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Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, August 4, 2000

H A W A I I _T E N N I S

Dudley-Su team
in finals of Kailua
night doubles

By Pat Bigold

Chad Dudley had to be asking himself what was harder: taking the Louisiana bar exam or getting into the finals of the 30th Kailua Racquet Club's Men's Doubles.

It took the second-seeded team of Dudley and Wei-Yu Su one hour and 43 minutes last night to get by the scrappy eighth-seeded team of Russell Santos and Antonio Garcia, 7-6 (4), 7-5, before about 800 fans.

They will face top-seeded Ryan Ideta and Erik Vervolet tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the finals, as Ideta seeks to win his sixth title in the tournament.

The only player to win six times in the Kailua event was Kendall Char (1976, '79, '80, '82, '83, '84).

The winning team will earn $2,400 of the tournament's $6,000 purse.

The first set took a grueling one hour and 17 minutes, as Santos and Garcia rallied to tie six times.

In the second and deciding set, Dudley and Su had to battle back from a 5-2 deficit in games to win.

"When it was 40-15 and 5-2, we really thought we were going to go to three sets," said Dudley, 26.

"We were really just trying to hang in, make them play one more point and not check out of the second set. We just got lucky. They played one loose point and we put together a few good points after that to take advantage."

Su, a 6-foot-2 native of Taiwan, played for BYU-Hawaii and is now an assistant coach at the school.

The 6-3 Dudley, who was the 1991 Hawaii High School Athletic Association singles champion out of Punahou, said he hasn't had much time to play competitively this year as he finished up his law studies at Louisiana State University and prepared for the bar.

"Both of us have been serving well the whole tournament and that puts a lot of pressure on our opponents to get a break," he said. "I felt that as long we kept serving well, we'd eventually get back in the match."

Santos, a 39-year-old stock broker who has competed in the tournament since 1986, called the match "exhausting."

"We had to fight for every point," he said.

Garcia, who showed lightning-quick reactions on drives over the middle, played the No. 1 singles position for the University of Hawaii.

Ideta, who once played for Lahainaluna High School, is very familiar with Dudley, who was a torrid prep rival at the state tournament level in the early 1990s. Ideta sandwiched state singles titles around Dudley's 1991 championship.

The two men were teammates at LSU and combined for Kailua doubles crowns in 1995 and '96.

Now 25, Ideta teaches at Keaau Elementary School in Hilo.

Ideta, who teamed with the left-handed Vervolet, a pro at Waikoloa, defeated third-seeded Andrew Csorda, a 24-year-old grad student at UH, and Chris Leong, a 26-year-old varsity tennis coach at Iolani, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Vervolet was a late replacement for Alex Sugai, who was Ideta's partner in the last two championships.

Sugai injured a shoulder on the mainland, and Ideta had to scramble to find a strong substitute.

"I hadn't played a competitive set in three or four months," said the 34-year-old Dutch-born Vervolet.

"It was pretty short notice but when the defending champion asks you to play, you come out and play. That's an honor."

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