Midtown: Sports

Blouin wins doubles title at national clay court event

Amy Alcini ran across the court to Carolina Blouin.

“We won!” Alcini screamed to Blouin. “We won!”

The two tennis players hugged each other while the crowd applauded them.

For Blouin, that was the moment she remembered most when she and Alcini won the women’s 35-44 doubles title at the National Clay Court Senior Championships last week.

The victory also gave Blouin, who volunteers at the Raleigh Racquet Club, her first national title.

“It was a very happy moment for me in my senior career,” Blouin said.

Before the tournament, Blouin, 39, had never played competitively alongside Alcini. As teammates, the pair defeated the defending champions, Kristin Hess and Jennifer Toney, 6-4 6-4.

When Blouin met with Alcini at the start of the event, the two built chemistry quickly by playing to each other’s strengths.

Blouin, who has exceptional forehand and backhand strokes, hit heavy shots across the net and set up Alcini to win many of the points at the net off of her strong volleying skills.

“We spoke a little bit before the first match,” Blouin said. “I respect her as a player. We did really well together and it was fun.”

Blouin was proud of the way she played. Throughout the tournament, she said she never lost focus or became emotional. Blouin said she even kept her concentration at a high level during match point of the championship match.

Blouin was so focused on making sure she was in position to return a potential volley shot that she didn’t even see the opposing team’s forehand shot go out of bounds.

Blouin watching Alcini run to her was how she found out they had indeed won.

“This is probably the best I’ve played in doubles, even compared to what I did in college,” Blouin said. “The level of concentration I had let me know this was the best I’d had ever played in my life.”

Earlier this year, in February, Blouin competed in the International Tennis Federation Senior World Cup, one of the most prestigious events on the senior tour. Blouin played for the U.S. 35-45 women’s team with Trish Riddle, Patricia Zerdan and Kelly Wilson.

The U.S. team fell to France, the eventual winners, in the semifinals, but was able to beat Spain to take third place.

“I think the confidence level for me has improved,” Blouin said. “Usually, our bodies tend to slow down as you get older.

“My body is not slowing down right now.”