run into Peorians living there, Pinehurst, NC and Danville, where the folks are very friendly and the Saturday picnic at Danville is fun and the home cooked food is excellent.
I know I’ve missed writing about many of my friends like Jim and Linda Grossman from Michigan, James Anderson from Colorado and Oscar and Millie from Florida. Hope to see you soon!! I’ll catch up with more names, news and tournaments in another “blog” on another day. You can post a comment on this page so I hope some of you read this and contact me.
Doug, thanks a lot for your great reporting!! You keep us all in touch. Hope your health is good and maybe I’ll see you in Florida. Do you have the schedule for the national tournaments next year? Maybe you can publish them on this site or e-mail me. Anyone wishing to reach Doug and Super Senior Tennis New can do so at www.supersenior.info
Thanks for reading this!