BallenIsles

The first Super Category II of the year started yesterday in Palm Beach Gardens, FL at the BallenIsles Country Club (home of Venus & Serena). It’s a beautiful place, though this year the clubhouse is undergoing an expansion…courts 1-4 were taken out (but a couple of new ones were added), and when it’s done there will be a new fitness center, center court and more.

Yesterday Trish Faulkner, the tournament director had a memorial for Patricia Graham and read some of the many emails that poured in after she passed away in December, shortly  before she was to be inaugurated into the Missouri Valley Hall of Fame. She was a wonderful lady, who loved tennis and gave back to it selflessly for decades, and we all miss her a lot, but we celebrated her life yesterday.

Today was a glorious day for tennis, crisp in the morning, near 70s in the afternoon and not too windy, not a cloud in the blue sky. It was a good day to enjoy the present.

There weren’t many upsets on the first couple of days of play. Kay Merrell is always a threat in the Grandes Dames and upset 4th seeded Lucille Kyvallos in the 70s in three sets, wearing down Lucille with her steady play and quick feet. Louise Russ, playing her first 80s match, had to go three sets to edge Nancy Stout in the quarters.

Rita Price was nervous….she couldn’t reach her partner, Diane Hoffman to confirm their playing time. But Diane showed up and Rita said that Diane told her what to do…and every time she, Rita, ignored that advice, they lost the point…so she listened well enough and they won their opening match against Louise Russ/ Doris Stephens 75 62. I talked to Doris a bit…she and Louise have been friends since high school in Southern California, over 60 years ago.

Cathie Hall was seen marching up and down the rows of courts, trying to work off cramps in her legs…in the end she was fine, and didn’t know if it was the bananas, potassium, pickle juice, or quinine which worked…or maybe her stomach was so upset after that combination that the cramps didn’t feel so bad after all!

Lee Delfausse upset Jan Dennis in the 60s.

Mary Morgan and Nancy Szen, seeded 5th, edged 2nd seeds Lil Peltz-Petow/Abbi Neuthaler in three close sets in the 50s.
To see all results, click here.

Here are a couple of photos of Patricia…

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