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  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

    Hello from Baton Rouge, the capitol of the state of Louisiana. Baton Rouge is a little over an hour by car from New Orleans, the much more famous city in this boot-shaped state. I’m here for the national 60 clay courts which begins on Monday at the Bocage Racquet Club. The Tab Soda is still available here in the vending machine!

    Borcage RC (2)Borcage RC (3)

    My doubles partner, Susan Wright, and I arrived yesterday in Baton Rouge, and today we practiced in the morning at the site of the tournament. The club is homey, though there are lots of clay courts and a smattering of hard courts. All white attire (other than shoes) is required here…it’s also a very traditional club. An Easter egg hunt was about to start when we arrived…there were lots of excited children, girls with dresses and big bows in their hair and boys in collared shirts and shorts, and parents taking photos.


    Borcage RC (4)Borcage RC (1)

    After lunch, we decided to go downtown, to see the old and new state capitol buildings. The current state capitol building is the tallest state capitol in the USA at 450 feet. We could see it for miles and from the top should have a good view of the riverfront (it was closed, being a Saturday). There was a nice garden in front with boxwood hedges.

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    Then we drove to see the old state capitol, which is now a museum. It looks like a castle and a massive oak tree dominated the landscaping in front. On the opposite side of street was the Mississippi River. Baton Rouge is a big port and we saw lots of tankers and containers waiting for either a train or ship to transport them. There are also casinos on the river and a huge riverboat for Mississippi River cruises.

    Starred photos Baton Rouge Sony-004Starred photos Baton Rouge Sony-007Starred photos Baton Rouge Sony-011Starred photos Baton Rouge Sony-015


    There were quite a few sculptures along the river front.

    Starred photos Baton Rouge Sony-010Starred photos Baton Rouge Sony-013iphon

  • Les Grandes Dames: Crawford Cup, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    This week there is a USTA Super Category II championship at the venerable Lauderdale Tennis Club in Fort Lauderdale. Named in honor of tournament director emeritus Patty Crawford, the tournament features high level play in a tennis crazy environment. There are eight buildings surrounding the 20 clay and three hard courts here, and most of the residents play tennis; all are club members. As a result, the crowds watching the matches are bigger than those seen at some pro events and the the spectators are a knowledgeable group.

    The tournament offers singles and doubles in women’s 45/55/65 & 75 age divisions; there was also a small singles draw in the 85s.

    Today I played Anna Greer and won in singles without too much trouble, but Pam Cooke and I had our hands full against Sally Smith and Christie Cherry in doubles. We won 75 63, but were down a set point in the first set at 4-5 before winning six games on the trot. From 3/0 in the second it got interesting but we managed to close out the match with a lot of lobs and an occasional volley.

    Tomorrow I play Terri Thomson, a lefty who handled Margy Petit 60 60; in doubles we play Bottinelli/Ginnard, another tough team.

    Also in the 55s, Ann Clark rallied from 2/5 down to beat Sally Smith, the #4 seed, 75 62. The other seeds advanced without incident.

    In the 45s, Karin Weiner upset #2 seed, Tangerine Manning.

    Below are a few of the players who were enjoying watching a good doubles match. Photo credit: Sue Bramlette.