The Vince Spadea Comeback Story, Part II
We all know Spadea came back in 2002-3 from No. 242 to No. 19 at age 29. It is one of the greatest comebacks the sport of tennis has ever seen. The guy went from not being seeded at Challengers to being seeded at Grand Slams. Now, ten years late, at 38, Spadea is making another comeback, but this time, he’s been retired for three years.
Knicks’ fans are witnessing the comeback of Rasheed Wallace at 38 after he had retired two years ago. Wallace is playing so well, he’s supplanted Marcus Camby as the backup center. But basketball is played with four other guys around you to make up for whatever weaknesses you have in your game. Tennis is a one man sport, and Spadea, as he’ll come back playing Futures in Florida in January, will be giving up 20 years to some of his young opponents.
But after the Futures, Spadea hopes to win enough points to play the big Challenger in Dallas in February where Tommy Haas started to really roll on his comeback last year. The only thing is, Spadea is four years older than Haas and Haas never retired. Then Spadea hopes to get at least a doubles wildcard into his hometown tournament of Delray, where he was once a finalist. The ultimate test will come in the summer, where he hopes to quali at Newport, Los Angeles and D.C. before playing in the U.S. Open Qualification Tournament.
“If I win one round at the U.S. Open, it’ll be worth all the hard work,” says Spadea, who is tied for tenth on the all-time list of Grand Slam tournaments played at 54. You can follow Vince at YouTube as he is attempting to get his weight down from 199 pounds, starting last week, to a current 193 lbs, to an ultimate playing weight of 185 lbs.
Then watch out. Spadea says he’s hitting lines with his serves at 140 mph and he feels that he’s playing more like Agassi now, and if Agassi were 38 and got in shape, he’d probably semi at Delray Beach. Twenty-two years ago, Jimmy Connors reached the U.S. Open semis at age 39. In 2013, Vince Spadea hopes to reach the Rd. of 64 at the U.S. Open.
Spadea Ain’t Afraid A Ya!