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Nuveen Tennis Tour Visits Triangle

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RALEIGH — Thirty-seven-year-old John Fitzgerald gets set for this week's Nuveen Tour by playing 18-year-old Judson Williams. It's a good warm-up for Fitzgerald. Young Judson is tough. But the Aussie knows he won't have to face flat-bellied tigers like this in a few days.

"We all think we still have flat bellies," Fitzgerald jokes. "It's a pleasure to just keep hitting balls. Maybe we can still teach them a thing or two. You never know."

Don't be fooled by their age. These guys can still play. The Nuveen Senior Tour allows them to continue to show off their seasoned form. The money may not be what it once was, and only a handful of players can make a living out here. But the competitive fires burn just as bright as ever.

"You try to win on the court," says Fitzgerald. "The good thing is these days, you get off the court and you go inside, and you can have a beer with your opponent. You know? In the old days, it was a little more serious. I think you'll still see the competitive drives still there. These guys won't lay down for anyone."

The body may not hold up like it used to. The shots don't have the same steam, but the play-making is still there. The Triangle is in for five days of competitive, seasoned tennis.