By Phil Dailey
The best attribute about playing above your competition level is that there is not much to lose.
That's exactly the mindset that members of a local doubles tennis team will have when they play in the 122nd Annual Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championships.
The tournament gets under way today at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and goes through Sunday.
Traditionally, the event brings together some of the top college doubles team from across the country. However, if there are teams that are good enough, they can enter the tournament as well.
For the duo of Daniel Faierman and Warren Wood, both Del Mar residents, they are playing the tournament for the final time as high schoolers. Faierman is off to Yale in the fall while Wood will be heading to Clairemont McKenna, both will play tennis in college. In the tournament last year, the two La Jolla Country Day players made it all the way to the finals of the back draw before a school commitment forced them to drop out of the competition. Faierman and Wood went on to win the CIF doubles title last year in the high school ranks.
"We know that it's gonna be a tough tournament," Wood said. "All those college kids have much more experience than us, but I think that if we just play well and we don't make a lot of stupid mistakes, I think we can do pretty well in this tournament. Obviously, the college kids are more mature. Bigger shots, they work more on their game all-around, so that's the disadvantage we have."
They may be at a disadvantage because of their age, but playing the role of underdog has its benefits.
"We are more doing it to have fun," Faierman said. "It's not a tournament that we feel pressure. We're the young guys — we're just trying to have fun. All the pressure is on the older guys."
One key for Faierman and Wood that could be a benefit is that they have been playing tennis together since they were little boys.
"We've been neighbors since we were 2," Wood said, "so we work well together."
This year marks the 69th straight year the event has been going on at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club adding to the rich tradition that started back in 1890 when the event was first held at The Hotel Del Monte in Monterey. The event started as an idea to have the best players in the East play the best in the West.
Past winners include Jack Kramer, Arthur Ashe and John McEnroe.
Admission to the 122nd Annual Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championships is free. For more information go to