National Women’s Clay Courts: Torrid Tuesday in Houston

Houston, Texas, USA

Click here to see the draws and results.

Click here to see photos.

It was sweltering, torrid, hot, humid, oppressive, sultry…air temps around 100 with high humidity in Houston today. Not everyone survived the heat (to finish her match…no one keeled over). I warmed up again at 7:30 with Jenny Klitch and was soaked after just over 30 minutes of warm up. I played Debbie Burgess and was soaked again after about an hour of play. Jenny was less soaked but her match was shorter.

There were a few upsets and some very good matches today. And as usual the club put on a great buffet breakfast (same options as yesterday, why change a good thing?) and today a very nice lunch (salad with the fixings of nuts, fruit, cheese and dressing), bread, butter, crackers, baked sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, all the fixings (sour cream, butter, green onions, bacon, cheese) and pulled pork, shredded beef and shredded chicken…and barbecue sauce (it is Texas)…plus lemon cupcakes and chocolate chip blondies for desert.

The 55s had no upsets today other than Anna Zimmermann who had to withdraw due to illness. In doubles, Rainy Miller was able to get a replacement in doubles (Renee Heckler), thanks to the efforts of tournament director extraordinaire Sue Bramlette) and they won today. Most winning players were efficient in their matches today.

In the 65s, Lisa (Cup) Musgrave took out #5 seed Leslie Murveit 61 76. The biggest upset though was that of energizer bunny Ginny Beneke (who played a long 3-setter yesterday) over Pat Purcell…actually it was 5-5 in the first set when Pat had to retire due to injury. And it was very hot. Tomorrow I play Andrea Barnes, a 62 63 winner over Frances O’Sullivan; Beneke takes on Sherri Bronson; Bunny Jackson plays Kathy Foulk and Tina Karwasky plays Musgrave. Musgrave and Kandy Chain, the #2 seeds, had a tough match today with Bronson/Foulk. The latter team was up 5-2 in the first set and had several set points at 53 and 54 before falling 76 63. There were some stellar lobs by Sherri Bronson but Musgrave added some nice volleys and drops of her own…it was a good match.

Ginny Beneke, Brenda Carter

In the 75s, doubles partners Cathie Anderson and Brenda Winstead had to play each other in the quarters and had a long, hot, very good battle. Cathie took the first set; Brenda blitzed Cathie in the second but Cathie has unbelievably good anticipation (and a killer backhand)…she sliced and dropped her way to a third set win. Anderson plays Castell next (who took a direct, efficient path to the semis); Brenda Carter faces Sue Kimball on the other half. Anderson/Winstead won their doubles match in straight sets to reach the final against Kimball/Castell.

Cathie Anderson and Brenda Winstead right after their match, which was really a great match. They combined to reach the doubles final later in the day.

The 85s and 90s began today too. They have four doubles teams and are playing a round robin; Carol Wood/Dori DeVries and Burnett Herrick/Sheila Palmer both won. Wood beat Herrick in singles and Devries beat Laurie Leach (there are two groups of 3 players; the winners of each group play for gold; the second place finishers play for bronze).

Rita Price, Joyce Jones and Sally Fuller are playing a round robin in the 90s; Fuller is 97, Rita 96; Janet Hubbard got sick.

Rita Price and Kathy Langer

Kathy Langer came by today to visit friends and watch players…it was great to see her, it’s been years.