Top seeds Drilling, Bachmann in 65s Clay Court final

Top seeds Drilling, Bachmann in 65s Clay Court final

Second-seeded Fred Drilling of Bonita Springs, Fla., played nearly flawless tennis in defeating fourth-seeded Allan Carter of Boca Raton, Fla., to reach the final at the USTA National Men’s 65s Clay Court Championships at the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club.

Drilling won 6-1, 6-1, using a powerful forehand to keep Carter on the defensive. Drilling dominated the points by keeping his shots deep and going for winners, or approaching the net whenever he received a short return.

“I am surprised I played so well today,” Drilling said. “He didn’t have any shots that could really hurt me, so I concentrated on keeping the pressure on him throughout the match.

“I like to play aggressively, but it was important for me to select my moments carefully to come into the net and attempt put away volleys.

“He has a hard, flat forehand that is difficult to handle,” Drilling said. “But if I made him run for the ball, he didn’t have a lot of margin for error to make that shot when I came into the net.”

Said Carter: “He played great today. He had an answer for everything I tried. His returns to my backhand side stayed low, which forced me to dig those shots up. That strategy gave him the opportunity to take control of the match.”

In the other half of the singles draw, top-seeded Joseph Bachmann of Sarasota, Fla., defeated third-seeded Ivo Barbic of Atlanta 6-0, 6-0. Bachmann ran down nearly every return and responded with accurate passing shots to maintain control.

“He likes to hit a lot of drop shots off his forehand side, so I played inside the baseline to cover that shot,” said Bachmann. “Once I took that weapon away from him, it was difficult for him to adjust.

“Ivo has an excellent backhand, but that comes to my forehand since I’m a lefty, so I was able to handle it by giving him a variety of different pace and spins. I did most of the running during the match because he has good control, but I like to hit the ball on the run, so that wasn’t a factor today.”

Bachmann teamed with Del Campbell of Dripping Springs, Texas, to defeat Ray Bellamy of Tallahassee and Thomas Brunkow of Bethesda, Md., 6-4, 6-2, to advance to the doubles semifinals.

The singles final is at 9 a.m. today, with the doubles semifinals and finals to follow.

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