They may not quite have the same pep in their steps, or sting in their swings, but no one is going to tell Pancho Gonzalez and Whitney Reed they aren't heavy hitters anymore.
Both tennis players have had their share of glory. Gonzalez is a two-time U.S. Open champion and a tennis Hall of Fame member. Reed is a former No. 1-ranked U.S. player. Now they are teaming to fight off younger players in the doubles competition of the U.S. Tennis Assn. Men's 45 Hardcourt Championships at the Lindborg Racquet Club in Huntington Beach.
During their second-round match Wednesday at the Lindborg Racquet Club in Huntington Beach, Gonzalez, 58, and Reed, 53, provided enough surprises to overcome Carlsbad's Jay Senter and Dan Coyle, 6-3, 6-3.
But Gonzalez and Reed didn't overpower their opponents, who both are 45.
"We have to rely on our finesse more so these days," said Gonzalez. "I'd like to think I could use more strength, but I have to keep hitting angle shots. You need real power to beat these kids."
They have been playing together since they were in their 40s. Though the level of play in the senior matches isn't quite that of Wimbledon, both players agree that they get a good enough workout in senior matches.
Reed, who lost a singles match Wednesday morning to 45-year-old Peter Marmureanu, said he looks forward to combining talents with his partner.
"I've always enjoyed playing doubles with Pancho," Reed said. "Put these two old rejects together and we'll see if we can beat these kids."
When they're not competing, both men still spend much of their time on the courts. Reed gives private instruction to promising players in the West Los Angeles area and enters senior tournaments around Southern California.
Gonzalez has been the resident pro at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where he coaches professional players. He plays a number of tournaments each year, including the Grand Masters. That tournament includes other past tennis greats such as Roy Emerson and Pancho Segura.
In the last year, however, both men have had to contend with one more new kid on the block.
No, it's not Boris Becker. And it's not John McEnroe. It's 3-month-old Skyler Gonzales and 8-month-old Whitney Reed Jr. The tournament continues today with round four of the series. Friday's schedule includes singles quarterfinals, with semifinals Saturday. Finals will be Sunday at noon.
Third-Round Singles: No. 2 Larry Dodge (Piedmont) def. Dick Landenberger (Dallas) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. No. 13 Marty Devlin (W. Trenton, N.J.) def. Bob Castle (Virginia) 6-1, 6-2. No. 8 Gordon Davis (Santa Monica) def. Larry Cooley (Kansas) 6-1, 7-6. Harry Wilson (Pacific Palisades) def. Mike Rabbitt (La Jolla) 6-4, 6-0. Hank Leichtfried (Corona del Mar) def. Fred Scott (Los Angeles) 6-2, 6-0. Jason Morton (Tuscon) def. Bill Richling (Encino) 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. Peter Marmureanu (Long Island, N.Y.) def. No. 5 Whitney Reed (Los Angeles) 6-3, 6-4. No. 15 Jim Nelson (Irvine) def. Ron Groves (Kansas) 6-4, 6-2. Bill Cover (Solana Beach) def. No.10 Dick Leach (Laguna Beach) 5-7, 6-2, 6-0. Les Dodson (Kalamazoo, Michigan) def. Lenny Lindborg (Laguna Beach) 6-0, 6-0. Ben Serkin (Beverly Hills) def. No. 12 Rick Fried (Honolulu) 7-5, 6-4. No. 4 Bob Duesler (Newport Beach) def. Ernie Schoop (Pacific Palisades) 6-0, 6-4. No. 14 Forrest Stewart (Malibu) def. John Sahration (La Jolla) 6-3, 6-2. No. 6 Jim Perley (Coronado) def. John Gorsky (New York) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. No. 11 Ron Livingston (Laguna Beach) def. Tom Somers (La Jolla) 6-2, 6-3. No. 1 Len Saputo (Walnut Creek) def. Mel Lewis (Inglewood) 6-2, 6-3.
Leach/Livingston def. Joel Fleiss/Mike Fleiss (Los Angeles) 6-0, 6-2. Dodge/Landenberger def. Roger Magenau (Irvine)/Chuck Tyus (Laguna Beach) 6-2, 6-4. Morton/Sahration def. Jack Darrah/Chuck Nelson (Westlake) 7-5, 6-4. Dodson/Rauno Suominen (Utah) def. Skaggs/Walraven 6-4, 6-3. Leichtfried/Lindborg def. Rich Haskell/Jay Turner 6-1, 6-1. Larry Cooley (Kansas)/Gorsky def. King Lambert (Santa Ana)/Schoop 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. William Ulmer (Indiana)/Lewis def. George Rissotto (Huntington Beach)/Bob Deaton (Houston) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Dalton/Saputo def. Byron Burden (Newport Beach)/Bob Evans 6-1, 6-0. Pancho Gonzalez (Las Vegas)/Reed def. Dan Coyle (Pennslyvania)/Jay Senter (Carlsbad) 6-3, 6-3. Stan Kula/Frank Webster def Groves/J.J. Moore (New Mexico) 7-6, 6-3. Duesler/Nelson def. Steve Martinez (Sacramento)/Ken Stanley (Roseville) 7-6, 6-1. Tom Dinwiddie (Arizona)/Bob Hensler (Arizona) def. Orr/Gregory 6-2, 6-3. Bob Howe/Bill Davis (Arizona) def. Fitz (Maryland)/Ray Savorn (Rancho Cordova) 6-2, 7-5.