SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Bob Seymour
Life-long tennis player Bob Seymour has a noteworthy streak that involves a sport other than tennis. The 93-year-old Laguna Woods resident and former collegiate player at UC Berkeley has been to every “Big Game” football contest between the Bears and rival Stanford University since 1933.
That’s 81 consecutive games. “I don’t know if there is anyone who’s been to more,” said Seymour, who follows all of Cal’s athletic teams, including the Peter Wright-led men’s tennis team. “I’ve seen a lot of great games, and a lot of bad ones. But at least I showed up.”
In fact, Seymour is just now starting to get over being sick from sitting in three hours of rain at the last “Big Game” during the Fall, and it was a sickness that kept him off the tennis court for longer than he would have liked.
“I lost two of my playing partners recently; one who moved away and one who had hip surgery so I haven’t been playing as much,” Seymour said. “Combine that with getting over that bad cold and I haven’t been playing much over the past three months.”
Seymour, who turns 94 in March, still managed to play in a National Senior event in Palm Springs in January but didn’t get the results he was look for. He knows he’ll have to get out and train harder for the upcoming National 90s Hardcourts that take place in his hometown of Laguna Woods.
“I’ve been working in the gym, and there’s a steep hill I like to hike up,” said Seymour, who has won seven USTA Gold Balls during his career.
He recalls playing a match against former world No. 1 Tony Trabert on Stadium Court at the Berkeley Tennis Club right around the time Trabert turned pro. “He was a few years younger than me, and I remember him as just a great player who had a great future,” Seymour said. “I played a lot of the top players in that. He was the top player in the world. I only got one game, and it was well earned.”
Seymour has said his most memorable win coming back in 2000 at the National 75 Hardcourts, where he defeated the world No. 1 at the time, Tom Brown. He has represented the U.S. in World Team Championships on three different occasions, as well as playing for Southern California on both Intersectional and North/South Challenge Teams, serving as captain on numerous occasions.
In September, Seymour was named to the SCTA Senior Hall of Fame, another memorable moment in his long tennis career.
“It’s an honor to be a member of the SCTA Senior Hall of Fame and to be appreciated for what I’ve done,” Seymour said.