Leave it to the youngest to summarize the feelings of one of the oldest.

"Jeez, is he sweating," Josh Evans, 12, of Takoma Park marveled as a thoroughly bedraggled Tim Gullikson made his way to the locker room following a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Jaime Fillol in a round-robin match last night in the Prudential-Bache Grand Champions tennis tournament at Rock Creek Tennis Center. "That's nasty, man. Nasty."

"This was supposed to be fun," Gullikson said. "You don't know if we get paid more for staying out there and entertaining the fans for a longer amount of time, do you?"

The answer, of course, is no. But as Gullikson or any of his seven 35-and-older competitors will tell you, "We're all extremely competitive and we enjoy it, but if you lose, it's not the end of the world. It won't affect the quality of our lives."

Well, at least not too much.

"Hey, nobody likes to lose," Gullikson said, "but everybody on the {Grand Champions} circuit has been successful in some manner or fashion on the Grand Prix circuit and now we're all doing different things. Playing tennis is not our life."

That, however, is not to say that these guys have turned their backs on the profession in which they made their names and their livelihoods. Fillol and Bob Lutz, who defeated Harold Solomon, 6-2, 6-2, in another round-robin match, run their own tennis clubs. Stan Smith, who defeated Sherwood Stewart, 6-4, 6-1, plays exhibitions. Gullikson coaches younger players competing on the Grand Prix circuit.

"I still hit a lot of balls," Gullikson said. "In fact, I'm hitting the ball better now than I did when I was ranked 15th in the world. And while I still have shot-making ability, I think I end up playing too conservatively out here."

Fillol, on the other hand, plays a precise, attacking type of game. And after coming back to tie Gullikson at one set apiece, he went ahead, 3-2, at the start of the third set. However, Gullikson broke Fillol to tie the set and then held serve despite falling behind, 0-40.

Gullikson faced another triple-break point with the match tied, 5-5. Five points later, he led, 6-5. Fillol came back to hold serve, however, tying the set, 6-6.

In the tie-breaker, with Gullikson serving first, both players held serve until Fillol broke to lead, 3-2. Fillol went ahead, 4-2. Gullikson broke back to serve at 3-4. Fillol won the next point, but no more.

Gullikson won the match on an overhead, Fillol's wide backhand volley, a drop shot that Fillol failed to dig off his shoetop and a service winner to Fillol's backhand.

"I was lucky to win, really," said Gullikson, who also won the first game of the final set after trailing, 0-40. "I don't know what the odds of doing it are, but I wouldn't like to have to serve from 0-40 three times in one set all of the time."

The event's round-robin singles and the single-elimintion doubles tourneys will continue today at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. The singles final, which will be played between the players with the best won-lost records in each of two four-man groups, will be Monday night, starting at 7.