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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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.
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…
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
Yes, it was hot when we finished! 103
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.
We’ll start with women’s 65s today. I won my match against Andrea Barnes. We had not played singles in a tournament for decades; it was a very pleasant match, I played well and won in straight sets. Tina Karwasky, who I don’t think has ever lost a singles match in the Desert in her age division, took on Jennifer Shorr who has the biggest serve in the 65s, a fluid easy motion with lots of power (first serve) and lots of spin (2nd serve) plus nice touch to go with groundstroke power. She edged Tina 64 76 (5). Both players used power plus drop shots throughout the match. I take on Shorr at 9:45 tomorrow morning.
In doubles, Ann Stanley, Tina’s third doubles partner since the draw was initially made, and Tina won their doubles semis decisively; Robin Harris and I struggled against and inspired team, Julie David and Betsy and rallied from 41 down in the first and a break down in the 2nd to win 76 (3) 64. We played around 2pm and it was mighty warm…the match lasted about 2.5 hours.
In the 60s, Susan Wright edged Tracey Thompson in the first set 76, and then played a flawless 2nd set, winning 62. She plays #4 seed Terri Thyssen who overcame cramps to win 61 in the third. Susan with Shannon Gordon Carney, won the doubles over Shelley Goodson/Kellie Jacquez. Susan teamed with Kurt Chan to reach the mixed final against Shannon and Jonathon Fears.
Carol Gay and Kathy Barnes will vie for the W70s singles title tomorrow; Barnes/Gay reached the doubles final in an upset over the #2 seeds and take on Liane Bryson/Kathy Bennett in the final. Both semis were 3 sets.
In men’s action: 60s: Bill Moss will take on Mike Fedderly, #1 vs #2. Fedderly fought off a determined Peter Markes in the semis 64 64. It was a long, fierce battle. In doubles, Tammen/Megale take on Hessler/Petrovic in the final.
In the 65s, the 1, 3 & 4 seeds are joined by Wendell Pierce, who again beat a seed to reach the semis. He’ll take on Andrew Stanley in the semis, while #1 Tony Crabel takes on Nichols (no relation). In doubles, the top 2 seeds advanced and each plays and unseeded team in the semis.
In the 70s, Dave Sivertson got injured against his doubles partner, Phil Landauer at 5-4 for Dave in the first set and retired; they also had to default their doubles. so Phil plays Lenny Wofford (4) while Bob Litwin (3) takes on Paul Wulf (2); Wulf played flawlessly to beat Wesley Jackson 60 60.
In 70 doubles, the 1, 3 & 4 seeds advanced with Hahn/Rettenmeier advancing when Landauer/Sivertson had to default.
In men’s 75s, the #1 (Les Buck) and #3 (Dave Van Den Berg) seeds retired down a set yesterday; Michael Stewart (2) will face Felix Ponte (5) in one semi while Donald Clark (9) takes on Roger North (5). In contrast to the singles, the 1-4 seeded teams all reached their predicted spots in the draw.
Starting today with Men’s 65: Wendell Pierce, who went from a top 45s and 55s player as a righty, and and a decent but not world beating player after an injury required him to play lefty, is back playing right handed. He best a #9 seeded player yesterday but today took on the #2 seed, Tim Garcia and edged him 63 57 75. He’ll take on #9 Dane Petchul tomorrow..Petchull took out #5 Rollin Rhone today. Mike Lamble (9) advanced when Larry Loeb retired with an injury, 46 1:0. The remaining seeds advanced to their predicted spots.
It was another hot day in the Desert, upper 90s and sunny most of the day and calm. The heat combined with the long gap between tournaments led to several retirements due to illness. However, given the draw sizes, that was to be expected.
I played at the Palm Valley Country Club at 8am when it was still pretty cool and it was calm. I played Natasha Volovik from Marin County and won; I play Andrea Barnes who also won convincingly. She’s an excellent player, it should be a good battle tomorrow. Tina Karwasky plays Jennifer Shorr on the other side of the draw. This tournament apparently trusts the players a lot…there are no referees of any sort at the ancillary sites, no one to measure the nets and no singles sticks (yes, of course I had some in my tennis bag…and used them).
Men’s Singles Results
Jeff Greenwald won men’s 50 in straights over Dana Gill.
Peter Smith (2) won the 55s in 3 sets over Dan Goldie.
In the 60s, Alex Piers, unseeded, advanced to the semis. Fedderly (2) dropped the first set, won the 2nd when his opponent retired.
The Jenkins , Gary and Logan (I have no idea if they are related) had different fates today in M70s. Logan (5) fell to Phil Landauer (a sleeper for sure) in 3 sets while Gary (9) took out Brian Cheney (5) in 2 close sets.
In M75, Hans Weber beat #3 Dave Van Den Berg 75 retired.
In the 60s, #2 seed Shannon Gordon Carney was up by a set and 1:0 against Dorian Sailer when she had to retire due to illness. She recovered sufficotonplsy and win in 60 doubles with Susan Wright.
Kathy Barnes and Carol Gay, the top seeds in the 70s, advanced to the semis.
Caroline Vis and Oren Motevassel beat Tracie Currie and Pat Crow in three sets to win the gold ball in 50 mixed. The Settles, Paul and Kathy, took bronze by default over the McBrides.
Many of the doubles results haven’t posted yet. Check the link above for later results. I did watch one match in M70s, my cousin Don Beer played and won a marathon 75 in the third (coming back from 3/0 down in the third) over at Palm Valley. They play Wulf/Wofford in the quarter; Brent Abel won too in doubles.
I ran into Mai Ichikawa Abel who was watching Brent play. Always nice to see old friends.
Tuesday was another warm and sunny day in the Desert, but much calmer. I had a couple of hits, with my cousin Don Beer (M70 doubles) and Jenny Keller, and lunch again with my sister and parents. I finally play tomorrow, 8am sharp!
In the afternoon I watched Jenny and Judy Newman win the women’s 55 doubles final over Anne Kerwin-Payne and Lisa Montero. It was a fabulous match, with very few unforced errors. All four players displayed great hands, nice touch, fabulous anticipation spiked with doses of power. Jenny & Judy both have great overheads and had plenty of opportunity to display them. Lisa in particular had a booming forehand and Anne was all over the net and lobbed great as well. Judy also won the 55 singles final.
The seeds haven’t started play yet in the W65 or 70s.
In men’s action, Dana Gill (3) will take on Jeff Greenwald in the 50 men’s final tomorrow, an all NorCal final. Gill had to go 3 sets to beat Kevin Smith while Greenwald took out Brendan Murphy in straight sets.
In the 55s, Dan Goldie (1) will take on Peter Smith (2); each won his semis in straight sets.
In the 60s, Mike Tammen, seeded 3rd, retired against Alexander Pier down a set. Pier took out a 9th seed the day before. Jeff Goldfien (9) beat Maurice Hunter (5); the other seeds advanced to their expected positions in the draw, though the result of Markes vs Linebarger wasn’t posted yet.
In the 65s, there were a few upsets of #9 seeds; Brian Patno beat Don LeSage, Eric Youmans beat Anthony Foux; Michael Grindon dropped the first set 64 but advanced when Michael Megale retired with an injury; and Wendell Pierce (yes, he’s back and he’s playing right handed!) beat Marc Krupp…he now faces Tim Garcia (2) who had a tussle against Darrell Nicks, finally winning 46 64 61.
In the 70s, there were no upsets today and the top 4 seeds, Sivertson, Wulf, Litwin and Wofford advanced comfortably.
In men’s 75, which has a large draw, Phil Cox beat Mike Saputo (9); that was the only upset today.
80 & 85 men’s haven’t started play yet.
50s: Mike Noel/Paul Settles (4)edged top seeded Art Hernandez/Carsten Hoffmann in 3 sets; I caught part of that match and it was a good one, interesting points and nice volleying by all four players. They take on the #2 seeds, Neel Grover/Julien Heine in the final tomorrow.
55s: Vivek Varma/Rick Leach are in the final but the other semi’s score hasn’t been reported yet;
60s: Jeff Goldfien/JosephKennedy upset Marc Krupp/Thomas Lopez (5); the rest of the seeds advanced.
No seeds have played in the 65-85 divisions and most play hasn’t begun yet.
50s: Caroline Vis/Oren Motevassel will play Tracie Currie/Pat Crow in the final.
40s: Angela Henry/Ryan Pang (1) beat Hiromi Sasano/Trent Aaron in 3 sets in the final.
35s: Tanya O’Neil/Stephen Robertson, unseeded, took out the top 2 seeds to win the event.
Monday in the Desert brought high winds (fortunately, most were away from the main venue). The geography of the Palm Springs area with mountains surrounding this Desert Oasis, means that some areas may have 40 mile an hour winds while others only 10 minutes away will be nearly calm.
I looked outside this morning and where I am staying, not far from Interstate 10, it was extremely windy. However, we hit about 12 miles further south west it was calm, as it was at Shadow Mountain Resort, the main venue (the other venues were windy). It was another hot (high 90s) day in the Desert…I’m glad I have had a few days to acclimate to the heat.
I had lunch with my parents and sister and her husband (whom I’d not seen for a year..my sister and spouse, not my parents.). All of us have been vaccinated so it was a nice and safe visit.
Before and after lunch I went back to Shadow Mountain to watch some of the action and caught up with some old friends…Andrea Barnes and Shannon Gordon Carney who were getting ready to hit; Julie David holding down the NWTO fort, Bob Litwin & Les Buck; Anne Kerwin Payne and Lindsey Montero, Kathy Settles, Jodi Rea and more.
Here are some results stating with the women’s singles & doubles today:
Unseeded Pernilla Putnik won the 45 singles over Tanya O’Neill in a terrific three set battle, one a lefty, one a righty and both hitting the cover off the ball, with both power and spin. Played on the front court following the marathon 50s final, it was a good front court match.
Marlo Carruth, seeded 1, edged Michele Rudi, in an interesting battle. Rudi won the first set and looked close to winning in straight sets when leading 5-0 in the 2nd set tiebreak; Carruth never stopped battling and rallied to win the tiebreak and the third set 64. Rudi is a very good counterpuncher and kept the ball mostly out of Carruth’s strike zone but Carruth found the courage to go forward and hit out on her forehand at key times.
Julie Silveria/Mary Beth Williams cruised past Lisa Traylor/Krista Oconnor to win the 50 doubles.
In the 55s, Christina Kaus upset #2 seed Jenny Keller 64 16 63, and said it was the best win she’d ever posted. Kaus kept the ball deep, moved and passed well to win the nearly three hour battle…after which she was told she had only 30 minutes to rest before doubles! (USTA 2021 FAC would beg to differ). Keller, with partner Judy Newman avenged her singles loss to Kaus, decisively winning the doubles semis over Kaus/Maria Nunez. They face Anne Kerwin-Payne/Lindsay Montero who also advanced in straight sets.
The 60s and older divisions start play tomorrow.
The men’s results are below
Shibu Lal, seeded third, edged top seeded Jesse Shouton to reach the 40s final vs JR Chidley, the 2nd seed. Lal is quick and throws a lot of different looks at his opponents.
In the 45s, Jesse Walter, seeded 1, will face Nicholas Chasseray in the final. Chasseray followed up his win yesterday over #2 Ryan Pang with another straight set win, this one over #3 William Casas .
In men’s 50s, Kevin Smith is the last unseeded player in the semis. He faces #3 Dana Gill while #2 Jeff Greenwald takes on #5 Brendan Murphy.
The seeders did a perfect job in men’s 55s: Dan Goldie (1) will play #3 Craig Hiddleston while Peter Smith (2) takes on #4 Leland Rolling.
The men’s 60s are out to the round of 16 with only 2 upsets today, of 9-16 seeds: Tom Breece upset Mark Weil in 3 sets; and Jonathon Fears was edged by Alexander Pier. David Seibel advanced again; he beat a #9 seed yesterday.
In the 65s, David Wilson pulled off the only upset to date, beating #9 Rudy Sanchez.
In Men’s 70s, Mike Talmadge beat #9 David Kueffer; #9 James Quenzler withdrew from the tournament allowing Phil Landauer to advance to the round of 16.
All the seeds in the Men’s 75 had byes today.
In men’s 50 & 55 doubles, the seeders again were stellar, with all four seeds reaching the semis. Rick Leach, former world #1 is playing 55 doubles with Vivek Varma and they won in 3 sets today.
The seeds haven’t started yet in the 60 and up divisions.
There’s also mixed…more on that tomorrow, particularly the 50-80s which are Gold ball/USTA Level 1/ITF S700 (normally S1000, but only S700 since players from other countries for the most part can’t get into the USA to play them).
The first Level 2/ITF S700 and Level 1 Mixed since early last March began Thursday in Palm Desert (just east of Palm Springs) in the California Desert. Summer landed as well…it was over 100 today (about 38 Celsius) with bright sunny skies.
The tournament began with the 35s, 40s and 45s, moving on to the 50s yesterday and the 55s today.
The main venue is at Shadow Mountain Resort in Palm Desert but there are several other venues in the area being used.
I practiced in the morning (I don’t play till Wednesday) before visiting my parents and cooking Easter lunch (happy Easter everyone!). It was nice at 8:30, but noticeably warmer, in the 90s by 10. It’s a dry heat but once it hits 100, it’s hot, especially on hard courts where the concrete absorbs and reflects the heat upwards.
I went over to check in for the tournament and ran into most of my recent practice partners, who had mostly had a successful day on court.
Despite issues with the USTA website, the seeders did a great job seeding this event, with very few upsets. Below is a quick overview of the action to date.
In the mixed 50, which is a Level 1, Bozeman/Mills took out #5 seeded Carruth/Heroux in 3 sets to reach the quarter; the other 7 seeds advanced in straight sets.
In 35 mixed O’Neil/Robertson took out the #1 and #2 seeds, both in close matches to win the tournament.
The top two seeds, Trent Aaron/Hiromi Sasano (2)will take on Henry/Pang (1) in the 40 mixed final.
Stephen Robertson (1) beat SanadRasheed (2) to win the 35 singles
In the 40 singles, Rob Condiotty edged #4 Marin Parker’s to reach the semis along with JR Chidley, Shibu Lal and Jesse Schouten.
In the 45s, Nicolas Chasseray beat #2 Ryan Pang to reach the semis along with William Casas (3), Leon Bax (4) and Jesse Walter (1)
In the 50s, Oren Motevassel (1) withdrew before the start of play with an injury, as did #4 seeded Julien Heine. Kevin Smith upset #5 Pontus Swenson and Steve Heroux took out #5 Esteban Altuna, leaving only 4 seeds in the final 8.
In contrast to the 50s, the final 8 in the men’s 55s are the 8 seeds, led by Dan Goldie (2) and Peter Smith (1) .
The huge men’s 60 draw (128) is out to the round of 32 without any upsets; Bill Moss and Mike Fedderly are the top 2 seeds.
In women’s singles, there was no 35s division (a few players entered but withdrew).
Christen Bartelt (1)played down but won the 40s convincingly, beating #2 seeded Christine Lee in the final.
In the 45s, the top half was all upsets, with Pernilla Putnick beating top seeded Farrah Northcott 4,5 and then Yoko Tanko (0,6); Tanko beat the #4 seed, Kimberly Allen. Putnick takes on #2 seeded Tanya O’Neil in the final; she beat the #3 seed Michele Mouttapa-Matek in the other semi.
The 50s final is between Marlo Carruth (1) and unseeded Michele Rudi. The two took far different paths to the final; Carruth winning her semi 61 ret (inj) while Rudi edged #2 seeded Mariko Atoji 76 in the third.
The two seeded players in the 55s, Judy Newman (1) and Jenny Keller (2) are in the semis without hitting a ball (bye for Newman, default for Keller).
Cohen/Sablan won the 35 RR doubles.
Condiotty/Richards beat the top 2 seeds to win the 40 doubles.
Mike Brown/Rodolfo Rodriguez won the 45 doubles, taking out Bax/Chasseray (2) in the semis and unseededJeff Schlotterback/Jesse Walter in the final.
The Men’s 50 are only out to the quarters with no upsets.
Julianna Gates/Lauren Lancaster (2)won the 35 doubles upsetting Tarrin Dougherty/Caroline Vis 76 67 64 in the final.
Pernilla Putnick/Chotika Wannachinda won the round ronin 40 doubles over Angela Henry/Amy Rogers (76 in the third)
Shannon DeVall and Tanya O’Neil won the 45 round robin doubles with Susie Duffy/Brahma Pastorini finishing 2nd.
Krista Oconnor /Lisa Traylor beat top seeded Trina Eggers/Wendy Elliott in 3 sets and face Julie Silverado/Mary Beth Williams in the final; they beat the #2 seeds Nancy Daly/Rochelle Whelan in straight sets.
As of May 24, 2021 the following tournaments have been cancelled for 2021:
Women’s 35-85 Grass at Germantown: Cancelled
Women’s 30-80 Grass at Forest Hills: Cancelled
Men’s 40/45/50 Grass at Germantown: Cancelled (but moved to Rhode Island)
Father/Daughter & Mother/Son Indoors in So Barrington IL: Cancelled
West Coast Seniors (Level 2, Men) and Joanne Russell Cup (Level 2 Women) in Naples: Cancelled
The Lamita Jabour Grandes Dames tournament in Fort Lauderdale
Grandes Dames, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Both were to be ITF S700.
Men’s Level 3 tournament in Naples January 10-16
St Petersburg men’s Level 2 tournament which was to take place in February has been cancelled. From TD Jerry Ratledge (via Joe Rasgado): “I can now confirm that our tournament has been officially cancelled. We reluctantly concluded that the risks of holding a large, Level 2, National & International tournament during an escalating pandemic are simply too great. We look forward to a fun, safe, and normalized tournament in 2022.”