SAN DIEGO — A tournament volunteer glanced at her watch. It was approaching 12:30 p.m., and she wanted to know what was holding things up on Court No. 8.
Paul Goldstein of Rockville, Md., and Ian Enverga of Copiague, N.Y., the 8th- and 10th-seeded players in the boys' national 12-and-under tennis championships, had been playing their singles match at Morley Field since 10:30 a.m.
Courtside, Goldstein and Enverga changed sides.
"Did they split sets?" asked a spectator.
"No, it's just a long match," replied another. They players were still in the second set.
Goldstein was up, 4-3, having taken the first set, 7-5. When they resumed play, Goldstein broke Enverga's serve, but Enverga broke right back.
Goldstein pounced on Enverga's serve and took a 40-0 lead before his backhand down the line caught Enverga out of position, giving Goldstein the 7-5, 6-4 victory and a berth in today's quarterfinals after 2 hours and 15 minutes.
"We had lots of deuce and add games," Goldstein said of the lengthy match. "I always play like that. I try to keep getting (the ball) back."
At one point, Goldstein was down, 5-3, in the first set, but he wasn't worried. "When I get down," he said, "I tell myself that it's never really over, and I keep pumping myself up."
In the second set, Goldstein was down twice, 3-2 and 2-1, but still was unfazed.
"I just told myself I had to play hard," he said.
Goldstein is the No. 1-ranked 12-year-old in the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Assn., which includes Washington, D.C., Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. Last year he was No. 7.
"I practiced a lot," he said. "And a lot of the other players moved up to the 14s."
In making quarterfinals, Goldstein has no easy task ahead of him. And he knows it.
Today he faces B.J. Stearns of Seminole, Fla., a player who beat him twice this year, 6-0, 6-3, at the hardcourt nationals in Corpus Christi, Tex., and 6-1, 6-2, in the quarterfinals of the clay court nationals in Winston-Salem, N.C.
In their first meeting, Goldstein took a 3-0 lead in the second set, then dropped the next six games.
"He wasn't concentrating," he said, "and I put a couple of points away and got a little confident. Then I don't really know what happened. He just came back."
To be in the game with Stearns today, Goldstein knows what he has to do.
"I can't make any errors, and I can't hit 'em short," he said.
Goldstein also will be counting on a sixth sense.
"I anticipate a lot. I'm not that fast, and I'm not real powerful, so I have to think a lot."
And if he has to spend a lot of time on the court, Goldstein is more than willing to go the distance.
Top seeded Scott Humphries of Greeley, Colo., continued to move smoothly through this tournament. Humphries defeated Daniel Spaner of New York, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the quarterfinals. He will meet California's only remaining entrant, Michael Jessup of Saratoga, today at 10:30. Jessup defeated Michael Miller of Decatur, Ill., 6-3, 6-1. . . . Stearns, the No. 2-seeded player, disposed of Ojai's Derek Pope, 6-3, 6-3, and will meet Paul Goldstein today at noon. . . . Ry Tarpley of Milton, Mass., defeated Rolling Hills Estates' Andre Kerr, 6-2, 6-3. Tarpley, the No. 4-seeded player, meets No. 5 Marcus Fluitt of Miami today at 10:30. Fluitt got off to a rocky start, dropping his first set to Scott McGrath of Lodi, N.J., but he got aggressive and found his strokes in the final sets, for the 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory. . . . Unseeded Bill Gluck of St. Louis, who began this tournament by ousting third-seeded Glenn Weiner, won his second tiebreaker of the week and defeated Beau Cerami of Miami, 7-6, 6-2. Gluck meets sixth-seeded Joshua Hausman of Waban, Maine, at noon. Hausman defeated Mark McGrew of Novi, Mich., 6-3, 6-0.