Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Flashback | Knight and tennis remain a perfect match

Athlete: Dick Knight, Shoreline High School, Class of 1966

Sport: Tennis

High-school rewind: Won three consecutive Metro League titles at now-defunct Shoreline High School, but did not compete at state because the two tournaments conflicted.

After high school: Became first University of Washington tennis All-American. Inducted into Husky Hall of Fame in 1995. Played at Wimbledon and U.S. Open as a pro. In first U.S. Open in 1968, Knight lost in first round to eventual champion Arthur Ashe.

After athletics: Knight returned to the Seattle area after a brief stint in law school to become the pro at the Pro Sports Club in the 1970s, when it was called the SuperSonics Racquet Club. He bought the club with business partner Mark Dedomenico in 1984, but recently sold his interests in the club to Dedomenico. Knight is president of the Pro Sports Club and still plays tennis, though only for exercise, he insists.

Personal: Knight, 58, is married to his high-school sweetheart, Karen. They have three sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

Fast forward: For all he accomplished in tennis, Knight likes to talk about a match he played in Southampton, Long Island, 39 years ago. That 1967 match against Mike Sprengelmeyer lasted 107 games and 5 ½ hours before Knight finally won 32-30, 3-6, 19-17.

"As far as I know that's still the longest match in the U.S.," Knight said. "I don't think it's a coincidence that they started using tiebreakers the next year."

The match was featured in a Sports Illustrated story by George Plimpton titled, "What the deuce is going on?"

It's no surprise that Knight is still involved in tennis.

"After one year of law school, I thought to myself, 'Gosh, what am I doing in school?' " he said. "I came back, started working at the SuperSonics club, and have been around the game ever since."

John Boyle

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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