13 Nov 2017

Patient Filippeschi wins 50s in Miami

News Article

By Harvey Fialkov

Photo: Camerawork USAMarco Filippeschi (ITA)

It took top-seeded Marco Filippeschi 10 match points to secure his first Seniors World Individual Championships title in his first attempt.

But it was worth the wait for the top-spinning Italian after finally putting away unseeded Swede Martin Persson 64 67(6) 61 in the 50s’ final at the North Shore Tennis Center.

“Even at 5-1, 0-40 he was like, ‘No, no, I don’t want to die'," laughed Filippeschi, 50, once ranked 221 during a brief pro career.

“I couldn’t kill him. He was aggressive in the tiebreaker, always playing unbelievable volleys at the net.

“Then during the 10-minute break I tell myself I need to have the aggressive mentality. That’s what I did.’’

Persson, 50, a lanky lefthander with a formidable two-hand backhand, found himself trailing 1-6 in the second-set tiebreaker, but became the aggressor while staving off five match points by attacking the net.

“Then he became the aggressor in the third set and that was it,’’ said Persson, who’s in banking in Stockholm. “I needed to be more aggressive, but it’s hard to do for three sets. It’s disappointing to lose, but looking back, I did everything I can do. That’s all you can ask for.’’

That said, Persson, who played four years for Auburn University in Alabama, asked for his Tigers to beat Georgia in a huge college football game Saturday and also for Sweden to knock off Italy in a critical World Cup qualifier.

For Filippeschi, a teaching pro near Florence, it was a golden two weeks, also helping Italy win the Fred Perry Cup team competition.

Mike Fedderly, the 18th seed, won the all-American final in the men’s 55s on the hard courts of Crandon Park Tennis Center with a 62 64 victory over unseeded Peter Markes from Austin, Texas.

It was Markes, 59, best result in a Seniors World Individual event, but Fedderly, 58, who shook up the draw with a three-set semifinal victory over top-seeded Konstantinos Effraimoglou of Greece, captured his first World singles title. Fedderly, 323-66 in his Senior Circuit career, had been knocked out by Busby in four other attempts.

Effraimoglou rebounded, winning the doubles title with French partner Jacques Hervet by toppling the top-seeded American duo of Fedderly and Mike Tammen 64 57 (10-7).