• Category Archives 2014 Florida Senior Individual World Championships
  • ITF Individual World Championships » 2014 Florida Senior Individual World Championships
  • Eoin Collins, Julie Cass and Fran Chandler Win World Singles titles to Lead US Medalists in Palm Beach Gardens

    Here’s a list of US players who medaled in individual events at the ITF World Seniors Individuals; Also listed are the players who medaled in the team events. I realized I never did a post event round up. (It’s raining here in Canada today.)

    Winners received gold medals, Finalists received silver medals and losing semifinalist (no playoff) both received bronze medals. All players reaching the semis in singles or doubles received prize money.


    Men’s 45: Gold: Eoin Collins; Bronze: Oren Motevassel

    Men’s 40: Bronze: Andy Lake

    Men’s 55: Silver: Danny Waldman; Bronze: Mark Vines

    Women’s 35: Silver: Patricia Zerdan; Bronze: Mami Inoue

    Women’s 45: Gold: Julie Cass

    Women’s 50: Gold: Fran Chandler; Bronze: Tracy Houk & Susan Boyer

    Women’s 55: Silver: Diane Barker; Bronze: Susan Wright & Tina Karwasky


    Men’s 40: Bronze: Willie Dann/Lew Miller

    Men’s 45: Gold: Aldo Burga/Ricardo Mendivil; Silver: Carl Clark/Mario Tabares; Bronze: Jeff Cohen (with Frank Vermeer, Netherlands)

    Men’s 50: Bronze: Horacio Rearte/Louis Ballantyne

    Men’s 55: Gold: Mike Tammen/Danny Waldman; Silver: Wes Cash/Mark Vines

    Women’s 35: Gold: Simona Bruetting/Gee Gee Garvin; Silver: Mami Inoue (with Mifumi Emoto, Japan)

    Women’s 45: Silver: Julie Cass/Vesna McKenna; Bronze: Shelly Works (with Julie Dybenthal, Austalia)

    Women’s 50: Silver: Vicki Buholz/Judy Newman; Bronze: Fran Chandler (with Sue Webb, Gr. Britain)

    Women’s 55: Gold: Pam Cooke/Carolyn Nichols; Silver: Mary Ginnard/Tina Karwasky; Bronze: Diane Barker/Susan Wright


    Mixed 45: Silver: Margaret Lumia (with Carlos Gomez Diaz, Argentina)

    Mixed 50: Gold: Rick Leach/Erika Smith

    Click here to read parting impressions of the worlds.

    Click here to see all draws in pdf format.

  • 2014 ITF World Championships Results and Links

    Draws from ITF Individual World Championships:  ( click on “order of play” which brings up another menu; click on “draws” on this second menu.)

    Draws from the Cups & Results

    USA Players Named to Cup Teams: Complete List

    Official USTA Seniors Team Announcement

    Photos of USA Players Named to Cup Teams

    Photos from the World Championships (team and individual)

    Facebook: Senior/Super Senior facebook page

    twitter: @tenniscan


    Individual Blogs from the World Championships

    Tracy Houk’s Blog

    Carolyn Nichols’ Florida Blog

    Carolyn Nichols’ Cup/Team Blog


    ITF Team Information:

    Draws (team)

    2014 ITF Seniors Regulations

    List of all Participating Teams in Florida (Participating Nations)

    List of all players on teams playing in Florida (Team Nominations)

    Formats of Play for Cups (draws differ depending on size)

    ITF Team Rankings, Seniors

  • Parting Impressions of the ITF World Seniors Championships

    1: Making lemonade from lemons award: Eoin Collins, who entered the World Championships to play doubles with Jeff Tarango (who withdrew after losing first round in singles) and ended up winning the 45 singles!

    2: Serena is really popular, judging by how many players were ogling her practice sessions the first week. Venus was sighted the second week practicing at BallenIsles too (their home club).

    3: Location matters in hosting seniors tournaments: The draws in Florida were record setting and there were qualifying events for men’s 45, 50 & 55 singles.

    4: Most of the Club members had no idea what the ITF World Team & Individual championships were about.

    5: Hydro clay courts (with underground watering systems) are wonderful.

    6: The player dinner in Boca was spectacular (all those deserts!)

    7: The USA women’s 45 team came up with a catchy new chant during the men’s 45 final: Allez, Allez, USA…Allez, Allez, USA (yes, the men were playing France)

    8: Congratulations to the team champions: Suzanne Lenglen : France; Young : Great Britain; Margaret Court: USA; Maria Bueno: France; Maureen Connolly: USA; Italia: Spain; Tony Trabert: Austria; Dubler: USA; Fred Perry: France; Austria: Australia.

    9: The USA players don’t know each other, but the Brits, Aussies, South Africans and others certainly do and cheer for each other and follow other teams’ progress.

    10: Country names on the back of players’ shirts in the team event was terrific. All were highly visible except USA (too small).

    11: The level of play was extremely high; the level of media attention was not, outside of the ITF seniors website which was terrific.

    12:  Facebook was the place to be to find out information on the Cups in particular and also the individuals.

    13: The official ITF photographers really love this event (thanks Susan and Fred Mullane).

    14: Introduction of the IPIN is a success for seniors.

    15: By the numbers: 1: Number of #1 seeded singles players who won (Glen Busby, M55); 2: Number of #1 seeded doubles teams which won their event (Ros Balodis/Leeann Swaysland, W50) & Daniel Dolbea/Marc Leimbach, M35); 3: Number of titles won by Sandrine Testud (40 Singles/Doubles/Mixed); 3: Unseeded singles champions (Angelika Roesch, W35; Eoin Collins,) M45 & Julie Cass, W45); 3: Unseeded doubles champions  (W35,W40, M45)

    16: USA by the numbers: 1: Number of mixed doubles champions: Rick Leach/Erika Smith; 3: Winning Cup teams (M/W 45, W55); 3: US players to win singles titles: Cass, Collins and Fran Chandler (W50); 4: Winning doubles teams: Gee Gee Garvin/Simona Bruetting (W35); Ricado Mendivil/Aldo Burger (M45); Mike Tammen/Danny Waldman (M55); Carolyn Nichols/Pam Cooke (W55).

    17: Number of players,  team division: 39: Number of countries; 200: 195: Number of teams; 739: Number of players

    18: Number of players, individuals: 33: Number of events (main draw, singles consolation and qualifying) 50+: Number of countries; 820 Number of players (most playing two events; some three)

    19: Number of venues: Team: six (Boca Raton: Boca West CC; Polo Club; Woodfield CC & Boca Grove); Palm Beach Gardens: BallenIsles CC & PGA Resort & Spa Individuals: six  (Palm Beach Gardens: BallenIsles, PGA, PBG City Courts & Mirasol CC; Jupiter: Jonathon’s Landing and Frenchman’s Creek)

    20: Trish Faulkner, at 69 had seemingly limitless energy and put on a very successful event along with the many sponsor, the ITF and the USTA and Palm Beach County.

  • World Doubles Champions!

    My doubles partner, Pam Cooke and I won the ITF World Doubles title yesterday in the 55+ category, beating Mary Ginnard from Fort Lauderdale and Tina Karwasky from California. It was the first time Pam had ever played in a world championship and she was amazing. She plays with a Weed racquet and at the end I swear she had at least four hands, Mary and Tina couldn’t get the ball past her. She said I hit the last ball, but I don’t even remember it, only that the ball didn’t come back over the net!

    Saturday we were scheduled to play the semis against the top seeds, Susan Wright/Diane Barker of the USA at 2pm, about the time rain was forecast to set in for the day. Diane played the final starting at 10:30 against Chris French (to whom Tina and I had lost in the individuals and who had beaten Susan in the team event). The match was very long and physical, which French prevailing 7-5 in the third to win her fist world championship singles title (Diane has six).

    Our doubles start was delayed till 2:30; we started the match, and the air was really heavy and the wind was picking up. We broke to start the match and I was serving 30-15 and the lightning siren went off. We immediately left the court and by the time the all clear blew at 4:30 the courts were soaked. Long story short, play was later cancelled for the day and we were to resume at 10:30 Sunday. Tina and Mary had played their semi and won 10-7 in a match tiebreak against an Aussie pair.

    We warmed up early Sunday and then found out Diane was injured and couldn’t play. So we got ready for the 1pm final, and warmed up lightly again. Despite all that warm up we started slowly, down 5-1, lost the first set 64, but won the second set 63. The ITF mandates match tiebreaks in lieu of third sets and we were ready for that. Last year my doubles partner and I lost to Tina and Susan in a match tiebreak in the final of the Worlds in Turkey; this year we won it 10-7 after a couple of great points where all four of us were at the net. We were pretty excited; Pam was shaking so much she had trouble texting her husband the news!

    In other action yesterday, Americans took home two singles titles in three sets; Julie Cass from Texas won the 45 singles for her second world singles title and Eoin Collins, also from Texas, won the men’s 45 singles title. Collins only entered this event to play doubles with Jeff Tarango; when Jeff pulled out Eoin went all the way in singles! Julie and Vesna McKenna from Florida had to pull out of the doubles in the final; Vesna’s mother in Argentina became quite ill and she had to fly there immediately.

    Vick Buholz/Judy Newman reached the 50 doubles final and fell in a match tiebreak to the top seeds, Ros Balodis/Leeann Swaysland of Australia. The Aussies took out Fran Chandler/Sue Webb in the semis yesterday too.

    Rick Leach (yes, that Rick Leach) and Erika Smith of California won the 50 mixed doubles title yesterday, to no one’s surprise!

    Mike Tammen (Oregon)/Danny Waldman (Wash. D.C.) won the men’s 55 doubles over defending champions Mark Vines (VA) and Wesley Cash (TN). It was a repeat of last year’s final but the result was reversed.

    Margaret Lumia from Florida, playing with Carlos Gomez-Diaz (playing under the Argentinian flag, but residing in Florida) fell in the 45 mixed final the #2 seeds from Argentina.

    The match that had the biggest audience and most enthusiastic won pitted Ricardo Mendivil/Aldo Burga vs Mario Tabares/Carl Clark. All four players are Americans and all but Clark are Floridians. However, there was an almost Davis Cup like atmosphere since Mendivil teaches at BallenIsles and the crowd went wild when the Burga/Mendivil team won a point. The match was close, with Burga/Mendivil winning 35 64 10-7. Saturday, on the rainy day, the atmosphere was quiet and completely different, and when it rained Tabares/Clark were leading by a set and 2-2. Sunday the weather was breezier, the conditions quicker and it was very sunny. Sometimes World Championships are meant to be!

    Overall the USA did well these championships; Three team titles and two runner-up finishes; in the individuals: three singles titles (M/W 45 and W50) and three singles finalists (M/W 55 and W35); four doubles titles (M/W 55, M45, W35) and one mixed doubles title (50).

    Many thanks to BallenIsles tennis director Trish Faulkner, and her staff, the grounds people, the club members and the ITF and USTA staff for putting on this tremendous event.

    California here I come!


    pam carolyn3 photo

  • Fran Chandler, USA Wins Second World Title; Simona Bruetting/Gee Gee Garvin Win First World Title

    Fran Chandler won the 50 singles over Marie-Christine Calleja of France today. She didn’t drop a set in five matches en route to the title. She is also in the doubles semis, which weren’t completed today due to rain. However Judy Newman/Vicki Buholz are in the doubles final tomorrow against the winner of Fran and Sue Webb against Aussies Ros Balodis/Leanne Swaysland.

    Simona Bruetting/Gee Gee Garvin won the 35 doubles 10-7 in the match tiebreak, after leading 9-2 in the match tiebreak. Simona said it was a nervous ending. She was talking to her  mom in Slovenia when I saw here and took the photo of her below (with gold medal).

    starred photos

    Danny Waldman lost in straight sets to Glenn Busby of Australia in the men’s 55 final and Patricia Zerdan lost in straight sets in the 35s singles final.

    Julie Cass beat Karine Quentrec of France in the semis of the 45 singles and plays the singles final tomorrow.

    starred photos-008

    Mario Tabares/Carl Clark are up a set and even at 2-2 in the second in the men’s 45 doubles final.

    Chris French, GBR edged American Diane Barker in the most competitive match of the day; It was Chris’ third straight three set match against an American player (and she beat a fourth USA player in the Cup final the previous week). In fact, she beat every player on the USA Connolly Cup team in three sets to win the title; she’s a great competitor as were her opponents.

    starred photos-004


    To no one’s surprise, Michael Pernfors won the 40 men’s singles title.

    Mark Vines/Wes Cash have advanced to the 55 men’s singles final and their opponents were rained out today, and will be determined tomorrow.

    Our match started late because Diane’s match went so long. We started around 2:30, warmed up and played one game and three points when the lightning siren blew. We had to immediately leave the courts and by the time the all clear sounded it was very wet and remained that way. The first decision, at 5pm, was that matches would start at 7pm, and to be at the club then, which we were. However at 7pm, play was cancelled for the day.


      starred photos-007  starred photos-014 starred photos-015

    All results: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100030186

  • Tracy Houk Blog May 2, Friday: Into the Singles Semis!

    I had my flight back home booked for yesterday, Thursday, May 1, but had to cancel it, after I won my quarter-final match against the #1seed, Brenda Foster, from Australia. I normally schedule my flight for the last day of the tournament, but,here, playing the worlds’ best players,  I wasn’t sure how far I could go. Well, turns out, pretty far. Maybe even all the way. Judy Newman  had to change her flights too. She is still in women’s and mixed doubles. Our doubles and Judy’s mixed were cancelled when it poured late in the day.

    During my singles match, we had a siren go off in the 3rd set, there was a lightning alert, and we had to run off the court, until the we heard the siren go on again, this time with three short blasts. I felt pretty good at the beginning of my match, but, Brenda is very tall, and likes to serve and volley. Being a slow starter. I didn’t get to groove my way into the match. I went up 2-0, but it was mostly on her making errors, trying to attack. I thought I was going to have an easy go, when she started making her approach shots and volleys. I then went down, 2-4. And that’s when the battle began. I rallied back to 4-4, but she made some great volleys off her big serve, and held for 5-4. The wind was also blowing crazy, and it put my serve right into her wheel house to attack. The second set started opposite to the first, with me going down 0-2. I was beginning to find my groove, but still struggling a bit. I realized that, with the wind blowing so crazy, she was chasing her toss, and thought she might be foot faulting, which is why she was able to still serve well on a bad toss. I asked a roving umpire to watch her for foot faults. So, she stood on the court. I think Brenda knew she was, because she double faulted the first point. I then manage to return her serves with more ease, and broke her. I held for 2-2 all, and Brooke her again. On the change over, the umpire to told her to watch her right foot come across the line. I was glad I noticed that, and made the request, because it allowed her to get into the net quicker.  I won the 2nd set 6-3. I started to feel better and find my rhythm moving her around and trying to keep her off the net. The third set started with 2 holds, and another hold  for me, to go up 2-1. Brenda, serving at 30-30, the siren went off for lightning alert and the umpires started yelling for us to get off the court. I lost my concentration, and the point. We had to stop, in that game, with Brenda up 40-30. There was a 15 to 20 minute break before we were able to go back on the courts. We warmed up for 3 minutes, and resumed play. I lost that game, but held to go up 3-2. It was a battle and I just put all my energy into playing each point with determination. I focused on my shots, and won that game, and the next 2 for the match, to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. {Below are photos of the fall Tracy suffered just before match point, courtesy of Susan & Fred Mullane}.

    May 2, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA
Tracy Houk (USA)(WS50) May 2, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA
Tracy Houk (USA)(WS50) May 2, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA
Tracy Houk (USA) receives medical attention (WS50)

    In tennis, you can come up against many bumps in the road. Some physical, and some mental. In the end, it’s that fight and will, inside you, that you put out there, and it all becomes worth it. 

    Today, my semi- final match is between a British gal, Sue Webb, or French gal, I lost to in the finals of Team Competition. They were rained out in the third set yesterday. They begin today at 9am, and we play at 11. The doubles are also scheduled for today. If my partner, Anne Kerwin-Payne and I win our first match today, we play again. Judy has two matches as well, in the women’s and the mixed. NorCal is hanging in there. Go USA !!!!

    Update by Carolyn: Tracy fell in the singles semis to the French woman & doubles quarters; Judy lost in the mixed semis but is in the doubles semis (with Vicki Buholz); Oren Motevassel, NorCal lost a heartbreaker in the men’s 45 singles semis (76(6) in the third!);

  • Doubles Friday at ITF World Championships

    Today was the sixth day of the ITF World Individual Championships and my doubles partner (Pam Cooke, CA) and I finally played our first doubles match! Pam arrived so long ago she’s now a permanent Florida resident. We warmed up at Mirasol; I warmed up our host, Jenny Klitch for her singles match and then we warmed up for doubles. We decided to wear hot pink shirts and white bottoms today and certainly got a lot of comments on our neon attire today.

    We first played Karien Theeuwes from Netherlands and Betty Michel of France. Karien played #3 on the Dutch Connolly Cup team and Betty played #2 on the French Connolly Cup team so we knew they were good players. We started strongly though and won 60 62 in about an hour.

    We had 1 1/2 hours till our second match, against the #5 seeds, and watched some matches; Tina Karwasky was playing Chris French (to whom I lost yesterday) and Diane Barker played Susan Wright. Diane played a good match to avenge the loss she suffered to Susan at the Clay nationals, winning 61 64; Chris French rebounded from another slow start to beat Tina 16 62 64. According to onlookers the 2-2 game went on for-over a dozen deuces and Chris won it; Tina went up 4-3; Chris then won the final three games. She’s a great competitor, as is Tina.

    We played our second match against the #4 seeds, Ann Clark from Gr. Britain and Susana Villaverde of Switzerland. Suzanna is a former world champion in doubles and played #1 on the Swiss Connolly Cup team; Ann played the deciding match for Gr. Britain against the USA in the Connolly Cup final; it was a tough team we had to play. We started slowly, especially me and Susana was driving her forehand low and coming in to net while Ann sees the play early and has amazing hands and drop volleys. We lost the first set 62; we broke to start the second, then they immediately broke and held; down 1-2 Pam played a fantastic game on serve; we stayed on serve till 4-4 when we finally broke. I had to try to serve out the set; we had a long deuce game and won it on our second set point. In ITF events there are no third sets, only a match tiebreak (first team to 10 points with a 2 point lead). We won the first point and never looked back; we played an excellent tiebreak and won it 10-4 to reach the semis, where we play Diane and Susan the top seeds. We were seeded fifth.

    The match of the day was a men’s semi in the 45s between Americans Eoin (pronounced “owen”) Collins (TX) and Oren Motevassel (CA). They started when we began our first doubles match and didn’t finish till after we’d completed our second match; Collins won 76 (6) in the third. Eoin only came to the worlds to play with Jeff Tarango; Jeff withdrew after losing first round on Sunday but Eoin hung around to play singles and he’s in the final!

    Tomorrow Patricia Zerdan (TX) plays in the women’s 35 singles final and Gee Gee Garvin (CA)/Simona Bruetting (CO)play in the 35 doubles final.

    40s: Willie Dann (NC)/Lew Miller (CO)are in the doubles final and Dann was a singles semifinalist.

    45s: Julie Cass (TX) plays Karine Quentrec (France) in the semis; Julie and Vesna McKenna (Florida) edged Shelly Works (TX)/Julie Dybenthal (Australia) in a match tiebreak to advance to the final against Quentrec/Sybille Niox-Chateau. in men’s doubles there are a lot of Americans in the semis: Aldo Burga (Florida)/Ricardo Mendivil (Florida); Carl Clark/Mario Tabares (Florida) and Jeff Cohen (Florida) (playing with a French player); Eoin Collins is in the 45 men’s final;

    50s: In the women’s singles, Fran Chandler (TN) is in the final! She beat Susan Boyer (Florida) in the semis and Tracy Houk (CA) lost in the other semi to a French player; in women’s doubles Chandler/Sue Webb (of Great Britain but she lives in Tennessee) beat Houk/Anne Kerwin-Payne (CA) in the quarters and play Ros Balodis/Leanne Swaysland (Australia) in the semis they took out Erika Smith/Mary Dailey (Florida) in the quarters; Judy Newman (CA)/Vicki Buholz  (TX)are in the semis of the doubles. 50 men’s doubles: Louis Ballantyne/Horacio Rearte (Florida)are in the semis. Judy Newman/Michael Mehmedbasich (CA) reached the semis of mixed (but lost). Smith/Rick Leach (CA) are in the mixed semis.

    55s: Danny Waldman (D.C) takes on Australian Glenn Busby (who beat Mark Vines (VA) today) in the final; Diane Barker (SC) plays Chris French from Gr. Britain; Vines/Wes Cash (TN) and Mike Tammen (OR)/Waldman are in the doubles semis as is Alexander Pier (playing with a Brazilian player); three of the four 55 women’s doubles teams are American: Barker/Wright; Karwasky/Mary Ginnard (Florida)and Nichols/Cooke.


    To see results click on “order of play” then draws or matches at this link: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100030186

    All players or teams which reach the semis are medalists here.

    Rain is predicted for tomorrow but I hope it arrived early and we get to play tomorrow.

    Below is a photo of Pam and me in our neon pink shirts from an earlier tournament.


  • Tracy Houk Blog May 1st: Into the Semis!

    Thursday, May 1

    Good morning NorCal,. Forgive me for missing a day. This second week has just been getting longer, but I can’t complain, because it means I’m doing well. As you may have read in Carolyn Nichols blog, Judy Newman lost a tough 3 setter against the # 1 seed, having a match point, in over 3 hours. She went back to her hotel, rested and came back for a mixed doubles match, and won. My day was long, too, playing singles, doubles and mixed, starting at 10:30am, and finishing at 7:30pm. Won my singles and women’s doubles match, but lost the mixed. Dinners have been late. 

    I played a very nice lady from Italy, yesterday, at 11:30am. She was on the Team Cup for Italy, and I knew I was going to have a battle. The first game, I started down 15-40, caught up, and won it. We then battled the next 4 games with both of us having ads, but she would win them, and eventually the set, 6-1. I actually felt pretty good, and though I lost the set, I knew I still had a chance. I made some adjustments, and took the second set, 6-1. This set was a bit one sided, as I tried to move her around more, and felt she was getting tired. But, these set scores do not compare the points that we played, and the third set was definitely a grinder. We both started off holding, and just played each point so hard, with long  rally’s. as we got to 3-3, and I went up 4-3, I thought I could force her to make more errors, but the change overs seem to slow me down, and I would play a loose game. At 4-4, I played more aggressive, trying to keep her deep, because she had a lethal backhand, and drop shot, which made me change my shot direction, from my comfortable cross court backhand rally, to down the line. In order to do that, I really had to move my feet and set up quick. We were tied at 5-5, and this 11th game was long, with both of us having multiple opportunities to win it. I finally did, and at the change over, iced my legs, arms, and face, got up quick, and started moving around, to stay loose. I did not want to play more then this last game. The first point, again, was long, and I played my heart out. I just kept fighting for every rally, and won it. I think that she lost a little edge after that, and I won the game at love, and the set 7-5 in over 3 hours. We had a day off in doubles, so it was my only match, and I enjoyed the rest of the day, relaxing. 

    Today, I play Brenda Foster, the # 1 seed, from Australia. She beat Judy Newman in the second round, 7-6 in the third, as i said earlier. I hope to get revenge for her. Judy and I are playing doubles with different partners in this event. She’s playing with our team Cup teammate, Vicki Buholz, Dallas, Texas. I’m playing with Anne Kerwin-Payne, Menlo Park, CA. We play in the afternoon, and Judy has mixed in the evening. Another long day. The best part, we are rooming together again. Her parents were here, watching and cheering us on, but leaving today. Wish us luck !!!!!

    Update from Carolyn Nichols: Tracy won her QF match against Brenda Foster and the doubles was rained out.

  • World Championships Thursday: Sun, Wind, Rain, Thunder, Lightning & Tennis

    Today I learned that the really loud siren wasn’t an obnoxious car alarm after all…it was a lightning warning and meant we should immediately leave the court till there were three short sirens, as an all clear.

    I was in the middle of my quarterfinal match when the sirens blew the first time; we left the court, showered and the all clear sounded. I had won the first set and was down in the second. It was very windy when we began to play but finally calmed down once we returned, and that was to the advantage of my opponent, Chris French. She really upped her game after that and beat me handily in the third, with penetrating forehands and backhands deep in the court. By the end of the match it was nearly dark due to the ominous clouds blocking the sun, and the lightning sirens blew again.

    Pam and I headed over to PGA about 5:30; we were scheduled to play doubles at 5, but my match lasted so long (over three hours) that we weren’t going to be starting till after 6. The skies opened up as we were leaving BallenIsles where I’d played my singles match, en route to PGA National, where we were to play our doubles. Shortly after we arrived we were told that play was cancelled for the day so we have yet to play a doubles match this week. We ran into one of our doubles opponents there, a woman from the Netherlands and she commented on Pam’s bright orange shirt. The Dutch national color is orange, and we were going to wear their national colors when playing them, but since it rained, we have to go for plan B.

    In other action, Tracy Houk beat the top seed, Brenda Foster in three sets to reach the 50s semis; Fran Chandler also advanced in the 50s; Mark Vines edged Peter Markes in the men’s 55; Susan Wright, Tina Karwasky and Diane Barker all advanced in the women’s 55s; Patricia Zerdan won her 35s match; Julie Cass advanced in the 45s to the quarters along with Jenny Klitch (who won yesterday); Simona Bruetting/Gee Gee Garvin won their doubles today in the 35s as did Barker/Wright. Oren Motevassel advanced in men’s 45s and Eoin Collins upset defending champion Beyko 62 61, but Mike Fedderly fell in two close sets to Glenn Busby of Australia in the 55s; Andy Lake won his 40 singles; Danny Waldman also advanced in men’s 55 singles. Many of the doubles and mixed were rained out, at least at PGA for the evening.

    We play at noon tomorrow doubles and if we win we play again at 3pm.

    To see the draws, click here (and make sure you click on “order of play” which brings up another menu; click on “draws” on this second menu.

  • Individuals World Championships, Palm Beach Gardens: Quarterfinals Tomorrow!

    Today, Wednesday, I played the round of 16 against an American from Southern California, Kim Zebot. I’d played her only a few weeks ago for the bronze ball at the National Clay Courts in Houston, so i was familiar with her game. We played at Mirasol, convenient, since I am staying there for the week, and I’d played on the courts at Mirasol several times and like them. The venue was terrific, very hospitable and well organized. I won 61 62. Kim played a great first game of the second set and the second game lasted about 15 minutes…lots of deuces and I eventually won it. There are five Americans into the quarters in my age division, but since the top four seeds are the four Connolly Cup team members, it’s not too surprising. Susan, Tina Karwasky and Diane Barker advanced easily and Ann Pellow from California advanced to play Tina in the quarters. I also caught up with Erin Boynton from Canada (the tall woman) and Mary Firek and Yolanda Therrien from the USA.

    Acarolyn KimMary CAN, Erin, Yodie


    After my singles,  Pam Cooke, and I watched Jenny Klitch from Palm Beach Gardens play a Brazilian player. Jenny is a very smart player with lots of experience and lots of variety of shot. She pulled out the match 61 75 playing at her home club. She did a lot of running in that match but was fitter and more consistent than her opponent.

    Jenny and opponent

    Our next stop (after lunch) was BallenIsles Country Club where we went to watch and all-American match between Fran Chandler, the 4th seed in the 50s, from Tennessee and Shelly Works, from Texas. Both played on Cup teams, Fran on the Bueno Cup team (50s) and Shelly on the Court Cup team (45s) where she was the captain. Both are exemplary sportswomen and also extremely consistent players. It was very windy with a north/south wind which was difficult to penetrate from one end. Fran won 63 63 but it was tough. The last game was 20 minutes long (yes, I timed it) and it took Fran five match points to finish off a determined Shelly. In the end Fran had more variety of shot and was more comfortable moving on clay than Shelly.


    FranShelly W


    There were a lot of great matches today, including Oren Motevassel (NorCal) vs Carlos Gomez-Diaz (Ft Lauderdale); Motevassel won a close one 75 64; Tracy Houk (NorCal) vs an Italian; Tracy played for three hours, rallying from a set down to win 16 61 75…she’ll sleep well tonight. Boyer also played again, Andy Lake was in action and so was Matt Litsky in doubles. Other winners were Willie Dann (m 40), Eoin Collins (m45), Mark Vines (M55, S/D), Peter Markes (M55), Danny Waldman (M55, S/D), Mike Fedderly (plays Busby next, should be a good one) and Patricia Zerdan. Zerdan had a knock down drag out match for the second day in a row. Yesterday she won 75 in the third, today 76 in the third, in the 35s.

    I play Chris French, the #2 British player (she upset Susan Wright during the team event, and is a tenacious competitor) tomorrow at 1:30 and we have doubles against a French/Dutch pair at 5pm, so I’m off to rest up.  .

    To see the draws, click here (and make sure you click on “order of play” which brings up another menu; click on “draws” on this second menu.

  • Tracy Houk Blogs from Individuals: Monday/Tuesday Updates

    Tuesday, April 29

    Reporting a day late,  due to playing tennis matches in the evening. Started my first round singles match at 10:30am. Judy Newman also had a 10:30am. We played at PGA National Resort. We met after breakfast, we’re in different Hotels, across the street from each other. Grabbed our Starbucks, and headed out to warm up before our match. The venue is beautiful. I was on an end court, and there was a lagoon next to us. My opponent from Sweden, started off a bit nervous, and made some quick errors. She was also not accustomed to the heat, and humidity. Not that I was feeling any better, coming from San Francisco fog !!!! I managed to win the first set 6-1, but the points got longer, and she started to get grooved. Hitting big shots, when needed. We were tied at 3-3, when I broke her in a close game, and held to go up 5-3. I didn’t play aggressive enough, and lost the next, for 5-4 and played much stronger to finish 6-4. After the match, I walked over to talk to my doubles partner, Anne Kerwin-Payne, who was watching. And behind us, in the lagoon, there was a big splash, and birds were squawking. I said it was probably an alligator, and it got a bird. Anne looked at me, like I was crazy, and sure enough, there went the alligator swimming away in the middle of the Lagoon. It was about 4-5 feet long. I asked about it, and the maintenance man said he is too small to be a threat, but when he reaches 6 feet, they pull them out. We won’t be walking too close to the lagoon. Judy finished her match before me 6-1, 6-3. She said she was down 3-0 in the second, but quickly turned it around, with 6 straight games in a row. We headed back to our Hotel rooms for lunch, and a cool down. We had to get ready for mixed doubles at 5:30pm. They were running late, and at 6pm, and 100 degrees !!!! We got on the courts. My doubles partner and I lost the first set 6-2, won the second, 6-1, and played a 10 point tie-breaker for the third, winning it 10-7

    Judy and her partner also split sets against the #4 seeds from Brazil, and won 11-9 in the tie-breaker after being down 9-6, match points against them. It was a great match. But, we finished late, and didn’t eat dinner until 9pm. 

    Today, I am playing three matches, singles at 10:30, doubles at 1:30, and mixed at 5:30. Who said love means nothing in tennis ?!! Or, I must be crazy !!! Judy also plays singles at high noon, and mixed at 6pm, she has a bye in the doubles. Wish us luck


    Update from Carolyn Nichols: Tracy won her singles; Judy lost 76 in the third; Oren Motevassel from NorCal won his singles but Fanny Gamble from NorCal lost in three sets and Judy and Tracy won their doubles easily.

  • World Championships Tuesday: Successful First Round

    I finally played my first singles match today. My doubles partner, Pam, and I warmed up at one venue, Frenchman’s Creek. We like it there; the people are friendly and there’s food out for the players  (fruit, bagels, etc…what tennis player doesn’t like free food?) and lots of warm up courts.

    Then we went over to Jonathon’s Landing Golf Club which is in Jupiter, north of Palm Beach Gardens. I played Sylvie Primault from France. She was the #4 player on the bronze medal French team. It was windy but the courts were in excellent shape and newly watered and brushed. I won 61 61. Susan Wright, my Connolly Cup teammate, played the Swiss #1, Susanna Villaverde on the adjacent court and won 62 61. On the court next to me was Susan Boyer who is from Coral Springs and a member of the Lauderdale Club in Fort Lauderdale, as I am. She upset the #11 seed in the women’s 50s in two sets.

    Susan, Pam and I left soon after we finished though, since Pam and I wanted to scout our potential opponents for tomorrow and Susan wanted to watch her brother Michael play. We got to PGA National in time to see much of the match. We play Betty Michel and Karien Theeuws from France and Netherlands respectively. Then we headed back to practice for a while before calling it a day.

    There were a lot of Americans in action at all the sites today. Tracy Houk won in women’s 50s, rallying from 52 down first set to win 75 61. Judy Newman played the #1 seed in the women’s 50s, Brenda Foster,  and was down match points in the second set, rallied to win it 76, was up a match point at 54 in the third and Brenda sent a ball deep into the corner; Judy barely got it over the net; the wind blew it back onto Judy’s side of the net before Brenda could hit it, but Brenda (who is very tall) reached over the net, and touched it with the tip of her racket, and it died on Judy’s side of the court. Brenda ended up winning 76 in the third!

    Sue Webb, who lives in Chatanooga, but plays under the British flag (but we forgive her, she’s playing with Fran Chandler from the USA in doubles) upset the #3 seed in the 50s, Lieselot Prechtel of Netherlands. She plays Ellen Neumann of Germany next.

    I ran into a lot of players from all over, some of whom I hadn’t seen yet; Denis Dumas of Canada, playing with Charlton Eagle of Florida (and Webb in mixed); Dorothea Foks of Germany; Rick Leach, USA and others.

    There are still too many matches to mention.

    To see the draws, click here (and make sure you click on “order of play” which brings up another menu; click on “draws” on this second menu.

  • Tracy Houk Blogs from Individual World Championships

    Monday, April 28

    The ITF Senior Individual Championships started Sunday for main draw men’s singles, and mixed doubles. I played my first mixed doubles at 5:30pm Sunday night. My partner is Marc Blouin, whose wife, Carolina, had played on several USA Cup teams in past years. We beat two players from Germany, 6-1, 6-3. It was a good  warm up to see how well we matched up. He is a vey nice player. Judy Newman, also played mixed last night with her doubles partner, Michael Mehmedbasich, who is originally from NorCal, but lives in SoCal now. (His sister, Susan Wright, is being inducted into the NorCal Tennis Hall of Fame in July.) We forgive him for his move south. They also won their doubles, in a 10 point tie-breaker for the third set, 10-4. 

    Our singles starts today, and Judy and I play at 10:30am. Judy plays a lady from Mexico, and I play a Hal from Sweden. We both then have a mixed doubles match at 5:30pm. The women’s doubles will start on Tuesday. Playing three events can be a bit draining, but, that’s what we came for. To compete !

    Wish us luck !!!

    Update Monday night from Carolyn Nichols: I ran into Judy and Tracy at Panera today along with Judy’s parents. Tracy won a 61 64 match but it took 2 1/2 hours; Judy also won in straight sets. Oren Motevassel from NorCal won too, men’s 45s.