It finally caught up to Bountiful's Clark Robinson . . . good, hard tennis - long matches, reaching, digging, running, fighting back. And Monday, in the finals of the Wendy's National Senior Indoor, it showed.
He mentioned it: "I think I was a little tired." And the player he lost to, David Nash, said it: "I think it caught up with Clark today."The result was that after upsetting the No. 1 senior player in the country in the men's 45 division on Sunday at the Snowbird Canyon Racquet Club, in three long sets, Robinson lost to Nash, of Minneapolis, Minn., the No. 2 player in the U.S. and the No. 3 seed, 6-1, 6-2.
It helped, too, that while Robinson's game may have been off a little, Nash's was dead-center on. It was, as Nash acknowledged after, his best match of the tournament.
Robinson held his first service in the first set, but gave up all the rest of the games, admitting after that, "Dave played well. What can you do when he plays like that?"
In the second set, Robinson played better, evident in the fact he doubled his wins, but Nash's game didn't falter a single beat.
Robinson lost his first service, held on his second and staved off two match points in the seventh to win his second game. But he hadn't been able to break Nash all day, and it didn't happen in the last game, either. In fact, Nash closed it out with an ace, his eighth of the set.
"When you're on a roll, you don't stop," he said after the match. "I wanted to get a break early. I knew if he got the lead, if I let him back in the match, he could have been dangerous."
In his previous three matches, Robinson lost the opening set and then came back to win the final two.
Nash didn't, in fact, let Robinson anywhere near the match. He kept him at bay with good placement and a powerful serve that hadn't worked for him up to this point in the tournament.
"I was trying to do like everyone else," Nash said about his serving troubles. "I was leaving my feet and coming in. Sometimes you do that, you try to play like the other players. Charlie (Hoeveler, the No. 1 player Robinson beat on Sunday), told me to just get the serve in and then go for the volley. `First things first,' he told me."
This is the second time Robinson has made it to the finals in this event. In 1986, his first year in the 45 class, he lost in three sets. Robinson was seeded No. 7 in this event.
In the second final played Monday, the men's 50 singles, Steve Wilkinson, also of Minnesota, the No. 9 seed, beat Gil Howard of California, the No. 8 seed, 7-5, 6-1.
In consolation play, Larry Dodge of California beat Jeff Schubert of Arizona in the 50s, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3; and Hugh Thomson of Alaska beat John Williams of Oklahoma, 6-3, 6-2.
The event, sponsored by Wendy's, brought together the top senior players in the country in the 45 and 50 classes.