• Category Archives BallenIsles 2017
  • Category II Nationals » BallenIsles 2017
  • Ronan, Works, Barker, Clay, & Weber Win Singles Titles on a Warm & Windy Sunday at BallenIsles

    Canadians won two singles titles Sunday at the USTA Super Category II Tournament in Florida, at opposite ends of the age scale. Sophie Ronan won the five person round robin, which cumulated in a victory over her childhood friend and rival Paula Myslivecek yesterday. It was a hard fought 62 63 battle played in 25 mph winds and 88 degree temperatures!  Inge Weber, the reigning world champion in the 80s, trounced the field, beating Carol Wood in the final 64 62.

    Shelly Works ground down Terri Gaskell in the 50s final. For the second time, Gaskill had to retire against the relentlessly fit and consistent Works, though this time she nearly finished off Works before heat exhaustion set in. Gaskill rallied from 3-5 down in the first set to take it 75, then went up 53 in the 2nd before Works rallied to take it 75. On the changeover, Works could be seen trying to help Gaskill continue (that’s who Shelly Works is, genuinely nice to the core, yet a fierce competitor), but Gaskill had to retire after just one game in the third with dehydration, and cramps. Rene Tharpe placed third with a straight set win over Erin Boynton. Shelly & Erin are shown below


    Shelly & Erin

    Diane Barker beat me 62 60. It was a two hour match, though I didn’t have much to show for it! She ran me all over the court and got more consistent and aggressive as the match went on.  (That running crosscourt forehand…). The 3/4 playoff was a long battle, finally won 67 75 62 by Wendy McColskey over Bunny Allare.  Diane and I are below…Diane apparently is a “Giant” killer!

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    In the 70s, Carol Clay completed a successful comeback from knee surgery with a three set win over top seeded Betty Wachob, 36 64 62. Clay’s ability to hit through the wind was crucial. The 3/4 playoff was another long bruising battle between Sue Kimball and Charleen Hillebrand. Kimball prevailed 75 46 64 in about three hours.

    There were lots of great doubles matches on Sunday too.

    The 40s final featured the Canadians, Myslivecek and Ronan against local favorites Andi Piski (the pro at Mirasol) and Jenny Klitch (Mirasol member) , who had a large and politely enthusiastic group of students and friends watching. It was really windy and the wind was tougher to fight in doubles than in singles. I even saw a complete whiff of an overhead in this match even though the player seemed to be set up to hit it perfectly…a two ounce tennis ball is no match for a 25 mph wind. Klitch/Piski won 61 62, but they had some great points and long games and the crowd was well entertained.

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    The 50s final also featured Klitch, playing with Kim Jones (a former top 30 player) against last year’s clay court champions, Mariana Hollman/Works. Jones/Klitch barely escaped the quarters with a win over Boynton/Susan Boyer but got progressively stronger as the tournament went on. In the final Jones found the alleys with volleys and Klitch both with backhand angles and volleys; they won 61 63. Boyer/Boynton won the backdraw to finish fifth.

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    Pat Purcell and I edged Abbi Neuthaler/Kathy Foulk 62 36 10-6 (match tiebreak). It was very windy…there was one shot that I was ready to smash…it was 3 feet from the net and as I was swinging a gust moved it several feet and I barely touched it; at other times any one of us would be midswing and the ball would catch a gust and die, or hop over our heads. It was a good match anyway, and we were happy to escape with a win!

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    The 70s and 80s finished on Saturday with Hillebrand/Wachob winning the 70s and Wasser/Weber prevailing in the 80s.

    The tournament won’t be held at BallenIsles in 2018, since they will be undergoing a big renovation of their main clubhouse, but will move to the Polo Club in Boca Raton.

    Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/ctyxYzJKrZmd5Rbb8

    All results: BallenIsles Super Cat II Jan 2017

  • Into the Final at BallenIsles on a Warm and Windy Saturday

    It was a warm and windy day in Palm Beach Gardens. I played Wendy McColskey from NC today, our third meeting in a year. It was a tough match with long rallies. We finished the first set about the time Diane Barker finished off her match, even though we started at the same time. I won 62 63, rallying from 1-3, ad out in the second. Pat Purcell and I played Wendy and her sister Dale. Pat played great and we won 61 63. We play Abbi Neuthaler/Kathy Foulk in the final which will be a tough match. They took out the team which beat the #2 seeds on the first day.
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    In the 50s. Shelly Works beat Rene Tharpe, also in two hours 75 62, but Terri Gaskill had to go three sets and over three hours to dispatch Erin Boynton, who played an excellent match. Jenny Klitch/Kim Jones and Works/Marianna Hollman advanced to the doubles final.

    The 70s final is set between Betty Wachob (who beat Sue Kimball in three sets) and Carol Clay (who dispatched Charleen Hillebrand).  Wachob/Hillebrand beat Delfausse/Kimball in the 70 doubles final today.

    The 80s final is set between Carol Wood/Inge Weber, while the doubles was won by Weber/Dorothy Wasser over Wood/Kathy Langer.

    In the 40s, there’s a round robin for singles, with Sophy Ronan from Canada so far undefeated. In doubles, Jenny Klitch/Andi Piski take on Canadians Ronan/Paula Mylisevek in the doubles final which should be a good match. Piski is a seriously good player (#1 for Auburn in tennis in former days).

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    Tomorrow will be warmer (88!) and windy (26mph!) with a slight chance of rain (20%). All in all some good tennis today and more to come tomorrow.

    Results: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=185079

    Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/ctyxYzJKrZmd5Rbb8

    starred photos Saturday

  • Tennis & Fun at BallenIsles

    Link to draws: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=185079

    First, the tennis: there were a few upsets but the top seeds advanced in the 50-80 singles without incident except in the women’s 70 division.  Charleen Hillebrand, always a great competitor. beat Lynn Thompson 62 63 (though Thompson was down 5-0 in the 2nd set and gave Hillebrand a scare before succumbing.

    I won my match 62 62 against Frances O’Sullivan, but my doubles partner, Pat Purcell wasn’t as lucky, losing to Bunny Allare in three sets. Pat and I won our doubles too, so tomorrow I play Wendy McColskey in singles and doubles.

    Jenny Klitch, with whom Shelly Works, Monica Salazar and I are staying, won a hotly contested (in how close the match was, not for any other reason) with Kim Jones over Erin Boynton/Susan Boyer 10-8 in the march tiebreak. Then she combined with the Mirasol pro Andi Piski to blast (and I mean blast…they were hitting hard!) past O’Hern/Saiki. The only misstep in that match was when Andi didn’t see Jenny’s high-five attempt and just kept walking (you had to be there).


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    Shelly won her singles over Sheila Chiricosta and then combined with Mariana Hollman to win their doubles quarter.


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    The dinner tonight at the BallenIsles Country Club was very nice, good food and a good atmosphere.


    And the sun sets on another good day of tennis in Florida.

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  • Busy Thursday at BallenIsles

    Today was a beautiful, sunny, warm day at BallenIsles. A huge slate of matches meant play, which started at noon, continued under the lights and into the dinner hour. Upsets were rare today, in fact there were none in singles, with all seeds advancing in straight sets in the 40-80 divisions.

    In doubles though, a few seeds fell, the biggest scalp being the #2 seeds in the 60s, Kathy Zanon/Betsy Savitt, who were taken out by Bunny Allare/Tinnell. Allare grew up in Jacksonville and used to play with Diane Barker when they were juniors. She’s a tall lefty and an aggressive player.

    Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman, seeded fourth,  fell in the 70s to Frances Dickenson/Brenda Winstead.

    In the 50s, Saiki/Thomson upset Gilcrease/Williams, who were seeded 5th.

    Play was still going on at 7pm; last night play went on past 8:30pm.

    Tomorrow is the player dinner and will be a long day at the courts.

  • BallenIsles Day 1: Hot Tennis in Sunny, Warm Florida

    The first USTA Category II tournament of the year began today under sunny skies in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. After a short morning practice, I went over to BallenIsles Country Club, the tournament site to watch tennis and visit tennis friends.

    Erin Boynton of Toronto, a regular fixture on the USTA national senior circuit, played Pied Piper and brought a houseful of Canadians down to the tournament, including Sophie Ronan, who won her first round match in women’s 40 singles today. I did however see a lot of rather pink Canadians by day’s end (despite their stop to buy sunscreen at Publix).

    The level of play seemed quite high, even though few seeded players were in action today. Most are in action tomorrow though, other than some of the 80s singles players.

    Shelly Works is housing at the same location as I am. We have had a lot of laughs here. Tonight we all learned  that the Pee Wee she kept referencing is  her 6’3” husband, aka Scott (or to her young tennis students, Mr. Shelly).

    Tomorrow I play Suzanne Siegler at high noon and then play doubles at 3pm with Pat Purcell.

    All Draws: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=185079

  • BallenIsles Grandes Dames Starts Today: Note Parking Alert!

    BallenIsles,  Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    From Tournament Director Trish Faulkner: PARKING ALERT!! THIS YEAR YOU WILL BE ALLOWED TO PARK AT THE SPORTS COMPLEX HOWEVER YOU MUST USE VALET PARKING (NO TIPPING) ALL PARKING SPOTS ARE RESERVED FOR MEMBERS ONLY.PLEASE CAR POOL IF YOU CAN. PARKING PASSES MAYBE PICKED UP AT TOURNAMENT DESK; Also, note that players may not use the pool or member lounge, but may use fitness (after 11, for a fee). For more information click here.

    The Valet parking attendants are in front of the sports complex!


    This is the first Cat II tournament of the year and has a very strong draw in women’s 40/50/60/70 & 80, including current world champion Inge Weber (W80), current US #1 (and former world champion) Brenda Carter (W70), Multi world champion Diane Barker (W60), US 50s doubles champions Shelly Works and Marianna Hollman and top Canadians Paula Mysilvecek/Sophie Ronan (W40D; though Paula is also an American).


    Draws can be found here: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=185079#&&s=6


    I play tomorrow singles and doubles (with Pat Purcell, St. Louis, MO).