National Grass Court Championships

W30,40,50,60,70,80. July 8-14, 2019. The West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills, NY  Results

W35,45,55,65,75,85. July 15-21, 2019. Germantown Cricket Club  Results

 

View slideshow below of both tournaments and see write-ups from players of both tournaments below.

W30,40,50,60,70,80 (The West Side Tennis Club)

 

50s by Andrea Hines (Andrea traveled from South Carolina)

In the 50's women’s singles, the seeds had strong performances: #1 seed Julie Cass tore through the field to win the gold ball. Runner up Vesna McKenna got her money’s worth winning two three setters to get to the finals. Vicki Buholz outlasted Gayle Prejean to win the bronze ball. In the 50's doubles, Julie Cass and Vesna McKenna teamed up to take the gold ball, with Vicki Buholz and Gayle Prejean winning the silver ball and Kristin Brown and April Mongelli – both from New York – winning the bronze ball.

 

60s by Susan Wright

The tennis history at the West Side Tennis Club is like few tennis clubs in the United States. It is home to the 30 - 80 national women's grass courts. With eight beautiful grass courts, when rain comes it can be a bit tricky. The stadium court has been updated to host concerts during the summer months which are really fun. A highlight is the Pro Am that is played every year on Sunday afternoon to get to know the club members. In the women's 60's the seeds in both the singles and doubles came through as expected.

 

60s and 70s by Judi Lehman (Judi played both grass courts this year)

Both grass tournaments at Westside and Germantown are fun and very challenging. Each one has its unique charms. I have played Westside for 29 straight years, and hope to keep playing as long as my legs allow. Tina Karwaski has probably won it 25 out of 30 times, both singles and doubles. I am just happy to participate. I average 4 to 5 matches per event. They can last as long as three hours per match, but rarely less than an hour and a half. The temperature is almost always in the high 90s with a very high humidity. Sometimes it feels like a steam bath. The Germantown tournament is usually even hotter. This year the 8 courts at Westside were outstanding. The grass was near perfect because of the 28 inches of rain we had in June and July. Germantown has 24 grass courts, also quite good. Therefore the scheduling is much easier in Germantown.

 

I prefer to play only one event. If there is a rain delay the matches can get backed up. You may even have to play two or three matches a day. I am quite satisfied with one match a day. Both events have wonderful parties. Westside also has door prizes. This year I won a beautiful Wilson tennis bag donated by Luke Jensen, head pro. In the past, I have won other things like dinners and wine etc. The locker rooms and clubhouse at Westside have gotten a well needed upgrade. I enjoy the challenge of playing some really good players and I look forward to catching up with the many people I have met through the years. It’s definitely worth it. Be prepared to work up a sweat!

 

70 National Grass Tournament Forest Hills

The 8 grass courts were in very good shape. We started off with the Pro Am tourney, always fun. There was a lovely player’s dinner on the deck.

 

Highlights of the 70s

Highlight was Betty Wachob’s play. She went through the whole field, with just about the same scores. The finals with Liane Bryson was a great display of slicing, angles, and movement, and great hands. Congrats for showing us how grass play is done. The ¾ playoff had a good match Toni Novak and Sue Kimball. Cathy Bennett and Liane Bryson continued to dominate in doubles, barely dropping a game. They are a force.

 

Highlights of the 50s

Susan Wright won singles and dubs, with Tina Karwasky. Shannan Carney-Gordon played good tennis in all her matches.

 

80s by Roz King (Roz traveled from San Diego)

All the singles seedings held and the finals for each placement found all the partners playing each other for 1st 2nd 3rd place. King,Wasser,Herrick,Wood and Cons. winner O'Sullivan. The doubles RR King/Wasser retained the title from last year. We were all glad to see Roberta Sung back on the tournament trail and a new player from Maryland, Linda Orff. All the winners trophies will be sent to our homes as they were miss labeled as "FINALIST'.

 

 

W35,45,55,65,75,85 (Germantown Cricket Club)

 

Abbi’s Report

The officials and the club staff at both Forest Hills and Germantown took such incredible care of all the players. We had heat issues from the very start. Storms and late starts several days. Germantown’s take charge referee Melissa Jackson and tournament director Kathy Zingler organized safe play and continued to protect us from heat and court conditions. The dinner at both tournaments was well planned. We could use some prize money otherwise we won’t continue to attract out of town players to these tournaments. Travel is very expensive and housing scarce.

 

Pictured right: Germantown Grass Courts superstar Referee Melissa Jackson (3rd from left) and her team.

 

 

 

45 and 55s by Andrea Hines (Andrea traveled from South Carolina)

Doubles Specialist Abbi Neuthaler was in top form in her 45 and 55 doubles in Germantown, having played the Forest Hills (60 doubles) the week before. And, since Forest Hills is practically in her neighborhood, she was able to go home every night to her own bed! Not everyone is so lucky. Many people try to find free or very low priced housing through the tournament desk. Others tried Air BnBs.

 

 

Report by Laurie Leach

Who says tennis players aren’t tough? In Philadelphia a heat wave hung over the grass courts at Germantown Cricket Club and Referee Melissa Jackson tried a dozen different ways to keep all the players cool. It finally came down to the last day where the women were told to play two no-ad sets and a third set tiebreak, if needed, so they could get off the hot courts quickly. Temps were close to 100 degrees!

 

In the meantime, Sikora def Bolotova in the 35 singles. Unseeded Hyacinth Yorke and Darcy Rabenda won the doubles.

In the 45s, #1 seed Nancy Hilliard def Inese Williamson for Gold. They got the Silver ball in doubles when they were defeated by Ann Clark/Karin Weiner. Rachel Maniatis and Abbie Neuthaler won the Bronze Ball, defeating Jennifer Breslin and Julie Kitze 6-3, 7-6 (13).

 

In the 55s, #1 seed Susan Wright lost to #2 seed Vicki Buholz 6-3, 1-6, 1-0 (5). Shari Webber took the Bronze. Susan and Vicki teamed up in doubles and defeated Fran O’Sullivan and Hyacinth Yorke 5-7, 6-1, 1-0(5).

 

In the semies of the 55 singles back draw, an epic tie break (instead of a third set) was played by O’Sullivan and Shannon Gordon-Carney. There were beautiful strokes and exciting points ending in Shannon winning 20 to 18! Not long afterwards, both women were back on the court again, playing against each other in the main draw doubles. This time it was Frances’ turn to win with her partner, Hyacinth Yorke. They got to the finals before bowing to Buholz/Wright 5-7, 6-1, 1-0(5). The following comments are from Hyacinth:

 

  • It was the hottest week for tennis on grass.
  • And after many years of tiny physical issues like neck, lower back, elbow and knee, making it impossible to be 100% and squashing any tournament play, it all sorted itself out and came together for 2019.
  • Add two good partners in Darcy Rabenda and Fran O'Sullivan and it all came together even more.
  • Mad joy to see everyone, reconnect, practice and compete against such good players.
  • Many regulars were missing this time around but Kathy and Melissa ran a smooth tournament around the rain and the heat.

 

In the 65 singles, #1 seed Tina Karwasky was her usual awesome self as she defeated Lil Pelta-Petow in the finals, 6-4, 6-2. Sherri Bronson defeated Kathy Barnes for the Bronze. In the doubles, Tina and Jan Kirkland-Cochran defeated Musgrave/Rauh for the Gold. Cindy Leprevost and Lil won the Bronze.

 

Then there are the older gals. The 75s had the most entries and were at risk because of the heat. Carolann Castell was seeded first in the singles. She is known to write down notes about her mistakes.

 

Ann Hunt, who was ranked #1 in singles in 2018, met Carolann in the finals. She won the first set 6-4 and lost the second set 5-7 (no add scoring). The third set tiebreak was very tense, but she won it 1-0(6). Great job, Ann!

 

But Carolann’s notes paid off handsomely in the finals of the 75 doubles when she and Lee Delfausse defeated #2 seeds Ann Hunt and Sheila Weinstock 6-4, 6-2. Patti Boyer and Jane Pang won the Bronze.

 

Tournament Director Kathy Zingler was fabulous. She did an excellent job running the tournament and the patrons of the Germantown Cricket Club should be proud of her. It was a wonderful week, rain, heat and all.

 

 

55s by Susan Wright

The Germantown Cricket Club was built in the mid 1800's and hosts the women's 35 - 85 women's grass courts. Many women play both grass tournaments. If you enjoy grass or it's your first time it's fun to play both. Germantown Cricket Club has 28 grass courts and this year was challenged with both torrential rains and the heat index was as high as 110 on the courts which is HOT! The referee made the decision to have abbreviated scoring which is no add and Match Tie Breaker for the third set. Vicki Buholtz won the 55 singles edging me out  6-3, 1-6, 15-13. I think Shannon Gordon-Carney squeaking by Frances O'Sullivan holds the record at 22-20. It was almost a set in itself. See you on the grass next year!

 

 

Report by Carolann Castell

Carolann played both tournaments, winning Gold in the 75 doubles with Lee Delfausse at Germantown.

 

Highlights of Philly

25 grass courts, a beautiful site, with lovely grounds. The club and members were very welcoming and the weather was HOT! The referees were excellent, with semis and finals chaired. And we had 15 minutes of warm up on the grass every day. Nice.

 

75 National Grass Tournament

It was probably the most stressful tournament to run because of the rain and the heat index. Tournament director Melissa Jackson did a great job keeping us on the grass. It’s the first time the heat index came into play, at 120 for over an hour. Play was suspended. We had to sign a waiver to play with the heat index at or above 105. Melissa’s care and concern for the players were noticed by all of us as she shortened the play with no-ad scoring, and a tie break in the 3rd set. More time was allowed between sets, if needed. Thanks for taking great care of all of us. Tournament director Kathy Zingler and Melissa work very well together. It made it smooth going! Also, an interesting fact: the heat index is measured in the shade! If you are in direct sun, the heat index value can be increased up to 15 degrees F higher. Heat indexes at or above 103 degrees F are dangerous.

 

Highlights of the 75s

  • Survival of the fittest: Ann Hunt, who played great tennis.
  • Back on court were Nadine Netter and Robbie Diamond, nice to see both of them.
  • New on the scene was Susan Gartner, from Reston, VA, who got better with every match.
  • Kudos to Lurlene Fujii for playing so long and so well in such heat. She has been boxing and her hands were great.
  • She was a force at the net.
  • Lurlene and Ruby Jenkins made the semis, over Woo and Clarke.
  • Extraordinary match: Lee DelFausse and Sheila Weinstock played almost a 4-hour match at 105 degrees
  • Lee managed to wear out Sheila.
  • Lee pointed out that the walk around Liberty Bell was closed, while they were playing tennis!

 

Highlights of the 65s

Tina Karwasky won both singles and dubs, with Jan Cochran Kirkland. Lil Peltz-Petow had a close 3-set match with Sherri Bronson, to advance to the finals.

 

Highlights of the 55s

In the finals: Vicki Buholtz over Susan Wright, 6-3, 1-6, 1-0 (13). Consolation match with Shannon Gorden-Carney over Frances O’Sullivan, 5-7, 6-4(20)! Match points went back and forth. Perhaps the most notable match of the tournament.

Did I mention it was HOT?!

 

We had a great salmon dinner and as we were eating, the rain came down hard. A big thank you to the cook and the club.