The 50/90 Women’s Hard Courts concluded yesterday, and as always it was a long, tough week of excellent tennis in an unmatchable location, the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.
Susan Wright, 50s, Martha Downing, 60s, Dorothy Matthiessen, 70s, and Lucy Dettmer, 90s, all came away with two gold balls. Jane Lutz won the 80 singles while Angie Ray/Joyce Jones won the 80 doubles.
Wright thoroughly dominated the 50s in singles and doubles, and did not come close to dropping a set in singles, losing only 3 games in her closest match. She beat Tracey Thompson 61 61 in the quarters, Kathy Vick 61 61 in the semis and me 61 62 in the final, playing almost error-free tennis while managing to hit a lot of winners in each match. I meanwhile logged way too much time on the court (that’s what happens when you play tough opponents and don’t hit winners!). In the semis, Robin Harris lost 2 toenails when we wore each other out in a 2.5 hour match that featured lots of running and long rallies. Robin fell to Kathy in 3 sets in the 3/4 playoff and Thompson beat Kim Lackey to place 5th. Thompson dominated the backdraw in singles. Lori Robertson had a number of tough backdraw matches, and edged Chris Pearlstein in three tough sets, rallying from 25 in the third to win 76 in the third; Lackey beat Jane Pascoe in three sets too in the semis before falling to Thompson.
In doubles, Wright played with Kathy May Fritz and they moved smoothly through a tough draw, beating Betty Ann Grout/Colleen Ferrell in the quarters, Pam Cooke/Debbie Croft in the semis, then took out Tracy Worley and me in the final 75 61. We had a set point or 2 in the first set, and had a 52 lead (serving), but they picked up the pace of their serves and returns measurably at that point and never let us play much after that. Harris/Thompson won the 3/4 playoff in three sets over Cooke/Croft…they led a set and 42 before the NorCal team rebounded to take the 2nd set; Harris/Thompson regrouped for the third. They were amazed by Cooke’s control of her huge Weed racquet…it’s almost bigger than she is, but she has stellar control of it. Grout/Farrell beat Williams-Horne/Heston in 3 sets to place 5th.
In the 60s, Martha Downing beat Sue Bramlette 61 62 in the semis and then Kathy Barnes in the final to win her 2nd straight title here. Martha played flawless tennis in the first set and second up to 51, but appeared to tire and Barnes started hitting deeper and higher…suddenly it was 54 for Downing in the second set, on serve. There were a lot of long rallies and Downing eventually prevailed, finding her way forward to net again, to win 61 64. Toni Novack, who lost in 3 long sets to Barnes in the semis, won the bronze with Bramlette was forced to retire after only 2 games with a back injury. Molly Hahn beat Marilyn McCombs
On Friday though, Bramlette/Molly Hahn overcame a slow start (61) against Downing/Kathy Bennett, and lobbed, angled and dinked their way to a 75 second set win. The third set was close till 3-3, when Bennett/Downing won the final 3 games. It was an excellent match and the first one in the US in which Bennett/Downing were pushed to more than 2-2 in a set! Cindy Babb/Barnes (who lost in 3 tight sets to Bramlette/Hahn) took third in the doubles.
In the 70s, Dorothy Matthiessen, after escaping with a narrow three-set win over Lyn Tietz played flawlessly to beat Grace Woo and Sinclair Bill, both by scores of 62 62 to defend her 70s hard court title. She combined with Bill to beat Huss/Palmer in 3 sets and then edge Norma Veal/Roz King in three sets in the final.
Bill beat Dori deVries in the semis and deVries beat Woo in straight sets to win the bronze. Huss/Palmer won the bronze.
In the 80s, Jane Lutz once again beat Louise Russ in 3 sets and combined with Suzanne Ryerson to win the bronze. The 80s final was a close match between last year’s Gold Slam winners, Louise Russ/Doris Stephens, and this year’s clay court champions, Angie Ray and Joyce Jones, who hope to win a Slam this year. Ray and Jones prevailed in 3 sets, so are half way to a slam.
Lucy Dettmer entered the 90s this year and walked away…ran away in Lucy’s case, with the singles and combined with Dodo Cheney to win the doubles too.