Brothers Chip and Steve Baird upset top-seeded Clark Graebner and Doug Russell, 2-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the finals of the $13,680 Passport Grand Prix of platform tennis yesterday at Columbia Country Club.
The Graebner-Russell duo led 5-1 in the second set before the Bairds came on to take the next six games and win the set, 7-5.
Their victory marked the second consecutive year the brothers who grew up in the Washington area, have won the local tourney Their father, Charles F. Baird, who now lives in New Jersey, is the current 55-and-over national platform tennis champion and still maintains his membership at Chevy Chase Country Club.
"We kept telling ourselves to think we could beat them," said Chip, 26, a management consultant in Boston. "Each time we were down I could feel that the crowd was with us."
"We love Washington," added Steve, 28. "Sometimes when you go back to a place where you have won before it helps.' The brothers collected $3,300 in prize money.
In the third set the two teams alternated wins, before the Graebner-Russell team took the final four games, 6-3.
The Baird brothers dropped the first three games of the fourth set before another comeback, relinquishing only one more game in a 6-4 win.
"We've played them (the Bairds) in three finals this year," said Russell. "And we won in the fifth set each time. This time they were just too good."
The Bairds advanced to the finals by defeating Greg Brents and Rich Maier, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Graebner and Russell overpowered John Adams and John Mangan, 7-5, 6-2.
Yesterday's tournament was the final stop on the men's circuit before the national championships, March 24-25 in Scarsdale, N. Y.
Looking ahead to the national championships Chip Baird said, "We'd love to see a repeat performance."
The Baird brothers have played platform tennis for seven years and since they live so far apart (Boston since they live so far apart (Boston and New York) they don't get much time to practice together.
"We've been playing together long enough that we don't practice together," said Steve, "We don't need to, we usually play during the week with someone else."