• Tag Archives clay
  • Kraujina, Klitch, Novack, Weber Win Singles Titles Saturday

    Kristin Kraujina of Florida won the 30 singles on a sunny, breezy Saturday. Kraujina lives in a town called Sunny Isles Beach, which sounds awfully pleasant! She won the four player round robin without dropping a set.

    Jenny Klitch of Florida dominated the 50 singles, dropping only two games (routing her opponents en route to the title one could say). She beat Yvette Kruger who is a very good tennis player, 60 61, playing steady, aggressive and smart tennis. Alice Stubbs of NC placed third, winning a tough three-setter over Canadian Adrienne Simmons.

    Toni Novack, also currently residing in Florida (there’s a theme here), upset top seeded Molly Hahn of MA 64 62, hitting her usual (for her) magical dropshots to take the 70s title. Susan Kimball placed third over Brenda Winstead.

    Inge Weber, of Canada (but spending the winter in, you guessed it, Florida) beat Dorothy Wasser, her doubles partner 75 62 to take the 80s crown. Burnett Herrick took third over Lucille Kyvallos.

    The 60s had a larger draw so only the semis were played today. I beat a tired Kathy Vick 61 62 and in the upset of the day, Wendy McColskey won a set from Diane Barker. Then Diane, according to Wendy, changed her strategy, which was a very effective adjustment since Diane won the next two sets 61 61. Their match lasted only a few minutes longer than our match.

    Klitch and Andi Piski won the 40 doubles over Stacey Williams/Mariana Hollman 61 62 in an entertaining match.

    Susan Harris/Patricia Randolph from Alabama won the 50 doubles, beating Williams/Hollman in a marathon match 76 (5) in the third!

    Ellen Goodman/Winstead upset Hahn/Kimball in the 70 doubles final, 64 67 64. Hahn/Kimball rallied from 15 down in the second to force a deciding set, but Goodman/Winstead played awfully well to get the win. It was really windy in the afternoon (I saw a tent blow over) which affected the 70s doubles match a lot but overall the quality was very good.

    Wasser/Weber won the 80s round robin doubles over Carol Wood/Herrick in three sets.

    In semifinal action, the 60s doubles semis were both decided by a third set. Ann Jacobs/Betsy Savitt took out Kathy Vick/Kim Jones in three sets while Ligia Bottinelli/Abbi Neuthaler beat Kathy Foulk/Bunny Allare 61 in the third.

    Results are here.

    Photos are here.

  • Klitch, Rice, Barker, Hahn Claim National Singles Titles Saturday in Naples

    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!

    Draws are here.

    Photos are here.

  • King Crowned 80s Champ; Nichols/Wright Win 60 Doubles in Naples

    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!

    Photos are here.

    Draws are here: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/tournamenthome?T=212073

  • Carter, O’Sullivan Win Marathon Matches in Naples

    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.

    Toni Novack
    Brenda Carter

    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.

    Carol Gay

    Photos are here.

    Draws are here: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/tournamenthome?T=212073


  • Naples Day 1: HOT!

    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!

    Photos are here.

    Draws are here: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/tournamenthome?T=212073

  • Alligator Alley…but no Alligators

    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.

    Photos are here.

    Draws are here: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/tournamenthome?T=212073

  • Practicing for the Clay Courts

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The good news is that Susan Wright and I survived our first practice and practice match on the clay…despite the fact that 30 minutes into Susan’s hit (with Vesna McKenna), Susan was nailed in the eye by a a ball which ricocheted off her racquet. (She was attempting to volley Vesna’s swing volley.)

    We had a fun match afterwards with Vesna and Jenny Klitch.

    The weather was great today, breezy but mild.

    The national clay courts begins Tuesday but we don’t play till Wednesday in Naples, Florida.

    Below are photos of Susan right after she was hit and a few hours late. She’ll survive (and duck better next time she plays Vesna!).

  • Crawford Cup Saturday: Injuries Plague 55s; Wendy McColskey Impresses in 65s Debut; All California 75s Final

    There was a lot of great tennis, particularly in singles on another sunny, warm, gorgeous day in South Florida. With temperatures approaching 80, the play also heated up.

    Starting with the oldest division: the 85s finished yesterday and Canada’s legendary Rosie Asch took home all the titles. She moves incredibly well and is the current 85s world champion. She beat Jane Lutz from the USA who won all the 85 nationals last year. In doubles, Rosie and Lucille Kyvallos beat Lutz/Wiedemann in the doubles final.

    I played the semis today against Susan Boyer. Yesterday I beat Terri Thompson from the Orlando area, a tricky lefty, lots of big forehands combined with a nice backhand dropshot; she hit a lot of lines but missed some too and I won 62 62. Today, Susan Boyer was another tricky opponent. Susan rarely misses a ball and trying to outrally her can cause you to end up in the hospital with dehydration! I came to net as much as possible and was leading 63 20 30-40 when she heard a pop and had pain in her arch. She tried to continue and won that game but had to retire. Earlier, at 4-2, I had slightly sprained my ankle, but it didn’t seem to hamper me once it was wrapped. I play Ann Clark tomorrow. Ann only played 1 game against Fran Chandler, who injured her knee in warm up with me (on a serve, not running); she too heard a pop and was having a hard time walking afterwards, She tried playing but wasn’t able to play. Ann upset #4 seeded Sally Smith earlier in the tournament and I am to play her at 9am tomorrow. Pam and I finished third in doubles because we were to play Susan Boyer and Abbi Neuthaler and Susan could not play.

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    The team Pam and I lost to yesterday, Ginnard/Bottinelli, beat the top seeds (and last year’s 50 clay court finalists), McDonald/Zanon in another marathon. We lost in 2.5 hours yesterday; McDonald/Zanon barely beat Boyer/Neuthaler 76 (5) in the third in about 3.5 hours. The match today was plenty long, won 63 67 63 and it was hard to finish a point on that court. The large crowd was highly entertained. Mary Ginnard teaches here at the Lauderdale Club and so had the crowd cheering enthusiastically for her.

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    In the 65s, Wendy McColskey rode her forehand, mobility and dropshot to a 63 63 win over Vicky McEvoy. She will face Anne Guerrant, who edged Toni Novack 76 in the first set, then won the second 61; it will be an interesting final tomorrow between players who have quite different styles of play, baseline (McColskey) vs all court. McColskey/Cindy Babb struggled past Novack/McEvoy yesterday in three sets but were sharp today against Lil Peltz-Petow/Sue Kimball, winning 61 61. McEvoy/Novack took third with a hard fought 75 75 win over Sue Bramlette/Cindy LePrevost.

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    The 75s final will pit Charleen Hillebrand and Cathie Anderson, both from SoCal against each other. They are both experienced players who have met many times before; Hillebrand dominates with her forehand and flat drives; Anderson has a beautiful slice backhand and wicked drop shot. Hillebrand/Sheila Weinstock play Carol Wood/Ria Graham in doubles.

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    The 45s is a round robin but tomorrow the two heretofore undefeated players, Martha Garzon and Tangerine Manning will meet for the title; Garzon is an all court player who uses finesse and power; Manning is a hard flatball hitter. Both are nice players and it should be a good final. Barni/O’Hern took out the #2 seeds, Cooke/Neuthaler in 45 doubles 61 61; Pam said that they were very good and hit very hard and ran very fast; they take on McDonald/Zanon tomorrow.

    Draws are here: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=192561

    Photos are here: https://goo.gl/photos/Wmf39qxu2CQjofAk8 (more will be uploaded tomorrow).

  • WINDY Quarterfinal, Semifinal Day at BallenIsles

    Yesterday, Friday, was a washout, though it wasn’t super windy or particularly cold. Today was a sunny, cool and very windy day with gusts up to 40 mph (maybe more, I’m guessing a bit). Tables and chairs blew over but no players. At times the gusts were so strong my racquet was moving around on its own while I was waiting to return serve. Fortunately, the courts at BallenIsles are hydro courts (with underground watering); if not, the clay would also have blown off the courts and the courts would have dried out and continuous all-day play wouldn’t have been possible.

    I played two singles matches. First I played Pat Hirsch from Ohio, and indoor player. She also tops out at just over five feet tall and probably 105 pounds but she kept her feet on the ground while we played. I won 60 60, and the wind probably helped me some as I was much more used to it. Then I played Becky Timmis from Georgia who was the #3 seed. She won a good match in the quarter against Meg Barclay, rebounding from a 52 second set deficit, and holding off three set points to win 64 75. I play Kathy Foulk, who had a tough match with the improving Birgitte Hostrop from Denmark, winning 63 64. She then beat Debbie Antoine 61 61 to reach the final (and won a doubles match later with Frances O’Sullivan to reach the doubles final).

    In the 40s, Kim Jones beat #2 seed Daniela Esswein 62 62 but the match took nearly 2 hours. She plays Paula Myslivecek in the final tomorrow. Myslivecek and Christina Sirianni edged Ligia Bottinelli/Stacey Williams 10-8 in the match tiebreak to reach the doubles final against Cheryl Keller/Susan Kirby in the 40s.


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    In the 50s, Erin Boynton reached the final the hard way, dropping the first set of both her matches before rebounding to win in three. First she upset #2 seed Julie Farina 16 62 62. Then, playing Rene Tharpe (who ousted #4 seeded Terri Gaskill) she went down 60 41…had Tharpe right where she wanted her apparently, because she reeled off five straight games. Tharpe got a bit too tentative and Erin did a great job of combining patience and aggressiveness in the wind to take the set which featured many lengthy games. Tharpe took a 3/1 lead in the third…and again Erin then took five games in a row, to reach the final against Shelly Works. Works beat Mariana Hollman, her doubles partner 64 64 in the same time it took Erin to beat Tharpe in three sets.


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    The top four seeds in the 50s reached the doubles semis with Keller/Kirby the only ones to drop a set (to Bottinelli/Williams, who again lost a match tiebreak).

    In the 70s, Brenda Carter/Betty Wachob are in the singles and doubles finals (against Lee Delfausse/Sue Kimball).

    In the 80s, Judy Smith scored a big upset, beating Burnett Herrick 64 76 (3) and plays Canada’s Inge Weber in the final. Weber beat Carol Wood. In doubles, Libby Keenan/Mimi Donegan beat Wood/Muffie Grieve and play Herrick/Smith in the final.

    Weather tomorrow is supposed to be very cold (low 40s at match time) but not so windy.

  • Karwasky & Wachob Win National Clay (Indoors on Hard)

    Tina Karwasky and Betty Wachob took different paths to victory in Huntsville this afternoon. Due to vicious thunderstorms overnight the clay courts were unplayable despite a mostly clear (I think) afternoon. Even the hardcourts were wet till after noon. So play was moved indoors on hardcourts.

    Karwasky won 60 63 over McColskey, and combined with Jan Kirkland -Cochran to beat the McColskey sisters 60 62 in the dbls semis. Bronson/Foulk reached the doubles final with a 63 63 win over Murveit/Purcell.

    In the 70s, doubles partners Wachob and Cathie Anderson played a marathon, won in 3 sets by Wachob. Wachob had a set point in the first set, and seemingly won the point, only to have the umpire call a let, and Anderson went on to win the set.

    Delfausse/Kimball will face Anderson/Wachob in the doubles final tomorrow.

    All results: https://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?t=156717

  • Mt Tremblant: Grade 2 Clay Tournament, Canada May 27-31

    Here is the link for Tremblant.


    Also to the ITF calendar 


    Note that the entry deadline is MAY 6, 2015





  • Julie Thu Wins 35s at the Clay Courts (Indoors!); Nancy Hilliard/Kaysie Smashey Win 35 Doubles

    The rain in Houston threatened all week…and finally made good on its promise, drenching Houston today and forcing the tournament indoors on the final day at the Galleria Tennis and Racquet Club…indoor hard courts that is.

    Julie Thu, seeded 3, beat unseeded Nancy Hilliard in a tight two-setter to win her second singles gold ball in the past month. (She won the 30 Hard Courts a week or so ago in Austin over her doubles partner, Meredith Walton). Thu/Walton then took on Hilliard/Smashey in the final which was won 2-2 retired when someone on the Thu/Walton team had to retire with an injury (I’ll update this when I find out who was hurt).

    The other match that was played was Tracey Thompson/Kathy Vick, the final of the 55 consolation. Vick earns the Houdini award of the week, she had so many escapes! She lost the first set as she did yesterday, rallied again to win the second but went down 52 in the third before rallying to tie the match, at which point Thompson had to leave to catch a plane…so Vick placed 5th in the singles in the 55s.

    Many thanks to Cathy Lassiter, Sue Bramlette, Judy Job, Harriett Hurlbut and the staff and volunteers which made this tournament so wonderful.

    Draws: http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=155251#&&s=0

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  • 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.

    Draws: http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=155251#&&s=8Results0

    Diane Barker
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    Anne Guerrant
    Cass Finerman Watanabe Dailey
    Cass, Finerman, Wtanabe, Dailey

  • BRRRRRRR…The Houston Weather Today Eclipsed the Tennis

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    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.



  • Tracy Houk Blogs from Florida: ITF World Team & Individual World Championships

    Tracy Houk


    Tracy Houk is the captain of the Maria Bueno Cup team for women 50 and over. She’ll be blogging from Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens Florida for the next two weeks.

    Click here for background information on the event and the four participating NorCal players: Houk, Fanny Gamble, Oren Motevassel and Judy Newman, selected to participate in this prestigious international team event in Florida beginning Monday.

    Click here for more information on this event.

    There are 19 nations (teams) participating in the Bueno Cup this year, representing six continents. The first 3 days of the competition will be round robin play after which the winners of each group will go into a single elimination draw and the other countries will also continue to play out down to 19th place. The USA is the defending champion in the Bueno Cup.

    Tracy’s Blog: (Click on links to read individual articles and see photos of the team.)

    Individuals: End of the Road in Florida, On to La Jolla.

    Individuals: Thursday/Friday Update

    Individuals: Wednesday Update

    April 30, 2014: Tracy won her singles today; lost mixed last night and had a day off from doubles with Anne Kerwin-Payne. Her singles was 3+ hours and she won 16 61 75. I’m sure she’ll write more soon, but I told her I’d post a quick update. It was extremely hot today, it’s survival of the fittest for sure.

    Individual World Championships: Monday/Tuesday Update, April 28-29

    Individual World Championships: April 27-28

    Saturday April 26: USA Falls to France 2/0

    Friday April 25: USA Beats Italy 2/1 to Reach Final vs France!

    Thursday April 24: Day Off to Practice, Scout and Rest 

    Wednesday April 23, 2014: USA Wins Round Robin Group

    Tuesday April 22, 2014: USA Wins First Match

    Tracy Houk Blog, Monday April 21, 2014

    Sunday April 20, 2014: USA seeded #1

    Saturday April 19, 2014:  Practice in Florida

    Friday April 18, 2014

    Good-Bye California, Hello Florida!

    Made it to the airport early this morning, around 6:30am. Judy Newman made it just in time, 7:33am, for 7:40am boarding. She was in the Yoga room. They have a Yoga room at the airport ?!!!! Yes, they do. We didn’t have seats together, but asked the nice lady in my row if she would switch with Judy, they both had window seats. I had the isle. And she obliged. No one sat between us, so Judy pulled out her Backgammon board, and 5 games later, and catching up on our life back home, we were landing in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Our teammate Fran Chandler, picked us up from the airport. We drove to the hotel and picked up our other teammate, Vicki Buholz, and went to a quick dinner. Judy and I had a 7pm court reservation. After a light hit, we headed to Whole Foods for some healthy snacks and bottled water. Finally, we got to our room, showered, and in bed by 10pm, Florida time. Look forward to our team practice tomorrow morning. Go USA !!!!! (Photos of Judy Newman, Fran Chandler, and Vicki Buholz below.)

    Judy Newman Fran Chandler Vicki Buholz

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Today, I got up early and took the pups out for a beach walk, 6AM to be exact. Latte in hand, we strolled the sand dunes, and dipped our feet in the cool waters. It was a sad finish, as I loaded up the dogs, and we headed over to the Doggie Resort, where they will stay, for the week, and home on the weekends, with Sam ( my hubby ) that left me the rest of the day to clean the house, do laundry, and pick up my freshly strung weapons ( rackets ). Now, I am waiting for Sam to come home, and we will go out for a nice dinner. It’s lonely in the house, without the (3) dogs. Until tomorrow, early, for my 8AM flight out to Ft. Lauderdale. Good night


    Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

    Last day of practice on the clay, before I leave Friday,early morning to Florida. Meeting my team mate, Judy Newman, Santa Cruz, CA at the airport. We are flying together to Ft. Lauderdale. Our other teammates, Fran Chandler, Jackson Tennessee and Vicki Buholz, Dallas, Texas, will pick us up and we will have dinner together. Judy and I have a court at 7pm to get the kinks out from our flight. We are  defending Champions, and look forward to playing the best players in senior tennis around the world.

  • Zerdan Claims 35 Singles Title; Meredith Walton/Julie Scott Thu Win 35 Doubles Crown

    Patricia Zerdan, saying that she felt no pressure this year as she was playing “down” into the 35s (she’s 40) won the 35s singles title in Houston, beating Meredith Walton, the giant slayer, in the final in straight sets. Walton had a terrific tournament, upsetting the #3 and #1 seeds en route to the final. Walton and former Stanford star Julie Scott Thu won the doubles crown in three sets over top-seeded Simona Bruetting and Gee Gee Garvin. In singles, Thu beat Bruetting in two close sets to take the bronze while in doubles, Tammy Morris/Jennifer Toney took the bronze.

    There were also a number of consolation finals to be played. Erin Boynton reported that she lost to Ann Pellow in three sets; Pellow won the first set and Boynton the second, outdoors on clay and at 3/2, Boynton leading, it began to rain, the match was moved indoors and Pellow adjusted well, winning four straight games. Morris/Emily Schaefffer won the 45 doubles consolation. Molly Hahn/Vicky McEvoy won the 65 doubles consolation and Kathy Langer/Lyn Tietz were 5th in the 75 doubles (by default over O’Sullivan/Shields). The rest of the consolation matches were played earlier in the week or were defaults.

    Burnett Herrick won the 75 consolation by default over Nanda Fischer (who lost to Herrick in the main draw); Andrea Rice beat Anna Zimmermann on Saturday to place 5th in the 45s.

    This is the best senior tournament. I can’t say enough times what a nice event it is and each year it gets better and better. Sue Bramlette and Cathy Lassiter (TDs), Judy Job (handles the checks, photos and more) and Harriett Hulbert (referee) are the core of an outstanding tournament committee. In addition to a beautiful venue, the tournament provided to every player breakfast, lunch, 2 dinners, t-shirts, hats and other items in a “goodie bag” and Texas sized hospitality. The tournament’s attention to detail is amazing. A huge thank you to Sue, Cathy, Harriett, Judy, the tournament committee, the Houston Racquet Club and its members for a great tournament.

    Draws, click here.


    35Singles: Patricia Zerdan

    35 Doubles: Meredith Walton/Julie Scott Thu

    45 Singles: Jolene Watanabe

    45 Doubles: Julie Cass/Vesna McKenna

    55 Singles: Susan Wright

    55 Doubles: Carolyn Nichols/Susan Wright

    65 Singles: Martha Downing

    65 Doubles: Kathy Bennett/Martha Downing

    75 Singles: Roz King

    75 Doubles: Dori deVries/Roz King    

    85 Singles: Rita Price

    85 Doubles: Jane Lutz/Rita Price

    Jolene Trophy Susan TrophyRoz with trophy DSC02585  DSC0258455 Final doublesDSC02596DSC02587DSC02598

  • Houston Thursday: Hubbard/Watanabe Reach First Final

    Today was a tough one on the singles court. I played Diane Barker, who, in her third year in the 55s had yet to lose a match in this division in singles. That remains the status quo after I played her today…I won the first game and she won the next 12, hitting deep, deeper deepest then, if I got another ball back, a nice angle volley. She didn’t make many errors, moved extremely well and hit deep and accurately…so I play Kim Zebot for the bronze tomorrow after Susan Wright beat her 62 62. She’s a very nice player and it will be a tough match.

    In doubles Susan and I beat Rita Rector/Julie David 62 60. The biggest drama was a rain delay when we were up 41, but it wasn’t a long one. We play #4 seeded Erin Boynton/Abbi Neuthaler who won in three sets over tournament director Sue Bramlette and Leslie Murveit.

    There were tons of good matches today in all divisions.

    In the 35s, Meredith Walton ousted #3 seeded Gee Gee Garvin 75 in the third, rallying from 0-4 down in the final set. Yulia Bolotova and #4 seeded Julie Scott Thu played next to me and were hitting the ball very very hard. Bolotova though made more errors than the former Stanford star and Julie won 63 63. In doubles, the #4 seeds, Erika Smith/Mary Dailey, fell to Cynthia Rice/Kristen Samuelson in three sets.

    In the 45s, while Jolene Watanabe played flawlessly to beat Shelly Works 61 60, Julie Cass, seeded 4, rallied from 15 down in the third set to beat Jenny Klitch. Cass/Vesna McKenna, the #2 seeds beat Klitch/Anna Zimmermann in one semi, while Smith/Alissa Finerman took out Dailey/Andrea Rice in three sets.

    In the 65s, Carol Clay beat Anne Guerrant in straight sets in the only  upset; she plays top seeded Brenda Carter in the semis while Molly Hahn (who rallied from a set down to beat Betty Wachob) plays Martha Downing. In doubles, the big upset was Barbara Hubbard/Janet Watanabe’s three set win over Wachob/Carter to reach their first final as a team. For Hubbard, it’s her first USTA final. They play Martha Downing/Kathy Bennett who bageled Clay/Ellen Goodman.

    In the 75s, after all the upsets this week, the top 2 seeds, Dori deVries and Roz King reached the final. deVries edged Lyn Little in three sets and King won a close 2-setter over Ria Graham. In doubles deVries/King edged Herrick/Wasser in three sets while Little/Dorothy Matthiessen beat Carol Wood/Graham 60 75.

  • Successful Quarterfinal Day in Houston, Semis Tomorrow

    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.


    Click here to see the draw.

  • Houston Monday: Ready, Start, Play

    Today was the last tune-up day for me in Houston. It started early, Anna Zimmermann and I hit starting a little before 8 till 9 and I hit serves afterwards. It was a really good practice. The tournament started free lunches and breakfasts today for the players (see the schedule below). I had lunch at the club, a sort of gourmet make your own sandwich bar, complete with  homemade potato chips and roast turkey baked at the Club. It was excellent.

    I watched most of a set between Teal Lang and Janet Mosely. I play the winner of that match tomorrow, Janet, who won 61 61, though the two had many good points…Janet though made fewer errors and hit nice angles.

    There weren’t any upsets today; seeds were active only in the 45s and 75s. However #3 seeded Dorothy Matthiessen had to go three sets to overcome a determined Mary Lynch and advance to the round of 16. Dori deVries had a tussle with Joan Nevins. Judy Levering won a long three set battle over Lola O’Sullivan. Carol Wood on the other hand hit a few dropshots against Dolores Beck and Beck cramped and had to retire (in fairness Beck said she started cramping before the match began…too much practicing outdoors on the weekend after suffering through the bad winter weather in NY.

    I play at 10 tomorrow and so does my doubles partner Susan Wright. We play doubles at 1:30pm…game on.

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  • Roz King into Singles Final in Villach; Van Nostrand, Powless, McCabe, Ginnard, Karwasky, HIllebrand, Fales, Drilling Reach Semis

    Roz King upset #2 seed and defending champion Inge Weber today in Villach, Austria, putting her into the final against Germany’s’ Elisabeth Von Boemmel, her conqueror in the team event last week. It is King’s first world singles final.

    Also in Villach, in a couple of All-American battles, John Powless stopped unseeded Joe Russell’s run, besting him in straight sets, to reach the semis and unseeded King Van Nostrand, a 9 times world champion, and the finalist last year, edged Bitsy Grant Cup teammate Lester Sack 76 in the third set.

    Yesterday Margaret Canby, women’s 80, Lyn Tietz and Ria Graham, women’s 75, lost close battles in the quarters.

    Charleen Hillebrand, also unseeded, continued her run through the draw, beating Frances McClennan of Great Britain to reach the semis. She plays Michelle Bichon, a 62 62 winner over American Cathie Anderson in the semis. On the other half of the draw Donna Fales also advanced to the semis, beating Germany #8 seed Birgitte Hoffmann without incident.

    Fred Drilling advanced to play Peter Pokorny in the semis in the men’s 70s while Milesi of Italy upset Jimmy Parker in the other semi.

    Richard Johnson lost a tough three setter in the quarters of the men’s 65s today.

    Later today Rita Price and Jane Lutz play the 85s singles semis. There are a lot of American teams still in the doubles and they play later today.


    George McCabe upset #1 seed and defending champion Lorne Main in a thriller 67 62 1/0 (8) (beat him 10-8 in a match tiebreak, Lorne’s second match tiebreak loss of the competition). Mary Ginnard beat Dagmar Sperneder of Austria in the 60s and Tina Karwasky won 60 60 again. Rita Price and Jane Lutz both won their semis in the 85s and will play each other in the final, probably tomorrow. Brenda Carter/Betty Wachob; Jimmy Parker/Everet Johnsson and Les Buck/Richard Johnson advanced in doubles; Clem Hopp defaulted to Doug Corbett in the men’s 85 semis.

    There will be more results later. Click on the link below to see them.

    You can find all results by clicking here.