Les Grande Dames JoAnne Russell Cup

February 19-23, 2019

Academia Sanchez-Casal, Naples, Florida


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Les Grande Dames JoAnne Russell Cup

By Judy Dixon


The focus for this week was the heat, which averaged 85 degrees each day. Adding to the heat was the 16 mph winds that gave some relief but made it difficult to play.


This tournament is played at just the right time,after the holiday time is in the rear view mirror. There were 104 entries in a myriad of divisions and the competition was fierce particularly when understanding that this was a Category 2 event. Most of the players received housing from the numerous volunteers in the area. The cost of the local hotels was quite expensive as it was vacation week for high school kids who came to Florida to escape the cold. The volunteers also ran the desk and were warm and friendly. They did their best to record scores and assign courts while trying to work around the lack of available practice courts due to the Academy program.


This was the first time for the new round robin doubles format consisting of flights A,B,C etc with the winners of each flight moving ahead to the main draw semi finals and the other 5-8 finishers going into a back draw. This seemingly encourages more participants and gives opportunity for more matches. I think there are some issues around this new idea but the thought behind it is positive.


All in all, a fun week ....saw many friends and enjoyed the competition.