» News

Illinois Father-Son Duo Make History

December 3, 2013 03:41 PM

By Jim Brockman | Herald Tribune

SARASOTA, FL — Jerry and Brett Morse-Karzen made history Sunday as they captured the USTA Senior Father-Son Clay Court Championships at The Landings Racquet Club.

Jerry, 60, and Brett, 30, became the first duo to ever win all four major championships in the Father-Son Senior (father at least 60) division, including national titles on grass, hard-court and indoors, all in one year.

The pair joined forces to defeat Don Cleveland, 65, and Casey, 39, a talented duo from Delray Beach 6-4, 6-2.

It was the 24th national championship for the father and son, who are an imposing 6-foot-4 and 6-10, respectively. It was Jerry Morse-Karzen’s 38th national championship. He also plays USTA Father-Daughter tournaments with his daughter, Becky.

“It’s pretty neat to do something so special, so unique,” said Jerry, who owns a tennis club in Northbrook, Ill., and also coaches high school tennis in Winnetka, Ill., a northern suburb of Chicago.

“Players can be intimidated by our size. Size helps us do what we like to do, which is attack the net and volley. Clay is also a nice surface for taller players because the ball bounces higher.”

The Clevelands are no strangers to the Morse-Karzens. They first played each other in doubles 25 years ago.

“The results are always the same,” Don Cleveland said.

“They really move well on the court. You would think they would be inflexible because they are so big, but they are both flexible.

“They both have big serves. They play aggressively up at the net, which makes it harder for us to be aggressive.”

Casey Cleveland added, “I would like to say that it was a rivalry, but I think we would have to win at least once.”

Jerry Morse-Karzen also won four national Father-Son titles when he was younger, playing with his father, Richard.

The Morse-Karzens said they would be back at The Landings to defend their national clay court title.