BallenIsles: World Champions Collide in Florida

BallenIsles: World Champions Collide in Florida
The BallenIsles ITF tournament, the only Grade 2 in the US this year (no complaints about the ITF status of this event were heard) had a strong field, particularly in the women’s 50s division where Fran Chandler, the current 45s world champion, and Diane Fishburne, the current 50s world champion were the top two seeds. Chandler had a tough test in the semis from Susan Love, a tall lefty with a varied, aggressive game. Chandler won a close first set 64, Love became more aggressive in the second set, winning it 62, but Chandler wore down her bigger opponent in the third, winning it 61. Fishburne faced Carolyn Nichols in the other semi, in a repeat of last year’s final. Nichols again took the first set but Fishburne ran her mercilessly in the final two sets and cut down her errors, winning them 62 61. The final was a contrast between an aggressive baseliner, Fishburne, and a counterpuncher with a big forehand, Chandler. Chandler absorbed Fishburne’s power and placement, and handed it back at times with aggressive, deep forehands, to win 64 62.
The 50 doubles was won by Erin Boynton/Abbi Neuthaler over Susie Brown/Lynn Ellis 63 64. Boynton/Neuthaler advanced to the final when Chandler/Myke Loomis had to pull out, because Loomis suffered some heart problems in her singles match with Susan Love. (She checked out ok, but was advised not to continue).
In the 40s, Trish Riddell just moved into the age division and won it easily, beating Sheila Chiricosta, playing down from the 50s, in the final. Kristin Hartley/Jeanne Hulsen won the doubles round robin.
Carol Clay, who entered the 65s this year, nonetheless managed to win the 60s, beating Sue Bramlette, the second seed in a tough final 76 63. Clay was a little fitter and more determined in the end. Bramlette combined with Margie Cooper though to win the doubles in three sets over Clay/Ellen Goodman.
The 70s final was a terrific one till it unfortunately ended with Susanne Clark, the defending champion and top seed, taking a bad fall while leading 4-2 in the third over Sheila Weinstock. Clark pulled her hamstring and was forced to retire immediately. Weinstock, seeded 8, took out Lyn Tietz, the second seed and Grace Woo, the 6th seed en route to the final. Heidi Attlefellner, retired when up 5-1 to Woo in the ¾ playoff but regrouped and combined with Dorothy Wasser to win the doubles over surprise finalists (they ousted Clark/Woo) Boots Van Nostrand/Libby Keenan
Jane Lutz, the top ranked player in the US won the round robin competition in the 80 singles. Rosie Asch/Diane Hoffman won the doubles over Lutz/Audrey Cox.
Paula Myslivecek beat Trish Riddell in three sets to win the 30s which was played as two round robin groups, the winners of which played the final.
For all results, click here.

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