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Locals fare well at state tennis tourney

Beware. Dan Heine might look like a banker in real life, which he is. But he's also a ringer on the tennis court.

And Lake Oswego's Mary Sides is a practicing hair stylist, but that's apparently just a disguise. She's also a proficient tennis player, as is her husband Perry.

Last week, Heine, who is the president of the Bank of Oswego, traded in his suit and tie for a racket and then went out and claimed second place in the 60-year-old men's singles division in the Oregon State Tennis Championships, which were sponsored by Nike.

At the same time, Mary Sides was teaming up with doubles partner Lynn Wofford of Portland and they went on to win the 55-year-old women's doubles championship. Perry Sides, meanwhile, teamed up with partner Floyd Grant and they advanced to the final of the 50 men's doubles bracket before losing.

All in all, it was a pretty good showing for some of Lake Oswego's top senior tennis players.

'I was really happy with the way I played,' Heine said of his efforts.

Heine started out the state championships by beating the Northwest's No. 11-ranked 60-year-old. In the second round, he beat the No. 5 player in the region.

That moved Heine into the semifinals, where he beat Michael Horton, the tournament's No. 2 seed, 6-4, 6-3. In the championship match, Heine was pitted against Oklahoma City's Colin Robertson, who was seeded No. 1 in the tournament and ranked third in the nation among all 60-year-olds.

If Heine was nervous about playing Robertson, he didn't show it because the bank president won the first set 7-6. But Robertson proved worthy of his ranking as he bounced back to win his next two sets 6-2, 6-1.

'I was surprised that I won the first set,' Heine said.

Robertson was so solid, 'if I had an unforced error, he made me pay for it,' Heine said of his title match. 'He was so highly ranked, I knew I was going to have a battle on my hands.'

Heine said his serve wasn't up to par in that match. Part of the problem might have been the fact that all of his matches were played outdoors in the stifling heat. Heine said he normally plays his matches indoors as a member of the Mountain Park Racquet Club. He was just glad he was in good shape heading into the tournament.

'If I had not been in good condition, I would not have gotten through the first round,' Heine said.

In fact, six players dropped out of the tournament during that first round, which was played in 102-degree heat last Tuesday. 'It was a test of endurance as well as skill,' Heine said.

Meanwhile, the Sides sometimes have had trouble finding quality mixed doubles opponents who are close to their ages.

Earlier this year, at a tournament in Bremmerton, Wash., no one besides the Sides entered the 55 mixed doubles division. So, the husband and wife team entered the 35- and 45-year-old brackets and they won both events. They also won $150 in the process.

The Sides have won so many tournaments in the past that they're running out of storage room for all of their trophies, she said.

'We play very well together,' Mary said, noting that the duo win an average of three to four tournaments per year. And they've made it to the USTA sectionals for the last four years, including this year.

In addition, Mary captains a 4.0 women's doubles team that will compete in the nationals at Tucson, Ariz., in October.

But the biggest highlight of the year probably came last week when Mary Sides and Lynn Wofford won the state's 55 women's doubles.

'I've had a pretty good year,' Mary said.