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  • Category II USTA Tournaments » Russell Grandes Dames
  • McDonald, Nichols, Carter & Weber Win Singles at Joanne Russell Cup Sunday

    Naples, Florida, 2/19/17

    Kris McDonald won the 50s at the Russell Cup Category II today, but not before dropping the first set 60! She rebounded nicely though to win the final sets 61 61. Daniela Esswein took out Sheila Chiricosta 61 62.

    I won the 60s over Janet Mosely 60 60, though we had some close games and long points. In fact Janet started the match winning three straight points, but I managed to win the game and wear her down as the match went on. It was a warm and humid day today…temps reached 89 later in the day on my drive back to Fort Lauderdale.

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    Brenda Carter held off a second set surge by Sue Kimball, beating her 61 64. Carter led 52 before Kimball rallied to 54, but Carter closed it out there. Kimball took out the #2 seed, Betty Wachob, yesterday. Betty Wachob eased past Ellen Goodman 62 62 to place third.

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    Inge Weber dropped the first set to Carol Wood…who won it with a dropshot. However, Wood was forced to retire early in the third set with hand cramps. Inge on the other hand, went out soon after the singles and teamed with Rosie Fortna to play the 3/4 playoff, won by Leary/Smylie.

    In the 70 doubles final, Carter/Wachob beat Carol Clay/Goodman 61 61.

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    The match of the day was the 55 doubles final, which went on for hours. Margaret Lumia/Lijia Bottinelli edged McDonald/Betsy Savitt 64 36 64. I watched a lot of the match, but left before the third and had no idea who would win, it was that close.

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    Link to Draws:http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=190084

    Link to photos: https://goo.gl/photos/NfCR1tPt4WdCNB9a7

    And from yesterday: Russell/Solins won 36 60 61 in a match that ended near 7pm.

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  • Finals Set for Sunday in 50/60/70 Singles; Wargo Wins 40 Singles; Joanne Russell Cup

    Saturday was another gorgeous day in Naples, warm and humid but neither windy nor overly hot (temperature about 80).

    I played singles at 12:15 against Frances O’Sullivan. I played well and Frances had a bit of a calf injury…maybe more than a bit and I won 60 60, though we had some good points and games. I play Janet Mosely in the final; she took out Elizabeth Froehling 61 62. When I left the 60s doubles was going on between Kathy Foulk/Betsy Savitt and Joanne Russell/Terry Solins. Foulk and Savitt won the first set 63, and were bageled in the second; I’ll have the final result tomorrow.

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    Leslie Wargo won the 40s with another 61 61 win, this over Jody Pearce (who was playing 50 doubles). Leslie and Jody are shown below with Emilio Sanchez.


    In the 50s, the two semis were of contrasting length, but the end result was that both the #1 and #2 seeds were eliminated by lower seeds. Heather Herman beat Sheila Chiricosta 61 61 while Daniella Esswein, the #2 seed was edged by Kris McDonald 75 76 (7); McDonald rallied from 1-6 down in the tiebreak to win it (not sure if the tiebreak was in the first or second set though). They were out there a good long time. McDonald/Savitt won their 55  doubles later to reach the final; there they face Margaret Lumia/Ligia Bottinelli. Herman and Leslie Baird beat Esswein/Pearce to win the 50 doubles.

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    In the 70s, Sue Kimball upset #2 seeded Betty Wachob 63 64. Wachob edged Kimball in three sets at BallenIsles last month, but this time Sue found a way to hit a lot of forehands and get to net more. Kimball combined later with Lil Peltz-Petow to win the 65 doubles.  Kimball faces Brenda Carter, the top seed, in the final; Carter beat Ellen Goodman in the semis. Carter/Wachob play Goodman/Carol Clay in the 70 doubles final tomorrow.


    Judy Smith/Michaelin Watts won the 75 doubles

    Burnett Herrick/Dorothy Wasser won the 80 doubles. In 80 singles, Carol Wood and Inge Weber face off for the championship tomorrow; both are undefeated in round robin play.

    After I finished playing I watched Emilio Sanchez (former top 10 player, brother of Aranxta Sanchez Vicario) drill  his son and another, good adult player, doing various “Spanish” drills. His son is about 11 and has a one-handed backhand, and he’s pretty good already. The drills were tough; each player drilled for a few minutes, then recovered while the other player drilled and it was very interesting to watch, lots of emphasis on feet for the adult, hand speed too for the boy.



  • Joanne Russell Cup: Russell Makes Successful Tournament Debut on Friday

    There was much to be happy about on Friday: lots of tennis, wonderful weather and a big and happy crowd for Joanne Russell’s first match in the tournament named for her.

    Russell combined with Terry Solins from Maryland to beat Lil Peltz-Petow/Eileen Reynolds tonight in front of a large crowd, which was fueled by happy hour drinks, and generally was quite happy to see a good match, won by the top seeds, Russell/Solins 61 63. They play Kathy Foulk/Betsy Savitt in the final tomorrow.

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    I played my quarterfinal singles match against a Danish player, Birgitte Hostrop and won 60 60. I play Frances O’Sullivan, who advanced easily today 61 61. The other half of the draw hogged the court time. #2 seed Kathy Foulk played Elizabeth Froehling for the 2nd time this year and once again the two split sets. This time they played out the third and Froehling was once again the victor 75 in the third, showing a lot of consistency and grit. She’ll need that tomorrow against #3 seeded Janet Mosely, who found herself down 53 in the the first set against Pat Hirsch but rebounded nicely to win the final 10 games! Both matches lasted over two hours.

    In doubles, Leslie Wargo and I won the 40 doubles over a Valerie Khammash/ Hilary Kuker 61 60. Leslie is a fine player as well as a partner in a law firm in Ohio. It was the first time we’d played together, but our opponents were in the same boat. It was funny, other players couldn’t figure what was going on, or at least what age division I was playing,  since my partner and opponents were obviously much younger than me.

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    There weren’t a lot of upsets in other divisions, and the top seeds advanced to the semis in the 50 & 70 singles; most of the doubles were round robin, though three of the top 4 seeds advanced to the semis of the 55 doubles and the top seeds have yet to play in the 70 doubles.

    Draws: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=190084

    Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/NfCR1tPt4WdCNB9a7

  • 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