Greg Washer had wanted to win a national championship, and he knew who he was going to call.
Not Ghostbusters, but his longtime friend Rick Leach.
“I told him I have a goal to be No. 1 in the country, and would he play with me?" said Washer, a Laguna Beach resident. “And he said he would."
The result has been dominance for Washer, 48, and Leach, the former Laguna Beach High standout and five-time Grand Slam doubles winner who now lives in Newport Beach.
They won the United States Tennis Assn. 45 Men’s National Indoors title Nov. 14 in Park City, Utah, topping Kelly Ward and Scott Works of Texas in the final, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.
It was the second national “gold ball" championship this year for Washer and Leach, the first coming in May at the clay court championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In that tournament, they outlasted Dexter and Desmond McBride in the final, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
At the grass courts championships in Philadelphia in September, Washer teamed with another partner and got second place "” a silver ball.
Washer is now ranked No. 1 in the country in the men’s 45 individual doubles, with 3,800 points.
“There are four national championship tournaments a year, and this was the last tournament," Washer said of the win in Utah. “Rick was really amazing. At the changeovers, he was always really positive. It was really a cool thing for me to learn so much from him. It’s quite fun playing with a guy who has so much experience. He’s won with a lot of different players in his career [playing doubles], and you see why."
Washer and Leach have now qualified to compete for the United States in the Dubler Cup, held in Mexico City in April. They will face international opponents in the tournament, which matches the best 45s players from around the world.