Spring Grandes Dames, The End

 

Saturday it rained much of the day, till about 1:30 pm and matches started about 3pm and went on till after 9pm.

 
On Saturday the main draw of the 40 and 60 singles was completed since they were only out to the semis, and the semis of the doubles in the 40s, 50s and 60s were played.
 
Vesna McKenna and Jami Patterson played a good singles semis in the 40s. McKenna used her big serve and newly found flat forehand well in beating Jami Patterson 62 75. Jami nearly pulled out the 2nd set, rallying from 2-4 down to go up 5-4, serving, but McKenna steadied herself to win the set. Renata Marcinkowska beat Susie Brown to reach the final. McKenna however pulled a muscle in the final and had to retire at 2-4 in the first set. Marcinkowska remains unbeaten in 40s play in the US.
 
Pat Keleman played well in the semi, but came up short, losing 75 62 to Brenda Carter. Betty Wachob beat Jan Dennis more handily. Carter won the final in a topsy-turvy final, dropping the 2nd set 60 before rallying to win the match. Keleman also had to play her doubles parnter in the 3/4 playoff, and held off a tenacious Jan Dennis, who rallied to win the first set 76 after being down, rallied in the second set after being down to force a tiebreaker, but this time failed to win it, and Keleman ran away with the third set 60.
 
Diane Fishburne didn’t lose a game till the final. Carolyn Nichols and Sherri Bronson battled much longer than Fishburne and Suzanne Siegler did in their semi, with Nichols prevailing 62 63. Bronson mixed up her game a lot, combining moonballs with serving and volleying and aggressive returning, but Nichols managed to defend well. The final was, according to Belmar Gunderson, a classic "puncher vs a counterpuncher".   Fishburne, when down, plays bold, aggressive tennis…the same tennis she plays when ahead…she goes for the lines and hits them often on big points. She won 64 62. Suzanne Siegler scored one of her biggest wins, taking out Sherri Bronson in the 3/4 playoff 16 75 64. Siegler has been striking the ball well…she also beat Nancy Szen 61 63 in the quarters. Bronson rallied in the third set, after trailing at least 52, holding off one match point with a volley on the line ,but Siegler finally closed out the match.
 
Ria Graham won the 70s, beating Rachael Spease (who took out Nancy Reed), 75 64 in the semis and then played flawlessly in the final, beating Burnett Herrick 6262. Carol Wood lost 64 63 to Herrick in the semis, but beat Spease, and found the range on her nefarious drop shot, to place third.
 
Jan Kirkland-Cochran and Becky Holland played a long 3 setter against the 2nd seeds, Kathy Foulk and Terri Thompson in the semis, finally winning under the lights and received a walkover from McKenna/Brown in the final; Mckenna pulled a muscle and Brown hurt her Achilles tendon. In the 50s they lost the 3/4 playoff in two close sets to Margie Cooper/Kerry Young.
 
Fishburne/Bronson won the doubles, beating Nichols/Szen 46 64 62 in a good match.
 
The 60s were won by Carter/Wachob over Dennis/Keleman in 3 sets. Clay/Goodman placed third.
 
The 70s were won by Wood/Graham over O’Sullivan/Kossowsky 61 63. Herrick/Caroline Haynes placed third. They were ousted by O’Sullivan/Kossowsky in 3 sets in the semis.
 
That’s it from the Florida Spring Grandes Dames. Houston starts Monday March 3, and I’ll be blogginperiodically from there and posting photos. Ria Graham, 70s-1Brenda Carter, 60sCarol Wood, 70shttp://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swfHeathrow08SemisPatParsons 266 Renata

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