Houston Day 1: Rain & Wind Did Not Stop the Senior Women’s Clay Courts!

The draws and results can be found here.

Monday March 21, 2022, Houston, Texas, 8:50 PM CDT

There was a rainy, then windy, then rainy AND windy start to the Women’s 35-90 Clay Courts today. Most of the players showed up early even though the weather looked bad, because, as has become normal, the tournament and the Houston Racquet Club (HRC) put out a very nice spread for breakfast, anything one could want from breakfast burritos to oatmeal to eggs & bacon to fruit and toast..and more.

I don’t think these courts every dried today.

Players returned by 11:30 or so because there was another occasion to eat, lunch (salad, sandwich fixings including chicken & tuna salad, turkey and cheese, tomato, lettuce, avocado etc) and tortilla soup…and cookies and brownies.

Ginny Beneke, Carol Gay and Nancy Sanchez enjoying breakfast

The rain did stop, mostly, and thanks to the wonderful staff at the HRC several courts were dry by noon and players, fueled by a good lunch, were soon playing. The format was changed for the first round from traditional best of 3 tiebreak sets, ad scoring to no-ad and a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set.

I played Becky Timmis from Georgia, a nice woman with some wicked slices and drop shots under very windy conditions, but managed to win 60 62. I think most players thought they played poorly at times but watching matches, most players looked as if they had adapted to the wind well.

All the 65 singles matches were completed today. All the seeds advanced without drama with the exception of #4 seeded Bunnie Jackson, who had travel woes…she started for Houston yesterday, was bumped off flights yesterday, then her plane turned around today according to her doubles partner Betsy Savitt. So she was defaulted from singles. There’s no flight out in time to make it for tomorrow’s doubles match so the #2 seeds and defending champions are out of doubles too. Really bad luck, bad weather for Bunnie (and Betsy who was already in Houston).

In the 75s, all the matches were on court and most if not all of the unfinished matches were in the second set when rain washed out the rest of the day’s play. Sue Kimball, seeded 2nd, was having a very good match with Carol Gay and Brenda Winstead and Kaaren Fellabaum were also having a tough battle. To be continued…

Petro Kruger from South Africa is here as the top seed in the 75s…she didn’t play today but was scouting her potential first round opponent (Fellabaum or Winstead).

Tomorrow rain is forecast till about 9am then it..evaporates. I’m scheduled for 10:15 am singles and then 4pm doubles (we play the winners of a match), so it may be a late day.

The 85s and 55s start tomorrow and some 90s do too. I ran into Irene Pretzel from Washington state and Margaret Canby from San Antonio today. They were enjoying the food, the camaraderie and life.

Margaret and Irene…90s!

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