Couple makes mixed doubles unexpectedly close

August 01, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

The husband-and-wife team of Frank and Pat Fisher could be excused if their doubles game has slipped a notch of late.

The recent stifling heat and humidity has taken its toll on many competitive tennis players. And it doesn't help that Pat is eight months pregnant with the couple's third child.

Yesterday, the Bolton Hill couple were at their best, advancing to the finals of the Baltimore Municipal USTA Tennis Tournament at Clifton Park before losing to Peter Dutton of Woodlawn and Pat Kelly of Randallstown in three sets.

Isidore Ifeanyi won the Men's Open division and Julie Ayers took the women's crown.

But it was the mixed doubles final that provided some of the best action of the day. After Dutton and Kelly took the first set, 6-3, the Fishers won a tiebreaker to win the second set, 7-6. Dutton and Kelly then took the third and deciding set, 6-3.

The match saw numerous long rallies, and strong serving by both teams. But the strong net play of Dutton was the difference.

"I thought we could wear them out, especially since she's pregnant," said Dutton, who was teaming with Kelly after nearly two years of inactivity. "But she came back. I'd hate to run into her after she's had her baby."

Pat Fisher says her pregnancy affects her mobility, though not her strokes.

"I don't run too much, anymore," she said. "Early in my pregnancy I wasn't really affected, but now it affects my speed."

Fisher says her doctor gave her the OK to play, with precautions.

"He says just to use common sense and drink a lot of water," she said.

The weeklong tournament, sponsored by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks in cooperation with The Baltimore Sun, drew close to 60 of the area's top tennis players in men's and women's singles and men's and mixed doubles.

In the Men's Open final, top-seeded Ifeanyi, 26, of Randallstown defeated 18-year-old Eddie Hagens of Perry Hall, 7-5, 6-3, in a match that was closer than either expected.

Hagens, giving up seven inches in height, used deep volleys to keep Ifeanyi, 6 feet 3, away from the net. The Nigerian, whose serve once was clocked at 124 mph, also hurt himself by missing a number of first serves.

But Ifeanyi, who had won 36 of 40 games entering the final, won eight of the last 11 games after Hagens had rallied to tie the first set at 5.

In the women's final, Julie Ayers of Severna Park defeated Maxine Evans of Baltimore, 6-3, 6-2.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.