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  • 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.

  • Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Wrap: Man Son Hing, Knox, Cohen, Finerman Strike Gold in Rancho Mirage; Mother/Son To Be Continued…

    Our opponents today played “finer” tennis than we did (and that pun was better than my tennis today!). Alissa Finerman was all over the net and executed her overheads expertly. Ralph Finerman showed off some nice volley skills and was steady as a rock. We were outplayed 61 62. Our opponents from yesterday, Cheryl & Bob Hicks, won the bronze.

    final day starred photos-001final day starred photos-007final day starred photos-006final day starred photos-004

    The weather was dramatically different today from the first day…temperatures were in the 60s and starting around noon there was intermittent rain, which apparently became consistent (I left just before 1pm), since the Mother/Son final was suspended till tomorrow morning with the McBrides up a set but down 1-2 in the final against the Settles. Valerie Tan/Tim Sah took the bronze earlier  in the day. Below is Valerie with her son and father. They came in 4th in the 70 FD.

    final day starred photos-005

    The Open F/D was won by the top seeds, Bruce and Sabrina Man Son Hing over Julia/Greg Failla 64 52 ret. This match was being played when I left so I assume that the Faillas weren’t able to stay to finish?

    Molly & Rob Knox won the 60 F/D over the Richard/Julia Cohen by default. Jamie & David  Butterbaugh took the bronze. However, the  Cohens won the 70 F/D earlier in the day comfortably over Liz/Hugh Burris 63, 61. Allison and Barry Sterett won the bronze.

    Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/8gFbt8m6XpbAaXCq9

    Draws: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=187933

  • Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Hard Courts: Surviving the Heat!

    The Father/Daughter (Open, 60,70 & 80+) & Mother/Son Hard Courts is taking place this weekend in Rancho Mirage, CA, near Palm Springs.

    I drove over on Wednesday from San Diego where it was sunny, balmy (70s) sort of day…when I arrived in Palm Desert it was in the 90s at dusk. That’s California, if you don’t like the weather, drive East or North and it’ll change.

    Dad and I had a good practice match on Thursday with Hirsch, who with wife Sheryl run this event, and Tad Yukawa, a long time friend who lives in the area. It was already in the 90s when I drove to the Springs Country Club at 8:30am…and well over 100 by the time we finished. But  it’s a dry heat (and still super hot!). I did some running drills after with Tad and believe me, dry heat or not, it’s hard to breathe after a while.

    It was a great warm up and today we won our first round, but have a much tougher match tomorrow against a team that won the Indoors in this division, father/daughter 80+ a couple of months ago, the HIcks. The 80+ means the dad has to turn 80 sometime in 2017. My dad is 92 (!). And competitive. It was over 100 again today too.

    There are a lot of really good players in these events: Alissa Finerman who has won a lot of doubles gold and has been on winning cup teams, is playing the 80+; Dina McBride and her husband Desi are playing Mother/Son and Father/Daughter respectively; Kathy Settles is playing Mother/Son with Christian; Tim Sah who is going to Stanford and playing on the team there next year is playing Mother/Son too with Valerie Tan (and they play the Settles tomorrow). Julia Cohen, a former top 100 player is playing 60+and 70+ with Richard. Julia already has over 40 gold balls and is only 28! Semis are tomorrow in all divisions.

    Tomorrow the weather changes a lot, with highs only in the 80s, and the wind will pick up a lot as well. By Sunday it will only hit 70.

    Below is a photo of the courts and one of Sheryl and Hirsch.

    Hirsch and SherylSr FD


    Draws can be found here: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=187933