Courting senior legacy

Former UCI standout, paired with Newport Beach's Hoffmann, sets sights on another crown.

August 17, 2011|By Mike Sciacca,
  • Art Hernandez, a former standout at UC Irvine, has advanced to the semifinals of the Huntington Beach Open.
Art Hernandez, a former standout at UC Irvine, has advanced… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Art Hernandez is ready to hold court. It's something he's become accustomed to.

The former UC Irvine standout has several national senior tennis titles to his credit — seven to be exact — and will attempt to add another this weekend by defending a championship he won last year in his own backyard: a doubles title at the Huntington Beach Open.

Pacific Sands Cabana Club in Huntington Beach is hosting the annual event, which is holding its 50th anniversary tournament that began Friday at various tennis venues in the city.

Hernandez, a Huntington Beach resident, and partner Carsten Hoffmann won in Sunday's quarterfinals and will play in a semifinal Saturday at 3 p.m. at SeaCliff Tennis Club in Huntington Beach.

The final is scheduled Sunday at 4 p.m. at Pacific Sands Cabana Club.

The event, sanctioned by the United Stats Tennis Assn., includes open players and nationally ranked players in men's, women's, singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions. Division winners and runners-up earn trophies and cash prizes will be awarded to semifinalists and finalists in the Open divisions.


Hernandez, 45, won a doubles title partnered with Brian Morton, who starred at UCI and Corona del Mar High, in the open division at last year's event. This year, he has teamed with Hoffmann in the open division.

Hernandez and Hoffmann won by injury default in the quarterfinals. They face Doug Mayeda of Colorado and Mitchell Somach of San Diego in Saturday's semifinal.

Last year, Hernandez was ranked No. 1 nationally for doubles in the 35s and 40s age divisions. In 2009, he was ranked No. 1 in doubles in three age groups: 30s, 35s and 40s.

"My hope is to shine a light on the world of senior tennis and even with a very busy life, you can still compete in the arena," said Hernandez, who is a sales leader in the medical field.

Three weeks ago, Hernandez and Chris Kearney, a senior last season at UCI, won the Southern California Open Sectionals doubles title in Seal Beach. The pair defeated four teams that were either collegiate or high-ranking junior level players about to enter college.

Also at the tournament, Hernandez played in singles competition and won a first-round match against a top-rated 16-year-old player before being eliminated.

The Seal Beach event marked the first time Hernandez and Kearney had played doubles together.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles