Now Biren smokes the oppositionBy NANCY MORGAN
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 26, 2002
Dave Biren's mother first introduced and then encouraged her son to play tennis when he was a youngster in Delaware.
Since moving to New Port Richey two years ago, Biren -- now in his 40s -- is playing again.
"My mom had me playing in high school and in some USTA tournaments," Biren said. "My dad was in the navy, so it seemed we moved from state to state. I stopped playing when I was a teenager and really didn't play for about 20 years.'
Then Biren decided to quit smoking and soon returned to the courts as a singles player.
"I like the idea of an individual sport and one that is a little like a chess game," Biren said. "Singles is a one-on-one challenge that is physical but is mental, too."
Earlier this month, Biren competed in the 2002 K-Swiss Fall Playoffs in the 4.5-minus division. Biren won four matches to finish first in the 16-player draw.
Biren eliminated Paul Toomey in a semifinal and defeated Mitch Forman in the final.
"I had scouted both of them during the playoffs and noticed that they seemed to lose their first sets before getting their games together," Biren said. "So I knew I should take advantage and get up first."
Against Tomey, Biren went up 6-1 in the first set only to lose the second 6-2 before rebounding to win the third set 6-3. Against Forman, Biren again won the first set 6-4 and again lost the second 6-2 before taking the third set 6-2.
"Both of those matches were mirror images of one another," Biren said. "After I lost the second set against both of them, I knew I just had to loosen up for the third. I like to play what I call 'endurance tennis'. The third set is generally in my favor."
The win moves him into the 4.5 division, but rather than compete there, Biren will play in a USTA league.
"What's made the biggest difference in my getting out to play is that now that my daughter is 16 and is driving, we all are doing more of our own things. My son is 20 and attends St. Petersburg College."
OTHER K-SWISS WINNERS: Joining Biren in the K-Swiss winners circle are area players Greg Montesanti (5.5), Mark Mumaw (4.5), Vern Wilson (4.0) and Stacy Gertsch (3.5) in the men's competition. Winners among the women are Pam Tushaus (3.5-minus), Debbie Moyer (3.5), Joann Cowherd (4.0-minus), Jean Cantu (4.0), Teresa Lawrence (4.5) Julie McGuire (5.0) and Maria Drew (5.5).
The K-Swiss spring season begins Feb. 5. Contact the office, (727) 865-0615, or visit www.ultimatetennis.com to register before the Jan. 31 deadline.
CHRISTMAS BOWL: Among the juniors entered in this weekend's K-Swiss Christmas Bowl, the final state-sanctioned singles tournament of the year, are area players Vo-Anh Thai and Christopher Gupta of Zephyrhills; Brendan and Kimble McKay, Dilip Kamath, Sophia and Lionel Kim, Nathan Graddy, Tommy Powers and Carissa DeMaria of Lutz; and Jane, Jeanette and John McDonald of Spring Hill.
The tournament is hosted by the Cheval Country Club in Lutz and is directed by Francis Cooke and Allegra Campos. Call the club, (813) 948-2283, for information.
NET SHOTS: Brent Wellman, women's tennis coach at Pasco-Hernando Community College, encourages interested players to contact him at (727) 919-2011. ... The Zephyrhills Tennis Association is meeting at Zephyr Park on Jan. 4 beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, call ZTA president Barry Herscovitch, (352) 780-2403. ... Players looking for more tournament experience should enter the Jan. 11-12 Suncoast Tennis Foundation Rookie Grand Prix at Largo Tennis Center. Call (727) 403-8588.
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