Let the Play Begin: Monday in Houston at the National Clay Courts

Draws are here.

Play began in the 55/65/75 divisions at the National Clay Courts in Houston. The 85s begin tomorrow, the 45s on Wednesday.

No seeds were in action in the 55s and 65s, though there were some epic three setters. It drizzled in the morning and the balls and playing conditions were sloooooow! The balls turned green and into soggy (imagine a tennis ball after 10 minutes of playing fetch with a golden retriever and you get the idea) mess. However, though the sun didn’t make much of an appearance, the weather was nice, overcast, 80ish, with calm winds.

The 75s singles had some amazing first round match ups. Fortunately for all concerned, Toni Novack had a bye so no one pulled a hamstring trying for one of her legendary drops (same could be said of Anna Zimmermann in the 55s). But everyone who could was hitting drop shots, the balls just were dying on the court.

On court one, Lesley Pixley and Brenda Winstead played a really good match, with Pixley winning in three sets. Her reward? A match with top seeded Gwenda Ward tomorrow. Another good matchup was Heather Fiscalini and Janet Watanabe. Heather won in two tight sets and admitted she had to hit a lot of drop shots. Barbara Hubbard upset #5 seeded Carolann Castell in two tight sets and plays unseeded Molly Hahn next. Brenda Carter edged Ann Heim, an excellent local player, in two tiebreak sets . More to come tomorrow…there was a draw of 29 in the women’s 75 singles.

I had the day off, and practiced singles at 8 for an hour followed by a long practice set of doubles with Susan. Tomorrow I play at 11:30, Susan at 12:30, doubles at 3:30 and the NWTO annual meeting at 4:30 (hoping we get on early for our doubles).

There was a nice lunch today (really good cabbage salad with a vinaigrette dressing), and I spoke with several of the 85s ladies. Margaret Canby was sad that she was the only one there to play 90s…another player had entered but decided not to come all the way to Texas from Florida to play one match…but Margaret was enjoying catching up with friends. She plays on a Texas 70+ team and is winning matches there! We both mourned the loss of her doubles partner, Rose Austin a few months ago…she was such a nice lady.

Margaret is center below; The ladies wanted a selfie, and then Margaret wanted the photo air dropped to her!
Dori DeVries, Burnett Herrick, Carol Wood, Women’s 85s

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