Newport, R.I.–July 11, 2013–36 year old Andre Sa is the oldest man playing here in Newport, and he passes some of his wisdom onto fellow Brazilian doubles partner Marcelo DeMoliner. The 24 year old DeMoliner is still working on his English, so Sa did all the talking after their 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 win over Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione today at the Hall of Fame Championships.
Sa made the final here in Newport in doubles in 2001, only to lose to a pair of twins with the last name of Bryan. Twelve years later, they met across the net in the first round of Wimbledon 2013 and faced another loss to the now-household name Bryans, who took the title at SW19.
“We were so looking forward to his first grand slam. Then the draw came out, and the rain. They’re (the Bryans) just too tough. The way they’re playing right now”, said an upbeat Sa.
This is his third tournament with DeMoliners. “It will be a nice test to see where this partnership will go.”
Sa is a completely different man than he was on his first trip to Newport in 2001. Now, Sa is married and traveling with his wife and 7-year-old daughter. But the only difference he’ll readily admit to is that given the constraints on his time, “I spend a lot less time on the court than I used to .
The secret to his longevity is modern science.
“So much has changed in the game from 10 years ago: the fitness, the recovery, the drink, the food, the diet. Now I see so many guys at 32 or 35 playing singles!”, he exclaimed.
His exit strategy is simple: Make it to Rio in 2016 to play for his home country in doubles.
“I’ve played the last three Olympics. A 4th one would be unbelievable, especially at home.”
—Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com