Lurline Fujii, a stalwart of the seniors women’s tour, proved that like wine, tennis can get better with age. Fujii has played nearly every national championship in her age divisions and also many Category II and local events. All that experience paid off when she beat Sheila Weinstock in two close sets to win the 70 singles title at Forest Hills, NY last week. Fujii did not lose a set in winning the titles. Weinstock did not go home without some gold of her own, combining with Jane Pang to beat Fujii/Belmar Gunderson to win the doubles gold. The conditions were steamy…to finish the tournament without a visit to the hospital was a feat in itself.
In the 40s, Julie Cass repeated as champion, showing why, on grass (and pretty much everywhere she plays), she is the one to beat. She defeated her doubles partner, Vesna McKenna in the semis, then took out Amy Alcini in the final. Amy had a tough battle with Michelle King in the semis, finally prevailing 75 in the third. King and Trish Riddell ousted Cass/McKenna in the final.
The 50s was won by Susan Wright. She had another tough draw, meeting unseeded Kim Jones, who was once ranked 25 in the world, in the semis. Jones looked primed to beat Wright when leading by a set and 4-1 in the semis, but a shanked return winner and some clutch serving and returning allowed the top seed to draw even and in the third set Jones appeared spent in the hot conditions, down 5-2. At that point, according to Wright, she again started just hitting out hard and everything was landing in…Wright finally prevailed 64 in the third, having had multiple previous match points. The final was anticlimactic, Wright beat Tina Karwasky 62 63. Karwasky however, combined with Tracey Thompson to win the doubles title in a repeat of last year’s final, over Wright/Tracy Hagen, 63 61.
The 60s saw the return of Anne Guerrant, who survived a tough battle with top seed and defending champion Kerry Young to reach the final, where she beat Molly Hahn in straight sets. Hahn/Young won the doubles though over Marlie Buehler and a resurgent Margie Cooper.
Jane Lutz won the singles and doubles in the 80s. She beat Louise Russ in the final, 76 34 retired, on a day when the ambient temperature was over 100 and the heat index as considerably higher. Lutz/Russ won the round robin doubles.
The 30s was won by unseeded Monica Rincon, who also won the 30 doubles with Ioulia Bolotova.