National Clay Court Championships
March 25-31, 2019. Houston, Texas
Complimentary Doubles Clinic Participants
Kathy Barnes, Pam Shephard, Becky Holland and Cindy Babb
Sisters Dale and Wendy McCloskey
Former Presidents Kathy Langer and Kathy Foulk
Doris Lutz and Rita Price. 90s Doubles Partners
Cindy Leprevost and Leslie Airola
8 - 10
Submitted by Cindy Babb (65s)
There was strong tennis all the way through the tournament. But two very nice new pairings plus wind and other conditions made for some upsets in the 65s. Both semis were played side by side and neither of the seeds won. It was kind of a big shocker. Unseeded Becky Timmis and Sue Sprague defeated #2 seed Wendy and Dale McColskey 6-4, 6-4. Timmis and Sprague played very well on the day. Becky had some different strokes that people don’t see every day, like her slice. In the next court, 5th seed Andrea Barnes and Kandy Chain defeated top seed Tina Karwasky and Jan Kirkland-Cochran in three sets. They just outplayed them at net and then beat Timmis and Sprague in the finals. Another new team we are excited to have back is Lisa Culp Musgrave who has not played for years. She teamed with Karen Rauh to win the backdraw.
Submitted by Sheila Weinstock (75s)
This year the 75’s National Clay Court Championships in Houston, Texas, fielded the strongest list of competitors in a long time. For the first time in many years, we had two of the strongest players in the world competing – Heidi Orth from Germany (part-time from Florida), and Petra Kruger from South Africa. We also had the top highest ranked players from the USA in the 75s competing as well. Heidi won the singles and the doubles (playing with Petra) this year. It was great to see Heidi back on the courts in Houston, where she previously played, before our division 1 tournaments were closed for rankings in the ITF. Heidi has always been one of the highest ranked players in the United States when she played in our Division 1 tournaments. Not only is she a very strong player, but she has a real passion for the game. She sets a wonderful example for all players by how she stays in shape and her sportsmaship and fair play on the court. She is constantly working on her game by training with coaches on the court, as well as regularly cross-training while off the court. She has competed in tennis for many, many years, and we hope she continues to play for many more. She is truly an asset to our tournament play play here in the states.
Submitted by Rita Price (90s)
The 49th Houston National was a Fiesta with delicious food, music and dancing at the banquet with Micky Hobbs at poolside leading the parade of players, "shaking their booties!" Eight nonagenarians came to play with everyone a winner: Trudy Kuckhann and Martha Smith (both from Florida) took home pewter bowls, for their fourth place finish. Elizabeth Harrison and Joyce Vanderpol edged them out in doubles-- close, but no cigar! Harrison came with son Kent as her fan and Joyce (95 years young) brought twin sister Renie (a fashionista in purple) to coach, and cheer, always ready, camera in hand for the photo shoot! Pat Wiedenmann, our only new kid, joined her former partner Janet Hubbard for a shot at winning but Rita Price and Jane Lutz eased them into a second place finish. So EVERYBODY was a winner!
Only five fit hackers chose to play singles and doubles each day. Joyce Vanderpol (with Renie by her side) edged out her partner Elizabeth Harrison to take fourth place. Janet Hubbard faced Jane Lutz in a three set battle, earning her the bronze. The final battle in singles was a complete wipeout for Price (6-2, 6-1) who succumbed to the blonde bombshell champion, friend and partner, Jane Lutz. Jane served better, returned serve better, running down every drop shot, and lob in Price's game plan. That's all she wrote, and that my friends is "a rap!"
Sincere thanks goes out to everyone who ran this marvelous tournament. We loved every moment on and off the court --meeting friends and making new friends for this reporter's seventeenth year on the circuit!