Sunny Thursday: Finals set in the 50s, 60s & 80s

Wednesday was a day of upsets in the 50s, as the 2, 3 and 4 seeds all lost. Tracy Houk, playing her first 50s tournament, but a former 40s champion, edged three-time defending champion Susan Wright 63 16 76 (0). Houk came into this event unseeded, due to her long layoff from tournament play, but not unknown. She warmed up for this event by playing the 30 indoors the week before (singles/doubles & mixed), and some open tournaments in NorCal, so was not unprepared. She rallied from 1-3 down in the first set, then seemed to start limping and Wright ran out the second set. During the 10 minute break between sets, Tracy said that the trainer told her to stop., that she seemed to have hurt her Achilles tendon. That fired her up instead and she ran like a deer in the third, throwing up high backhand topspins, wicked angles and Wright found it difficult to put the ball away in the end. It was a terrific match, with great tennis from both players. Kathy Vick beat #3 seeded Susan Love in three sets, 64 in the third, hitting high balls to Susan and making very few errors. Tina Karwasky attacked well, especially off her return of serve and beat #4 seeded Carolyn Nichols 64 46 64. Nichols rallied from 1-5 in the third to make it interesting, but Tina won the final game easily.

In doubles, Tracy Worley/Wendy Mahan upset the #2 seeds, Karwasky/Tracey Thompson in three sets under the lights. They played aggressively and Thompson also had trouble with the lighting conditions. Today Tracy and Wendy beat Kathy Vick and me in three sets. The doubles match of the day was between Holliday/Fairbanks-Nideffer and May-Fritz/Wright…it went down to the wire, with the top seeds, Fritz/Wright prevailing 63 36 75….Fritz/Wright at one point rallied from 0-3 to go up 63 3-0….then lost 7 games on the trot. The third set went back and forth before the top seeds won. Great points!

Today, Tina Karwasky and Fran Chandler played the match of the day, in singles anyway…Karwasky started out on fire…won the first set against Fran Chandler 60! Since Fran runs everything down and makes few errors, it’s a testament to Tina’s aggressive yet consistent play that she was able to beat the 45 world champion so decisively for a set. Chandler steadied down, changed up her tactics and started reading Karwasky’s patterns better in the 2nd set, winning it 61, and looked like she was going to win the third handily when Karwasky made a few errors and Chandler went up 4-1. Karwasky got more aggressive then and leveled the match at 4-4, and had a point for 40-15 and a short high volley, which found the net. That gave Chandler hope and she finally closed out the highly entertaining match 64 in the third. Tracy Houk outrallied Kathy Vick 61 61 to reach the final against her doubles partner Fran.

In doubles,

The upset in the 70s was in doubles, Huss/Palmer, a LBTC team took out the #2 seeds Veal/Weinstock in straight sets, then beat deVries/Matthiessen today to advance to the final. In singles, Suzanne Clark had to be taken to the emergency room with an irregular heartbeat; she had split sets with Dori deVries but was unable to continue.

There were no other upsets in the 60s, 70s or 80s. Lutz/Stout play the 80s final and Clay/Downing play the 60s final. Downing finally took out Molly Hahn in 3 sets…Hahn’s third 3-setter in a row…then Hahn/Bramlette won the semis of the doubles in 3 sets over Bennett/Morgan.

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