• Tag Archives Texas
  • Houston Day 7: Smashey Wins 35 Singles; Morris/Toney Win 45 Doubles

    Click here to see the draws and results. 

    Click here to see photos.

    Sunday was the final day of the 2021 Clay Courts in Houston, which was the 50th anniversary of this tournament. It’s always a great event but this year’s edition seemed better than every. Many thanks to everyone who made the tournament great, especially Sue Bramlette and the very supportive Bob Bramlette. It was fun and see you next year!

    Kaysey Smashey beat Alina Mihailescu in three sets to win the 35 clay singles.

    Jennifer Toney/Tammy Morris won the 45 doubles over unseeded Corrine Loeffler/Kristin Warren 76 60. Brandi Bratek, the third seed won the bronze.

    And that’s a wrap on the 2021 Clay Courts in Houston…coming up, the 40-80 Clay in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida!


  • Houston Day 6: Julie Thu Blanks Field to Win 45 Clay; Kaysie Smashey/Thu Win 35 Doubles

    Click here to see the draws and results. 

    Click here to see photos.

    Last night I flew to Florida for the 60 national clay but the Houston tournament is still going. The tournament was scheduled so the older divisions started on Monday, the 45s on Wednesday and the 35s on Thursday.

    Julie Thu won the 45 singles title without dropping a set. She beat #2 seed Luciana Roldan in the final. She’s an amazing player, lefty with double handed groundies. She pummels the ball after angling opponents off the court. Leslie Wargo mount an impressive comeback to take the bronze over #3 Dianne Lee 06 62 63.

    Julie Thu

    In the 35s, Kaysie Smashey and Alina Mihailescu are in the final which will be held tomorrow (Sunday) morning. Smashey and Thu won the 35 doubles over unseeded Linda Sheldon/Megan Wnuk 62 60. Brandi Bratek (3) will face Chiara Combs for the bronze.

    In the 45 doubles, the top seeds, Anne Frautschi/Susanne Zuniga defaulted to Jennifer Toney/Tamy Morris, the 3rd seeds; they play Corrine Loeffler/Kristin Warren who took out the #2 seeds Stacey Williams/Mariana Hollman and the #3 seeds, Rainy Miller/Vikki Dudley to reach the final which is Sunday. Miller/Dudley won the bronze by default over Frautschi/Zuniga.

    In 55 consolation singles, Tracey Thompson beat Paulson by default over Christine Paulson.

    In 65 consolation singles, Pat Purcell beat Frances O’Sullivan 60 60.


  • Houston Clay Nationals Day 5: Klitch, Nichols, DeVries, Price Win Singles Titles; Buholz/Prejean Take 55 Doubles

    National Women’s Clay Courts, Houston, Day 5

    Click here to see the draws and results. 

    Click here to see photos.

    It was another beautiful, sunny warm (but not humid) day in Houston Friday, and there were a lot of matches both in the main draw and consolation draws. 

    As usual there was a delicious lunch and breakfast for the players…on the menu for lunch were make your own burger (using hamburger, barbecued chicken or portabella mushrooms), various salads, green, coleslaw, potato, house made potato chips, sweet potato fries and the club’s awesome cookies. Again, I cannot say enough thanks to Sue Bramlette for directing the best senior tournament, full stop. 

    I had a 9am match, and Jenny K and I warmed up as usual at 7:30. I played Tina Karwasky, the 2017-9 champion in the 65s and won 62 63. Tina slipped during the second set and skinned her knee…she was icing it, her other knee and right shoulder after the match. The conditions weather wise were perfect..70s and no wind, but the extreme contrast between sun and shadow made play tricky at times. Bunnie Jackson beat Sherri Bronson in three sets to take the 65 bronze. Lisa Musgrave beat Andrea Barnes in three sets to place fifth. In the consolation to determine 9th place, Pat Purcell beat Leslie Murveit in three sets and takes on Frances O’Sullivan next. 

    After I finished, we took some photos and I watched Jenny Klitch, (#1 in the world in 55s) play Renee Saheim, an energetic lefty who is an excellent player. Klitch though played a terrific match, smacking winners left and right (no Renee hit seemed safe from Jenny’s returns) and making Renee run a lot. The points were great but Klitch won 62 62. Gayle Prejean took third. In consolation, beating Laurie Capra 62 ret. (Capra had a loooong match two days earlier, with kathy Vick, plus doubles), Tracey Thompson won a marathon with Heidi Gerger 67 76 (12) 63! She faces Paulson in the 9-10 playoff. Vicki Buholz won the 5-8 playoff over McWilliams (winner of the 5 hour 15 minute match against Kathy Vick yesterday) 61, ret. McWilliams was pulling up after every point. Winning a match against Kathy Vick this tournament was a pyrrhic victory. After singles Renee had the doubles final with Lori Gonzalez against Buholz/Prejean, the 55 world doubles champions. Buholz/Prejean dropped the first set but rallied to win and take the gold in three sets.

    Dori Devries won the Women’s 85s when Carol Wood had to retire after dropping the first set 64 with hamstring and arm injuries. Sheila Palmer took the bronze over Burnett Herrick 64 64. Laurie Leach was 5th.

    Julie Thu took very little time in beating Dianne Lee Friday..Lee didn’t play badly but Thu just kept hitting winners at the end of points, angles then line shots. She plays Luciana Roldan in the 45s final this morning. In 45 doubles, the 1, 3 and 4 seeds survived but the #2 seeds, Stacey Williams/Mariana Hollman lost to Loeffler/Warren.

    Kaysie Smashey started her tournament with a win in the 35s and faces #3 Brandi Bratek in the semis. Alina Mihailescu (2) faces unseeded Chiara Combs who beat the 4th seed when she had to retire at 1-1 in the third set.

    Rita Price won the 90 singles despite not having played singles for two years and being 95! She attributed her wins to Tai Chi and dancing…and she is a very good dancer. If you are on Facebook check out the video from the player party of Rita dancing to New York New York.


  • Houston National Clay Courts Day 4: Carter Takes 75 Singles Crown (corrected); Jackson/Savitt Win 65 Doubles; Castell/Kimball Win 75 Doubles; Devries/Wood Win 85 Doubles

    Houston, Texas

    Click here to see the draws and results. 

    Click here to see photos.

    Brenda Carter mounted an impressive comeback in the second set to win the 75 singles gold ball in Houston today. She won 62 76(8), rallying from 2-5 in the second set against Carolann Castell. Castell did a good job during the second set of hitting deep and finishing at net to forge a 5-2 lead, but Carter became more aggressive according to Castell and closed out the match in straight sets.

    In the 55s, Jenny Klitch beat Laurie Capra 61 61 and Renee Saheim beat Gayle Prejean 62 63 to advance to the final. Klitch and Capra played in the shadows on the third court down but Klitch played a near perfect match, and ran off what was left of Capra’s legs (she had a marathon match yesterday with Kathy Vick). Saheim and Prejean played in front of the clubhouse and it was an interesting match; they hadn’t played before and you could see the players adjust their strategies; Saheim, a lefty, alternated drops, approaches to the net, and hard hit backhands in her win. In the backdraw, Vicki Buholz went down 4/0 against Shelly Works, then won the next 12 games…Jacqueline McWilliams edged kathy Vick in a 5 hour 15 minute match to reach the 5/6 playoff match against Buholz…I heard there were a lot of high (moon) balls in that match.

    Saheim/L Gonzalez, unseeded, took out the # 2 seeds in 55 doubles yesterday and today beat the #3 seeds, both in straight sets. They face Buholz/Prejean who won in straight sets to reach the final.

    Tina Karwasky just loves the matchup with Sherri Bronson…it’s great for Tina and bad for Sherri, matchups are like that sometimes. Tina won 60 60 and Sherri said Tina played flawlessly. I played Bunny Jackson and won 60 61 in a good match, closer than the score. Bunny is a tall lefty and tricky, it was a good win and am looking forward to tomorrow. In the backdraw Andrea Barnes beat Kathy Foulk 61 61 and Lisa Musgrave ended Ginny Beneke’s singles tournament 61 61 by coming to net on most points.

    In 65 doubles, Bunny Jackson/Betsy Savitt edged Andrea Barnes/Leslie Murveit in the first set of the final 76, rallying from 1-4 and 4-5 down, then took the second 62 to win the gold. Karwasky/Jan Cochran won the bronze over Kandy Chain/Lisa Musgrave 62 62.

    Bottom: Carol Wood/Dori DeVries, Brenda Carter, Winstead, Anderson, Kimball, Castell

    Castell/Sue Kimball won the 75 doubles 60 76 over Cathie Anderson/Brenda Winstead. Till the second set Castell/Kimball hadn’t lost a game all tournament. Elizabeth Barnhill/Sherri Floor took the bronze.

    The 85 doubles title was won by Dori DeVries/Carol Wood in a tight match over Sheila Palmer/Burnett Herrick 75 76. Palmer thought her team had some set points along the way.

    The 45s is underway and Leslie Wargo upset 3rd seeded Teresa Merklin to reach the semis as the other seeds advanced. Thus far there are no upsets in 45 doubles.

    The 55, 65 & 85 singles final and 55 doubles final are tomorrow.

    And here is Rita Price, 95 (winner of 90+ singles), singing and dancing to “New York, New York” a player party in Houston.


  • National Women’s Clay Courts Day 3: Jones/Kuckhahn Win 90 Doubles

    Houston, Texas

    Click here to see the draws and results. 

    Click here to see photos.

    The weather changed from torrid to delightful overnight and today it was breezy, sunny, warm and the humidity dropped (in other words Houston weather changed to San Diego weather). I even had to get out my warm up pants and jacket! The tennis wasn’t bad either!

    Lunch today was excellent; salad with all the fixings (cheese, olives, mushrooms, peas, corn, pecans and more); chicken, beef and pork which could be put into a tortilla cup with the fixings (beans, salsa, avocado etc.), tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, and three kinds of cookies.

    And there was tennis too. I played at 9am…Jenny K and I warmed up early, then I played Andrea Barnes. I won 60 62 but the second set in particular was quite good; Andrea and I both had to make some strategy changes as the match advanced. Jenny beat Jacqueline McWilliams from Texas 60 61 but they had some great points and used the entire court.

    In the 65s, the seeds advanced; I play Bunny Jackson (a 6′ lefty) who beat Kathy Foulk 60 63; Tina Karwasky fended off a challenge from Lisa Culp Musgrave, 76 (5) 62; Lisa had a set point and missed a drop shot in the first set. Sherri Bronson ousted and outlasted Ginny Beneke (described as an energizer bunny) 75 57 61, using her experience and competitiveness to win the match. However, the doubles matches both resulted in upsets; Jackson/Betsy Savitt beat Karwasky/Jan Cochran (#1) 60 46 61 and Barnes/Leslie Murveit took out #2 seeds Musgrave/Kandy Chain in three long sets 75 36 64…the final should be another great match.

    In the 55s, Renee (Tharpe) Saheim (5) played a great match to beat Vicki Buholz (#2); Renee is a lefty with a great two-handed backhand, nice volleys and excellent mobility…she won 64 61. Renee plays Gayle Prejean (5) who upset Shelly Works (4) 63 62 in a match that had VERY long rallies…the match lasted several hours. Laurie Capra (unseeded) beat #3 Kathy Vick in a match that was about three hours long 64 67 64. Towards the end of the third both competitors had game points in the 4-4 and 5-4 games but Capra finally got over the finish line with an aggressive groundstroke. The 55 doubles are still going on…

    In the 75s, Brenda Carter beat Sue Kimball 62 64; Kimball said it was the best she’d played to date against Carter; Carolann Castell took out Cathie Anderson (winner of the marathon with Brenda Winstead yesterday) 62 63. Speaking of Winstead; after finishing play yesterday (she also played doubles with Anderson after their three-set singles), she had to visit the emergency room for full body cramping. Castell/Kimball were supposed to play Anderson/Winstead today but agreed to postpone the match till tomorrow to allow Winstead some recovery time (unless it rained in which case Castell/Kimball would take the default according to Kimball). The weather forecast though is for dry weather tomorrow.

    In the 85s, Carol Wood and Dori DeVries won their respective round robin groups and will play the final on Friday. In doubles Burnett Herrick/Sheila Palmer and DeVries/Wood both won easily and will play their final round robin match, this one for a gold ball, tomorrow.

    The 45 singles and doubles began today; there were no upsets but Dianne Lee (3) had to dig out a tough match against Emma Nguyen 36 60 76 (4).

    And then for the 90s…I had the ages wrong yesterday: Rita Price is 95; Sally Fuller is not 97 but 91 or 92; Janet Hubbard is 92 and Joyce Vanderpol is 97 (see photo below). Also Joyce Jones is 91. Trudy Kuckhahn and Jones won the gold in the 90s over Vanderpol/Fuller 60 62. Jones beat Fuller in the round robin singles 62 60 and Price beat Hubbard by default; Price and Jones play tomorrow.

    Fuller, Vanderpol, Jones, Kuckhahn


  • National Women’s Clay Courts: Torrid Tuesday in Houston

    Houston, Texas, USA

    Click here to see the draws and results.

    Click here to see photos.

    It was sweltering, torrid, hot, humid, oppressive, sultry…air temps around 100 with high humidity in Houston today. Not everyone survived the heat (to finish her match…no one keeled over). I warmed up again at 7:30 with Jenny Klitch and was soaked after just over 30 minutes of warm up. I played Debbie Burgess and was soaked again after about an hour of play. Jenny was less soaked but her match was shorter.

    There were a few upsets and some very good matches today. And as usual the club put on a great buffet breakfast (same options as yesterday, why change a good thing?) and today a very nice lunch (salad with the fixings of nuts, fruit, cheese and dressing), bread, butter, crackers, baked sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, all the fixings (sour cream, butter, green onions, bacon, cheese) and pulled pork, shredded beef and shredded chicken…and barbecue sauce (it is Texas)…plus lemon cupcakes and chocolate chip blondies for desert.

    The 55s had no upsets today other than Anna Zimmermann who had to withdraw due to illness. In doubles, Rainy Miller was able to get a replacement in doubles (Renee Heckler), thanks to the efforts of tournament director extraordinaire Sue Bramlette) and they won today. Most winning players were efficient in their matches today.

    In the 65s, Lisa (Cup) Musgrave took out #5 seed Leslie Murveit 61 76. The biggest upset though was that of energizer bunny Ginny Beneke (who played a long 3-setter yesterday) over Pat Purcell…actually it was 5-5 in the first set when Pat had to retire due to injury. And it was very hot. Tomorrow I play Andrea Barnes, a 62 63 winner over Frances O’Sullivan; Beneke takes on Sherri Bronson; Bunny Jackson plays Kathy Foulk and Tina Karwasky plays Musgrave. Musgrave and Kandy Chain, the #2 seeds, had a tough match today with Bronson/Foulk. The latter team was up 5-2 in the first set and had several set points at 53 and 54 before falling 76 63. There were some stellar lobs by Sherri Bronson but Musgrave added some nice volleys and drops of her own…it was a good match.

    Ginny Beneke, Brenda Carter

    In the 75s, doubles partners Cathie Anderson and Brenda Winstead had to play each other in the quarters and had a long, hot, very good battle. Cathie took the first set; Brenda blitzed Cathie in the second but Cathie has unbelievably good anticipation (and a killer backhand)…she sliced and dropped her way to a third set win. Anderson plays Castell next (who took a direct, efficient path to the semis); Brenda Carter faces Sue Kimball on the other half. Anderson/Winstead won their doubles match in straight sets to reach the final against Kimball/Castell.

    Cathie Anderson and Brenda Winstead right after their match, which was really a great match. They combined to reach the doubles final later in the day.

    The 85s and 90s began today too. They have four doubles teams and are playing a round robin; Carol Wood/Dori DeVries and Burnett Herrick/Sheila Palmer both won. Wood beat Herrick in singles and Devries beat Laurie Leach (there are two groups of 3 players; the winners of each group play for gold; the second place finishers play for bronze).

    Rita Price, Joyce Jones and Sally Fuller are playing a round robin in the 90s; Fuller is 97, Rita 96; Janet Hubbard got sick.

    Rita Price and Kathy Langer

    Kathy Langer came by today to visit friends and watch players…it was great to see her, it’s been years.


  • Houston, National Women’s Clay Courts Day 1; Practice Day 2

    Houston, TX

    Today was my last practice day here in Houston. I practiced early (7;30!) with Jenny Klitch. It was HUMID (and warm) … by 9am I was soaked. After hitting there was of course a little more chatting. I caught up with Cindy Babb among other friends.

    I had eaten breakfast but did check out the buffet (and had some regrets about having already had breakfast). It looked amazing, omelets or eggs made to order, oatmeal and all the fixings, fresh cut fruit, potatoes, CRISPY bacon, bacon, egg and and cheese breakfast tacos. This is the 50th anniversary of this event and the Houston Racquet Club and Sue Bramlette are sparing no effort to make this tournament special. The daily breakfasts and lunches are free to all players.

    Breakfast Buffet, Houston Racquet Club, 50th Annual Senior Women’s Clay Nationals

    After breakfast the matches began, with most of the 55s playing today and many of the 65s and 75s. Kristen Guszak beat Tracey Thompson (5) 75 55 retired (it was really hot…Tracey is ok now). The rest of the 55s seeds survived and the round of 16 is tomorrow around 9am.

    In the 65s, there weren’t any seeds in action but there were some long matches. Ginny Beneke from San Diego ousted Houstonian Mary Morgan in three sets (Ginny is a runner and super fit; she said Mary served great). Donna Drosner from Wisconsin survived the heat and Becky Timmis to win in three long sets.

    There weren’t any upsets in the 55 or 65 doubles; the 65s are out to the quarters and all seeds were in action, and won easily today. In the 75s, there was a terrific first round doubles between Brenda Carter/Ellen Goodman and Brenda Winstead/Cathie Anderson. Anderson/Winstead won in three very competitive sets.


  • Houston, National Clay Courts, Practice Day

    Houston, Texas (yes I AM in Houston),Sunday September 20, 2021

    Link to draws and results (once tournament begins); seeds are posted in “overview”.

    Link to photos album.

    This tournament was initially scheduled to be played in April but was postponed till now due to Covid. There are definitely a lot of restrictions to keep members and players safe: masks indoors, no use of gym (some bikes are outside), no congregation inside (even though it’s humid and in the 90s for the first couple of days), no use of lockers etc. All quite reasonable.

    Today I practiced early with Tracey Thompson, then watched others practicing and caught up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for a couple of years. That was fun! I also checked into the tournament where everyone was given a nice had, t-shirt and other fun gifts. The courts were in great shape today…they had lines which were not raised (so bounces off of them were playable as opposed to bounces which make the ball either roll on the ground, bounce at 90 degrees or bounce up over one’s head). It was warm and humid, even at 9am.

    Tomorrow I have a bye, will practice some and scout my potential first opponent (I play the winner of a match).

    The NWTO (National Women’s Tennis Organization) had a booth to try and get new members to join (for more information click here).


  • Travel Day: Houston!

    Today, Saturday, I flew from Florida to Houston got the national (Level 1, gold ball) 65 clay courts. I drove to Ft Lauderdale from Palm Beach Gardens, and parked my car for the week. It was super smooth, 25 minutes from Park n Go to clear security which include a shuttle ride and checking a bag!

    The terminal wasn’t very crowded.. I sat at a gate with no flight, snd had a row to myself on the flight. We had to return to the terminal after having taxied to the runway because a (relatively young) passenger was ill. But flight arrived nearly on time.

    Houston/Bush was pretty busy. I rented a car then had to wait 20-30 minutes for one to be available…the lot was devoid of cars!

    After checking into my Airbnb (and waiting out a big thunderstorm), I drove over to the tournament venue, the Houston Racquet Club. The courts were soaked but I caught up with some friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in a few years. Below are Tammy Simon, Anna Zimmermann and Rainy Miller from the 55s.

    My next stops were Kroger and Trader Joe’s. Then back to the apartment to get ready for the busy week ahead.


  • Westwood 65 Singles/50 Doubles Champion; More to Play

    Austin, Texas, USA

    Click here to see draws, schedule and results.

    I played the 65 singles final and 50 doubles final today and both went well. I beat Mary Morgan of Houston 62 61 and even served and volleyed and chipped and charged some! (1: Hard courts encourage that behavior; 2: Fast hard courts encourage it even more). Mary is one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet (and very extroverted to boot). It was a pleasure to play the match.

    Jenny Klitch beat Shelly Works in the 55 final 60 62 and played a terrific match, combining hard drives with superb drop shots all match long.

    After our singles wins Jenny and I played 50 doubles against a good team from Kansas City (Victoria Marks and Theresa Lampe and Valerie Marks)…they beat Works/Rainy Miller yesterday. We won 64 76 (3) and it was a good, competitive match with many changes of strategy.

    We play the 55 doubles final tomorrow against Miller/Works and Jenny plays the mixed final (which was rained out tonight) directly afterwards.

    There were a lot of matches today…I saw a few since I was at the club from 7:30 am till 4pm. I also ran into some old friends…Hugh Thomson, Jerry and Marcia Thomas, Ellen and Tony Dawson, and others…it’s nice to see tournaments going again!

    In men’s 50s, Eoin Collins (1), a former world champions, beat Todd Smith 62 62 to reach the final against Sean Staley, who took out #2 seed Garry Nadebaum. Collins used his impressive lefty groundstrokes to lead his march to victory.

    In men’s 60s, Tim Klitch (2) (Jenny’s brother) beat David Luedtke (4) 63 61, using on the rise hitting and the apparently patented Klitch touch to advance. He faces Peter Markes who had an interesting match with Alex Behar. Alex injured his foot (plantar it seems) in the 2nd game and was hobbling around the court thereafter…but for a set he redlined his shots, limping to the ball and giving it a rip, and won the first set 62. It’s hard to play an injured player! The match was on serve at 2-3 in the second when there was a short rain delay…Peter didn’t drop a game thereafter, and took the second 62 at which point Alex retired.

    The match of the day was the men’s 55 doubles final. Featuring the #1 (Scott Works/Kelly Ward) and #2 (Steve Schultz/Marc Weiner) seeds, the match had everything…tight score line (the top seeds winning the first set; the #2 seeds coming back from a break down to win the second, the third set culminating in a tiebreak), great serves/returns/volleys/touch, all played in front of an appreciative crowd on the center court. Schultz/Weiner won the match.

    Works has a second chance for a title in the 50 doubles, with Nadebaum.

    Kaysie Smashey won the 40s, Julie Thu the 45s and Nancy Hilliard the 50s…all are multiple time Cup members. Terri Thyssen took the 60s and Barbara Starnes took the 70s title.

    In men’s tennis, many finals are still to be played, but Robert Barrie won the 65s, John Newman the 80s, and the remaining divisions either have finals tomorrow or the scores haven’t been reported.

    In doubles, Mary Morgan/Terri Thyssen won the 60 doubles; Rush/Starnes took the 65s title.

    Thu/Haggard won the mixed 40s; the remaining divisions were rained out Sunday night and will be played Monday.

    Swenson/Foster won the men’s 65 doubles; Tommy Connell/Tony Dawson (on the comeback from a shoulder replacement!) took the 70 doubles; and the 75 and over doubles score was not reported yet.

    Clockwise From top left: Eoin Collins; Alex Behar and me; Rainy Miller, Terri Thyssen, Shelly Works, Nancy Hilliard; Tommy Connell, Mary Morgan, Tony Dawson


  • Westwood Level 2/ITF S700 Saturday: The Calm after the Thunderstorms

    Austin, Texas, USA

    Click here to see draws and results (and playing times)

    Saturday was the calm after the storm…and it was a big one last night, complete with thunder, lightning, pouring rain, downed trees and power outages. I was lucky…we had flickering lights a few times but no power outages…but other parts of Austin are still without power. And it was hot today…upper 80s but feeling like low 90s with the humidity. But the predicted thunderstorms and rain bypassed Austin today and we had sunshine, scattered clouds and lots of tennis.

    I finally started my tournament, winning my 65 singles match (I am into the final against Mary Morgan, who took out Pam Simmons, the #2 seed in two close sets), and with Jenny Klitch, winning the 50 doubles semis, putting us into the final.

    Jenny also won her singles, doubles and mixed today, dropping only a pair of games in mixed and none in singles. Her brother Tim is in the 60 singles semis as are the other top 4 seeds, including #1 Peter Markes. In doubles Tim Klitch and J Trammel lost an entertaining match to the very good #2 seeds, Schultz/Weiner in three sets; the winners face Scott Works/Kelly Ward in the final.

    Tomorrow promises to be a really busy day, especially for Jenny…we both have singles finals, followed by 50 doubles, then 55 doubles, then for Jenny, mixed.

    Kaysie Smashey, W40 and Nancy Hilliard, W50, were off to winning starts today. There are a couple of excellent players in the W35, Karoukina and Alina Mihailescu. They play the final tomorrow. Smashey/Julie Thu play the W35 doubles final too.

    In men’s 50, Gary Nadebaum (2) and Eoin Collins (1) are in the semis and on a collision course. Other familiar names are Hugh Burris (M70), and Jerry Thomas (M75); Hugh Thompson and Thomas are also in the 75 doubles.

    Julie Thu (with TD Frank Kelly) with her 2020 and 2021 Winners plates (dinner for 2) for winning the 45 singles; Kelly and Kaysie Smashey; Shelly Works/Rainy Miller (photo by Julie Thu); Jenny Klitch and me (photo by Julie Thu) and Klitch/Smashey

    Off to rest up for a busy Sunday!


  • Westwood Level 2 Tournament

    Writing from Austin, Texas

    View the draws here.

    I’m here in Austin for the Memorial Day tournament at the Westwood Country Club in Austin. It’s a big tournament with age divisions from 35 to 85 and some family events plus some NTRP age divisions. The senior age divisions earn ITF S700 points in addition to USTA Level 2 points.

    I have been practicing here the past two days since I don’t play till tomorrow. Today I scouted my potential singles and doubles opponents in between hits. It was very hot the past two days, and humid, which led to the massive thunderstorms that hit around 6:30pm today, with thunder and lightning.

    The Klitch siblings, Hugh & Carol Burris with Mary Morgan (center); a very loud peacock and a chameleon around the grounds.

    It is nice to see friends from around the country I haven’t seen for a while. The social events are not on this year but everyone was given a nice shirt and a gift card to a barbecue restaurant.

    Tomorrow, weather permitting I have singles and doubles.


  • Date Change for Women’s 35/45/55/65/75/85/90 Clay Courts in Houston, TX

    NEW DATES: September 20-26, 2021 for the Women’s 35-90 Clay Courts at the Houston Racquet Club

    Sue Bramlette TD off the Houston Women’s Clay Court Championships reported today that the USTA has confirmed the dates of September 20-26 for the National Women’s Clay Courts in Houston.

    The dates changed due to the delay in the vaccine distribution, making the original mid-April too risky for the players and club.


  • USTA National Senior Women’s Clay Courts (35/45/55/65/75/85/90) Cancelled for 2020; Will Resume in 2021

    Sue Bramlette, the tournament director for the National Senior Women’s Clay Court Championships (NSWCCC) in Houston, Texas, after consulting with the COO of the Houston Racquet Club (HRC) and the membership director of the HRC has concluded that the HRC will not be able to host the NSWCCC in 2020.

    There were a number of issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic that would or could impact the hosting of the tournament this year.

    The HRC plans to host the tournament in 2021.


  • Smashey, Parson Siegel, Chandler, Karwasky, Orth, Kyvallos & Lutz Win Clay Singles Titles in Houston

    April 4, 2019

    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    The 49th National Women’s Clay Court Championships took place at the Houston Racquet Club last week. This is the best women’s senior tournament and this year, was not only a USTA National (gold ball) Championship, but a Grade A ITF Championship which added to the character and prestige of the tournament.

    Tournament directors Sue Bramlette and Cathy Lassiter along with Harriet the referee and Judy Job did their usual stellar job running the event.

    Kaysie Smashey won the 35 singles and doubles (with Julie Thu), avenging her loss earlier in March to Heather Nobler when she beat her in three sets in the final.

    Amanda Parson Siegel took out Patricia Zerdan in the semis in a grueling 75 76 encounter before she beat #2 seed Julie Cass 62 60 to win the 45s title. Zerdan took out top-seeded Nancy Hilliard in the quarters. Jenny Klitch edged Zerdan for bronze.

    Cass and Tracie Currie, top seeded, won the 45 doubles with a straight set win over Tammy Morris/Jill Toney, the 2nd seeds.

    Fran Chandler won the 55 singles and did it the hard way, beating #2 seed Shelly Works in three sets before taking out top seed and defending champion Vicki Buholz in the final in straights. Works took the bronze. Buholz/Gayle Prejean won the doubles with an emphatic win over top seeded and defending champions Mary Dailey/Erika Smith.

    Tina Karwasky won the 65 singles for the third straight year, taking out Wendy McColskey, also for the third straight year in Houston. Lil Peltz-Petow took bronze. The 65 doubles winners were more of a surprise, with long time senior players, Kandy Chain and Andrea Barnes taking the gold. They beat the top seeds, Karwasky/Jan Kirkland Cochran in three sets in the semis before beating unseeded Becky Timmis/Sue Sprague in straight sets for the gold. Karwasky/Kirkland/Cochran took the bronze.

    Heide Orth from Germany beat South Africa’s Petro Kruger to win the 75 doubles, then teamed with Kruger to beat Cathie Anderson/Carolann Castell in the doubles final. Anderson took bronze in singles; Ann Hunt/Sheila Weinstock won the doubles bronze.

    Lucille Kyvallos’ hard work paid off when she won the 85 singles; Mary John Lynch was the finalist. Lynch/Rose Austin won the doubles in a round robin; Margaret Canby/Angie Ray took silver.

    Jane Lutz won the 90 singles over the ever ebullient Rita Price and doubles with Price.

    Results are here.

    Photos (courtesy of Judy Job) are here.