Earlier today, University of Virginia Alumni Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot advanced to the semifinals of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island. They won a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione. I got a chance to speak with the duo on Wednesday, after they had beaten Denis Kudla and Steve Johnson in straights.
Did that win over USC Captain Steve Johnson come with any extra motivation?
Huey: Yesterday, we were talking with Coach Bowland at Virginia and he said “Hopefully get some revenge on Steve Johnson, because USC has beaten up on us”. So, it was good to beat them.
What about your grass play this year, Dominic and your victory at Nottingham over Wimbledon Champs Jonny Marray and Frederik Nielsen?
Inglot: I think we keep playing well, and keep doing the things we’ve been doing, keep improving. It’s tough to play on the grass the first time. To play our first tournament there and get some good wins in there tried to give us some confidence going into Wimbledon. Unfortunately, we didn’t do so well there, but it’s nice to have a win over the future Wimbledon Champions.
How about making the final at Houston?
Inglot: For me, that was really a big tournament, because I actually didn’t think I was that suited for clay going back to my singles days, and I was never that comfortable on it. After that result, which was our first clay court tournament this year, we had a great result. It actually gave me a lot of confidence to play in other tournaments like the French Open. I was actually really happy and I feel comfortable going back there if I ever want to. The fans are really knowledgeable and friendly and it was very nice there.
Any complaints about the grass at Newport?
Inglot: I think they held up pretty good today. Sometimes they get a little bit scuffed up, and you hit into those places where they’ve been scuffed up, you get some dodgy bounces, but overall I think today it was all right. I always like playing on grass, though.
Tret, do you love the the grass as much as Dom, or are you an American Hardcourter?
Huey: I do feel that I’m much more comfortable on the hardcourts, but playing here on grass, we played the last month and a half on grass, so we’re definitely comfortable right now. Here I feel like if you play well, serve well and stay solid at the net, you’ve got a good chance against anybody. We’re hoping to continue to do that.
How did you feel about your success in Houston?
Huey: We played well there. Going in the last time we played on clay before Houston, we lost a terrible first round match in Napoli, Italy in a small challenger. So we were like “It can’t get much worse!”. We went into Houston and didn’t have very high expectations. He and I played real well the whole clay court season and getting to the finals was great.
What about making the final at Halle?
Huey: I played well on the grass there, got to the final. I played with Scott Lipsky there actually, because Dom was in Great Britain that week. I was hoping to play Nadal there, but he pulled out against somebody else in the quarterfinals. Had he won, Nadal and I would have played in the semis. I was so pumped to play him, but it didn’t work out. Hopefully, some other time.
You didn’t end up getting into the Olympics, right?
Huey: Didn’t pick up a wild card for the Olympics. Dom and I will play the rest of the summer leading up to the US Open. We’re hoping to continue to do well. Hard Court season starts next week. Going to to the US Open and hoping to do well there.
Does that mean we’ll see you at the CitiOpen in DC?
Huey: Definitely. Hopefully, we’ll get in, we’re not really sure. It’ll be real tight to get in. I haven’t played in DC in a while, because I haven’t gotten in. I’m looking forward to playing in DC. It’s real close to Charlottesville and real close to where I grew up.
Huey was raised in Alexandria and attended St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes. He later trained in the afternoon program at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park.
“When I was 16, I started playing there. It was 35-40 minutes from my house. They did so much for me with my training and development as a player. I had Vesa Ponka and the coaches made me a better player”.
Although he resides two hours down the road in Charlottesville, Huey is a faithful DC team player. He roots for the Wizards, Nationals, Redskins and the Capitals.
“I’ve been seeing Ovechkin these last few weeks at Wimbledon and the French. It’s fun to see him. I got a picture with him. That was pretty great.”