Greg High is a man of many interests. A voracious reader, High is a student of history, the owner of a fine collection of antique tennis rackets and a lecturer on the game of chess.
He is also a pretty good tennis player, who knows what it takes to be a part of a championship team.
High, who has been the director of tennis at the Palm-Aire Country Club for the past decade, recently earned his third trip to a national championship final. His latest tennis accomplishment came at the Men's Senior 4.5 level Florida State Sectional Championship tournament held at the USTA's tennis center in Daytona Beach recently.
High previously won sectional titles in 2005 and 2007 with a team out of the Racquet Club at El Conquistador in Bradenton.
Since USTA rules prevent sectional-winning teams from reforming intact for at least one year, High and Bradenton's Dan McClure joined a team based out of St. Petersburg. The team, captained by Mark Mazo, easily won the district level competition and then took the sectional title to earn a trip to Tucson, Ariz., on Oct. 24-26 for the national event.
High, who will turn 55 next month and has been married for 30 years to his wife and business partner, Susan, grew up in Pennsylvania and was pretty much a self-taught tennis player.
Early on he had an interest in reading and learning about the game. As he got older, he took more lessons and played college tennis at Baldwin-Wallace in Ohio.
He played briefly on the pro satellite tour but quickly moved into teaching in places like Canada, Oregon, and even in Muscat, a city in Oman on the Persian Gulf.
"We love living here," High said. "It's a good area for my interests."
Those interests include the game of chess. High gives a public lecture once a week about the history of the game and strategies at a cafe near the Ringling School of Art.
High has also been recognizable on the tennis courts around the area. He often uses a two-handled tennis racket while playing matches. One or two handles, High has a way of finding success in team tennis events.
State closed on horizon
One of the biggest junior tennis events of the summer gets under way June 7-12 when the 60th annual USTA Florida Junior State Closed Singles championship is held at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach and at Sanlando Park in Seminole County.
A year ago, Bradenton's Carling Seguso reached the final of the girls 18-Under division. Mary Clayton, who then lived in Bradenton, won the girls 16s title. Sekou Bangoura Jr. won the boys 16s consolation championship. Sachia Vickery, the girls 14-Under winner, currently trains at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.