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  • Bocage, National Clay Courts, Successful Thursday on the Clay

    Baton Rouge, LA, USA

    Semis and finals  of the National 60/70/80 clay were held today in various divisions.

    In the 60s, the singles semis and doubles final & 3/4 playoffs were held. I played my doubles partner Susan Wright and edged her in a two hour battle 64 63. I definitely got lucky with hitting some lines on big points today. Diane Barker beat Pat Purcell in their first ever meeting 62 62. Susan and I took the court to play Pat and her doubles partner Bunnie Allare. The match was going to be a battle. We were down 2/1 when Pat made a move which further aggravated a knee that was tweaked in her earlier singles match. When we were 3/2 up she had to retire, which was sad for all of us. This quick match was a marked contrast to the 3/4 playoff between Janet Mosely/Sally Smith and Vicky Nagy/Mary Jackson. They played for about two hours (maybe more) and just as they split sets, the rain that had been circling around the Bocage Racquet Club decided to make an appearance, wiping out play for the day. They will finish at 8am tomorrow. Wright won the bronze over Purcell by default (knee).

    DSC05982IMG_6368Bocage Tuesday (15)Bocage Tuesday (12)DSC06030DSC06032

    In the 70s, both singles semis were lopsided. Leslie Pixley, who upset Betty Wachob yesterday, allowed Judy Louie only a game and Brenda Carter dropped three games to Carol Clay in her win. However, the doubles final was another matter. Carte/ Wachob raced to a 5/0 lead over Clay/Ellen Goodman whereupon Clay/Goodman rallied to 3/5 before the top seeds, Carter/Wachob, closed out the set 63. In the second set, Carter/Wachob were on the brink of victory at 5/1 and had match points at 5/2, only to watch their lead evaporate to the extent that they had to rally from 5/6 down to force a tiebreak. Carter/Wachob finally won the tiebreak and the match 75. There were so many hugs after that match between the participants that even Carter didn’t need any more!

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    Roz King took home two gold balls in the 80s, the singles (where she upset top seed Dori DeVries 64 76 (4) and the doubles, with Burnett Herrick, over Inge Weber/Kathy Langer 75 63. King, who has legs most 40 year olds would envy, put them to good use against DeVries, running down drop shots and opening up the court for her many angles. King acknowledged though that she needed more wins against Dori to even their head to head. The 3/4 playoff was a long battle between DeVries/Carol Wood and Sheila Palmer/Mary John Lynch, finally won by the top seeds, DeVries/Wood in three sets. Weber won the singles bronze by default over Carol Wood (glute injury).

       <p>Draws: <a title="http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=187853#&amp;&amp;s=8Results0" href="http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=187853#&amp;&amp;s=8Results0">http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=187853#&amp;&amp;s=8Results0</a></p> <p>Photos: <a title="https://goo.gl/photos/qLNMdEqrZjAZCnX79" href="https://goo.gl/photos/qLNMdEqrZjAZCnX79">https://goo.gl/photos/qLNMdEqrZjAZCnX79</a>
    

  • National Clay Courts, Baton Rouge, LA, USA: Successful Day on the Dirt

    Bocage Racquet Club.

    Today I played the quarters of the national clay courts against Rita Giles from Washington DC. We had a good match, plenty of long rallies which I tried to contain by going to net to finish points…in fact I think I hit more volleys in singles than I did in doubles! I won 61 60. I play my doubles partner Susan Wright, who moved quickly past a tired Mary Morgan by a similar score. Diane Barker, the top seed, also dropped only a game in beating Kandy Chain. Pat Purcell caused the only upset of the day, overcoming multiple set points against her to beat her doubles partner, Bunny Allare 75 60.

    Susan and I won our doubles 61 62 over Vicky Nagy/Mary Jackson in a fun match…lots of good points but we had more firepower and more consistency overall. We play Allare/Purcell, who won 62 61 over Sally Smith/Janet Mosely.

    Bocage Tuesday (12) 

    In the 80s, top seeded Dori DeVries beat 2016 80s world champion Inge Weber from Canada 64 62 while Roz King, the #2 seed, beat Carol Wood 61 62. In doubles, Weber/Kathy Langer upset the #1 seeds, DeVies/Wood, 64 64. Weber is hoping to retain the doubles title she won last year with Judy Smith. They play King/Burnett Herrick in the final tomorrow.

    In the 70s, #2 seeded Betty Wachob was the highest casualty in the tournament, falling in a lengthy battle to Leslie Pixley 57 75 75. Pixley plays unseeded Judy Louie, a 64 64 winner over unseeded Brenda Winstead in the semis. Carol Clay stopped Ann Eaton’s run and will play Brenda Carter tomorrow. Carter moved past Mary Alice Pisani in the quarters. Clay/Ellen Goodman added another upset win to their bag, beating Lee Delfausse/Sue Kimball 64 60 to advance to the final against Carter/Wachob, who dispatched Ann Hunt/Louie in straight sets.

    Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/qLNMdEqrZjAZCnX79

    Draws: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=187853#&&s=7Draws7


  • Baton Rouge, 60-80 Clay Courts, Tuesday: Fun in the Sun

    Today, Tuesday was when the tournament here began for me. I played singles and doubles and am now in the quarters of singles and semis of doubles. I play Rita Giles of Washington DC tomorrow. We played at this point in the tournament last year and I prevailed but it took a long time…Rita gets everything back and has some sneaky shots off both wings. It should be a good match tomorrow. Susan and I won easily in doubles; we play Jackson/Nagy, who upset the #4 seeds yesterday. They play together a lot and will be a good challenge. They beat Giles/Pat Delaney today.

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    There were a few upsets today and some upsets narrowly averted.

    In the 60s, Mary Morgan edged #5-8 seed Janet Moseley in just under 3 hours 64 in the third, fighting through nerves to win after having a 52 lead in the third. Mosely later got a measure of revenge, combining with Sally Smith to beat Morgan/Frances O’Sullivan also 64 in the third (with Mosely/Smith getting nervous when 5-2 up in the third).

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    In the 70s, Brenda Winstead edged #3 seeded Sue Kimball 76 in the third, 75 in the tiebreak, In an all-SoCal match, Judy Louie overcame cramps and a medical time out to prevail over Carol Gay 75 in the third. Louie’s doubles partner was fretting about the length of the match! Ann Eaton continued her fine third set play, today beating #5 seed Carolann Castell 61 in the third. In doubles, Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman upset the #4 seeds, Castell/Peggy Andry in three sets. The #2 seeds, Lee Delfausse/Kimball were bageled in the first set by Lianne Bryson/Phyllis Taylor but changed strategy after the first set and won 63 in the third.

    In the 80s, the top 4 seeds in singles and both seeds in doubles won.

    The men’s Cat II begins tomorrow. Jerry Thomas was eating his pre tournament training meal which looked pretty tasty if not super nutritious!

    Bocage Tuesday (14)

    Photos:

    Draws: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=187853#&&s=7Draws8


  • Bocage, National Clay Courts Monday: Sun, Thunder, Rain & Rainbows

    The 60/70/80 Clay Courts began today in Baton Rouge (red stick), Louisiana. I had a bye, but warmed up my doubles partner, Susan Wright, then watched the play around the club (which boasts 20 clay courts).

    There were no upsets all day in singles, but there were some very good matches around the grounds. In the 80s, Kathy Langer gave top seed Dori DeVries a scare, taking the second set before succumbing 63 in the third. It was a tough first round for both players. Roz King, Carol Wood and Burnett Herrick advanced in straight sets. The 80s ladies are all having a house party this week…Carol Wood et al arranged for an airbnb house for them and they are playing each other then sharing a room! Pretty cool I think.

    Baton Rouge 2017 Monday-020

    In the 70s, the seeds all had byes. Ann Eaton though edged Ellen Goodman in three sets.

    Frances O’Sullivan took the first set from #4 seed Bunny (Miller) Allare before Allare rallied to win the final sets 63 62. The match finished well before the match won by  Rita Giles over  Ginny Beneke (64 62). That match featured long rallies and impressive running by both players. However, Rita’s higher shot tolerance, and experience playing nationals showed as the match wore on. Susan won handily and the balls coming off her racquet were…professional grade.

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    The doubles started at 2pm, as some players were enjoying lunch,  but the rain started at 2:30. Matches resumed at 3:30…the rain, this time as a  really intense thunderstorm resumed around 4:30 and play is cancelled for the day (or so I assume..noting posted yet). Before the rain started the second time, Vicky Nagy and Mary Jackson from Hilton Head upset the #4 seeds, Kandy Chain and Julie David 63 61. Another good match going on was between Mary Morgan/O’Sullivan and Sally Smith/Janet Mosely the #4 seeds. They were early in the third set when the skies opened up. The rain eventually went away for a while (rain ceding to a rainbow), but now it’s raining again! UPDATE: Play definitely cancelled for today, check website for new start times for doubles tomorrow.

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    Tomorrow I play Margy Petit in singles; Susan plays Sally Smith. Our doubles opponents were at 3/2 in the 2nd set when we left so have to finish later tonight or tomorrow.

    Draws are here: 80 Clay, Bocage CC, Baton Rouge, LA April 17-23

    Photos are here: https://goo.gl/photos/qLNMdEqrZjAZCnX79


  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

    Hello from Baton Rouge, the capitol of the state of Louisiana. Baton Rouge is a little over an hour by car from New Orleans, the much more famous city in this boot-shaped state. I’m here for the national 60 clay courts which begins on Monday at the Bocage Racquet Club. The Tab Soda is still available here in the vending machine!

    Borcage RC (2)Borcage RC (3)

    My doubles partner, Susan Wright, and I arrived yesterday in Baton Rouge, and today we practiced in the morning at the site of the tournament. The club is homey, though there are lots of clay courts and a smattering of hard courts. All white attire (other than shoes) is required here…it’s also a very traditional club. An Easter egg hunt was about to start when we arrived…there were lots of excited children, girls with dresses and big bows in their hair and boys in collared shirts and shorts, and parents taking photos.

     

    Borcage RC (4)Borcage RC (1)

    After lunch, we decided to go downtown, to see the old and new state capitol buildings. The current state capitol building is the tallest state capitol in the USA at 450 feet. We could see it for miles and from the top should have a good view of the riverfront (it was closed, being a Saturday). There was a nice garden in front with boxwood hedges.

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    Then we drove to see the old state capitol, which is now a museum. It looks like a castle and a massive oak tree dominated the landscaping in front. On the opposite side of street was the Mississippi River. Baton Rouge is a big port and we saw lots of tankers and containers waiting for either a train or ship to transport them. There are also casinos on the river and a huge riverboat for Mississippi River cruises.

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    There were quite a few sculptures along the river front.

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  • Carter, Nichols Win Double Gold at Bocage; Smith/Weber Take 80s Doubles Crown

    The match of the day wasn’t a main draw match, it was the quarterfinal loser’s consolation match between Leslie Murveit and Rita Giles in the 60s. Rita took the first set and Leslie the second. A match tiebreak was played in lieu of a third set (a good thing as the winner had another singles match a couple of hours later). At 8-8 in the tiebreak, a rally ensued that lasted more than 180 hits (Debbie Burgess, Leslie’s doubles partner started counting mid-rally. Leslie finally won the point when Rita erred in the net and she won the next point too…what a way to start the day! Leslie finished 5th after beating Kathy Foulk 64 64 in the next round.

    The 80s doubles final was interrupted by rain last night with Inge Weber/Judy Smith leading 3-1 in the third over Dori DeVries/Carol Wood. Smith/Weber won the match 62 in the third to take the gold in the 80s.

    80 doubles

    Brenda Carter beat up on her doubles partner, Betty Wachob, winning 61 64, then combined with her to win a tough three set doubles match over Lee Delfausse/Sue Kimball 64 in the third. Get used to Brenda and Betty ending up in the winners’ circle this year, it’s Brenda’s first year in the division. Cathie Anderson took the bronze in singles and Ann Hunt/Judy Louie won the doubles bronze.

    I won the 60 singles and doubles, beating Tina Karwasky in a match that was much closer than the score would indicate, particularly in the second set where most of the games went to deuce more than once. But I won 61 61. Pat Purcell and I were a yin/yang team that worked (she was all over the net and I was all over the baseline). We beat Karwasky/Jan Kirkland-Cochran 63 64. I didn’t hit all that many volleys but did hit one to win the match! Sherri Bronson/Foulk won the doubles bronze. Wendy McColskey took the singles bronze with a 62 64 win over Bronson (and hit a net cord winner on match point…ouch or Yes! depending on your point of view).

     

    CAN Tina  doubles final sherri kathy bronze

    This tournament provides free beer and powerade to participants; the cans and bottles are in big coolers around the grounds. We were playing doubles next to the club pro and he had an alcohol fueled fan club cheering for him for the first set of the match. It was pretty energizing and funny, albeit distracting.

    Hugh Thomson warmed me up for my semis and final (and I warmed him up for his first round and QF matches…he won too). Thanks Hugh for the great warm ups!

    CAn, Hugh

     

    The men’s tournament runs through Sunday, and with a weekend coming up and more free beer, it’s bound to have a lively atmosphere. Thanks to Ed Gaskell and his crew for a fun event.

    Women’s results/draws: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=178299

    Men’s results/draws: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=175808#&&s=8Results0


  • DeVries Claims 80s Crown; Nichols/Karwasky & Carter/Wachob to Play Gold Friday

    Dori DeVries of Reno claimed her first national title in the 80s (she turns 80 in December) when she beat two-time former world champion Inge Weber of Toronto, Canada 62 63 on Thursday. Inge said that Dori was hitting heavy slices with her big racquet that were hard to reach. Dori also moves exceptionally well. Carol Wood, Rockville, MD beat Mary John Lynch of Texas to win the bronze.

    The 80s doubles final is tomorrow between DeVries/Wood and Judith Smith (MA)/Weber. It should be a good one.

    In the 70s, Brenda Carter (SC) and Betty Wachob (FL) advanced to the singles final without dropping a set. Carter beat Susan Kimball (MA) and Carter beat Cathie Anderson (CA). Then the dynamic duo combined to reach the doubles final with a straight set win over Ann Hunt(SC)/Judy Louie. They face Lee Delfausse (VT) and Kimball in the final.

    In the 60s, Tina Karwasky (CA) beat Sherri Bronson (AZ) 61 61. Sherri said Tina played an impeccable match, hitting winners from everywhere. She said she tried hitting high and hitting low and Tina kept hitting winners, something she’s quite adept at. I beat the #2 seed, Wendy McColskey (NC) 60 61 but the second set especially was much closer than that score would indicate. There was a lot of running involved and we had some long points and a few long games. In doubles, Tina and Jan Kirkland/Cochran (GA) edged Kathy Foulk (FL)/Bronson 76 (2) 64. I watched part of the second set; in the tiebreak, Jan took over and played brilliantly, mixing up lobs, good serves and sharp angles and Tina demolished overheads and returns. Foulk/Bronson played well to get there, running down the aforementioned lobs and showing nice hands and sharp volleys themselves. Pat Purcell (MO) and I beat Yoko Anderson (CA) and Susan Davis (CA) 61 60 and so take on Tina and Jan in the final tomorrow.

    Results & Draws: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=178299

    The men’s tournament got going in earnest today, though the younger (50 and under) and older (75 and over) divisions mostly start play tomorrow. Hugh Thompson, the #3 seed in the 70s (and who is also playing the 65 & 70 doubles) warmed me up today and we both won our matches. I saw Ross Persons who was playing Henry Kennedy from DC, an excellent dropshotter (but Ross is a more excellent runner). They were having a very friendly match but Ross covered a LOT of ground. Kennedy was also playing 65 singles where he upset one of the 5-8 seeds. Val Wilder was out playing 55 singles; he had a pretty tough match but prevailed. He’s on a team going to Helsinki in June. Alex Behar, also on the men’s 55 team, also won his match.

    The atmosphere is nice here…there’s a big porch overlooking courts 9 & 10 and lots of people are watching matches on those courts while waiting to play or eating lunch from the club restaurant. It makes for a nice feeling, as many of the senior tournaments are held in shall we say, a quieter atmosphere.

    Draws and results: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=175808#&&s=7Draws22

    Now for the photo of the day (I’ll try to post more tomorrow or Saturday after I finish my matches and can focus on that): When’s the last time you saw a vending machine that carried Tab! I do like Louisiana I think.

     

    Tab dispenser


  • Bocage Wednesday: 60s & 70s Reach the Semis; DeVries and Weber to Play for the 80s Crown; Men’s Events Begin

    Today was quarterfinal day for the Women’s National 60/70s and semifinal day for the 80s.

    There weren’t any upsets in the women’s 60s but it wasn’t for lack of trying by Pat Purcell, who came oh so close to upsetting #4 seeded Sherri Bronson. It was definitely the match of the day and the players laid it all out on the court. I played my match and after reporting my score and so on, learned that Pat and Sherri were still on the court. Onlookers told me Sherri had won the first set and Pat was up 54 in the second. Pat won the set and then the meat of the match began. Pat constantly attacked, serving and volleying, chipping and charging, and Sherri countered with some brilliant backhand passing shots and lobs on the line and occasional forays to the net. It was hot and muggy today and the heat was sapping, but both women covered lots of ground. (Both had step trackers on…Pat had about two times as many steps as Sherri!). Sherri lost the first game of the set but was down 0-40 in each of the next two games and won them both. Nonetheless, Pat served for the set at 5/4 but the set ended in a tiebreak won 7-1 by Sherri. It was a 3+ hour battle.

    Tina Karwasky beat Leslie Murveit 60 60 and Wendy McColskey ousted Kathy Foulk 63 63. I beat Rita Giles 60 60; the first set was a battle despite the score though and I had more steps in that match than Sherri had in hers.

    In doubles, Pat recovered and played brilliantly against Murveit and Debbie Burgess. We won 61 61. Karwasky/Jan Kirkland/Cochrand and Bronson/Foulk advanced to the semis. However, the #4 seeds, Rita Rector/Julie David fell to a San Diego team, Susan Davis/Yoko Anderson in three sets. The SD players are always tough because they play so many tough local leagues all year long. Yoko said she was playing on two different ones. Rita just said that Yoko lobbed great and had a wonderful backhand.

    In the 70s, Leslie Pixley, the #3 seed,  fell to giant slayer Sue Kimball (she upset Carol Clay earlier this year). Brenda Carter, Betty Wachob and Cathie Anderson reached the semis with straight set wins.

    In the 70 doubles there was a lot of drama, other than for the top seeds, Carter/Wachob. #3 seeds, Cathie Anderson/Carolann Castell fell in a tight 2-setter to Ann Hunt/Judy Louie. #4 seeds, Sherri Ploor/Elizabeth Barnhill edged Retsy Wilson/Cammy Johnson 26 76 (5) 62. The #2 seeds, Lee Delfausse/Kimball, had a slow start but a fast finish, beating Peggy Andry/Andy Polisky 16 75 60.

    There was no drama in the 80s. Inge Weber and Dori deVries (who both turn 80 in December) easily advanced to the final. DeVries/Carol Wood and Weber/Judy Smith play for the doubles gold tomorrow.

    Women’s Cat I Draws &  Results and New Times: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=178299

    The men’s tournament got underway today though it was cut short by rain (everyone, men and women check your times, they’ve changed since this afternoon!).

    Men’s draws & results (and new times): http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=175808#&&s=7Draws21

    I ran into several guys I’ve known from teams and tournaments. Here’s Alex Behar who will be playing on the men’s 55, Austria Cup, in Finland.

    Alex Behar


  • Blowouts in Bocage: Day 2 of the 60-80 Clay Courts

    It was blowout day for the most part in Bocage and I’m not referencing coiffure day.

    The seeds mostly dominated their opponents in the 60, 70 and 80 singles; none lost a set and there were only a handful of matches where the seeds lost more than 2 games. One of those was an encounter between Mary Morgan, making her return to tournament tennis after shoulder surgery, and Sherri Bronson. Bronson won 64 64 but Mary played well and the match gathered quite a few viewers. Mary Pisani had a good match with #2 seeded Betty Wachob, losing 63 64. The four seeds in the 80s all advanced without the loss of more than 3 games.

    There was a smattering of doubles matches; unfortunately doubles didn’t start till today, but hopefully the rain will stay away.

    It was good to see Retsy Wilson and Cammy Johnson back at a tournament. They played Robbie Dimond/Lelsie Pixley  first round and prevailed in three sets.

    Tonight there’s a lot of social stuff going on…an NSWTA (see nswta.org for information on the National Senior Women’s Tennis Assn.) social led by president-elect Kathy Foulk, and a player dinner.

    Tomorrow all the seeds are in action in singles and the big men’s tournament begins. It’s a super Cat II this year and for good reason…there are a couple of draws that exceed 32 players and good draws from 30-80 in singles and 40-80 in doubles. 

    I won today against Debbie Burgess. We had a lot of good points and games. I play Rita Giles in singles tomorrow…she ousted Chieko Holt 60 61 and retrieved everything! We also play Leslie Murveit/Burgess in doubles. Here’s hoping for good weather. It’s been pretty cloudy and rain is predicted this week. Rita is shown below.

    rita

     

    Women’s Cat 1 Draws/Results: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=178299

    Men’s Super Cat II Draws/Results: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=175808


  • USTA National Women’s 60/70/80 Clay Courts, Baton Rouge, LA

    There is a new site for the 60/70/80 Clay Courts, which is the Bocage Racquet Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (the state capital of Louisiana). There is also a men’s Category II which starts on Wednesday, and the numbers of players in that event dwarfs the women’s entries, even though the women’s event is a Category I and a Grade 2 ITF tournament.

    welcome to BR

    The club members and the tournament staff have been welcoming and are working on plying the players with food. There are diners Monday-Friday plus food in the morning. Also, there seems to be a restaurant here for every person in the city. 

    functions Mealt tickets

    I arrived Saturday and practiced some yesterday and today. I play Debbie Burgess tomorrow in singles. The doubles doesn’t start till tomorrow and since there are only 9 teams, there’s only one round of 16 match. We play Leslie Murveit/Burgess first round in doubles.

    The courts here are hydrocourts and seem very nice and well maintained.The club as an “90% all white attire” rule (other than shoes and warm ups), so I had to scramble for white clothes before I came here. There’s also a pool and fitness facility, and a nice pro shop full of white clothing!

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    Of course it’s always great to have Joanne who does massage and reps Body Helix wraps.

    body helix 

    As always, many thanks to the sponsors!

    sponsors

    Draws for women’s event: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=178299

    Draws for men’s event: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=175808