Kailua Night Doubles Final an All-Santa Clara Alum affair

Aug. 5, 2005

By Ann Miller
Honolulu Advertiser Staff Writer

KAILUA, Hawaii--A semifinal night with a scent of Santa Clara played its way into an all-Bronco final at the 35th Kailua Racquet Club Men's Night Doubles.

Last night, second-seeded Michael Bruggemann and Erich Chen ended the thrill-a-minute run of sixth-seeded Jim Somerville and Wei -Yu Su, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Somerville and Su had won a pair of three-setters to reach the semifinals.

Earlier, before packed bleachers, Chris Lam and Taylor Bedilion defeated Malino Oda and Johnny Rosetti, 6-3, 6-1.

Rosetti has played for Jamaica's Davis Cup team while Oda was a Rainbow in Manoa. Somerville, 41, has won this tournament four times with twin brother Henry. The last came in 1992 and Jim, who now lives in California, hasn't played in Hawai'i's most popular tennis event in more than a decade. Su, 29, from Taipei, was a former No. 1 for Brigham Young-Hawai'i.

All last night's winners are Santa Clara graduates except Lam, who transferred to UCLA after spending his freshman year with the rest of the finalists.

He and Bedilion will accept prize money for the first time tomorrow (there are no matches tonight). It's just a matter of how much in the $7,000 tournament.

Their match with Oda, a former state high school champion for Lahainaluna, and Rosetti, was a wash until a service break in the eighth game of the first set.

Lam held his serve to finish the set. He was the only player to hold his serve in the second set. And then it was over.

Bedilion said Lam's serve hasn't been broken all week and believes it's because he consistently mixes his serves up, while most simply trying to serve consistently. Bedillion was a case in point. He won points last night by slicing the ball into the wind and missing only a handful of first serves.

Lam gives some credit for his serving success to the surroundings.

"It's not like I'm blasting it 130 miles an hour," he said. "I try to hit some spin and, especially in the darkness, it can be hard to pick up. And tonight was a good night."

Lam home-schooled in Kaimuki before heading to college. He will play some Futures events in Southern California before coming home to play the Honolulu and Waikoloa Futures later this year. He and Bedillion upset top-seeded defending champions Ikaika Jobe and Brad Lum-Tucker in a three-set quarterfinal.

Oda has been playing professionally in Japan. He says there are Futures-type events there every week with purses between $10,000 and $30,000. He might also play in Europe and Africa.

The short-term plan is to "go where the money is, not necessarily the ATP points, and travel and see the world until my money runs out." He will get some tomorrow when he and Rosetti play an eight-game Pro Set against Somerville and Su for third place at 6 p.m. The final will follow at approximately 7:15 p.m.

Bruggemann, a Punahou graduate, moved back home to work in the family business just before he and Chen won this title two years ago. They reached the final last year, only to fall.

They reached this final by breaking Somerville's serve to start the second set, then doing it again to go up 5-4 in the third. Bruggemann and Chen both fought off break points on their final serves.

"The break to open the second set was huge," Chen said. "We were crushed when we lost the first set. We had one break chance and we got it. It really lifted our spirits."

Oda and Rosetti finished off their quarterfinal early last night. They were up 6-3, 4-2, over host pro Bruce Nagel and Art Lambert Wednesday night when the lights had to be turned off. The second set ended 6-3. Nagel and Lambert were the only unseeded team to reach the quarterfinals.