Russell Grandes Dames, A Category II USTA Tournament

There is a new Category II tournament in Naples, for women age 40-80, even divisions for singles and odd and even for 50-80, plus 40 doubles. I am playing 60 singles and 40 doubles (with Leslie Wargo from Ohio).

The team is named for Naples resident Joanne Russell, the former tour player and TV commentator. She’s also playing, 60 doubles, though she normally plays pickleball, not tennis these days.

The site is the Naples Bath and Tennis Club, home of the Sanchez/Casal tennis academy, There are a few hard courts and about 30 clay courts here, it’s a massive facility and a nice one.

Play began today in all divisions. The 80s has a 5 person round robin, and Carol Wood was upset that she’d have to play two singles matches in one day (the sanction for the tournament was for Wed Feb 15-Sunday Feb 19, but the tournament director shortened it to the 16-19 long after entries opened and plane tickets were purchased. To be fair, the draws are mostly pretty small, which is probably why he shortened it. In the end, Carol upset Burnett Herrick, the 2015 World Champion in the 80s, in three sets, after dropping the first set. (Burnett also had to play an earlier match). Inge Weber, the 2016 world champion in the 80s, also advanced.

The rest of the results went pretty much as expected. Many of the seeds don’t play till tomorrow.

Naples is on the West Coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. I went to the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park later in the afternoon, after a light practice. It’s a nice park, a mile or so long with a path adjacent to the beach, lots of picnic tables, and a quiet beach (with lots of shells). It was very windy today, and the sunset wasn’t a spectacular one, but it was nice to see a sunset over the water.

Tomorrow I  have singles & doubles.

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Link to draws: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=190084

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