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  • Travel Day: Houston!

    Today, Saturday, I flew from Florida to Houston got the national (Level 1, gold ball) 65 clay courts. I drove to Ft Lauderdale from Palm Beach Gardens, and parked my car for the week. It was super smooth, 25 minutes from Park n Go to clear security which include a shuttle ride and checking a bag!

    The terminal wasn’t very crowded.. I sat at a gate with no flight, snd had a row to myself on the flight. We had to return to the terminal after having taxied to the runway because a (relatively young) passenger was ill. But flight arrived nearly on time.

    Houston/Bush was pretty busy. I rented a car then had to wait 20-30 minutes for one to be available…the lot was devoid of cars!

    After checking into my Airbnb (and waiting out a big thunderstorm), I drove over to the tournament venue, the Houston Racquet Club. The courts were soaked but I caught up with some friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a few years. Below are Tammy Simon, Anna Zimmermann and Rainy Miller from the 55s.

    My next stops were Kroger and Trader Joe’s. Then back to the apartment to get ready for the busy week ahead.


  • Barcelona Singles Champion

    Saturday Morning July 17, 2021

    I played my final tournament match in Barcelona last night. I had the “early” start time of 6pm, and we started right on time. I played Carmen Chilleda-Belzunce and played well to win. I played on a sunny day on an East/West facing court and it was tough to see on the side facing West!

    After winning the singles, I watches several matches and had dinner. I watched a few games of the 60 singles final between American Veronica Lima De Angelis and Giovanna Tortorella of Italy. Tortorella is a very good player…smooth, accurate strokes and good anticipation. That match went pretty quickly, in contrast to the one between 55s players Sophie Orsini (FRA) and Elisabetta Morici (ITA). Orsini was the more expressive of the two, and she started the match very frustrated, losing the opening set 60…Orsini though found her range on drop shots and steadied her shots from the baseline to finish the mach 64 63. Both players have loopy western forehands, but Orsini has both a slice and two-handed backhand; Morici has a very good one-hander.

    I finished the evening watching Lisa play mixed…it was a good match though tough to see the ball, especially high balls, under the lights…both guys had great forehands; the opposing woman had good court sense and cutaway volleys, and there were far more winners than errors. I finally tried one of the crepes being sold at a food truck and it was very good (goat cheese, spinach and walnuts in case you were wondering). The match finished within 30 minutes of the end time for sporting events due to the curfew. Susana Amelia Diaz and Ramzi Shuaibi-Morales won 64 63 over Lisa and Martin. I ran for the tram after the match finished (and made it).

    And that’s a wrap on the ITF Seniors Barcelona 2021. Draws and results are here.

    Tomorrow will be a sight seeing day somewhere…more on that tonight.


  • Barcelona Doubles Success; Singles Final Tonight

    Draws and order of play are here.

    Last night we were scheduled for doubles at 9pm but our match went on about 15 minutes early.. I was scouting my singles opponent for tonight…their (not before) 7:30 pm match started around 8:30, so I didn’t get to see much before doubles. Kim Reed and I played a decent team, the #1 seed in 60 singles and her partner. We had some nice points but won 62 61. Playing under the lights was a bit challenging, though the lights are decent. As we were warming up an official came out to tell us the scoring for doubles had changed to no-ad and a 10 point Match Tiebreak for a third set due to the new curfew (of 1am).

    Kim is to my right above and our opponents are on either side of us. Kim just switched racquets and as it turns out we play with the same Volkl model, the V Cell 4. We play rather similarly so that makes sense.

    After we finished and took photos, it turns out the match I was scouting (which was on an adjacent court) was till ongoing. Carmen Chillidea-Belzunce, who I play tonight, won the first set 60 before it got dark, but the second set was turning into quite a battle. She was playing Mireia de Gispert Talavera who I played Monday night. Mireia was playing a lot of high topspin balls and coming to net behind some of them, pretty successfully, and pounding some two-handed backhands to good effect. She held off some match points at 5-6 and got the match into a tiebreak, which was even to 3-3…then Mireia stopped hitting high balls and lost four straight points and the match. Carmen stayed pretty calm to finish out the win.

    This morning I practiced again with Lisa for about an hour, then took the tram back to the hotel. Just before we started the club had all the kids from the camp on our court to take a photo…there are a lot of them of all ages, from about 3 years to teenagers. She plays mixed not before 10pm. It’s not bad playing at 6 and even 8:45 wasn’t terrible, at least it was light during warm up, but 10pm is tough!

    My tram stop going back to hotel.


  • Into the Singles Final; Doubles Final Under the Lights Tonight

    Thursday July 15, 2021

    Draws and order of play are here.

    Yesterday I practiced in the late morning (the earliest practice times are 11am) with Lisa B, then went back to the hotel to write my blog and relax before my 6pm singles match. There aren’t many people practicing in the mornings, Reinheld Adams and Michelle Bichon have been out every morning at 11am though. I played Magdalena Gual Pascual, a club member whom I have played her a few times before. She’s very nice and we had a pretty good match. I won 61 61. She whacks her forehand if it’s in her strike zone…but didn’t like my drop shots so much. The other RR match will be played tonight at 7:30 so I’ll go and scout the players.

    On the way into the club I watched some of the kids activities…some were learning to ride horses and others were learning to hit a golf ball. I saw yet another big hockey field (and no soccer fields)…hockey is the big game at the Polo Club.

    Top, the view from my room; bottom left, the large polo field being used for camps, golf and riding lessons; bottom right, part of a massive hockey field

    The order of play for the evening only comes out the morning of play…till then players don’t know from one day to the next if they have a match. Luckily for me, the referee told me my schedule yesterday, so I knew I was playing the doubles final tonight, and not singles. We play doubles at 9pm against the #2 seeds (one of whom is the #1 singles seed in 60s), and Kim Reed, my doubles partner, plays her singles semi at 6pm. There are matches scheduled till 10:30…one player has a 9pm and 10:30 pm match. However, due to new curfews in Barcelona from tonight, all sporting events have to be finished by midnight and the club will close at 12:30am.

    I practiced with Lisa again today, and we got in nearly two hours before being bumped. Again, only the 70 women were out practicing till we were bumped by two guys around 12:45. We did move courts after an hour and the second court was much drier and faster than the first one, even though they were side by side in the stadium.

    After practice I made another trip to the grocery store, for apples and snacks. This time I found the bakery and gourmet part of the grocery, and a Lindt store. I looked at the fish department because it’s so extensive and different from those at home. Normally one doesn’t see three types of squid for example.


  • Hola Espana

    This morning I left rainy Essen, Germany for sunny Barcelona, Spain. I flew Vueling airlines (affiliated with Iberia), a discount airline that had the best nonstop flight today to Barcelona from Dusseldorf. I think Sunday may not be a great day to fly in Germany in particular. There was one woman at the check in counter for the entire plane full of people. And the way some of the fares work, is that a cabin bag (such as a small roller bag…anything that won’t fit under the seat) has to be checked. I got there early when there were only 30 minutes of people in front of me. But the check in counter only opened a bit less than two hours before the flight was to take off. By the time I’d checked my bags, the line was several hundred feet long. On the other hand, there were few people at security, most of the TSA equivalents were standing around. The security guy though where my bags were inspected decided to check everyone’s bags for what I assume was explosive residue. I still had plenty of time though and the flight was on time. By noon I was in warm Barcelona and at my hotel by 1pm.

    Long line to check in this morning in Dusseldorf
    Plane to Barcelona is at the gate

    After checking in and organizing my stuff, I walked to the Reial Club do Polo de Barcelona to meet the Guille, the son-in-law of members of my club at home. We’d hit once before when his family visited there, and they’ve since moved back to Barcelona. We had a good hit. The tournament is using the same Wilson balls as were used at the French Open and they were good to hit with, a little less flighty than the heavy duty Wilson US Open balls used three years ago. They seemed more durable too.

    After hitting, I walked to a gas station to get more water and snacks (all other stores are closed on Sundays) and then back to the hotel.

    Avenida Diagonal, Barcelona on a quiet Sunday afternoon

    I play my first match tomorrow at 6pm.

    Draws and results are here.


  • Essen Singles/Doubles Champion

    Draws are here.

    I played the singles final, and the doubles semis and final both today. I played Jutta Boekmann in the singles final and won 60 60, though she had several game points. It was a good style matchup for me, plus I scouted her yesterday and had a good idea how to play her. After about an hour break we played the doubles semis a bit early against Yvette DeRoche and Christina Gehrke. We won 61 60 and then played the doubles final almost immediately after against Sylvia Balkow and Gabriele Meier and won 60 60, though we had many fun points. So Essen is done for this year, I have the day off tomorrow to go to Dusseldorf and then on to Barcelona on Sunday morning.

    I watched a few matches including the 30 singles final against two ridiculously young looking “seniors”; Ellen Neumann, Heidi Eisterlehner, Keith Porter and Fritz Raijmakers and Haim Ohn.


  • ITF Seniors Rankings Update

    From ITFtennis.com:

    ITF Seniors Tour (updated 09 June 2021)

    • From the 1st January 2021, all normal grades and ranking points for all existing tournaments were reinstated, subject to an ITF analysis of travel restrictions and player accessibility.

    With immediate effect the following will apply to the ITF Seniors Rankings:

    Points earned from  18 March 2019 to 2 September 2019 Points earned from 9 September 2019 to 16 March 2020 Points earned from 7 September 2020 onwards 
    Points earned in this period will drop on a weekly basis between 14 March 2022 – 29 August 2022 Points remain countable for 3 years (156 weeks) Points earned in this period will drop on a weekly basis between  6 September 2021 – 14 March 2022Points remain countable for 2 years (104 weeks) Points earned from 7 September 2020 will drop after 52 weeks. Points earned drop after 52 weeks 

    Between September – December 2021, players will lose points earned between September-December in both 2019 and 2020. For example, points earned on 9 September 2019 and 7 September 2020 will drop on 6 September 2021. 

    • Between January-March 2022, players will lose points earned between January-March in 2020 & 2021. For example, points earned on 6 January 2020 and 4 January 2021 will drop on 3 January 2022. 
    • Results from higher graded (World Championships, S1000, S700 & S400) tournaments will be counted a maximum of once within a player’s best 4 results during the extended rankings period, i.e., double counting of the same tournament is not permitted. If a player competes in the same tournament on multiple occasions within the extended period, the best result will be counted. 
    • Points earned from the World Championships will remain countable until the next edition is played, even if this date is beyond the extended rankings period. E.g., points earned from the Super-Seniors World Championships in September 2019 will drop after the next edition of the Super-Seniors World Championships takes place (scheduled for October 2021). 
    • Questions on the ITF Seniors Circuit rankings should be directed to seniors@itftennis.com


  • Into the Essen Final

    Draws are here.

    I had a pretty easy semi today. The woman I played, Corrine Franoux (France) had a three hour semi yesterday and a two hour match the day before and fit as she was, it slowed her down a bit. I won 60 60. Her running was good but her technique let her down. I play Jutta Boekmann in the final. She had a two hour match with the #3 seed, Sylvia Lievers-Kronenburg. I warmed up with Sylvia this morning and did think they would have a good match. It was punch (Sylvia)/counterpunch (Jutta), and Jutta in particular made very good use of the drop shot, and anticipated Sylvia’s responses well.

    Corrine and Carolyn

    The weather looks iffy tomorrow…hopefully we’ll get to play on clay and not indoors on carpet (or I will have to get carpet shoes, which have smooth soles).

    Jutta and I also will play doubles tomorrow, assuming out opponents get their match in later this afternoon…the forecast apparently is dire.

    Heide Orth lost her final today to Barbara Von Ende 62 63…my warmup must not have been good enough today. Von Ende though gets a lot of balls back and is very fit (as is Heide).


  • Westwood 65 Singles/50 Doubles Champion; More to Play

    Austin, Texas, USA

    Click here to see draws, schedule and results.

    I played the 65 singles final and 50 doubles final today and both went well. I beat Mary Morgan of Houston 62 61 and even served and volleyed and chipped and charged some! (1: Hard courts encourage that behavior; 2: Fast hard courts encourage it even more). Mary is one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet (and very extroverted to boot). It was a pleasure to play the match.

    Jenny Klitch beat Shelly Works in the 55 final 60 62 and played a terrific match, combining hard drives with superb drop shots all match long.

    After our singles wins Jenny and I played 50 doubles against a good team from Kansas City (Victoria Marks and Theresa Lampe and Valerie Marks)…they beat Works/Rainy Miller yesterday. We won 64 76 (3) and it was a good, competitive match with many changes of strategy.

    We play the 55 doubles final tomorrow against Miller/Works and Jenny plays the mixed final (which was rained out tonight) directly afterwards.

    There were a lot of matches today…I saw a few since I was at the club from 7:30 am till 4pm. I also ran into some old friends…Hugh Thomson, Jerry and Marcia Thomas, Ellen and Tony Dawson, and others…it’s nice to see tournaments going again!

    In men’s 50s, Eoin Collins (1), a former world champions, beat Todd Smith 62 62 to reach the final against Sean Staley, who took out #2 seed Garry Nadebaum. Collins used his impressive lefty groundstrokes to lead his march to victory.

    In men’s 60s, Tim Klitch (2) (Jenny’s brother) beat David Luedtke (4) 63 61, using on the rise hitting and the apparently patented Klitch touch to advance. He faces Peter Markes who had an interesting match with Alex Behar. Alex injured his foot (plantar it seems) in the 2nd game and was hobbling around the court thereafter…but for a set he redlined his shots, limping to the ball and giving it a rip, and won the first set 62. It’s hard to play an injured player! The match was on serve at 2-3 in the second when there was a short rain delay…Peter didn’t drop a game thereafter, and took the second 62 at which point Alex retired.

    The match of the day was the men’s 55 doubles final. Featuring the #1 (Scott Works/Kelly Ward) and #2 (Steve Schultz/Marc Weiner) seeds, the match had everything…tight score line (the top seeds winning the first set; the #2 seeds coming back from a break down to win the second, the third set culminating in a tiebreak), great serves/returns/volleys/touch, all played in front of an appreciative crowd on the center court. Schultz/Weiner won the match.

    Works has a second chance for a title in the 50 doubles, with Nadebaum.

    Kaysie Smashey won the 40s, Julie Thu the 45s and Nancy Hilliard the 50s…all are multiple time Cup members. Terri Thyssen took the 60s and Barbara Starnes took the 70s title.

    In men’s tennis, many finals are still to be played, but Robert Barrie won the 65s, John Newman the 80s, and the remaining divisions either have finals tomorrow or the scores haven’t been reported.

    In doubles, Mary Morgan/Terri Thyssen won the 60 doubles; Rush/Starnes took the 65s title.

    Thu/Haggard won the mixed 40s; the remaining divisions were rained out Sunday night and will be played Monday.

    Swenson/Foster won the men’s 65 doubles; Tommy Connell/Tony Dawson (on the comeback from a shoulder replacement!) took the 70 doubles; and the 75 and over doubles score was not reported yet.

    Clockwise From top left: Eoin Collins; Alex Behar and me; Rainy Miller, Terri Thyssen, Shelly Works, Nancy Hilliard; Tommy Connell, Mary Morgan, Tony Dawson


  • Westwood Level 2/ITF S700 Saturday: The Calm after the Thunderstorms

    Austin, Texas, USA

    Click here to see draws and results (and playing times)

    Saturday was the calm after the storm…and it was a big one last night, complete with thunder, lightning, pouring rain, downed trees and power outages. I was lucky…we had flickering lights a few times but no power outages…but other parts of Austin are still without power. And it was hot today…upper 80s but feeling like low 90s with the humidity. But the predicted thunderstorms and rain bypassed Austin today and we had sunshine, scattered clouds and lots of tennis.

    I finally started my tournament, winning my 65 singles match (I am into the final against Mary Morgan, who took out Pam Simmons, the #2 seed in two close sets), and with Jenny Klitch, winning the 50 doubles semis, putting us into the final.

    Jenny also won her singles, doubles and mixed today, dropping only a pair of games in mixed and none in singles. Her brother Tim is in the 60 singles semis as are the other top 4 seeds, including #1 Peter Markes. In doubles Tim Klitch and J Trammel lost an entertaining match to the very good #2 seeds, Schultz/Weiner in three sets; the winners face Scott Works/Kelly Ward in the final.

    Tomorrow promises to be a really busy day, especially for Jenny…we both have singles finals, followed by 50 doubles, then 55 doubles, then for Jenny, mixed.

    Kaysie Smashey, W40 and Nancy Hilliard, W50, were off to winning starts today. There are a couple of excellent players in the W35, Karoukina and Alina Mihailescu. They play the final tomorrow. Smashey/Julie Thu play the W35 doubles final too.

    In men’s 50, Gary Nadebaum (2) and Eoin Collins (1) are in the semis and on a collision course. Other familiar names are Hugh Burris (M70), and Jerry Thomas (M75); Hugh Thompson and Thomas are also in the 75 doubles.

    Julie Thu (with TD Frank Kelly) with her 2020 and 2021 Winners plates (dinner for 2) for winning the 45 singles; Kelly and Kaysie Smashey; Shelly Works/Rainy Miller (photo by Julie Thu); Jenny Klitch and me (photo by Julie Thu) and Klitch/Smashey

    Off to rest up for a busy Sunday!


  • Westwood Level 2 Tournament

    Writing from Austin, Texas

    View the draws here.

    I’m here in Austin for the Memorial Day tournament at the Westwood Country Club in Austin. It’s a big tournament with age divisions from 35 to 85 and some family events plus some NTRP age divisions. The senior age divisions earn ITF S700 points in addition to USTA Level 2 points.

    I have been practicing here the past two days since I don’t play till tomorrow. Today I scouted my potential singles and doubles opponents in between hits. It was very hot the past two days, and humid, which led to the massive thunderstorms that hit around 6:30pm today, with thunder and lightning.

    The Klitch siblings, Hugh & Carol Burris with Mary Morgan (center); a very loud peacock and a chameleon around the grounds.

    It is nice to see friends from around the country I haven’t seen for a while. The social events are not on this year but everyone was given a nice shirt and a gift card to a barbecue restaurant.

    Tomorrow, weather permitting I have singles and doubles.


  • Nideffer/Spence Nasim, Juliani/Pendo, McEvoy/Dixon & King/Wasser (corrected) Win Gold at the Level 1 Women’s Hard Courts Sunday

    Click here to view draws and results.

    Ros Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim (1) beat Dina McBride/Tracie Currie (2) to win gold at the 50 Hard Courts. They dominated the division, never dropping more than 5 games in any match. Jenny Rens Keller/Jen Dawson (3) took the bronze over Vicki Buholz/Gayle Prejean.

    In contrast to the 50s, an unseeded team won the 60 doubles, Sue Pendo/Julie Juliani, taking out local favorites Una Davis/Lucia Romanov in a match tiebreak. They were the only unseeded players to win gold this year. The bronze went to Colleen Clery Ferrell/Tracey Thompson who beat Julie David/Gail Warden in straight sets.

    The 70s title went to Vicky McEvoy/Judy Dixon over Kathy Barnes/Carol Gay. Sue Bramlette/Cindy Babb (who lost 11-9 yesterday to McEvoy/Dixon in a final set MTB) took bronze with a straight set win over Barnes/Gay. Interestingly, the two teams who played a MTB instead of a full third set yesterday, won in straight sets today.

    Roz King/Dorothy Wasser (2) beat top seeded Suella Steel/Sheila Weinstock by default (Suella hurt her Achilles I believe…it was a lower leg injury of some sort which forced her to retire in the final). Charleen Hillebrand/Sheila Palmer took bronze over Lorna Brooks/Jean Ainger.

    Ann Young placed 9th in the 60s beating Kim Dean 10-8 in a MTB, her 2nd straight 10-8 MTB win. Christen Bartelt was 9th in the 50s. Gloria Melendez was 9th in the 70s (though there was a lot of attrition in that division…lots of injuries). Dorcas Miller took 9th in the 80s.

    And that’s a wrap for this year’s edition of the USTA Level 1 Women’s 50-80 Hard Courts. It was a different sort of tournament with no beach or cocktail party (but nightly happy hour, complimentary food). The format for Level 1 doubles was different to the dismay of many players, but dictated by the USTA National Adult Comp Committee not by the tournament. (Since the men’s event was a Level 5, the section, not the national committee determined the format…but it was confusing). It was great to see far flung friends again. Till next time…happy hitting.

    Clockwise from top left: Camilla Sutherland, Joan Avedian, Lorna Brooks; Andrea Rice, Conan, Nancy Hilliard, Lucia Romanov/Una Davis & Ann Young

  • Rice, Nideffer, Dixon & Hillebrand Win Singles Titles in La Jolla

    Click here to view draws.

    Andrea Rice put on a dominating performance in the final of the 50 Hard Courts, beating top seeded Nancy Hilliard 61 62. Dina McBride finished third (winning the 3/4 playoff by default). Mariko Atoji finished 5th.

    Ros Nideffer won the 60s in equally dominating fashion, beating Fran Chandler 60 63. Vicki Buholz beat me 62 64 in the 3/4 playoff and the consolation is still ongoing. Ann Young edged Terri Thyssen in a match tiebreak 10-8 and faces Kim Dean who ousted Ginny Beneke in straight sets.

    Judy Dixon cruised past everyone in the women’s 70s, beating first time national singles finalist Barbara Hubbard 63 61. Barbara is a player from Hawaii who has been playing national tournaments for year, gradually improving from losing first or second round, to now, in the 70s reaching singles finals…a gold ball will follow some day! Cathie Anderson took the bronze and Carol Gay finished 5th; the 9th place playoff is ongoing.

    Charleen Hillebrand ousted Suella Steel to win the 80s; Hillebrand led 5-2 when Steel retired with a leg injury. Lorna Brooks finished 3rd, beating Susanne Clark by default (Clark pulled a calf in the 2nd set tiebreak of her semifinal against Steel).

    The 50 doubles final will be #1 Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim (who ousted Jenny Keller/Jen Dawson) vs McBride/Tracie Currie (who beat Vicki Buholz/Gayle Prejean).

    In 60 doubles, La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club members Una Davis/Lucia Romanov are in the final after beating Colleen Clery Ferrell/Tracey Thompson in a match tiebreak 10-7. They will take on unseeded Sue Pendo/Julie Juliani who ousted Julie David/Gail Warden.

    The 70 doubles semis were a bit odd though extremely competitive. The USTA has mandated a new format for doubles involving round robins leading to a knockout draw and has dictated that all doubles matches be decided by match tiebreaks. The USTA has mandated that the same format be used for all Level 1 (gold ball) tournaments. The top seeds, Kathy Bennett/Liane Bryson played Kathy Barnes/Carol Gay (3)…and Barnes/Gay won 63 16 76 (7)…they played a full third set due to umpire error. (The Level 5 men’s event is playing out the third set of singles and doubles and the same umpires are used for both events.) The #2 seeds Vicky McEvoy/Judy Dixon faced #4 Sue Bramlette/Cindy Babb and they also split sets (the score isn’t correctly reported but each team won a set) and then played a match tiebreak won 11-9 by McEvoy/Dixon. Both were great matches and it was unfortunate that an umpire error marred the results.

    In 80 doubles, Steel/Sheila Weinstock will play Roz King/Dorothy Wasser in the final while Lorna Brooks/Jean Ainger take on Hillebrand/Sheila Palmer.


  • Semifinal Friday at the USTA Level 1 Women’s Hard Courts

    Click here to view draws and results.

    Bill Kellogg/Carolyn Lane; Tina Karwasky, icing her knees; Andrea Rice (red skirt) & Dina McBride (white skirt) played a great 50 singles semi.

    The top seeds in the women’s 50 singles advanced by vastly different paths. Andrea Rice, the 2nd seed, had to rebound from a 6-0 first set drubbing to beat Dina McBride (3) 06 64 62. Andrea sliced and diced off her forehand, drove her backhand and showed off her excellent net skills in the win. Nancy Hilliard beat Marlo Carruth (4) by default (injury).

    60s: Ros Fairbank Nideffer (1) beat Vicki Buholz 61 62 to adance to the singles final where she’ll face Fran Chandler (5). Fran beat me for the umpteenth time. The first set was close but once Fran closed that out her errors disappeared and her aggressiveness and movement increased…she won a well deserved 64 60 match.

    70s: Judy Dixon (1) blitzed Cathie Anderson (5) not allowing Anderson a game. She’ll face Barbara Hubbard (5) in the final. Hubbard upset #2 seed Kathy Barnes earlier in the tournament and today beat unseeded Marianne Saibara.

    80s: Local star and club member Suella Steel, unseeded, took out #2 Susanne Clark. She’ll face a familiar foe, Charleen Hillebrand, who beat 2019 champion Lorna Brooks 61 62.

    50 doubles: Vicki Buholz/Gayle Prejean beat #4 seeded Deb Higa/Jami Jones in a match tiebreak; Jen Dawson/Jenny Keller (3) held off Julie Silveira/Mary Beth Williams 62 76; Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim (1) beat Christen Bartelt/Amy Alcini in a fun to watch match 63 62 and Tracie Currie/McBride edged unseeded Jodi Rea/Christine Paulson in a match tiebreak.

    60 doubles: Tracey Thompson/Colleen Clery Ferrell edged 2019 champions and the top seeds, Susan Wright and Shannon Gordon Carney 61 57 1-0 (7)…those match tiebreaks in this new doubles format are a challenge! Una Davis/Lucia Romanov (5) beat #4 seeded Tina Karwasky/Jennifer Shorr 3,4 and those two teams play each other in the semis. Meanwhile, Julie David/Gail Warden advanced via default (Kathy May pulled a calf); Susan Pendo/Julie Juliani advanced via default (Kathy Vick broke a bone)…

    70 doubles: Seeds 1-4 advanced without dropping a set to the semis.

    80 doubles are still in the round robin stage. I saw a bit of Roz King/Dorothy Wasser (2) vs Charleen Hillebrand/Sheila Palmer (4); the latter team were up 4-1 in the first and 4-2 in the 2nd but lost in straight sets.

    There were some good consolation matches today particularly in the 60s; Ann Young took out Maria Nunez 3,1; Kim Dean played great in beating Tracey Thompson 67 64 1-0 (8)…Tracey also played well, it could have been a main draw quarter or semi another time. And Shannon Gordon Carney edged Tina Karwasky in the 5-8 playoff and plays Susan Wright in the 5/6, another tough match.


  • Upset Day at the National Hard Courts in La Jolla

    Click here to view draws

    It was quarterfinal day at the USTA Women’s Level 1 hard courts and there were a number of upsets.

    The 50s division did not have any upsets though. Top seeded Nancy Hilliard, #2 Andrea Rice, # 3 Dina McBride and #4 Marlo Carruth all advanced in straight sets, though Christina Kaus gave Carruth a battle before losing 64 63. Dina finished her 9:30 match at 10:05..very efficient. Hilliard has moved into the final when Carruth defaulted the semi later in the day due to injury.

    In the 60s, two “age-ups”, Vicki Buholz and Fran Chandler, took out #4 Shannon Gordon Carney (62 36 61) and #2 Susan Wright (62 63) respectively. Chandler though is a multiple world singles champion and Buholz has won her share of gold balls, so the upsets were minor ones. Ros Nideffer (1) held off unseeded (but a member of the 100+ gold ball club) Tina Karwasky 63 64 and I beat Kathy Vick (5) who retired down 3-1 40-15 with a foot injury (and we are at urgent care in La Jolla as I write this). I play Fran tomorrow and Vicki plays Ros.

    Updated…the visit to the physio ended like this for Kathy:

    Kathy Vick broke a bone in her foot when she was wrong footed in our match today…she’s off the court for a few weeks.

    In the 70s, upsets were rampant with only top seeded Judy Dixon avoiding the upset bug. Cathie Anderson (5) edged Carol Gay (3) in 3 sets; Carol Clay (4)retired down a set and 1/0 to unseeded Marianne Saibara, and Barbara Hubbard (5) upset #2 seeded Kathy Barnes in two tight sets. Judy plays Cathie while Saibara plays Hubbard for a spot in the final.

    In the 80s, 2019 champion Lorna Brooks (unseeded in 2019, and again in 2021) beat #4 Sheila Weinstock 64 64. Suella Steel upset #3 Roz King 62 in the third. Top seeded Charleen Hillebrand and #2 Susanne Clark advanced in straight sets. Hillebrand takes on Brooks and Clark will face Steel (a 97 gold ball winner herself) in the semis.

    The last matches of the doubles round robins are this afternoon, and the knockout quarterfinal rounds begin tomorrow.

    In men’s action, Bill Kellogg has sailed into the 60 & 65 doubles finals and 70 singles final (receiving a walkover in the semis).


  • Successful 2021 Level 1 Debut

    Click here to view draws

    Top: Mariko Atoji, Annemarie Brigandi, Jen Dawson, Rainy Miller; bottom from left: Shelly Works, Dee Williams-Horne, Gayle Prejean, Dee & Tracey Thompson
    Dina McBride & Tracie Currie

    One thing I noticed today: The tournament for the first time in the 26 years I’ve played it, is using Wilson regular duty balls…normally reserved for indoor and clay. The women at the US Open used regular duty balls but use 6 balls per match and get new ones every 7/9 games. We get new ones only for third sets…and the regular duty balls wear out QUICKLY on outdoor hard. (Apparently containers of goods are going overboard from ships at record rates this year, over 1000 lost at sea already in 2021 per the UK Telegraph).

    Here are the singles results; there weren’t doubles upsets today in the women’s divisions. There were a few upsets in the men’s division, notably the top seeds in men’s 75 doubles lost today. And TD Bill Kellogg is still in 60 & 65 doubles and 70 singles. He’s a great multitasker!

    In the 60s, there weren’t any upsets but there were a couple of three-set tussles and #5 seed Jennifer Shorr defaulted to Tina Karwasky with a leg injury she suffered in her 76 76 marathon win yesterday. Doubles partners Shannon Gordon-Carney and Susan Wright had to battle hard in singles to advance to the quarters. Shannon took on former San Diegan Tracey Thompson (now of Las Vegas) and had to regroup after losing the 2nd set 60, winning 64 06 63. Shannon said Tracey just blew her off the court in the 2nd set. Susan took on Maria Nunez who displayed her much more consistent game, which is always tricky since she is a lefty using plenty of spin. Maria won the first set, closing it out 64 after leading 52. Susan won the second set 61. The third set looked to be a continuation of the 2nd, but Maria rallied from 25 down (despite taking a big tumble during the set) to serve at 4-5, but Susan closed out the set and the match 64. I beat Terri Thyssen of Texas 60 63, but the 2nd set was tricky and play another Texan, Kathy Vick in the quarters. Kathy beat Lynn Young 63 64. Fran Chandler plays Susan; Ros Nideffer plays Tina and Shannon plays Vicki Buholz (who is playing 3! Events here).

    In the 50s, Christen Bartelt (5) lost to Regina Melosch of La Jolla, Wendy Elliott advanced when Jenny Rens Keller (5) withdrew from singles and the remaining seeds won in straightforward manners.

    There were no upsets in 70 singles though Marianne Saibara advanced when Sue Bramlette (5) had to pull out due to a knee injury.


  • USTA Level 1 Women’s Hard Courts: Day 1

    Tuesday May 11, 2021, San Diego, CA

    Click here to view draws.

    Today the Women’s 50-80 Hard Courts , the first seniors Level 1 of 2021 began on a cool day in La Jolla, CA. (The accompanying Men’s Level 5 began yesterday).

    No singles seeds played today in the 50/70/80 divisions but there were four seeds in action in the 60s. #5 seed Jennifer Shorr fought off a determined Ann Young (Pellow), winning a pair of tiebreaks to advance to the round of 16 where she faces Tina Karwasky, her doubles partner this week, for the 2nd time in a month.

    In 50 doubles, Amy Alcini/Christen Bartelt upset #5 seeded Shelly Works/Rainy Miller in a round robin match. #5 seeds Julie Silveira/Mary Beth Williams just got by Lisa Crisafulli/Brianna Sullivan 2-6 60 1/0 (12). [Match tiebreaks are being played in lieu of 3rd sets in doubles due to the number of matches in the round robins.] Jodi Rea/Christine Paulsen upset #5 seeded Lisa Taylor/Krista Oconnor. However the 1-4 seeds advanced without incident.

    In the 60s, Sue Pendo/Julie Juliani beat #5 Cindy Abel/Kim Dean in a match tiebreak. Kathy May made a sterling return to tournament play, combining with Carolyn Lane to oust Fiona Taylor/Sue Sprague with the loss of only a game.

    There were no upsets in the 70 doubles.

    And that’s a wrap for today. I play singles tomorrow morning…

    Always a pleasure to play at the LJTBC


  • USTA Level 1 Women’s 50/60/70/80 Hard Courts (& Men’s Level 5) Start May 11 with Strong Draws

    Draws are here

    The first Level 1 tournament of the year for women is taking place this week at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in La Jolla, CA. For many players this is their first event in over a year. The 50 & 60 draws are particularly strong.

    Here are the seeds for the 60 women. Note that notable unseeded players are Tina Karwasky, Tracey Thompson, and Ann Young (Pellow). Former world champions Ros Nideffer and Fran Chandler are making their 60 debuts along with Vicki Buholz.

    1. Nideffer, Ros2. Wright, Susan3. Nichols, Carolyn4. Gordon-Carney, Shannon5. Buholz, Vicki5. Chandler, Frances5. Shorr, Jennifer5. Vick, Kathy

    The 60 doubles features some excellent teams including 2019 champions Susan Wright/Shannon Gordon-Carney (#1) and Carolyn Lane/Kathy May (former top 10 player and mother of ATP #31 Taylor Fritz) as the 2nd seeds.

    Here are the singles seeds for the 50s:

    1. Hilliard, Nancy2. Rice, Andrea3. McBride, Dina4. Carruth, Marlo5. Atoji, Mariko5. Bartelt, Christen5. Kaus, Christina5. Keller, Jenny

    Andrea Rice was a 2019 finalist here and Dina McBride has won the 40s (and was a 40s finalist twice only to tear one of her Achilles’ tendons in the final…she’s resilient).

    The doubles is even stronger I think than the singles with Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim seeded 1, Tracie Currie/McBride at #2 and defending champs Jen Dawson (of pickle ball fame) and Jenny RENs Keller at #3 followed by Jami Jones and Deb Higa…

    The 70s seeds are here:

    1. Dixon, Judy2. Barnes, Kathy3. Gay, Carol4. Clay, Carol5. Anderson, Catherine5. Bramlette, Susan5. Harris, Lois5. Hubbard, Barbara

    The 80s seeds:

    1. Hillebrand, Charleen2. Clark, Susanne3. King, Roz4. Weinstock, Sheila

    The men’s draws are very strong for a Level 5 (there are 7 levels with Level 1 being the “gold ball” level). Bill Kellogg, the TD for the tournament is playing in his first 70s tournament and is the top seed.


  • New Dates and Site for Men’s 40/45/50 Grass!

    The Men’s 40/45/50 Grass will be held Sept 29-Oct 4 at the Agawam Hunt Club in Rumford, RI. Previously this event was to be held at the Germantown Cricket Club (which cancelled all senior grass tournaments for 2021).

    New Dates and Location
    Sept. 29-Oct 4 Agawam Hunt Club Rumford, RI


  • 2021 Gold Ball Champions

    This will be updated periodically during the year.

    • Mother/Daughter Grass
    • Open: Maddie/Katrina Driscoll
    • 60+: Felicia Hutnick/Teresa Kaisser
    • 70+: Eleanor Ford/Mary Mayotte
    • Father/Daughter Grass
    • Open: Andy/Evan Lake
    • 60+Addison/Lars Ahlstrom
    • 70+: Paul/Julie Cass
    • 80+ Paul Sullivan/Alina Murray
    • Men’s 75/80 Grass & Mother/Son
    • 75 Singles/Doubles: Michael Beautyman (with Les Buck)
    • 80 Singles: Bob Quall
    • 80 Doubles: William Wolff/Wilbur Jones
    • M/S: Kathy/Christian Settles
    • Men’s 30/35 Grass
    • 30 Singles: Christian Guevara
    • 30 D: Philip Myers/Matthew Taylor
    • 35 S: Nichols Bruner/Tyler Browne were in the final
    • 35 D: Bruner/Browne
    • Men’s 70 Grass
    • Singles: Dave Sivertson
    • Doubles: Paul Wulf/Len Wofford
    • Father/Son & GF/GS Grass
    • F/S: Peter/Colter Smith
    • GF/GS: Lorenzo/Thomas Brunkow
    • Husband Wife Grass
    • 100+: Steve Geller/Susan Smith
    • 120+: Bunnie/Stewart Jackson
    • 140+: Pam/Greg Shepherd
    • 150+: Julian/Michele Rainwater
    • Open: William/Stephanie Wallace
    • Men’s 60/70 Hard Courts
    • 60 Singles: Bill Moss
    • 60 Doubles: Jon Tyrell/Ross Hessler
    • 70 Singles: Bob Litwin
    • 70 Doubles: Lenny Wofford/Paul Wulf

    Father/Daughter & Mother/Son Hard Courts

    • F/D: D/B Dunkle
    • F/D 60+: Brett/Tatum Buffington
    • F/D 70+: M/O McIntosh
    • F/D 80+: J Wise/J Curran
    • M/S: Diane Barker/Matt Hane
    • M/S 60+: Brenda/J Chidley

    Father/Son & Mother/Daughter Hard Courts

    • F/S 60+: Brent/Jerry Morse-Karzen
    • F/S 70+: Mike/Richard Noel
    • F/S 80+: Alan/Robert Croll
    • M/D: Dina/Jordyn McBride
    • M/D 60+: Julie Gerken/Brenda Chidley
    • M/D 70+: Carol Gay/Katy Bickham
    • Men’s 65 Hard Courts, San Diego, CA May 2021
    • Singles: Dan Waldman
    • Doubles: Ross Persons/Dan Waldman
    • 50/60/70/80 Women’s Hard Courts, La Jolla, CA May 2021
    • 50 Singles: Andrea Rice
    • 60 Singles: Ros Fairbank Nideffer
    • 70 Singles: Judy Dixon
    • 80 Singles: Charleen Hillebrand
    • 50 Doubles: Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim
    • 60 Doubles: Sue Pendo/Julie Juliani
    • 70 Doubles: Dixon/Vicki McEvoy
    • 80 Doubles: Roz King/Dorothy Wasser

    National Husband/Wife Clay Courts

    • 100: Bob/Michelle Williams
    • 120: Bunnie/Stewart Jackson
    • 140: Julia Barash/Arnie Resnick
    • 150: Not held
    • Men’s 35 Hard Courts, Surprise, AZ
    • 35 Singles: Tyler Browne
    • 35 Doubles: Browne/Nick Brunner
    • 40/45 Men’s Clay Courts, & 45 Mixed Fort Lauderdale, FL April 2021
    • M40S: Tyler Cleveland
    • M45S: Andre Cherkasov
    • M40D: Wojtek Bratek/Eduardo Pacheco
    • M45D: Guillermo Cosson/Sean Straley
    • 45 Mixed: Mary Dailey/Andrew Lake
    • Mixed Hard Courts, Palm Desert, CA April 2021
    • 50: Oren Motevassel/Caroline Vis
    • 60: Shannon Gordon-Carney/Jonathon Fears
    • 70:Tom Rettenmaier/Dee Williams-Horne
    • 75: Dean Corley/Suella Steel (97th gold ball for Suella)
    • 80: Dori DeVries/Wilbur Jones

  • Beating the Heat in Palm Desert; Singles/Doubles Champion

    Click here to see all draws and results.

    On another 100 degree day I played a long singles match against Jennifer Shorr…whom I have played several times in NorCal tournaments but not for about 20 years or so. She still has a big serve (and I still do not), but I put a lot of balls back in play and managed to overcome a set point in the first set and win 76 (3) 62. We finished just before 1pm…out doubles final was scheduled at 12:45…but after about a 75 minute break Robin Harris and I took on Tina Karwasky and her third doubles partner of the week, Ann Stanley (Una Davis (back) and DeeWillams-Horne (heat) recused themselves). Ann played well; she’s had a couple of hip surgeries (that’s senior tennis for you) and is moving better and out of pain. We came back from 3-5 down in the first to win 75 60. It was around 100 when we finished.

    103! Temperature after we finished doubles.

    Yes, it was hot when we finished! 103

    Carolyn, Shorr, Tournament Director
    Carolyn, Robin, Tina, Ann

    Kathy Barnes won the 70 singles over her doubles partner, Carol Gay. Then they played Kathy Bennett/Liane Bryson in the doubles final. Bennett/Bryson won in three sets. Bryson is also in the mixed final with Frank Zebot. They will take on William-Horne/Tom Rettenmaier in the final. The latter team had a long 3-set battle with Brent Abel/Ann Stanley to reach the final.

    Susan Wright beat Terri Thyssen in the 60 singles final 62 63. The second set was a tussle; Susan led 3/0 but Thyssen, a quick mover with a very good backhand kept fighting. Susan has a great backhand of her own though and makes few errors…she closed out the match and added the singles title to the doubles title she earned on Thursday. She was going for the trifecta (singles/doubles/mixed) with Kurt Chan against Jonathon Fears/Shannon Gordon Carney, but the latter team were too tough in the final and took the gold ball in straight sets. Cindy Abel/Joseph Kennedy won the bronze.

    In men’s 60s, Bill Moss edged local star Mike Fedderly, 64 75 to win the title in a repeat of the Pacific SW final they played in September. Ross Hessler/Glenn Petrovic, (5) continued their fine run, beating Mike Tammen/Mike Megale (4) in straight sets to win the 60 doubles title.

    Wendell Pierce, unseeded (what a great comeback story!) will face Toby Crabel (1) in the men’s 65 final. Crabel beat Bruce Nichols to reach the final while Pierce advanced by default over Andrew Stanley. In doubles, it will be #1 vs #2, as Crabel/Tim Garcia (1) take on Doug Ditmer/Stanley (2) today (Saturday).

    The men’s 70s semis were both excellent battles. Paul Wulf (1) took on Bob Litwin (3)…it was just a great match. The accuracy of each player’s shots was amazing as the ball seemed to nestle inside just inside a line on each shot and points were won, not lost. Wulf prevailed 76 57 64 in over three hours. Wulf’s doubles partner Lenny Wofford (4) beat Phil Landauer (unseeded) in three sets. Wofford won the title when Wulf withdrew from the final. In doubles, Wofford/Wulf (1) beat Litwin/Brian Cheney (3) in straight sets as did Mike Talmadge/Zebot (4) over Bill Hahn/Rettenmaier (5). The doubles final is this morning.

    In men’s 75, Don Clark (9) edged Roger North (5) in a match tiebreak (10-1) and Felix Ponte (5) beat #2 MichaelStewart in straight sets. Clark has an unusual style but moves great and the ball keeps coming back. In doubles, Ken Robinson/Chuck White (3) edged Dean Corley/Stewart (1) 76 76. Dave Van den Berg/Les Buck (2) beat Gary Doi/Tad Yukawa 75 61. In mixed, it will be #1 vs #2, with Corley/Suella Steel (1) taking on Andi Polisky/John Popplewell (2).

    In men’s 80s, William Wolff (1) advanced to play Randy Mellinger (unseeded); Mellinger edged L Hill Griffin 62 67 10(4) while Wolff beat #3 Wilbur Jones in straight sets. In doubles, both semis were decided by match tiebreaks; Wolff/Jones (1) beat Robert Jones/Stephen Rothenberg while Thomas Brunkow/Dick Landenberger upset Bob Quall/Bennet Serkin (2).

    In men’s 85, Herm Ahlers (1) will face unseeded Walter Steige this morning in the final Steige beat Jack Sanders (2) in the semis in straight sets.