The popcorn match on Wednesday started at 9am on the center court at Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. It did not disappoint. Fran Chandler, the second seed, took on Alice Marble Cup teammate Susan Wright in the round of 16 (there were only four seeds). The rallies were fierce from the beginning with Chandler defending and pummeling her backhand while Wright was offensive from both wings, particularly her backhand. Both players are slight but hit a big, hard ball. Chandler won the final three games of the first set to win it 64 and looked on track for a straight set win when she finally held serve in the second to go up 5/4. It was Wright’s turn to win three games in a row and she seemed to have the edge with her superior court positioning and excellent ball string. Wright was up 3/2 when I had to play my match; by the time I finished, Chandler had won the set 63. Vicki Buholz, Diane Barker and I won our matches in straight sets.
Amy Alcini and Marlo Carruth, weekly practice partners, faced each other in the 50s and Carruth won in a good match 75 76 (4). They would have been seeded had the draw been larger; as is there are only two seeds. Nancy Hilliard and Julie Cass advanced without incident.
In the 70s, the top seeds, Toni Novack and Liane Bryson both had tough matches today. Toni won 62 76, but was down 5-2, 40-15 in the second set before rallying to win it. Liana Bryson had to go three sets to oust Janet Watanabe 76 46 60. Cindy Babb upset Barbara Hubbard (3) in straight sets and Sue Bramlette got past Simmy Pell 75 62.
In 50 doubles Veronia Barni and Daniela Alvarez upset the #2 seeds, Pollyanna Clark/Diane Barker (Pollyanna is Diane’s niece) to reach the final.
In 60 doubles, the #2 seeds, Vicki Buholz/Cindy Johnson, survived a tough encounter with Tracey Thompson/Terri Thyssen. The latter team won the first set 76 and were up 5-3 in the second before Buholz/Johnson rallied to win the 2nd set and the match tiebreak. Vicki in particular was very solid during the tiebreak.
In the 70s, Bryson/Cindy Leprevost and Sue Bramlette/CindyBabb are in the doubles final, having won their respective round robin groups.