Twenty-five years after his last competitive match, Dan Goldie made a triumphant return to tournament tennis at the Ted Smyth USTA National Men’s 50 Hard Court Championships. The 51-year-old from Palo Alto swept to both the singles and doubles titles in the week-long tournament at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club.
Goldie, the No. 2 seed, polished off fourth-seeded Thomas Kong of Ventura, 6-1, 6-2, in the singles final Saturday. A day earlier, the top-seeded team of Goldie and Mark Wooldridge defeated third-seeded Jeffrey Burnett and Mitchell Perkins in the doubles final, 6-3, 6-2.
“This was a warm welcome back to tennis for me,” Goldie said. The former Stanford standout was a rising star on the pro tour, reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1989, but injuries prompted him to quit playing tennis in 1991. When he revealed his intention to come back on the senior circuit, Larry Mousouris, the longtime director of the Santa Barbara club’s premier event, made him one of the top seeds. Goldie did not drop a set in nine singles and doubles matches.
In the singles semifinals, Goldie knocked off Perkins, a lefty from Seattle, 6-3, 6-3. Kong upset top-seeded Ken White of upstate New York, 6-1, 7-5.
Wooldridge, a Santa Barbara native, won his third consecutive golden ball in doubles. He and Goldie dominated from the get-go, dropping only four games in three matches leading up to the final. “It’s nice to have that kind of heat,” Wooldridge, a Manhattan Beach resident, said of his partnership with Goldie.