Houston Clay Nationals Day 5: Klitch, Nichols, DeVries, Price Win Singles Titles; Buholz/Prejean Take 55 Doubles

National Women’s Clay Courts, Houston, Day 5

Click here to see the draws and results. 

Click here to see photos.

It was another beautiful, sunny warm (but not humid) day in Houston Friday, and there were a lot of matches both in the main draw and consolation draws. 

As usual there was a delicious lunch and breakfast for the players…on the menu for lunch were make your own burger (using hamburger, barbecued chicken or portabella mushrooms), various salads, green, coleslaw, potato, house made potato chips, sweet potato fries and the club’s awesome cookies. Again, I cannot say enough thanks to Sue Bramlette for directing the best senior tournament, full stop. 

I had a 9am match, and Jenny K and I warmed up as usual at 7:30. I played Tina Karwasky, the 2017-9 champion in the 65s and won 62 63. Tina slipped during the second set and skinned her knee…she was icing it, her other knee and right shoulder after the match. The conditions weather wise were perfect..70s and no wind, but the extreme contrast between sun and shadow made play tricky at times. Bunnie Jackson beat Sherri Bronson in three sets to take the 65 bronze. Lisa Musgrave beat Andrea Barnes in three sets to place fifth. In the consolation to determine 9th place, Pat Purcell beat Leslie Murveit in three sets and takes on Frances O’Sullivan next. 

After I finished, we took some photos and I watched Jenny Klitch, (#1 in the world in 55s) play Renee Saheim, an energetic lefty who is an excellent player. Klitch though played a terrific match, smacking winners left and right (no Renee hit seemed safe from Jenny’s returns) and making Renee run a lot. The points were great but Klitch won 62 62. Gayle Prejean took third. In consolation, beating Laurie Capra 62 ret. (Capra had a loooong match two days earlier, with kathy Vick, plus doubles), Tracey Thompson won a marathon with Heidi Gerger 67 76 (12) 63! She faces Paulson in the 9-10 playoff. Vicki Buholz won the 5-8 playoff over McWilliams (winner of the 5 hour 15 minute match against Kathy Vick yesterday) 61, ret. McWilliams was pulling up after every point. Winning a match against Kathy Vick this tournament was a pyrrhic victory. After singles Renee had the doubles final with Lori Gonzalez against Buholz/Prejean, the 55 world doubles champions. Buholz/Prejean dropped the first set but rallied to win and take the gold in three sets.

Dori Devries won the Women’s 85s when Carol Wood had to retire after dropping the first set 64 with hamstring and arm injuries. Sheila Palmer took the bronze over Burnett Herrick 64 64. Laurie Leach was 5th.

Julie Thu took very little time in beating Dianne Lee Friday..Lee didn’t play badly but Thu just kept hitting winners at the end of points, angles then line shots. She plays Luciana Roldan in the 45s final this morning. In 45 doubles, the 1, 3 and 4 seeds survived but the #2 seeds, Stacey Williams/Mariana Hollman lost to Loeffler/Warren.

Kaysie Smashey started her tournament with a win in the 35s and faces #3 Brandi Bratek in the semis. Alina Mihailescu (2) faces unseeded Chiara Combs who beat the 4th seed when she had to retire at 1-1 in the third set.

Rita Price won the 90 singles despite not having played singles for two years and being 95! She attributed her wins to Tai Chi and dancing…and she is a very good dancer. If you are on Facebook check out the video from the player party of Rita dancing to New York New York.


3 Responses to Houston Clay Nationals Day 5: Klitch, Nichols, DeVries, Price Win Singles Titles; Buholz/Prejean Take 55 Doubles

  1. Avatar Geoff Martinez
    Geoff Martinez says:

    Any reporting on the Men’s 65 Grass Court? Me and my 5 year old hip replacements made the final, my 1st since 2011. Geoff M.