Dates: January 16-20
Place: Palm Beach Gardens, FL, BallenIsles CC (otherwise known as home for Venus and Serena Williams)
What: USTA Super Cat II 500 Point ranking tournament for national rankings, women’s 50, 60, 70, 80
Surface: Green Clay
Tournament Web Page: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=125052
Play began Wednesday at BallenIsles. BallenIsles is a gorgeous private club just north of Palm Beach, Florida. The tournament “hub” is in the children’s playroom, near the tennis pro shop and pool. The courts are all hydrocourts, which use an underground watering system, so no court time is lost to watering during the day. Play and watering of the courts can be simultaneous.
Thursday there were two great matches in the 50s: Marianne Caplan beat her doubles partner, Susie Brown 64 67 75 in a match which displayed the heart and all court play of each player. Brown moved great and attacked off serve and return, as did Caplan…in the end Caplan was slightly more consistent, though Brown looked much fresher (she’s from Florida, Caplan from Pennsylvania and it was in the 80s) at the end. They are also doubles partners this week. Another set of doubles partners, Kathy Foulk and Karen Olson (who took out #4 seeded Sheila Chiricosta 62 62 on Wednesday) had a barnburner too, won by Olson 76 (6) 76 (5).
In the 70s, Ria Graham, who just entered the 75s (!) took out Sheila Weinstock in three hours, three sets….the Floridian, Graham, won this battle.
Today there were a few more good battles and upsets too. Barbara Squires took advantage of the cooler weather which blew in last night (it’s relative…the high was 72 instead of 82 today) and beat the top seed in the 60s, Carol Clay, in three long sets, 64 in the third. She will face Machoian next while Ellen Goodman (who overcame a 0-4 first set deficit to beat Cindy Babb in straight sets) takes on Wendy McColskey, the favorite in this division.
In the 80s, Mary Ann Plante, who says of herself that she is not a singles player….took out the second seed, Jane Lutz (who is in the 85s this year) to reach the final. Rosie Asch edged Mimi Donegan and will face Plante in the final.
The 40s got underway today and the 30s are out to the final.
There’s a dinner at the club tonight, and play continues tomorrow in all divisions.