Tracy Houk Blog May 2, Friday: Into the Singles Semis!

I had my flight back home booked for yesterday, Thursday, May 1, but had to cancel it, after I won my quarter-final match against the #1seed, Brenda Foster, from Australia. I normally schedule my flight for the last day of the tournament, but,here, playing the worlds’ best players,  I wasn’t sure how far I could go. Well, turns out, pretty far. Maybe even all the way. Judy Newman  had to change her flights too. She is still in women’s and mixed doubles. Our doubles and Judy’s mixed were cancelled when it poured late in the day.

During my singles match, we had a siren go off in the 3rd set, there was a lightning alert, and we had to run off the court, until the we heard the siren go on again, this time with three short blasts. I felt pretty good at the beginning of my match, but, Brenda is very tall, and likes to serve and volley. Being a slow starter. I didn’t get to groove my way into the match. I went up 2-0, but it was mostly on her making errors, trying to attack. I thought I was going to have an easy go, when she started making her approach shots and volleys. I then went down, 2-4. And that’s when the battle began. I rallied back to 4-4, but she made some great volleys off her big serve, and held for 5-4. The wind was also blowing crazy, and it put my serve right into her wheel house to attack. The second set started opposite to the first, with me going down 0-2. I was beginning to find my groove, but still struggling a bit. I realized that, with the wind blowing so crazy, she was chasing her toss, and thought she might be foot faulting, which is why she was able to still serve well on a bad toss. I asked a roving umpire to watch her for foot faults. So, she stood on the court. I think Brenda knew she was, because she double faulted the first point. I then manage to return her serves with more ease, and broke her. I held for 2-2 all, and Brooke her again. On the change over, the umpire to told her to watch her right foot come across the line. I was glad I noticed that, and made the request, because it allowed her to get into the net quicker.  I won the 2nd set 6-3. I started to feel better and find my rhythm moving her around and trying to keep her off the net. The third set started with 2 holds, and another hold  for me, to go up 2-1. Brenda, serving at 30-30, the siren went off for lightning alert and the umpires started yelling for us to get off the court. I lost my concentration, and the point. We had to stop, in that game, with Brenda up 40-30. There was a 15 to 20 minute break before we were able to go back on the courts. We warmed up for 3 minutes, and resumed play. I lost that game, but held to go up 3-2. It was a battle and I just put all my energy into playing each point with determination. I focused on my shots, and won that game, and the next 2 for the match, to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. {Below are photos of the fall Tracy suffered just before match point, courtesy of Susan & Fred Mullane}.

May 2, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA
Tracy Houk (USA)(WS50) May 2, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA
Tracy Houk (USA)(WS50) May 2, 2014; Palm Beach Gardens, FL USA
Tracy Houk (USA) receives medical attention (WS50)

In tennis, you can come up against many bumps in the road. Some physical, and some mental. In the end, it’s that fight and will, inside you, that you put out there, and it all becomes worth it. 

Today, my semi- final match is between a British gal, Sue Webb, or French gal, I lost to in the finals of Team Competition. They were rained out in the third set yesterday. They begin today at 9am, and we play at 11. The doubles are also scheduled for today. If my partner, Anne Kerwin-Payne and I win our first match today, we play again. Judy has two matches as well, in the women’s and the mixed. NorCal is hanging in there. Go USA !!!!

Update by Carolyn: Tracy fell in the singles semis to the French woman & doubles quarters; Judy lost in the mixed semis but is in the doubles semis (with Vicki Buholz); Oren Motevassel, NorCal lost a heartbreaker in the men’s 45 singles semis (76(6) in the third!);

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