Ronan, Works, Barker, Clay, & Weber Win Singles Titles on a Warm & Windy Sunday at BallenIsles

Canadians won two singles titles Sunday at the USTA Super Category II Tournament in Florida, at opposite ends of the age scale. Sophie Ronan won the five person round robin, which cumulated in a victory over her childhood friend and rival Paula Myslivecek yesterday. It was a hard fought 62 63 battle played in 25 mph winds and 88 degree temperatures!  Inge Weber, the reigning world champion in the 80s, trounced the field, beating Carol Wood in the final 64 62.

Shelly Works ground down Terri Gaskell in the 50s final. For the second time, Gaskill had to retire against the relentlessly fit and consistent Works, though this time she nearly finished off Works before heat exhaustion set in. Gaskill rallied from 3-5 down in the first set to take it 75, then went up 53 in the 2nd before Works rallied to take it 75. On the changeover, Works could be seen trying to help Gaskill continue (that’s who Shelly Works is, genuinely nice to the core, yet a fierce competitor), but Gaskill had to retire after just one game in the third with dehydration, and cramps. Rene Tharpe placed third with a straight set win over Erin Boynton. Shelly & Erin are shown below


Shelly & Erin

Diane Barker beat me 62 60. It was a two hour match, though I didn’t have much to show for it! She ran me all over the court and got more consistent and aggressive as the match went on.  (That running crosscourt forehand…). The 3/4 playoff was a long battle, finally won 67 75 62 by Wendy McColskey over Bunny Allare.  Diane and I are below…Diane apparently is a “Giant” killer!

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In the 70s, Carol Clay completed a successful comeback from knee surgery with a three set win over top seeded Betty Wachob, 36 64 62. Clay’s ability to hit through the wind was crucial. The 3/4 playoff was another long bruising battle between Sue Kimball and Charleen Hillebrand. Kimball prevailed 75 46 64 in about three hours.

There were lots of great doubles matches on Sunday too.

The 40s final featured the Canadians, Myslivecek and Ronan against local favorites Andi Piski (the pro at Mirasol) and Jenny Klitch (Mirasol member) , who had a large and politely enthusiastic group of students and friends watching. It was really windy and the wind was tougher to fight in doubles than in singles. I even saw a complete whiff of an overhead in this match even though the player seemed to be set up to hit it perfectly…a two ounce tennis ball is no match for a 25 mph wind. Klitch/Piski won 61 62, but they had some great points and long games and the crowd was well entertained.

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The 50s final also featured Klitch, playing with Kim Jones (a former top 30 player) against last year’s clay court champions, Mariana Hollman/Works. Jones/Klitch barely escaped the quarters with a win over Boynton/Susan Boyer but got progressively stronger as the tournament went on. In the final Jones found the alleys with volleys and Klitch both with backhand angles and volleys; they won 61 63. Boyer/Boynton won the backdraw to finish fifth.

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Pat Purcell and I edged Abbi Neuthaler/Kathy Foulk 62 36 10-6 (match tiebreak). It was very windy…there was one shot that I was ready to smash…it was 3 feet from the net and as I was swinging a gust moved it several feet and I barely touched it; at other times any one of us would be midswing and the ball would catch a gust and die, or hop over our heads. It was a good match anyway, and we were happy to escape with a win!

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The 70s and 80s finished on Saturday with Hillebrand/Wachob winning the 70s and Wasser/Weber prevailing in the 80s.

The tournament won’t be held at BallenIsles in 2018, since they will be undergoing a big renovation of their main clubhouse, but will move to the Polo Club in Boca Raton.


All results: BallenIsles Super Cat II Jan 2017

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