Jaime Fillol had a tougher time beating the weather than he did Peter Fleming, but he overcame both admirably, winning by 6-3, 6-2 before play was halted in the opening round of the Grand Champions tournament last night at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center.
Fillol's win on the Stadium Court was one of two matches completed. Bob Lutz topped Marty Riessen, 6-4, 6-2, on the Grandstand Court.
Silver Spring native Harold Solomon was being drubbed by Brian Teacher when it became apparent the drizzle wasn't going to let up. Play was halted at 9 with Teacher up by 6-0, 4-2.
Most of the 1,156 fans were there to see Solomon, but they had few chances to cheer. Teacher broke serve five straight times before Solomon held just before play was stopped.
Steve Krulevitz was leading Vijay Amritraj, 4-3, on the Grandstand Court.
The postponed matches will be made up at 1:30 today, with the regularly scheduled second-round matches beginning at 6.
Qualifying for next week's Sovran Bank Classic begins at 9 a.m., with 56 players battling for seven spots.
The key to Fillol's win may have been the way he handled the wet court. Fleming appeared tentative and worried about slipping, but Fillol was able to attack while remaining cautious.
"I wanted to be aggressive, but I wasn't sure how much I could afford to put into it," said Fillol, captain of Chile's Davis Cup team in 1983-87. "I had to push myself to move my legs."
In the last four games of the set, Fillol could do nothing wrong. He broke Fleming's serve, won a love game, broke serve again, and won at love for the set.
Solomon looked lost against Teacher. "I felt like a beginner out there. It was strange. I got more and more frustrated as I played worse and worse."
He said he is confident he can come back, but not if he plays like he did last night. "It would have been nice to play well in front of the home crowd," said Solomon, who won 22 events and more than $1.8 million in his 13-year pro career. "But I just couldn't get my racket on the ball."