Jorgelina Torti, Argentina, edges Simona Bruetting for 35s Crown; Bruetting/Gee Gee Garvin Win 35 Doubles: Final Houston Report

Jorgelina Torti followed her win tagainst Zerdan with a win over Simona Bruetting in three sets (67 63 76) to take the 35s title. Onlookers reported that it was a great match. Bruetting though didn’t go home empty handed; she combined with Gee Gee Garvin to win the doubles over Tammy Morris/Jill Toney (who took out top seeded Dailey/Zimmermann the day before); Carolina Blouin/Rocio Rodriguez took third.

Christina Markey won the 35s consolation; Walton/Witherspoon won the 35 doubles consolation; Erin Boynton won the 45s consolation; Marin/Stadler took the 45 doubles consolation; Sherri Bronson took the 55 consolation; Sue Bramlette/Sue Bushman won the 55 doubles consolation to place 5th; Charleen Hillebrand won the 65s consolation; Sharon Greene/Phyllis Taylor were 5th in doubles; Kathy Langer placed 5th in the 75s (over Burnett Herrick)j; Lynch/Smith took 5th in doubles; ; Janet Hubbard won the 85 singles consolation and Joan Brisbin/Nancy Stout took the 85 doubles consolation title.

Houston Friday: Watanabe, Barker, Carter, deVries and Lutz Crowned as Singles Champions

All but the 35s finished today in Houston. The top seeds prevailed in all but the 35s and  45s (though Watanabe was predicted to win by several players prior to the start of the tournament.)

Jolene Watanabe started slowly against Jenny Klitch in the 45s singles final. It was Klitch’s first national final. By the 2nd set Watanabe was rolling, hitting winners from all over the court, from the ground, at the net and added in some dropshots for variety,  but the first set was nip and tuck, with Watanabe scraping by to win the tiebreak. Meanwhile Jolene’s mom Janet, was nervously watching and texting progress updates to Jolene’s husband, Dave. Shelly Works beat Anna Zimmermann to place third. Erika Smith/Alissa Finerman won the 45 doubles over Mary Dailey/Vesna McKenna in three sets.

Diane Barker won the 55s for the 2nd straight year; she hasn’t lost in a clay court national for a long time…well over a decade. She beat Susan Wright 61 64. I beat Tracey Thompson 76 (5) 60, staving off one match point at 5-6. Tracey played a great first set, it was her first time playing a clay court national. Susan and I won the doubles over Tracey and Chris Ramsower-Pearlstein 64 75…I served and volleyed every point in the last game, (shocking Tracey and Chris….and it worked!). Cindy Benzon/Rita Rector won the bronze.

In the 65s it was another Brenda Carter sweep…she won the singles over Molly Hahn (Carol Clay took the bronze) and the doubles, with Betty Wachob, over Hahn/Judy Louie in 3 sets. Janet Watanabe and Barbara Hubbard won the bronze…it was Barbara’s well earned first USTA ball.

Dori deVries swept the 75s, beating Ria Graham in singles and combining with Roz King (who took 3rd in singles) to beat Kathy Langer/Lyn Tietz. Carol Wood/Graham placed third.

Rita Price was on the premises but not sufficiently recovered to play Jane Lutz…it was a hard fall she took yesterday. Jane won the singles by default and Joan Brisbin took the bronze.

In the 35s, Patricia Zerdan was upset in 3 sets by an Argentine player, Jorgelina Torti, who beat Carolina Blouin yesterday. Torti won in 3 sets. The final is tomorrow.

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Houston Thursday: Brrrrr! Final Matchups Decided on a Cold, Blustery Day

Did I mention it was cold? It was very cold warming up at 8 and playing at 9am…40s and windy. But to the delight of the tournament officials it was NOT raining.

There was lots of good tennis, lots to report.

In the 35s, Jorgelina Torti, one of the Argentines in the draw, beat Carolina Blouin, the third seed in straight sets, but there were no other upsets.

In the 45s, though the 1st and 2nd seeds lost, it wasn’t shocking; Anna Zimmerman lost to Jolene Watanabe, who was  a tour player for over 10 years and who has just started competing again after time off for a double hip replacement. Jolene is also Tina Karwasky’s niece…and you know how tough a player Tina is. Jolene won 63 64. Jenny Klitch and Shelly works played for hours in San Antonio at intersectionals…Jenny lost toenails (and the match, 76 in the third) and it took her a few months for her toes to recover. This time, on clay, Jenny won 67 74 62, she’s also a tour veteran (a lawyer now though).

The top seeds took different routes to the 45 doubles final; #1 seeded Erika Smith/Alissa Finerman won 63 63 over Hess/Schaefer while #2 seeded Vesna McKenna/Mary Dailey took three sets to oust Dybendahl/Morris, though they won the third 62. That match had some really great points.

In the 55s, Susan Wright survived a tight first set with Tracey Thompson, winning it 76 (4) then won the 2nd 61 to reach the final against Diane Barker. She beat me 61 46 64 in a nearly 3 hour match and finished the match with one of her many winners. However, in doubles Thompson/Chris Ramsower-Pearlstein and Nichols/Wright both advanced comfortably to the finals.

Molly Hahn, seeded #4, beat #2 Carol Clay 62 64 to reach the final against Brenda Carter, who beat Betty Wachob 61 62. Betty said she played well but that Brenda was just hitting so deep and has added some net play to her singles which made her even harder to play.

Some of that net play was missing in the 2nd set when CArter/Wachob faced Janet Watanabe (Jolene’s mom, coming back this year from a hip replacement and Barbara Hubbard. Carter/Wachob won the first set 60 but were in a dogfight in the 2nd, Janet and Barbara played great but came up a little short, losing the set 76. They play Hahn/Judy Louie in the final.

The 75s final will be a battle of the lefties. Dori deVries demolished her doubles partner, Roz King 60 61 and Ria Graham, seeded 5th, scored her 2nd upset of the tournament (she beat #3 Burnett Herrick 61 60 yesterday), beating Lyn Tietz 76 63. Lyn beat Ria by a similar score two weeks ago in Fort Lauderdale and so goes the 75s division (a revision of the win/loss chart for that division is forthcoming after this event!). DeVries/King edged Herrick/Dorothy Wasser 64 75 and Tietz/Kathy Langer beat Carol Wood/Graham in three sets to reach the final…a reversal of the result from Ft Lauderdale as well (where Wood/Graham prevailed in 3 sets).

In the 85s, Rita Price and Jane Lutz reached the singles final. In the 85 doubles final, Price and Lutz were playing Hubbard/Little in the final. They had just played a long and tremendous point (Hubbard and Little sure can lob!) finally won by Lutz/Price when Rita slipped, fell and hit her head hard. Price was made to stop (of course she didn’t want to, but it was scary) and was taken off to emergency to get a head scan, hopefully all is ok. The 85s are amazing, no one watching the points would believe they were 85.

There’s a frigid forecast again for tomorrow, but NO RAIN!.


Houston Wednesday, Sun & Fun on the Clay

Today was the best day of the week, sunny, 70s and all age divisions were in play. There were no upsets in 55 singles; I beat Sue Bramlette, Susan played great against Chris Ramoswer Pearlstein and Diane Barker ousted Leslie Murveit. Tracey Thompson looked very comfortable on the clay, beating Sherri Bronson 61 63. The second set had a lot of long games and Sherri said they both hit tons of lines, despite the windy conditions in the second set. Tracey hit hard and deep enough that the slippery courts didn’t bother her much.

In doubles, Rita Rector and Cindy Benzon ousted the 3rd seeds, Mary Morgan and Julie David 75 61.

In 75 singles, Roz King ousted #4 seeded Kathy Langer 63 64, mixing up dropshots (and the threat of drop shots) with deep drives.

In 65 singles, Betty Wachob had to go three sets before subduing Lesley Pixley, and it took a 2nd set tiebreak for Molly Hahn to move past Judy Louie. Louie then joined Hahn to eke out a win over Phyllis Taylor/Sharon Greene in 3 close sets.

In 85 singles the 3rd and 4th seeds, Cathie Hall and Joyce Vanderpol, were both upset, Hall 64 in the third by Janet Hubbard, and Vaderpol by Joan Brisbin in 2 sets, but the top seeds, Lutz and Price, advanced easily. The 2nd seeds in 85 doubles, Elaine Mason/Hall, lost to Hubbard/Beverly Little in the semis; they face Price/Lutz in the final.

There were no upsets in the 45s; the doubles teams dominated their opponents (the seeds losing only 4 games in the four quarterfinal matches); the match of the day was that between Jenny Klitch and Vesna McKenna which was played unfortunately on a back court and was won 75 60 by Klitch.

That’s all for now, here are a few photos.


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Houston, Windy Tuesday (Seems to be a Theme)

It was COLD this morning! Mid 40s and windy, but sunny (no rain!) and once we got moving it was pretty nice tennis weather.

I got to the courts and expected to play Sue Sprague…for once hadn’t actually looked at the results, but noticed that Sue was to play my opponent from yesterday…which meant she lost yesterday. So I quickly looked up the result from yesterday and found out I was instead to play Graciela Donoso from Texas via Argentina…a dirtballer! She beat Sue yesterday 60 62. And a different style of game completely from Sue. Susan and I warmed up and I was able to get a quick start and adjust better to the wind than Graciela, winning 61 60. Susan won as well, over Elizabeth Paulin. Diane Barker played Kimberly Zebot, a tough new player and won 63 60. Most of the seeds won today in all the age divisions in singles…Sue Bramlette and Sue Bushman took out Debbie Burgess and Donna Drosner, one of the 5-8 seeds in the 55s; and there were a couple of three set upsets in the 5-8 seeds in the 65s and 75s; and Lola O’Sullivan was upset by Chris Smith.

Noted in passing:

Never a good thing for a California hard court player to hear her opponent saying “Vamos” (and yes, her opponent was an Argentinean clay courter).

Cindy Babb was unanimously elected president of the NSWTA and her goal is to attract more players and younger players and possibly put the directory online.

That’s all for now…8:30am start again for me, so I’m down for the count.

Houston, Windy Monday

This is going to be a quick post, since I have to play at 8:30 tomorrow morning. I played my first round today, against Jane Ackerman from Pennsylvania. This was her second national tournament. She played the Grass in Germantown (Philadelphia) last summer and everyone told her that if she could only play one tournament this year to play Houston. And she took everyone’s sage advice…this is a great tournament, an example of how to run one, but with two detail people (Cathy Lassiter and Sue Bramlette..they are completing each other’s thoughts) what else would one expect. Players are well fed (breakfast and lunch daily, plus some dinners), and well treated by the club members, the volunteers running the event and the staff.

It wasn’t too cold this morning but it was ominously muggy and overcast…but the rain that did come only lasted minutes and the delay was only 20-30 minutes. After the rain the weather changed and it became really windy and gusty and cooler and drier. I played after the rain and won comfortably, got tuned up by Anthony, the great trainer and guru here and hit some with Jenny Klitch.

There were a few upsets…Sue Bramlette showed off her improved fitness, beating a #5 seed, Kandy Chain, 63 62 in the 55s. In a tough match of unseeded players, Kimberly Zebot beat Rita Giles in two tough sets. The match of the day was Judy Louie vs Ellen Goodman. It came down to a third set tiebreak won 13-11 by Louie. What a match!

Most of the 55s, 65s and 75s were in action today…all the seeds in the 45s play tomorrow along with continued play in the 55-75 and the 85s start play too..

Here’s a link to the draws:

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