The first gold ball (Category I USTA Championship) of 2018 is held in Rancho Mirage, California, in conjunction with the Super Category II USTA tournament held there (this year sponsored by Wilson).
In addition to the 50, 60 and 70 divisions held the past few years, the 75 and 80 divisions moved to Mission Hills from Las Vegas (and got stronger and larger draws as a result). In senior tennis, location counts for a lot!
The 60s was a draw of 15 teams and was very competitive. Robin Harris/Kevin Kearney won the title in a hard fought battle over Mike Tammen/Susan Wright. I watched some of their first round matches, since Robin and Kevin played my sister and cousin first round. Mike and Susan were playing at the same time Susan did not back down from taking volleys from Mike! However, their first rounds went well. My sister, Eileen Christin and cousin Don Beer rebounded to reach the consolation final where they fell in three tough sets. Una Davis/Randy Berg won the bronze over Jennifer Shorr/Kurt Chan in three sets.
In the 70s, Kathy Bennett and Jimmy Parker were only pressed once, in the semis by Tad Yukawa/Andi Polisky, who let a second set lead go, falling 62 75. They beat Brent Abel/Cathie Anderson in the final. Liane Bryson/Marc Stewart won the bronze in three sets over Tad and Andi.
The unseeded but not unknown team of Diane Willauer/Michael Stewart won the 75s, trouncing the top seeds, Chuck White/Suella Steel in the first round and then edging the #2 seeds of Jane Pang/John Popplewell 76 in the third to win the gold. Dean Corley/Katie Koontz won the bronze in three sets over Steel/White.
Dori DeVries/Wilbur Jones won the 80 mixed round robin. DeVries’ doubles partner, Roz King, paired up the team that ended up beating her and Saul Snyder! King and Snyder did win the silver though and James Berry/Norma Veal won the bronze. Saul Snyder is shown below (he’s 85 by the way!).
The 50s is going on now and finishes on Sunday…I’ll add a note to this post at the conclusion of the event to note the winner of that event. The35 & 40 mixed are not a gold ball events.
Tracie Currie/Patrick Crow won the 50 mixed.