Continuing a pattern he started three days ago, Clark Robinson won his semifinal match Sunday in the Wendy's National Senior Indoor tennis championships. And, in so doing, posted one of the biggest wins of his tennis career.
The Bountiful player, seeded No. 7 in the men's 45, beat No. 1 seeded Charlie Hoeveler of California, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Hoeveler is currently the No. 1 ranked 45s player in the country.Typical of his two previous matches, Robinson lost the opening set, but rallied to win the final two. In this case, said Robinson, he finally figured out Hoeveler. Last year in this event Hoeveler beat Robinson in the quarterfinals in straight sets, and appeared to be on his way to a repeat. In the first set, Robinson, noted for his powerful serve, was only able to hold service once.
"Everything I served him was coming back and low. My big serve wasn't working. So, I started to serve spins and twists to him and come into the net as quickly as possible to cut off his returns.
"Also, on his serve I stood in about three to four feet, took it earlier and then pressed hard. It got down to where I was returning most of his serves, and with accuracy, and it was frustrating him," Robinson said.
He held service through both the second and third sets. And, in both sets, he broke Hoeveler as he was serving at 4-5 to win the set and match.
"Last year I never could figure him out. I was able to today. This is a huge win for me, a huge win," he responded.
Robinson played David Nash of Minnesota, the No. 3 seed, in the finals early Monday at the Snowbird Canyon Racquet Club.
Nash, like Robinson, is a big server and a hard hitter. In order to beat him, Robinson said he would have to return serves hard and low, similar to what Hoeveler was doing to him in the opening set.
Nash beat David Bryant of Oklahoma, in the semifinals, 7-5, 7-6, to advance.
In the men's 50s, Steve Wilkinson of Minnesota, beat Geoffery Grant of California, 7-6, 6-0, and Gil Howard of California, beat John Gorsky of New York, 6-2, 7-6. The 50s finals were also played early Monday.
Another upset was posted in the men's 45 doubles were Grant and Gordon Smith, the No. 4 seeds, beat Larry Dodge and Dick Landenberger, the No. 1 seeds, 7-6, 3-6, 7-5.