Houston Clay Courts, Tuesday/Wednesday: The Balmy Calm before the Wintry Cold

The weather in Houston has been subject to a lot of discussion and many views of the Weather Channel on everyone’s smartphone this week. Originally it looked like a lot of rain each day…that hasn’t materialized fortunately. However, after a warm day today (low 80s), tomorrow brings a resumption of frigid weather (high of about 40) and wind. However the past two days have been pleasant and lots of great tennis has been played. The 35s begin tomorrow.

The 45s are out to the quarters, with Pam Ponwith scoring the only upset, over Daniela Esswein, a 5-8 seed. In doubles, the top four seeds reached the quarters. The top four seeds in the 45 doubles all advanced to the semis without the loss of more than a few games today.

In the 55s, Cindy Johnson began the tournament with a win over a 5-8 seed, and today beat #3 seeded Kathy Vick 60 63. The match was closer than the score, particularly the second set. Cindy is as patient though as Kathy, and there were lots of long moonball rallies, but Cindy was more effective at net and won the long rallies. Erin Boynton took on Susan Wright on the front court. Erin served well and used her heavy ground strokes to push Susan out of her comfort zone but Susan won the key points with some great passing shots and angles and made fewer errors in her 63 64 victory. Diane Barker made short work of Athena Cajas, winning 61 61. Ann Pellow rallied from a set down to beat Tracey Thompson 16 62 63. Thompson commented that Pellow played really well, hitting multiple lines and playing consistently deep. Barker plays Pellow and Johnson plays Wright tomorrow. In 55 doubles, yesterday, Ann Pellow/Kim Lackey upset the #2 seeds, Pam Cooke and Tracey Thompson 64 75. Pam and Tracey led 41 in the first set before Kim and Ann rallied, then Kim and Ann led 53 in the second only to go down 5-5 0-40 before rallying for the win. Today Susan Wright and I beat Yvonne Gallop/Kathy Foulk (who had taken out the 4th seeds) 63 62. We play Kim Steinmetz/Kathy Vick in the final. They beat Lackey/Pellow 62 62 today. This is a rematch of last year’s 55 indoor final.

The 65s had no upsets after the win by Pell over Bramlette on Monday. The top four seeds are out to the semis. Martha Downing is into the semis without losing a game and plays Anne Guerrant tomorrow while Brenda Carter takes on Kerry Young. In the 65 doubles, Cindy Babb/Brenda Carter rallied to beat #3 seeded Molly Hahn/Vicky McEvoy in three sets; they face #2 seeds Sue Bramlette/Kathy Barnes in the semis. Downing/Kathy Bennett face Bunny Smith/Kerry Young.

In the 75s, Ria Graham, a 5-8 seed, after narrowly avoiding an upset herself on Monday (winning 76 in the third against Kathy Langer), beat Roz King, the third seed, 76 (6) in the third set tiebreak today. She plays Donna Fales tomorrow, while Dori Devries, a three set winner over Dorcus Miller takes on Lyn Little. In doubles, Graham and Jessie Von Hippel ousted #4 seeded Chris Smith/Michaelin Watts 62 61 while Langer/Lyn Tietz, seeded 3rd, fell to Judy Janc/Susan Martin.

In the 85s, Jane Lutz takes on her doubles partner, Rita Price in the final.

Photos below from play on Tuesday and from the breakfast provided by the Club for the players (which is fantastic).

Julia LeveringRoz King, Tracey Thompson, Kathy Barnes, Dori deVries Carol Clay, Julia Levering Carmen and Barbara Donna Fales Maria Nunez starred photos 3-2-2015 8-15-35 AM Ria Graham Ann Pellow Cindy Johnson Cass Finerman Mary Firek starred photos 3-2-2015 11-08-49 AM starred photos 3-2-2015 11-13-08 AM starred photos 3-2-2015 11-17-18 AM starred photos 3-2-2015 11-21-02 AM starred photos 3-2-2015 11-49-05 AM starred photos 3-2-2015 11-49-01 AM starred photos 3-2-2015 11-33-08 AM starred photos 3-2-2015 11-49-22 AM Teal Lang, Cindy Johnson starred photos 3-2-2015 11-50-16 AM

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