25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports 06.26.14

Local sports history

June 22, 1989
Paul Annacone, the touring tennis professional from East Hampton, was confident about his chances at Wimbledon this week after having reached the semifinal rounds in two Wimbledon warm-ups.

At Queen’s Club, he won four matches against, in order, Robert Van’t Hof, Simon Youl, Pete Sampras, and Mats Wilander, before losing in the semifinal to Ivan Lendl, the world’s top-ranked player and Wimbledon’s first seed, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-5. “And I only played average that day,” said Annacone.

It was the first time the East Hampton-reared pro had beaten Wilander, one of the world’s top players. “I was pleased with the way I played against him,” Annacone said of the 6-2, 6-4 win.

Sampras, a 17-year-old Californian, like Michael Chang, proved to be a difficult opponent in the third round, though Annacone prevailed 6-7, 7-5, 6-3.

Grasscourt tennis, Annacone said, is “the greatest equalizer. You never know quite what’s going to happen, the ball takes bad bounces, the points are so quick, it’s very fast, and the matches are close. . . . There are 15 guys I can think of who could win Wimbledon, and I’m one of them. To a great degree it’s the luck of the draw, and who beats who.”

Sag Harbor’s Tim Fitzpatrick ran away from the field to capture the 5-kilometer Race Against Drug Abuse in Sag Harbor Saturday.

The 28-year-old banker has been running for 10 years, but only recently has he begun to improve dramatically, owing, he said, to his mentor, Cliff Clark, coach of the Team Shelter Island track club, which he joined four years ago. He ran the 3.1-mile course in 16:48, finishing almost two minutes ahead of the runner-up, Tim Gilmartin, of Southampton.

Fitzpatrick said that as a competitor he was “gratified to win,” but that, in general, he competes because he enjoys “the beauty of running.”

The first woman over the line, in 18:50, was Diana Nelson of New York and Amagansett, a 28-year-old lawyer who, like the men’s winner, seems to be coming into her own as a runner.

A visitor here from the State of Washington, Judy Jeon-Chapman, came to bodybuilding after rehabbing from whiplash injuries she suffered in an auto accident when she was a college freshman.

“I’d been told that because of my spinal injuries I would have to be very careful and that I’d never be able to lift much weight, but, though I was very scared going into it, I signed up for a beginner’s weight-training class four years ago to try to get out of this deep depression I was in, and found that lifting free weights made me feel so much better right away.”

A year later, she began winning bodybuilding competitions. She is the Ms. North America lightweight division title-holder.

. . . Junk food is out, and, for the most part, she’s lost her craving for it. “Though I do confess I crave chocolate cookies. ‘Cookie’ was my nickname growing up.”

There’s not all that much money in competitive bodybuilding and guest-posing, so Jeon-Chapman combines it with jobs at the Seattle Center, site of the Space Needle, as a weight-training teacher, and as a magician’s assistant.

Asked if she’d been sawed in half, she replied, “In thirds . . . and I’m the only one I know of, in the Northwest anyway, who can do the sword illusion that David Copperfield does. You have to be very strong to do it.”