Rick Leach hoisted a championship trophy at Wimbledon. He did likewise at the U.S. Open.

So what’s he doing at a tennis tournament in Brunswick this weekend?

“I’ve never been to Maine,” he said from his home in California. “I’ve always wanted to go.”

Now 50, Leach will play singles and his specialty, doubles, at the USTA national men’s 35 indoor championship Friday through Sunday at Maine Pines Racquet and Fitness.

This has been an annual event in Brunswick, but tournament director Andrea Georgian said a few tweaks may have attracted a more diverse field that includes Leach along with Mario Perez, 39, of Mexico, Rickard Strom, 40, of Sweden and Paulo Barros, 36, of Brazil.

First, the tournament was shortened from its previous Friday-to-Tuesday format. Second, modest prize money ($300 to the winner and $200 to the runner-up) was added.


It remains one of the three men’s national tournaments in the 35-and-over age bracket. The others are in Arizona and Florida.

Eleven doubles teams and 20 singles players make up the field.

“It’s double what it was last year,” Georgian said.

Spectators are welcome. There is no charge for admission.

“Our crowd has been varied,” she said. “It’s been smaller in the past, but this year we’ve been advertising a lot and I feel that we’re going to have a large number of people coming.”

Leach is seeded fifth in the singles field with Barros first, Strom fourth and Perez sixth. Michael Halpern, 36, of Boca Raton, Florida, is seeded second and R.D. Ferman, 38, of New York City is third.


Leach will play doubles alongside Lorne Abony, 45, an entrepreneur and owner of the Austin (Texas) Aces, the World Team Tennis franchise that Leach coaches.

Playing with Robert Kendrick a year ago at Maine Pines, Abony won the USTA national men’s 35 doubles title.

“Robert couldn’t play this year so I got in,” Leach said. “Lorne and I were playing a tournament in Austin a few weeks ago and he mentioned it. It seemed like a good excuse to go to Maine in the summer and have some fun.”

Leach played on the professional tour from 1987 to 2005 and won 46 ATP doubles championships.

He won five Grand Slams (including three Australian Opens) in men’s doubles and four in mixed doubles.

Partnering with Jim Pugh, Leach also helped the United States win the 1990 Davis Cup with a championship-clinching victory over Pat Cash and John Fitzgerald of Australia.


The tournament also includes local players such as former Betty Blakeman Memorial champions Brian Powell of Kennebunkport and Ben Cox, who teaches in Cumberland.

Play begins at 9 a.m. Friday and continues through Sunday, with time out for a lobster bake Saturday night at Thomas Point Beach for players and their families.

“A very famous lobster bake, too,” Leach said. “I’ve heard the tournament director puts on a great event.”


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