Rita Price Wins First Singles Gold Ball, Saturday in La Jolla

Rita Price won her first singles gold ball today, beating June Dickey in straight sets in the final. Dickey handed Eisenstein, who 2 years ago won this event without the loss of a game, her first loss in the 80s, in a tough 3 set battle. Price upset Elaine Mason in 3 sets in the other semi. Eisenstein won the bronze when Mason retired with an injury during the first set.
Betty Eisenstein had taken a tumble earlier in the week during a match,  but told me that she learned to fall as a youngster when she used to figure skate and that she came away from the fall with only a bruise on her arm. (She’s obviously a better faller than Karen Shepard, who, after falling and shattering her left wrist and having surgery on it Tuesday, hung out watching matches all week.)
Mason and Dickey took the doubles gold, beating Price and Pyachart Hussey in 3 sets in the final.
The match of the day was the 50 final between local favorite Kathy May Fritz, who was playing her first USTA singles national since the 35s, and Tina Karwasky, who in her last year in the 50s, had not dropped a match in that age division…till today. Karwasky started well, holding off 3 set points on her serve at 4-5 in the first set, as well as a break point at 6-5 to win it 7-5. May Fritz then raised the level of her game, increasing her aggressiveness to win the final sets 62 62. Her fluid game is lovely to watch.
Chris Ramsower-Pearlstein and Robin Ogburn won the 50 doubles yesterday over Melanie Wheatley/Sherri Bronson 76 62. Chris had to play a consolation singles match before and after that final…the 2nd one, against Frances O’Sullivan went to 7-6 in the third.
Charleen Hillebrand won her first singles gold of the year, having fallen a match short of gold at the 65 clay courts (losing there to Suella Steel). She beat Cathie Anderson 76 62, her more aggressive play compensating for the fact that she makes a few more errors than Cathie. Betty Wachob took the bronze.
Charleen made it a double when she combined with Norma Veal, a last minute replacement for Suella Steel (who had to withdraw due to a family emergency), to beat Judy Louie (also a replacement, for Brenda Carter, who also had a family emergency), and Betty Wachob 64 in the third. Norma hit her usual big forehands and Charleen then made some great poaches off the response to Norma’s bullets.
Dorothy Matthiessen won the 70 singles when Dori deVries had to withdraw with a pinched nerve that left her leg numb and her body in pain. The day before Dorothy and Dori combined to beat Belmar Gunderson and Mary Boswell in the 70 doubles final. The match everyone was engrossed in today, at least everyone in the 70s, was the match between Burnett Herrick and Boots Van Nostrand. It went on for hours (I know…Mary Ginnard and I were waiting for their court for about 90 minutes before the TD finally put us on another court). Boots led 5-3 in the first set but Burnett rallied to win it 7-6, Boots won the 2nd 6-3, but Burnett had more gas in the third, winning it 6-1.
Dodo won gold ball 351, taking her first 90s title over Billie Burr of Florida.
On the injury front: Penny Thomas was dehydrated and was fine after a night at the hospital…2 long 3-setters, even in 60 degree weather were a lot; Doris Hakman, who had gone to the hospital with dangerously high blood pressure (she had multiple bypass surgery less than 6 months ago) went home to Hawaii after treatment;

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