The USTA National Women’s 35-85 Hard Courts were scheduled for October 11-17 in Rancho Mirage, CA (Mission Hills CC). Draws are here. The draws were small but gold, silver and bronze balls were still up for grabs!
Mariko Fritz-Krakow won the four-player 35 singles, with Mariel Tinnirello and Rema Thyagarajan playing for second and third on Saturday (no score reported as of the date the post was written).
The 35 doubles was won by Lauren Lancaster/Julianna Gates in another round robin. Lancaster/Gates had a great tussle with Fritz-Krakow/Francesca La O, winning 46 64 1/0 (9). Though finals are supposed to be a full two out of three sets, there were only four teams so none of the matches used a full format. The results weren’t posted for the other matches at the time of writing this post. Check the link to draws above for later updates.
The 45 singles was won by La O, who was unseeded (but not unknown). Unfortunately for top seeded Mariko Atoji, she played La O first round and lost 64 64; La O won her semis and final with the loss of only three games a match. She beat unseeded Farrah Northcott in the final; Northcott took out #2 seeded Alissa Yee in the first round. Jennifer Beindorf ousted the #3 and #4 seeds to place third.
In contrast to the upsets in singles, Debbie Spence Nasim/Tracie Currie navigated the 45s without problem, dropping one game in winning the gold ball. The won the final over Adrienne Simmons/Jill Gardner 60 61. The 3/4 playoff result was not posted at the time of writing.
Judy Newman won the 55 singles over Jenny Rens Keller. Keller, the third seed, took out Shelly Works in a 3.5 hour match the day before.
Simmons/Gardner won the 55 doubles over Keller/Newman and Works/Rainy Miller took the bronze.
Andrea Barnes won the 65 singles and doubles (with Leslie Murveit). Barnes beat Pat Purcell in the semis and top seeded Lisa (Culp) Musgrave in the final. Murveit took third by default over Purcell (ill). Barnes/Murveit beat Musgrave/Kandy Chain 64 46 64 to win the title; Betsy Kuhle/Sherri Bronson placed third.
The 75 singles was won by Brenda Carter over Carolann Castell in a repeat of the 75 clay final. (Does this mean Brenda won the “gold slam” since she won all the national level 1 tournaments offered for women in 2021?) Susan Kimball beat Cathie Anderson in the 3/4 26 62 76 (12).
Castell/Kimball won their second gold ball of the year over Carter/Anderson 63 63 and had a tussle in the semis with Judie Louie and TD Andi Polisky, winning that one 57 75 1/0 (5). Heather Fiscalini/Brenda Winstead won the bronze over Louie/Polisky 36 61 1/0 (5).
The 85s didn’t travel to play the event. In 2021 the draws in the older divisions were down overall.