From the USTA Adult National Tournament FACEBOOK Page:
- Tag Archives Category I
The Men’s 60 Grass has found at home in Rancho Mirage, CA at the Mission Hills Country Club. Steve Solomon, who runs the 60 Hard Courts will take over this event from the Wesson LTC in Michigan.
Here’s the link to the tournament home page:https://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=239813
For questions, go to the home page which has Steve’s phone and email listed and hotel information.
2019 USTA Men’s Category I National Schedule
“May Gray” is a think in coastal California…when the fog off the ocean hangs onshore and it’s cool and misty (while being a toasty 100+ in the Desert). Today was a May Gray sort of day, highs and lows in the 60s, but breezier than normal and the sun absent. The weather was pretty good for playing tennis though and there was lots of action on the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club courts today.
Ros Nideffer started off proceedings with a solid 64 64 win over Andrea Rice. Rice tried a lot of things…serving and volleying, slicing and dicing, driving to Ros’ forehand…Ros was largely able to dictate with her forehand and hit some fantastic volleys too. Shelly Works beat Michelle Saunders for the bronze, rallying from 1-4 down to win 64 60. Even from a distance I could see Shelly was determined to hit balls higher than Michelle’s comfort zone. Playing Shelly when tired is a tough ask.
Susan Wright and Shannon Gordon Carney took the court next. Susan won 63 62 but Shannon impressed with her movement and solid game; Susan served great, hit the ball early and made few errors in winning the title for the second straight year. Tracey Thompson beat Leslie Murveit 62 62 for bronze.
Nideffer and Debbie Spence Nasim played Jami Jones/Deb Higa in a rematch of last December’s 40s final and though the result was the same, with Ros/Debbie winning 63 62, the match featured some lengthy games and great rallies. Paulson/Rice won the bronze with a three set win over Hammargren/Lyons.
By the time our match started on Court 1 it was after 3:30 and getting darker with a light mist. We won the first set 63, and then the mist turned to rain, and play was cancelled for the day around 5:30pm. We resume play at 9am tomorrow. The 3/4 playoff between Tina Karwasky/Carolyn Lane and Una Davis/Colleen Ferrell was a topsy-turvy affair. Una/Colleen won the first set 63…and Tina/Carolyn promptly won the second 61. On to the third where Una and Colleen went up 5-1. I went to warm up for doubles…and came back and they were still playing…a tiebreak (and Tina/Carolyn had gone up 65 before Colleen held serve to level the set). Una and Colleen finally won the set 7-5 in the tiebreak to win the bronze for the second straight year.
Brenda Carter avenged her loss to Molly Hahn at the Clay by beating her 75 64 (rallying from 1-4 down in the first set). Betty Wachob finally had a short match, beating Brenda Winstead 62 60 to take the bronze.
The 70 doubles will be played tomorrow morning.
The 80s finals are set for tomorrow: King vs DeVries and King/DeVries vs Herrick/Wasser.
Jane Lutz/Rita Price won the round robin 90 doubles gold. The last round robin matches in 90 singles are tomorrow.
I’ll add more photos tomorrow…have to get ready for an early match now!
- Court 1 matches are streamed here: https://www.ipcamlive.com/ljbtc
- Results can be found here: https://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=205807#&&s=7Draws21
- Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xE8s7qfPu3d6au33A
- Fans can tune-in to RadioTennis.com on Friday, May 11 at 9 a.m. to listen to live audio play-by-play of the day’s matches on Court No. 1. Tennis broadcaster Ken Thomas will provide the live web cast commentary at https://radiotennis.com/.
There were four singles finals on Saturday (Roz King claimed the 80s title on Friday). One match stood out though, which was the nearly two and a half hour battle between Susan Wright the #2 seed, and top seeded Diane Barker. It was a reprisal of the final of the world championships last year, and was another tight battle. Diane won the first set 64 but not before Susan rallied from 35 15-40. The second set went on serve (unusual in general in women’s tennis, let alone in the 60+ division) for the entire set with very few break points, though Susan did have a break point with Diane serving at 5-6, so also a set point. Diane played a brave point and eventually forced a tiebreak which she won 7-3, and with it another gold ball and national clay title.
The 40s final was between Jenny Klitch and Lizl Kotz. Klitch had too much variety for Kotz, winning 61 61. The 50s final between Shelly Works and Andrea Rice was won 60 61 by Rice who played brilliantly. the 70s final was also one sided with Molly Hahn putting on a great display, slicing deep and attacking throughout to win 61 61 in her first national 70s final.
There was no 40s doubles. The 50s doubles title was won by Klitch/Vesna McKenna 61 46 retired over Mary Dailey/Rice. (Rice had to catch a plane….matches started late on Saturday.)The 60s doubles was finished yesterday, won by Nichols/Wright. The 4th seeds, Kathy Bennett/Liane Bryson beat Hubbard/Watanabe to take the 70s 60 61. And the 80s finished yesterday, won by DeVries/King.
There were also a lot of bronze ball matches. In 50 singles, Alicia Rowley edged McKenna 63 76. Rowley/Works won the doubles bronze too with a straight set win over Kruger/Waterlek. The 60s 3/4 playoff was won by Bunny Allare in three sets over Frances O’Sullivan. Jones/Neuthaler won the doubles bronze yesterday. Betty Wachob took bronze in 70 singles with a 63 60 win over Lesley Pixley and she took the 70 doubles bronze too with Carter over Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman in 3 sets. This match pretty much was the last of the tournament…it was nearly 3 hours long and ended around dinner time Saturday.
The other interesting result was that between Toni Novack and Ellen Goodman who were playing for 5th in the 70s. Novack led 60 50 40-0, and made a wrong move, tried to stretch it out…and couldn’t so had to retire, leaving Goodman with the win. Never give up!
Roz King is peaking at age 80. The San Diegan easily beat a former nemesis, and good friend, Dori DeVries to win the 80 national clay courts and then teamed up with DeVries to beat the #2 seeds, Dorothy Wasser/Inge Weber in the doubles final. DeVries said she had no answers today, that King is moving great and just playing really well. Weber took the bronze in 80 singles while Carol Wood/Burnett Herrick won the doubles bronze.
In the 70s, Brenda Carter had to go to a tiebreak for the second straight day, this time in the first set, against Leslie Pixley. She won the match 76 64 to advance to the final, where she’ll meet the “new kid on the block”, Molly Hahn. Hahn ousted Betty Wachob in the semis. In doubles, Hubbard/Watanabe continued their fine play, beating Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman in straight sets to advance to the final. There they will face Californians Kathy Bennett/Liane Bryson, who took out top seeded Carter/Wachob in the other semi.
Susan Wright and I played very well to beat Pat Purcell/Bunny Allare 75 60. We didn’t drop serve the entire match (probably a first for me on clay…well on any surface!). The first set was very tight, with several deuce games…we won the set when I poached on set point (not our first one) after Susan hit a nice set up shot. We won the big points in the second set, as Bunny and Pat had game points in at least three of the games we won. Abbi Neuthaler/Kim Jones won the bronze with a tough 3-set win over Sherri Bronson (who was playing her third match in 6 hours!) and Kathy Foulk.
In the 50s, Shelly Works worked hard (and hit many many high moon balls) to oust top-seeded Alicia Rowley 63 57 63. The moon balls got under Alicia’s skin…I saw her break her racquet after losing one point, but the two had a nice handshake and hug at the net after the match. Andrea Rice beat Vesna McKenna 64 64 in a well played match to advance to the final against Shelly. In doubles, Rice/Mary Dailey will take on McKenna/Jenny Klitch.
The 40s final will be Klitch vs Lizl Kotz.
And finally, thanks to the tournament volunteers!
Frances O’Sullivan upset #4 seeded Pat Purcell in a very very long match today at the National Clay Courts in Naples. This is not the first time the two have played a long three setter, as the two bring out the best in each other. After splitting sets, O’Sullivan forged a 4-1 lead before Purcell rallied and the set fittingly ended in a tiebreak, won by O’Sullivan 9-7 (I think that’s the correct score).
Purcell though rallied to combine with Bunny Allare to play a beautiful doubles match against Sherri Bronson and Kathy Foulk. They are now in the final against Susan Wright and me. We bet Abbi Neuthaler/Kim Jones in our semi.
Susan Wright plays O’Sullivan next and Diane Barker plays Allare. Barker and Allare will be rekindling a rivalry which began as juniors in Florida.
Toni Novack had three match points today against Brenda Carter, one in the second set and two in the third, before Carter prevailed in a third set tiebreak. These courts are soft, even for clay and Toni has a wicket dropshot which repeatedly nestled into the court for a winner. Carter said she didn’t know how she won, she was just trying to hang in there! Lesley Pixley beat Carol Clay in the quarters, which on the face wasn’t an upset (though Clay hadn’t lost previously to Pixley). Clay said Pixley played a fabulous match. Betty Wachob and Molly Hahn complete the final four in the 70s.
There was a marathon doubles match as well, won by Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman 76 in the third (of course)…they rallied from 2-5 down in the third to beat unseeded Ann Loose and Andi Polisky.
The seeding committee did a great job too in the 50s, as the top four seeds advanced to the semi i singles and doubles. Andrea Rice, Vesna McKenna, Shelly Works and Alicia Rowley are in the semis; Works plays Rowley and Rice faces McKenna. Dailey Rice, Kruger/Wauterlek, Rowley Works and Klitch McKenna are in the semis. None lost a set though Dailey/Rice had to go to a tiebreak to beat Dybendahl/Esswein.
Lizl Kotz and Jenny Klitch are in the finals of the 40s. Kotz beat Renee Alexis and Klitch beat Tangerine Manning 62 61.
Roz King and Dori DeVries are in the final of the 80s with straight set wins over Inge Weber and Burnett Herrick respectively. DeVries/King upset #1 seeded Carol Wood/Burnett Herrick in straight sets and play Wasser/Weber in the final.
There was an NSWTA (National Senior Women’s Tennis Assn) social today and player dinner. Photos are in the album linked below.
And an update on Carol Gay…she was looking much better at the player dinner.
On a breezy warm (but not oppressively hot) day in Naples, nearly all the seeds were in action, second round (round of 16 or quarters) matches were played and no one ended up at the hospital…all in all business as usual. (FYI, Carol Gay was recovered enough to visit the tournament site, though said she felt woozy still. She also said the ride to the hospital…strapped to a gurney and cramping…was something special, and not in a good way. But she will be ok in a few days she thinks.)
Barbara Hubbard/Janet Watanabe (Jolene’s mom) upset Molly Hahn and Sue Kimball 76 (5) 63 today in the women’s 70s. It wasn’t Sue’s best day…she also dropped her singles match to Ellen Goodman 61 63 and in all fairness (though she didn’t complain about it), she was suffering from a calf strain. The better women on the day won. Mary Alice Pisani, who upset Carol Gay yesterday, continued her fine play into the quarters where she’ll face Betty Wachob. The other seeds advanced to the quarters including Toni Novack (below).
In the 60s, Betsy Savitt edged #5 seeded Mary Morgan 64 76. Sally Smith played a great match to upset #6 seeded Sherri Bronson 60 63. The other seeds advanced.
Dorothy Wasser showed she is more than a doubles specialist, taking the middle set off of #2 seeded Dori DeVries before fading in the third. King, Weber and Herrick, the last 3 world champions, all advanced as well to the semis.
In the 50s, the three seeds in action, McKenna, Rice and Works, advanced without incident.
In 50 doubles, McKenna/Klitch advanced to the semis while a round of 16 match has yet to be played.
All four seeds advanced to the semis in the 60s doubles, though there were some tight first sets in a couple matches…Mosely/Smith stuck with #3 seeds Jones/Neuthaler for a set, before succumbing 76 62. Peltz-Petow/Savitt likewise were neck in neck with Purcell/Allare before falling 75 60. Susan and I beat Lesley Pixley/Lee Roisman.
In the 80s, top seeded Herrick/Wood edged Kathie Meyering/Jeanette Tubbs 46 75 62. They face either DeVries/King in the semis. Wasser/Weber, the #2 seeds, advanced to the semis.26.139184-81.795813
I know those of you reading this from northern climes may not sympathize, but heat that sent at least one player to the hospital is nothing to take lightly. Carol Gay from San Diego ended up retiring against Mary Alice Pisani (NorCal) down 2/0 in the deciding set. It was shortly after noon when the ambulance and paramedics arrived and took Carol away on a stretcher. She was suffering from the heat and cramping. . However, she’s much better now and back from the hospital after IVs. Carol Gay shown below in cooler conditions.
Another very long match took place between Carolann Castell from Seattle and Rosi Fortna from Florida. It was a morning match (someone said 9:30 but I’m not sure), and they just split after 1pm! Castell finally won 26 75 62. Match of the day.
All of the seeds are in action in singles and doubles tomorrow in the 60/70/80 and most of the seeds are in action in the 50s.
The weather now is looking pretty windy and stormy out but the rest of the week looks warm but not too wet.
We play tomorrow (finally!) at 4:30 pm EDT. I tuned up with a short but excellent massage from Joann (pink shirt). Carol Clay and Susan Wright are all smiles…Carol won her match today!
Susan Wright and I left Fort Lauderdale today for Naples via I 75, aka “Alligator Alley”. We went a little south then straight west across the Everglades. We made one stop, at the Francis Taylor Wildlife area. We saw birds and fish but no alligators, probably a good thing. Florida is such a very flat state. Drivers won’t get distracted by the topography…maybe that’s why hands-free cell phone talking is still a thing here.
We went next to the Naples Bath and Tennis Club/ASC (Academia Sanchez Casal) where the tournament is being held. It was pretty quiet. After a picnic lunch, we warmed up in the gym (actually the gym was cooler than it was outside…it was in the 80s in Naples today). After some confusion (we were sent to a court that was being watered), we got in a good hit and saw a few of the players…Brenda Carter and Betty Wachob below were having a doubles match.
I dropped Susan off at the Naples Airport to get her rental car. Tomorrow the tournament starts but we play on Wednesday, so plan on some touring around Naples tomorrow.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Susan and I practiced today with Mary Dailey and Vesna McKenna. No eyes were blackened during this practice match. Susan and I warmed up for a while first…even did some ladder drills. Our match was a lot of fun. We were at the Lauderdale Tennis Club so members dropped by to watch from time to time.
The weather here is warm, upper 80s and breezy, but between the breeze and the intermittent clouds, the heat wasn’t too bad.
Tomorrow we are off to Naples. The showers still aren’t working (well, technically they work, but just leak, one into my neighbor’s apartment and the other into my downstairs ceiling). Those leaks made it an easy decision to leave early for the tournament.
Here are a couple of photos…Susan and me, Mary Dailey and Susan…Vesna was camera shy and also needed to get going.
Next report from Naples!
2018 Schedule with links has started posting on carolynnichols.com Click here to see schedule. This will be updated periodically. The date of the last update will appear on the site.
New for 2018 are NTRP National Championships in the 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 divisions.
Click here to see the schedule on USTA.com. Scroll down past the 2017 Schedule to see the 2018 Schedule (without links). Note that some dates are off on this schedule compared to the tennislink dates. I’ve gone with the tennislink dates when this is an issue.
Scroll down PAST 2017 schedule to see 2018 Schedule. Links to tournaments are not yet available.
Update: Some links now listed here: Carolynnichols.com/18Schedule
Sue Bramlette, the Tournament Director for the USTA National Women’s 35/45/55/65/75/85/90 Clay Courts in Houston has announced the 2018 dates for this wonderful tournament. This tournament is open to all USTA female members who meet the age requirement.
The dates are February 26 – March 4 2018.
Today, Saturday, Susan Wright and I played for the gold balls in Seattle against Andrea Barnes and Leslie Murveit and won 63 63 in a very fun match with lots of good points. Earlier in the day Leslie made sure neither she nor Andrea would be worn out for their doubles final by playing a very good and not overly long match against Andrea and winning it and the bronze ball.
The match of the day however was the battle between Susan, seeded #2 and Diane Barker, seeded #1. Diane had won all but one previous encounter, but it had been 10 years since the two had played on an indoor court, which is Susan’s favorite surface. Susan played a flawless first set, and Diane misfired on more backhands than usual..Susan won the set 62. Diane was more consistent and forced Susan into hitting short more in the second set and took it 62, and looked ready to run away with the match in the third when she led 3-1 and Susan momentarily looked resigned to a loss. But Susan’s backhand regained its depth and she reeled off the next 4 games before finally finishing off the set and the match 64. The third set was very high quality from both players and the first two weren’t too shabby.
France O’Sullivan/Mary Morgan took the third in the doubles with a three set win.
Susan went for a third gold ball in mixed but had to settle for a silver. Jennifer Shorr/Kurt Chan were just too powerful for Susan and Ross, serving big, volleying well and returning well to regain their mixed title first won last year. Shannon Gordon-Carney/Rollin Rhone beat Jack and Diane Barker to take bronze. Rollin was happy earlier today to receive a care package from Adidas. Rollin had his bag and racquets stolen earlier in the week downtown and bought shoes from Big 5 for the tournament…they were nearly bald by today.
On the men’s side, Mark Vines was close to going down 3-0 and 4-1 against Ross Persons, but changed up his patterns enough to eke out the first set 76 and then cruised to a 61 second set win. He faces Tony Crabel in the final.
Wes Cash/Vines won the men’s doubles with a victory over Doug Ditmer/Fred Robinson.
The men’s singles final is tomorrow. The winner takes home $2000 courtesy of Crabel Capital which sponsors the men’s 60 division at all four 60s nationals. Vines plays Crabel in the final.
Photos are here: https://goo.gl/photos/xN8UASoymWb3FtVn6
Susan Wright is a triple threat in Seattle. Today she beat Leslie Murveit 60 64 in a good match. Leslie had game points in four of the six games she lost in the first set, so it was much closer than the score would indicate. In the second set, Susan and Leslie each held, then there were five consecutive breaks of serve and Leslie led 4-3, before Susan found another gear and won the final three games. There were lots of long, full court (angle to deep to volley) rallies, keeping the viewing audience entertained. While Susan and Leslie were playing on the first court, Andrea Barnes and Diane Barker played for the first time on the last court. Diane won 63 60.
In the doubles semis, Susan and I played Carolann Castell and Anne Corsano, the #4 seeds today and won 62 60. Next to us, Andrea Barnes and Leslie Murveit fell behind 4-1 in the first set and then 5-4, but rallied to win the final 9 games of the match. We play them tomorrow at 9am.
Susan and Ross Persons beat Shannon Gordon-Carney/Rollin Rhone in one mixed semis and played really well..there were some amazing points, but Susan and Ross seemed to come up with one last shot each time. Even Susan’s father Enver was impressed! They face Jennifer Shorr/Kurt Chan who were 62 62 winners over Diane/Jack Barker.
Myron Pushyk upset #2 seed Fred Robinson, winning the third set 60 to advance to the semis against #4 seed Tony Crabel. Mark Vines and Ross Persons advanced to the semis in straight sets and play the other semi.
Doug Ditmer/Robinson play top seeded Vines/Wes Cash in the men’s doubles final tomorrow.
There was a really nice player dinner on the lawn, featuring salmon of course. The desert, a warm berry cobbler or shortcake was really special. Leslie and Andre arranged a photo of most of the women players here, though they missed one, Kari Anderson, who played mixed (shown below with Susan Wright).
Lime Bike update: Today the lime bikes were not working so I walked…they kept saying bike already in service, even though they were locked and there was basically no human customer service. Too bad, it was fun to ride them. But they have a lot of kinks to work out.
Photos are here: https://goo.gl/photos/xN8UASoymWb3FtVn6
The USTA has announced that USTA ranking points will be awarded for the ITF Senior World Championships played in Miami and for the ITF Super Senior World Championships played at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida. Points will be awarded for men’s and women’s singles and doubles. Mixed doubles points are not awarded because there are no USTA rankings for mixed doubles.
The points awarded will be equivalent to USTA Category I ranking points (10x, with 1000 points going to the event winner). Gold balls will NOT be awarded for these events and they do not count as a Category I tournament for meeting the minimum play requirement for qualifying for a USA international team (though the results may be considered when selecting the 2018 teams).
Only USTA members who are USA citizens or residents will receive ranking points.
The ITF awards international ranking points for the world championships separately. The awarding of USTA ranking points is separate and does not affect the awarding of ITF ranking points.
Super Seniors: October 14-21, 2017
Seniors: November 4-11, 2017
Super Seniors: M/W 65/70/75/80/85, S/D/Mxd (No USTA ranking points for mixed)
Seniors: M/W 50/55/60, S/D/Mxd (no USTA ranking points for mixed)
Super Seniors: Wednesday September 3rd, 2017 at 2pm British time (9am EDT/6am PDT)
Fact Sheets (with information on how to enter, how to pay, venues, hotels etc.)
Super Seniors: Click here to see the fact sheet.
How to enter: Players must have an IPIN to enter. If you do not have an IPIN do not wait till the last minute to enter, get your IPIN now!
Super Seniors: See the fact sheet
Seniors: Fact sheet not yet available, but will be posted her, at itftennis.com/seniors and at carolynnichols.com when available (and here).
Who can play?
Anyone who is in good standing with their national association (see fact sheet for further details). However, qualifying may be necessary if draws exceed 128 for singles or 64 for doubles/mixed. See the fact sheet for further details.
Questions about USTA ranking points? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There were gold ball matches and main draw 35 matches going on all around the club today but the match of the day had to be the 45 consolation doubles match between Pam Cooke/Kim Lackey, the #3 seeds and Susan Dawson/Tosha Smith. I heard that Dawson/Smith had nine (9!) match points but Pam/Kim won 16 76(14) 75 to live to play another day.
Diane Barker completed her utter domination of the 55s with a comprehensive 62 60 defeat of Tracy Houk. Barker hit winner after winner past Houk, which no one else was able to do all week. Houk moves extremely well, and defends really well, so getting the ball past her isn’t easy, but Diane hit laserlike groundies corner to corner and finished with sharp angles and volleys. She played just amazingly well. I took bronze over Susan by default (sore/tired shoulder).
in the 65s, Martha Downing was just as precise in beating Toni Novack, if not hitting with quite the same power. She hit her targets and didn’t allow Novack to hit her famous dropshots, or not often enough anyway. Molly Hahn won the bronze over Kathy Barnes.
Donna Fales moved smoothly past Charleen Hillebrand to take the 75 crown in straight sets. Suella Steel beat Sheila Weinstock for the bronze.
Jane Lutz won the 85 singles …again!
Rita Price beat Cathie Hall in the final 90s RR match, with men from a nearby senior center watching on and cheering (I heard Rita got a marriage proposal afterwards!). Rita won 61 62, she moved beautifully.
Julie Cass/Alissa Finerman won the 45 doubles, edging Jean Marie Alpert/Tammy Morris 76 75. The #4 seeds, Laura Hudson/Cynthia Rice won the 3/4 playoff over Neuthaler/Bottinelli
In doubles, Tracy Houk and Kathy Vick played a terrific match to beat Susan and me. The ball just kept coming back…our match lasted about three hours. Lots of interesting exchanges. Unfortunately for us Diane didn’t let Tracy hit enough balls to wear her out! Vicki Buholz/Marianne Caplan took the bronze with a 75 62 victory over Pam Cooke/Kim Lackey.
The 65 doubles champions are Ann Stanley/Sue Bramlette (sorry, had the wrong winner’s name earlier but the right photo!) who beat Downing/Kathy Bennett 63 21 retired (Kathy was ill). Leslie Vallejo/Kathy Barnes took the bronze with a marathon three setter over Cindy Babb/Barbara Hubbard 75 in the third.
Hillebrand/Steel won the 75 doubles over Weinstock/Jane Pang. Donna Fales/Roberta Sung took the bronze.
And the 35s were in action too today. Julie Lessiter upset #4 seed Amy McCambell but the rest of the seeds advanced to the semis including Nancy Hilliard.
Jolene Watanabe avenged her 2015 loss here in the final to Julie Cass this year, beating Cass 76 64 to win the 45 Clay for the second time. Jean Marie Alpert, who upset #4 seed Hudson in the quarters, took out #3 seeded Shelly Works 63 61 to win the bronze. In doubles, Cass is still in the running for the gold, teaming today with Alisa Finerman to beat Neuthaler/Bottincelli. They will face #4 seeded Tammy Morris/Alpert in the final.
In the 55s, Tracy Houk upset #2 seeded Susan Wright 61 64 in a two hour plus match. Tracy has wicked topspin on her backhand, a funky slice on her forehand, and a “refuse to lose” attitude…and fast fast feet. She’ll need all of that in the final against Diane Barker, who beat me 62 61 today in a match which was not nearly as competitive as even that lopsided score would indicate. I was like a target on a tree and Diane was the rifleman lining up shots…she missed a few at first, then honed in on the center. She was hitting laser-like shots to any spot on the court I wasn’t near. The good news is that the match did not wear me out for our doubles! Susan and I took on Vicki Buholz/Marianne Caplan. Caplan was nursing a knee injury from the previous day (she had to play Susan and they had a 76 64 match, followed by doubles). Susan and I won 61 62, but the points were often long and there were several long deuce games, lots of lobs again. We play Houk/Kathy Vick, the #2 seeds, in the final. They beat Pam Cooke/Kim Lackey in the semis 26 62 60. So it will be a good final tomorrow afternoon.
In the 65s, Martha Downing cruised into the final against Molly Hahn 61 62 but the 2nd set was close, every game going to deuce. Martha plays Toni Novack in the final. Toni beat Kathy Barnes 64 76, rallying from 04 down in the 2nd to win. Downing/Kathy Bennett beat Cindy Ball/Barbara Hubbard in one semi. They face Sue Bramlette/Ann Stanley, who edged Kathy Barnes/Leslie Vallejo in three sets (Kathy probably spent the rest of the day in the hot tub or ice bath…running after Toni’s drop shots and Sue’s lobs will do that to a person).
The 75s went according to the seeds today: Donna Fales beat Suella Steel 1,1 and Charleen Hillebrand beat Sheila Weinstock (who is fortunately mostly recovered from a nasty bicycle accident she was involved in last year) 63 63. Hillebrand/Steel are in the doubles final. I’m not quite sure who they play…the results say Fales/Roberta Sung but I thought Donna told me she’d lost the first set, so I’lll check tomorrow. They played Jane Pang/Weinstock.
In the 85s, Jane Lutz won again over Caroline Clark. Rita Price/Joyce Vanderpol won the 90 doubles over Elaine Mason/Cathie Hall.
In 85 doubles, Clark and Lutz are getting their money’s worth…they’ve gone 3 sets in every match, but only lost to Jones/Ray. The 85s are shown below, the top four teams.
There was a nice player dinner tonight and NSWTA silent auction. Cindy Babb won the Betty Gray Washington sportswoman award.
We had an early start today, 8:30, but it was overcast, so the shadows weren’t a factor today at least and the weather was fine, 60s in the morning and 80s in the afternoon with a brief rain shower.
I played Vicki Buholz, a 5-8 seed today. She’s from the Dallas area, and teaches tennis at T-Bar there and is a member of the 2016 USA Maureen Connolly Cup team. The conditions were quite heavy and slow which probably favored me a bit. We had a 2+ hour match which was much closer than the 61 64 score would indicate. I did a lot of running! Diane Barker took out Susan Boyer 64 61 and I play Diane tomorrow morning. Susan Wright had a tussle with Marianne Caplan but won 76 64 (and finished before Vicki and I did, even though we started at the same time). Tracy Houk outlasted Kathy Vick 62 61. Tracy and Susan, who have known each other since the juniors in NorCal, will face off tomorrow.
In doubles, Susan and I played Abbi Neuthaler and Ligia Bottinelli. We won 63 62 but it lasted nearly two hours and featured a lot of long points and games (and lobs..hey, it’s clay).
We play Vicki and Marianne in doubles tomorrow; they beat Yvonne Gallop/Anne Pellow 64 62 today. Pam Cooke/Kim Lackey took out Kathy Foulk/Terri Thompson and in the match of the day, Houk and Vick beat Boyer/Erin Boynton 64 in the third…that was a match that had a lot of long points and rallies…it was fun to watch.
The 45s finals are set for singles and will be a repeat of the 2015 final between Jolene Watanabe and Julie Cass. Both advanced easily to the final, losing only 3 games between them. so both should be well rested for the final. Cass combined with Alissa Finerman to advance to the semis. They face the team we beat today in the semis. Abbi and Ligia upset #3 seeds Cooke/Lackey 76 (4) 75, rallying from 53 down in the second to win the final four games.
In the 65s, there were a number of upsets. In singles, Molly Hahn (5) took out her doubles partner, Vicky McEvoy (3) 64 63. Kathy Barnes advanced when Anne Guerrant retired after Kathy won the second set (she lost the first). Toni Novack beat Sue Bramlette and Martha Downing took out Carol Gay. In doubles, Barnes/Leslie Vallejo upset #3 seeded Hahn/McEvoy 46 64 64 but the remaining seeds advanced, though Cindy Babb/Barbara Hubbard barely escaped with a win over Debra Pruitt/Pam Simmons.
The four top seeds prevailed in the 75 doubles, though Miller and Woo won by the skin of their teeth over Judy Janc/Norma Veal 76 (5) in the third (no wonder Norma was napping in the locker room later in the day!). However, in singles, Donna Fales, Charleen Hillebrand, Sheila Weinstock and Suella Steel advanced with ease to the semis.
In the 85s, Carol Cofer and Jane Lutz are headed for a collision as are Cathie Hall and Rita Price in the 90s.
There was a super cocktail party with great food in the afternoon and Katrina Adams came by to watch some tennis and talk to the players and answer questions here. It was nice for the Chair of the Board of the USTA to take the time out of her busy schedule to visit the best senior tournament in the world.
USTA National 40 Hard Courts: Osswald Upset by Miller in R64; Amy Frazier Makes Successful Debut as a Senior (albeit a “Young Senior”)
The seeds began play today at the 40 Hard Courts and there was some good tennis! I won my match (the woman I played was recovering from abdominal surgery though…) 60 60 and play the #2 seed and defending champion Dina McBride tomorrow. I have my “performance goals” set anyway. Una and I lost our doubles to a decent team but hope to get them back in the back if we get that far. It was a pretty fun match other than that we lost and that the sun was brutal from one side, I was guessing where the ball was located on some rallies. As you may infer from this, it was super sunny and really beautiful and in the upper 60s here today…with negligible wind.
I watched a bit of Amy Frazier’s match today. She is a former tour player and in fact sent Steffi Graf into retirement, beating Graf in her last professional match. She peaked at #13 in the world. She’s also quite tall, taller than I remembered, about 5’10” I think. She played a LJBTC member and won 61 60. All the seeds in the 40s advanced in women’s singles and doubles.
However, on the men’s side, the #2 seed, Josh Oswald, who was the #1 player on the Tony Trabert Cup this year, fell to Lew Miller, a former member of several Italia Cup teams, 61 61 first round. Miller was super steady. A few lower seeds fell too, all to excellent wild cards. Several Brazilian players are here including Marcio Carlsson, a former Brazilian Davis Cup player whose best career win is Jim Courier. He topped out at 119 in the world in singles. His sole Grand Slam appearance came at the Australian Open. He did win his opening match and he’s the #4 seed. Tony Bujan is the top seed and defending champion.
In men’s doubles, the eight seeds all advanced to the semis; top seeds USC coach Peter Smith and Neal Grover advanced without dropping a game.
Cass, Barker, Guerrant, Little and Lutz Take Home Singles Titles From Houston; 35s Final Set for Sunday
There will be no repeat singles champions this year in Houston for the first time in a very long time.
Julie Cass avenged her 2014 loss to Jolene Watanabe in the 45s. It was her sole loss in that division in 2014, she won the Grass, Indoors and Hard Courts and the Worlds in that division after the Clay. This year Watanabe had the more challenging draw, playing three sets of singles in the semis and she added doubles to the mix, reaching the final with Mary Dailey. However Cass and Alissa Finerman were too tough for the field this year, and won the final in two decisive sets.
In the 55s, there was no repeat of last year’s upset in the final; Barker hit too hard and deep for Susan Wright in the final, and won 62 60. Unseeded Cindy Johnson won the bronze with a 60 64 win over Ann Pellow. Tracey Thompson/Kathy Vick play for 5th tomorrow. Nichols/Wright won the doubles yesterday and Lackey/Pellow took the bronze.
In the 65s, Anne Guerrant, no stranger to winning national championships, took out both #1 seed and defending champion Martha Downing in the semis, but also #4 seed Kerry Young in the final, in straight sets. Brenda Carter beat Downing for the bronze. Downing didn’t go home without gold though. She combined with Kathy Bennett to win the doubles over tournament director Sue Bramlette/Kathy Barnes. Cindy Babb/Carter took the bronze.
Lynn Little, often in the winners’ circle on any surface in doubles and on faster surfaces in singles, won Houston for the first time in singles in impressive fashion, showing that she’s comfortable on all surfaces. She took out #2 seed Dori Devries in straight sets in the semis and then ousted top seed Donna Fales in two tight sets in the final. She added a doubles gold (with Claudia Giacomini), beating defending champions Roz King/Dori deVries in three sets (this is a correction; yesterday the results were posted as a retirement win). Ria Graham/Von Hippel won the bronze. Devries took the singles bronze over Graham.
Jane Lutz, who had to retire from singles last year with a knee injury, came back this year and won both singles (75 60 over Rita Price) and doubles with Price.
The 35s final will be played tomorrow and pits former Stanford star Julie Scott Thu against unseeded (but not unknown) Nancy Hilliard. Hilliard took out last year’s finalist Meredith Walton, the #2 seed 75 75 today while Thu ousted unseeded Carolina Blouin 61 61. Thu/Walton play Hilliard/Smashey in the doubles final.
The weather tomorrow looks pretty wet…hopefully the finals can be played outdoors.
Soooo..yesterday it was 81 degrees in Houston, a record at Hobby Airport…today it barely hit 40, and with the windchill it was in the 30s all day. Play was delayed three hours this morning due to rain, and main draw matches were cancelled in most divisions except the 35s and 45 singles. Players pulled out every layer of clothing they had (and borrowed other items) in an attempt to stay warm…others went shopping for gloves and hats. in the 45s, 2010 40 Clay Court champion Mary Dineen upset #4 seeded Tracy Houk in the 45s 62 61. She plays top seeded Jolene Watanabe in the semis. Julie Cass has yet to drop a game in reaching the semis and plays Shelly Works tomorrow. Cass and Alissa Finerman also reached the doubles final, beating Vicky Buholz/Cindy Johnson in the semis. The other 45s semi is scheduled for Friday. Top Seeded Patricia Zerdan pulled out of the 35 Clay Courts and out of the 40s Cup team as well with what I heard was a shoulder injury. We wish her a speedy recovery. That gave Carolina Blouin a walkover into the semis. An intriguing match tomorrow is Gee Gee Garvin and Nancy Hilliard. There were no other main draw matches today, but lots of consolation matches took place. In the 55s #2 seeded Pam Cooke/Tracey Thompson beat #4 seeded Erin Boynton/Abii Neuthaler to advance to the final of the consolation doubles against Dawson/Lang.
Kathy Langer received the Betty Gray Washington Sportswoman award today at the dinner, voted upon by her peers. It was well deserved.
The weather in Houston has been subject to a lot of discussion and many views of the Weather Channel on everyone’s smartphone this week. Originally it looked like a lot of rain each day…that hasn’t materialized fortunately. However, after a warm day today (low 80s), tomorrow brings a resumption of frigid weather (high of about 40) and wind. However the past two days have been pleasant and lots of great tennis has been played. The 35s begin tomorrow.
The 45s are out to the quarters, with Pam Ponwith scoring the only upset, over Daniela Esswein, a 5-8 seed. In doubles, the top four seeds reached the quarters. The top four seeds in the 45 doubles all advanced to the semis without the loss of more than a few games today.
In the 55s, Cindy Johnson began the tournament with a win over a 5-8 seed, and today beat #3 seeded Kathy Vick 60 63. The match was closer than the score, particularly the second set. Cindy is as patient though as Kathy, and there were lots of long moonball rallies, but Cindy was more effective at net and won the long rallies. Erin Boynton took on Susan Wright on the front court. Erin served well and used her heavy ground strokes to push Susan out of her comfort zone but Susan won the key points with some great passing shots and angles and made fewer errors in her 63 64 victory. Diane Barker made short work of Athena Cajas, winning 61 61. Ann Pellow rallied from a set down to beat Tracey Thompson 16 62 63. Thompson commented that Pellow played really well, hitting multiple lines and playing consistently deep. Barker plays Pellow and Johnson plays Wright tomorrow. In 55 doubles, yesterday, Ann Pellow/Kim Lackey upset the #2 seeds, Pam Cooke and Tracey Thompson 64 75. Pam and Tracey led 41 in the first set before Kim and Ann rallied, then Kim and Ann led 53 in the second only to go down 5-5 0-40 before rallying for the win. Today Susan Wright and I beat Yvonne Gallop/Kathy Foulk (who had taken out the 4th seeds) 63 62. We play Kim Steinmetz/Kathy Vick in the final. They beat Lackey/Pellow 62 62 today. This is a rematch of last year’s 55 indoor final.
The 65s had no upsets after the win by Pell over Bramlette on Monday. The top four seeds are out to the semis. Martha Downing is into the semis without losing a game and plays Anne Guerrant tomorrow while Brenda Carter takes on Kerry Young. In the 65 doubles, Cindy Babb/Brenda Carter rallied to beat #3 seeded Molly Hahn/Vicky McEvoy in three sets; they face #2 seeds Sue Bramlette/Kathy Barnes in the semis. Downing/Kathy Bennett face Bunny Smith/Kerry Young.
In the 75s, Ria Graham, a 5-8 seed, after narrowly avoiding an upset herself on Monday (winning 76 in the third against Kathy Langer), beat Roz King, the third seed, 76 (6) in the third set tiebreak today. She plays Donna Fales tomorrow, while Dori Devries, a three set winner over Dorcus Miller takes on Lyn Little. In doubles, Graham and Jessie Von Hippel ousted #4 seeded Chris Smith/Michaelin Watts 62 61 while Langer/Lyn Tietz, seeded 3rd, fell to Judy Janc/Susan Martin.
In the 85s, Jane Lutz takes on her doubles partner, Rita Price in the final.
Photos below from play on Tuesday and from the breakfast provided by the Club for the players (which is fantastic).
50s: Carolyn Nichols (email@example.com)
60s: Anne Schwartz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
65s: Andrea Barnes (email@example.com)
80s: Roz King (firstname.lastname@example.org)
85s & 90s: Cathie Anderson (email@example.com)
Overall Circuit Chair: Carol Clay (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note: Carol Clay will appoint a temporary seeded for anyone who is playing a tournament in the age division for which she is a seeding assistant.
Division for seeding Name Email Address 30 Steve Hayden email@example.com 35 Steve Cornell firstname.lastname@example.org 40 Chuck Gill email@example.com 45 Arvind Aravindhan firstname.lastname@example.org 50 Mike Vandergrift email@example.com 55 Matt Jacob firstname.lastname@example.org 60 Jim Nelson email@example.com 65 Bruce Levine firstname.lastname@example.org 70 Jerry Thomas Jthomas@kandsins.com 75 Brett Haberstick email@example.com 80 Wesley Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org 85-90 Allen Dunbar email@example.com Larry Turville firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, Wednesday was super busy at the Houston Racquet Club. Matches began at 8am and it was barely light then. Susan Wright and I got to the club at 7:30 for warm up and the lights were still on while we warmed up. It was overcast and muggy and breezy but not raining…a normal Houston day I suppose.
I played Leslie Murveit from Portola Valley, CA. We’ve played a number of times and always have tough battles. Today wasn’t different. I won 61 61 but the match lasted over 90 minutes and the latter part of the second set we really battled, long long points, mostly won eventually on a winner or forced error.
Susan won 63 64 against Ann Pellow, another NorCal player, from Davis, near Sacramento and new to the 55s. The other successful 55 quarterfinalists were Kim Zebot of SoCal who beat Alcira Sisca (the vanquisher of #4 seeded Erin Boynton) 75 63 and of course Diane Barker who beat Sally Smith 61 61. I play Diane tomorrow at 10:30.
In doubles, Susan and I played two San Diego players, Sue Sprague and Lyn Ellis. The wind was really tricky and swirly but we won 60 63 to advance to the semis against Rita Rector and Julie David.
In other action, the top 4 seeds advanced comfortably to the semis in the 45s. Of note was Jenny Klitch’s 63 62 win over Andrea Rice. The top 4 seeds in doubles advanced, though both Erika Smith/Alissa Finerman and Vesna McKenna/Julie Cass, the #1 and #2 seeds respectively, needed 3 sets to win, both against tough Houston teams.
In the 65s, the top 8 seeds advanced to the quarters, all in straight sets (great job seeding Joan!). There was one doubles upset: Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman ousted Vicky McEvoy/Molly Hahn, with the Floridians handling the windy conditions very well. They were so happy they were going home to wash their new “lucky” outfits so they could wear them again tomorrow.
In the 75s, Ria Graham scored her second straight upset, beating Kathy Langer in three sets, to advance to the semis. Lyn Little, Roz King and Dori deVries also advanced, though Dori had to play three tough sets to overcome Burnett Herrick. Herrick and Dorothy Wasser though easily took out Langer/Lyn Tietz to reach the semis along with deVries/King, Little/Dorothy Matthiessen and Graham/Carol Wood.
The 85s seeds, Louise Russ and Jane Lutz reached the semis.