Thursday Update from Houston

It was a nice day in Houston, not too cold or windy…till about 3:30 when the thunder and lightening storms finally hit the Houston Racquet Club. Play was suspended in the 35 and 45 doubles and 55 consolation singles till tomorrow. Tomorrow the forecast is for cold and very windy, 20 mph plus winds most of the day with temps feeling as if they are in the low 40s. But the rain should cease?
In the 35s, there were no upsets in singles and the draw is out to the quarters. The 35 doubles saw only one match completed…Amy Alcini/Angela Simon advanced to the quarters.
In the 45s, Fran Chandler continued to dominate her opponents, using her deep groundstrokes and deadly dropshot to oust Kathy Vick 61 61. Carolyn Nichols beat Susan Boyer 62 64, rallying from 2-4 15-40 to win the set. Update on Myke Loomis…she was walking today but still suffering from the cramps she suffered when playing Boyer yesterday. Also, I talked to Susan and the score was 16 75 60 and Susan was down one match point at 0-5, 30-40 and told me she was at the net and Myke hit a great shot to pass her but Susan hit was she termed "the best backhand volley of my life" to save the match point…and the rest is history.
In the doubles, Kim Lacky/Lori Fahrenholz advanced to the semis with a straight set win over Susie Brown/Mary Johnson. The semis of the top half were underway when the lightning surfaced. It was a great match between Chandler/Boyer who were counterpunching, lobbing, and finding the middle with their groundstrokes and Debbie Croft/Pam Cooke who were hitting lots of overheads, angles and drop angles. The match will resume tomorrow under much different conditions as it’s going to be in the 40s with 20 plus mph winds (ugh) tomorrow. Forgot to mention that the score was 76 (5) 3-2 Susp. for Cooke/Croft when the lightning appeared.
The 55s also has the 4 top seeds into the semis. Martha Downing beat Susie Peiffer 62 62, Kerry Young beat Cindy Babb 61 60; Chieko Holt beat Carla Brown 64 62 and in the most watched match of the day, TD and NSWTA pres, Sue Bramlette, beat Roxanne Schazenbach 67 62 62, despite a hard fall during the 2nd set. It was a long match, starting at 9am (Bob Bramlette told Sue that at one point it looked like her match would finish after that of Nichols/Boyer who began an hour later…but that didn’t happen). Sue plays Chieko and Martha plays Kerry tomorrow.
Martha and Kerry looked tough in ousting Norma Taylor/Lil Peltz-Petow today 61 60. They next play Babb/Peiffer. Leprevost/Bramlette won easily today and they next play Jan Mauldin/Shelby Torrance who upset Carla Brown/Jan Kirkland-Cochran in a crazy, long match. There were lots of good points in that match by both teams.
The 65s finally had a mild upset, since Charleen Hillebrand upset Suella Steel 64 61. One onlooker said Charleen was playing better than last year and another said Steel made a lot of errors. Charleen plays Heide Orth in the final. She beat Cathie Anderson 63 61. The top 4 seeds are in the doubles semis.
In the 75s, Nancy Reed rallied from 2 match points down to edge Mary Boswell 46 75 63. She faces surprise finalist Anneke Balics from that hotbed of clay court tennis, NorCal (don’t laugh, there are already 2 singles finalists from NorCal , Balics and Nichols and Martha Dowing has the potential to join them in singles and doubles as do Kim Lackey and Cooke/Croft, who are in the 45 doubles semis). Balics beat her doubles partner, Ann Munro 63 61 today. Reed/Burling and Boswell/Russ play in the doubles final.
Dodo and Betty Eisenstein are in the 85s final tomorrow. Dodo said jokingly, that the only chance she had for a game was if she could run Betty enough so Betty tripped and fell, since Betty moves so beautifully. Due to the rain and other circumstances, the 85 doubles semis on the bottom half of the draw have not yet been played, though Eisenstein/Olmstead are in the final.
That’s all from Houston for now. All the results from completed matches are posted for today, click here for the draws.

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