Chamisal: 35-85 Hard Courts: Competition, Laughs, Fun, and Great Tennis

Tuesday Sept 16, 2014, Salinas, California

The National Senior Women’s Hard Courts began yesterday, but the 55s, my age division, began today…I received byes though in singles and doubles so start my competition tomorrow.

Yesterday all the 75 and 65 singles players were in action and there was a lone upset, which wasn’t a huge one. Dorothy Matthiessen, unseeded for perhaps the first time in her age division, ousted #4 seeded Ria Graham, avenging her loss to Ria at the Clay earlier in the year. She followed that with a win today (as did Ria in the consolation) and plays her doubles partner Burnett Herrick tomorrow in the semis. Lyn Little plays her doubles partner, Dori deVries in the other 75s semi.

Today there was a very good first round 75s match between Smith/Watts and #2 seeded Herrick/Matthiessen. The teams split sets, and during the 10 minute break between sets, Burnett wasn’t resting, refueling or taking a bathroom break…she was standing on her head, literally! (I didn’t  have my camera ready, but I’ll try and get a photo of  her standing on her head later in the week.) I don’t know if it helped, she and Dorothy went down 41 in the third, confounded by their opponents’ lobs, but won 76 in the third.

I watched my sister Eileen Christin play her first round singles against Pam Morrow, from Palm Springs. Eileen lost the first five games but fought back hard and won 76 (5) 61. It was harder watching than playing! Later on she and her doubles partner Bonnie Tetrick took on Rita Rector from Texas and another player from the Desert, Julie David. Sticking to the script of a slow start, they lost the first six games, but rallied to forge a 53 lead in the second set and had multiple set points at 54 and at 65, but ended up in a tiebreak which they lost 74. Bonnie and Eileen had on matching outfits and are both tall and were wearing white caps, so from any distance they look a lot alike…so much so that when Julie told Rita to hit to one of them, she hit to the other by mistake, not being able to quickly differentiate between them. However, they corrected that error (by hitting either to the deuce or ad court).


Eileen and Bonnie Starred photos 9 16 14-017 STarred photos-004

Later on I watched Erika Smith/Alissa Finerman play Suzanne Siegler/Monica Salazar in the 45s. Let’s get one thing clear: Alissa is really quick! Erika hit a good backhand volley from the deuce court to the net person on the other side; she reflexed the volley into the alley to Erika’s right side whereupon Monica and Suzanne were looking at each other, saying great shot. Meanwhile, Alissa yelled I’ve got it, and ran to her right, and hit the ball back down the middle as they were looking at each other, and then said I got that ball! Everyone cracked up as did the onlookers…you had to be there.

The semis are also set in the 65s but Harris/Vallejo, the #2 doubles seeds had to pull out due to illness. None of the seeds in 65 singles or doubles had any major trouble advancing.

And today was Susan Wright’s 57th birthday, celebrated with friends Erin Boynton and Terry Holladay.

Happy Birthday Susan Wright Starred photos 9 16 14-022

The funniest story I heard today was about the 55s doubles match between Una Davis/Tracey Thompson, the #3 seeds, against Lyn Tietz (whose 75s doubles partner, Roberta Sung, had to pull out due to a family emergency) and Heather Fiscallini, who plays in the 65s. Anne Lowry was the broker for this match apparently…Lyn and Heather wanted to play doubles, but the 75s and 65s had already started play. So anyway, the referee said they could play 55s if one of the seeded teams agreed to play them. Anne asked Tracey and Una if they’d play Lyn and Heather and they said yes, thinking it was a practice match. There were hints along the way that it wasn’t a practice match…the fact there were new balls…the fact that when Tracey commented that she thought they might get bumped, Lyn said no, they had that court…but they never found out it was a real tournament match till five minutes AFTER the practice match ended! Like that old game of telephone, where one person whispers in the ear of her neighbor (e.g. “I need milk”) and that person repeats the statement to the person next her till 10 people later it reads “I need to kill a cow”, what Lyn asked Anne to tell Tracey was lost in translation. They all had a great laugh about it later, each side convinced the other didn’t make the nature of the match clear.

Tomorrow I play at 11, and doubles at 4.

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