Chamisal, Thursday Afternoon; Getting to Know Cooke/Croft

Well, Debbie Croft and Pam Cooke are in two finals, the 35 and 45 doubles, though unseeded. Both are from NorCal and Pam played on the NorCal intersectional team last year, and won 4 matches (2 singles, 2 doubles) at #1 and #2 doubles and #3 singles. She was a very good junior player (Pam Baughman) and played college ball in Tennessee. She has 3 kids, is married to Michael who is a good lefty and a NorCal volunteer. She also plays 5.0 league tennis. We have knock-down drag out singles matches when we play.

Debbie Croft was an excellent junior player (Debbie Brink). She and her sister Janice played a lot of doubles as juniors…they hung back near the baseline and moonballed opponents to death, or so I’ve heard. I wasn’t quite in their league, but I do remember Debbie playing singles and being VERY consistent. She now is a solid and aggressive doubles player…very few moonballs. She and Wilma Lee played at the Marin tournament and gave the top seeds, Chris Ramsower-Pearlstein and Robin Harris a scare before succumbing in three sets. Debbie also reached the semis a few years back in singles at the 40 hard courts.

So there you have a little background on the surprise doubles team of the tournament! They are super nice people too and will be on the NorCal 45s team in Naples.

Shelly Stillman-Scott, who is a Chamisal member, upset the #1 seed in the 35s, Carolyn Wei, today. Shelly is actually eligible for the 45s (she played 45 doubles), but chose to play 35s. (She’s on our 45s intersectional team too.). She plays Shelly Works in the final. Shelly (eligible for the 45s next year…watch out) upset the #2 seed, Michelle King in the other semi.

Mariana Hollman upset Fran Chandler today and faces Susan Wright in the final.

Ching Ling Chang eased into the 55s final with a straight set win over Carla Brown 61 75. Top-seeded Martha Downing reached the final after a LONG battle with Wilma Lee. This was their 3rd meeting this year, but the first that went the distance.

The top 4 seeds reached the doubles semis, played later today.

The 65s went according to form…Hillebrand/Steel reached their 8th straight 65s national final, edging the 3rd seeds, Veal/Giacomini 36 75 64, and Anderson/Billbeat Pang/Fujii for the 3rd time this year. Hillebrand/Steel are going for a Gold Slam in doubles…they haven’t dropped a set all year to Anderson/Bill (having beaten them twice).

Hillebrand/Steel also face each other for the 4th time this year. Steel won their previous 3 meetings at the 65 indoors and grass and 60 hard courts. Hillebrand is the defending champion at this event, having beaten Steel in the final last year.

Mary Boswell will face her doubles partner, Louise Russ, in the 75s final. Boswell is going for her first ever singles Gold Slam in that match. She’s beaten Russ three times this year. They are also going for a Gold Slam in 75 doubles.

Lucy Dettmer is continuing her 85s domination whenever she shows up at an 85s event.

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