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  • Les Grandes Dames Palm Beach Gardens Cat II/ITF Grade I Finished with a Blast of Air

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    I’ll start today’s blog by wishing my dad a happy 94th birthday. He’s a tennis player and when I called to wish him a happy birthday he naturally asked how the tournament went….so this is how it went.

    It was WINDY today…the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center is a wonderful public facility but doesn’t have a lot of breaks from the wind. It rained for several hours starting around 7am but stopped about 10…and the wind continued.

    I played Diane Barker. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve lost to her over the past 25 or so years and I lost again today but it was a good and long match, 64 76 (3). The first three games of the second set took about 45 minutes! On one point I hit (attempted to hit) a crosscourt forehand and saw the ball change directions 90 degrees in the air and land on the line…and bounce over the side fence! (Diane didn’t win that point). On another, I set up to hit a forehand and I think whiffed when the wind pulled the ball an entirely different direction. Despite these challenges, we had long points and overall the match was of good quality. In the tiebreak Diane tightened up her game and didn’t make an error…too good. (Thanks Brad Sprayberry for the photo below.)

    The 3/4 playoff between Kathy Vick and Wendy McColskey was even longer than ours, and was at 5-5 in the third when we finished. McColskey won 75 57 75. Kathy is definitely getting her court time this week, this was her second singles three-setter and she’s had two three-set doubles matches too.

    Bunny Allare won the 5-8 playoff group with a 63 76 (8) win over Frances O’Sullivan.

    Suzanne Siegler finished 9th.

    In doubles, Ligia Bottinelli and Abi Neuthaler beat Ann Jacobs/Betsy Savitt to claim the title, 76 75. Foulk/Allare beat Vick/Kim Jones to place third.

    And that’s a wrap on the first tournament of the year. The odd divisions will be played in February in Fort Lauderdale and the evens will reconvene in Naples at the end of February.

    Draws and results are here.

    Photos are here.


  • Kraujina, Klitch, Novack, Weber Win Singles Titles Saturday

    Kristin Kraujina of Florida won the 30 singles on a sunny, breezy Saturday. Kraujina lives in a town called Sunny Isles Beach, which sounds awfully pleasant! She won the four player round robin without dropping a set.

    Jenny Klitch of Florida dominated the 50 singles, dropping only two games (routing her opponents en route to the title one could say). She beat Yvette Kruger who is a very good tennis player, 60 61, playing steady, aggressive and smart tennis. Alice Stubbs of NC placed third, winning a tough three-setter over Canadian Adrienne Simmons.

    Toni Novack, also currently residing in Florida (there’s a theme here), upset top seeded Molly Hahn of MA 64 62, hitting her usual (for her) magical dropshots to take the 70s title. Susan Kimball placed third over Brenda Winstead.

    Inge Weber, of Canada (but spending the winter in, you guessed it, Florida) beat Dorothy Wasser, her doubles partner 75 62 to take the 80s crown. Burnett Herrick took third over Lucille Kyvallos.

    The 60s had a larger draw so only the semis were played today. I beat a tired Kathy Vick 61 62 and in the upset of the day, Wendy McColskey won a set from Diane Barker. Then Diane, according to Wendy, changed her strategy, which was a very effective adjustment since Diane won the next two sets 61 61. Their match lasted only a few minutes longer than our match.

    Klitch and Andi Piski won the 40 doubles over Stacey Williams/Mariana Hollman 61 62 in an entertaining match.

    Susan Harris/Patricia Randolph from Alabama won the 50 doubles, beating Williams/Hollman in a marathon match 76 (5) in the third!

    Ellen Goodman/Winstead upset Hahn/Kimball in the 70 doubles final, 64 67 64. Hahn/Kimball rallied from 15 down in the second to force a deciding set, but Goodman/Winstead played awfully well to get the win. It was really windy in the afternoon (I saw a tent blow over) which affected the 70s doubles match a lot but overall the quality was very good.

    Wasser/Weber won the 80s round robin doubles over Carol Wood/Herrick in three sets.

    In semifinal action, the 60s doubles semis were both decided by a third set. Ann Jacobs/Betsy Savitt took out Kathy Vick/Kim Jones in three sets while Ligia Bottinelli/Abbi Neuthaler beat Kathy Foulk/Bunny Allare 61 in the third.

    Results are here.

    Photos are here.


  • Palm Beach Gardens Friday, Sun & Smashes

    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    It was another sunny 70s day in Palm Beach Gardens today, pretty much perfect for tennis.

    I played Kim Dean, whom I’d not played before. She’s originally from California, now from Atlanta and is a tough player. The 62 61 score was not indicative of how many close games and points we had.

    In the 60s, the only upset was Kathy Vick, new to the 60s, edging Bunny Allare in three tough sets. Diane Barker and Wendy McColskey advanced convincingly to the semis where they play each other; I play Kathy.

    The 50s final is set, between top seeded Jenny Klitch, who has yet to lose a game, and Yvette Kruger, the 2nd seed.

    In the 70s, the two top seeds advanced by very different scores. Toni Novack drove and dropped her way to victory against Brenda Winstead 63 63 while Molly Hahn edged her doubles partner in a spirited match 67 64 75.

    In the 80s, Inge Weber beat Lucille Kyvallos, and Dorothy Wasser upset #2 seeded Burnett Herrick in three sets. They face off in singles, then will combine to play the doubles final against Herrick/Carol Wood.

    In 60 doubles, Vick/Kim Jones took out the #2 seeds, Frances O’Sullivan/Dean in three sets. Ann Jacobs/Betsy Savitt upset the #4 seeds, McColskey and her sister Dale McColskey.

    In 50 doubles, top seeded Mariana Hollman/Stacy Williams edged Daniela Esswein/Susie Brown to advance to the final while the unseeded team of Susan Harris/Patricia Randolph advanced to the final from the bottom half.

    Hollman/Williams made it 2 for 2 by advancing to the final in the 40s to face Klitch/Andrea Piski in the final.

    In 70 doubles, Hahn/Kimaball didn’t have any negative hangover from their long singles; they advanced to the doubles final and will face the #2 seeds, Ellen Goodman/Winstead.

    Finals in all but the 60s will take place tomorrow.

    Results are here.


  • Les Grandes Dames Palm Beach Gardens: Super Cat II/ITF Grade 1

    Happy New Year everyone…the first tournament of the year for me anyway is this week in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. (Venus has a place for sale if you are interested).

    2019 marks a renewed cooperation between the ITF and USTA, resulting in ITF Grade 1 status for some of our Super Category 2 tournaments and Grade A status for all USTA National tournaments in the 35-85 age divisions, plus mixed. In return the USTA will not require IPIN holders to have a USTA membership in order to play in ITF sanctioned tournaments held in the USA.

    Click here to see the draws and results.

    As usual, there are a fair number of Canadians here this tournament but not a lot of other foreign players. Below are Irwin Tobias and Adrienne Simmons (who has caused 2 upsets so far).

    The tournament is being held at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center in Palm Beach Gardens, just down the street from BallenIsles. There are 18 lovely clay courts here and the facility will be even better next year after a big clubhouse renovation is started and completed. The women’s 40-80 clay courts will be held her in April.

    I am playing in a very strong 60s division, led by Diane Barker. Wendy McColskey, Bunny Allare and Kathy Vick are also playing along with Kim Dean, Kathy Foulk, Janet Mosley and Frances O’Sullivan to name a few. All eight seeds reached the quarters without drama.

    The 50s lost the 3 and 4 seeds yesterday as Adrienne Simmons (a Georgia based Canadian) beat the #4 seed Daniela Esswein and Alice Stubbs took out #3 seeded Melanie Crampton, both in three sets. Jenny Klitch and Yvette Kruger though the top 2 seeds, cruised into the semis today

    The four seeds in the 70s advanced to the semis today with Molly Hahn to face Sue Kimball and Brenda Winstead to face Toni Novack.

    In the 80s, Canadian Inge Weber the top seed and Burnett Herrick, the second seed, reached the semis.

    In the 50s, Corey Reese and Simmons beat the #2 seeds convincingly to reach the semis.

    Lisa Hoffstein/Sally Zasloff took out #5 seeded Peggy Machoian/Joan Oelschlager in the 60 doubles; the remaining 7 seeds advanced.

    Hahn/Kimball and Ellen Goodman/Winstead the top 70s seeds, advanced to the semis.