Vin Horcasitas made a splash at his debut in the U.S. Tennis Association’s men’s singles 55-year-old bracket of the Miami Beach Tennis Cup, held at the Miami Beach Tennis Center March 5-10.
Going into the tournament unseeded, Horcasitas, 54, of Water Mill, won five matches in five days to win the singles title, the first singles title he’s won, he said, since playing 18-and-under junior tennis.
After defeating Thomas Richerson of Miami Beach, 6-0, 6-0, Horcasitas upset the No. 8 seed, Ludek Kleibl of Ostrava, Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-0, in his Round of 16 match.
Horcasitas then upset the top seed, Achim Gass of Germany, 6-2, 6-2, but it wasn’t without consequence, as he suffered a strained quad during the match. Battling through the injury, Horcasitas went on to defeat a fellow unseeded player James Tracy of Doral, Florida, 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-2, before taking down the No. 2 player in the draw, Denis Dumas of Montreal, 6-2, 6-1, to win the title.
“It felt great,” to win, said Horcasitas, who has been a broker at Saunders and Associates in Bridgehampton for the past 20 years. “It was a super, super high for me. I had strained my quad in the quarterfinals, and didn’t know if I was going to be able to finish. But I taped it up and took about 12 Advils a day.”
Horcasitas said it was tough going from the cold weather in the Northeast to 85-degree weather and windy conditions on clay courts during the tournament, but it all came down to his conditioning. At the beginning of the year, Horcasitas said, he couldn’t play two or three matches without being exhausted. But he was regularly playing matches throughout the tournament in upwards of two hours. He said that’s thanks to the personal training he received from Joao Monteiro at Core Dynamics in Water Mill.
“He gave me the edge to get me to play without my body breaking,” he said.
Having played competitively since he was about 10 years old, Horcasitas was able to continue playing at Division I school Long Beach State University in California, where he turned a successful collegiate career there to a professional run in the European circuit. In the early 1990s, he moved to the East End to run a couple of tennis clubs and was the head pro at East Hampton Indoor Tennis—where he currently practices his game—until 2000, at which time he received his real estate license.
Horcasitas has continued playing tennis competitively through USTA-sanctioned events and was largely successful in doubles play before making the switch recently to singles play in a new age group. Although he is currently 54 years old, Horcasitas turns 55 in July, which is what allowed him to play in the bracket this past tournament.
Horcasitas will look to keep his recent success going at the end of this month in the USTA Men’s 55 National Hardcourt Championships in Peachtree City, Georgia.