Capital-area tennis players prospered yesterday in the USTA National Amateur Indoor championships at the Crystal City Racquet and Health Club.
Among the six local winners was top-seeded Stevenson Clarke of Washington, who beat Sammie Courington, 6-1, 6-3.
Clarke, 21, is the nation's second-ranked amateur and expects to turn pro this summer after he graduates from Louisiana State University. While at Fork Union Military Academy near Charlottesville, Clarke was a two-time prep all-America and won 61 straight matches.
Clarke is due for a degree in telecommunications this spring, but a broadcasting career must wait.
"I hope to play on the pro circuit this summer," Clarke said. "I like the traveling. I'd love to play in the Volvo tournament again." Clarke has played in the qualifying rounds of that Washington tournament the last couple of summers.
Fourteenth-seeded Danny Goldie, the only local player seeded besides Clarke and No. 13 Jeremy Semple, defeated University of Pennsylvania star Eric Riley, 6-4, 6-3. Goldie, formerly of Bullis School, is now Stanford's No. 2 player as a freshman. Unlike many other amateur matches, this one featured two powerful servers. There were few ground strokes and even fewer rallies.
Both sets turned in the sixth game. Leading, 3-2, in the first set, Riley argued over a referee's call and lost the next three games. In the second set, Goldie broke Riley at love to take a 4-2 advantage.
"He was having trouble serving," said Goldie. "I knew I'd break him eventually. I'd always been a back court player until I got to Stanford. This is only the second tournament I've ever relied on serve and volley."
Falls Church's Mark Michel advanced when 12th-seeded Steve Couch defaulted. Potomac's Andy New handily beat Joseph Cirvello, 6-2, 6-2, and Annapolis' Bayley Taff came from behind to beat Charlottesville's Steve Wilson, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Lange Johnson of Washington won by default over Eric Vooravong.
Women's play will begin today.