Lamita Jabbour - Les Grandes Dames

February 6-10, 2019. Ft Lauderdale, Florida


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Submitted by Jan Kirkland Cochran (from Under the Brim) and Lil Peltz Petow


The Lauderdale Tennis Club is a gem of club with staff and residents that bend over backwards to make the event truly feel like a "family affair." This year’s tournament was no exception.  Margy Edmunds along with her staff of 22 volunteers hosted an outstanding event enjoyed by all players and spectators. Although a relatively small event, the tournament was loaded with talent in every draw, which made matches very competitive and fun to watch. And of course, the weather is beautiful in Ft Lauderdale this time of year!


The amenities were a bonus: continental breakfast plus lunch Thursday through Sunday; a delicious buffet dinner Thursday evening; nice door prizes. The club has rental apartments and condos, which are very convenient for the players.


This year’s tournament was named after Lamita Jabbour, who now resides in Paris but has been a loyal supporter of the tournament, sponsoring the dinners in the past. This year her very generous donation enabled the committee to add a substantial amount of prize money for finalists. Randy King was also a major donor along with 8 other club members who not only gave their money but time to make this such an excellent event. This year’s award, The Lamita Jabbour Sportsmanship Award, was given to a very deserving Dale McCloskey.


In the 55s, Shelly Works defeated Carolyn Nichols in the finals, 3 and 3. Terri Thomson came in third. Rainey Miller from California made her first trip to the east coast for an individual event. Rainy teamed up with Shelly Works and came in 3rd. Kris McDonald/Katherine Zanon came in first; Sheri Adler/Cheryl Hicks came in second. Rainy thoroughly enjoyed the tournament and said the hospitality was outstanding.


In the 65s, Wendy McColskey breezed to the finals, where she beat Lil Peltz-Petow, 1 and 1. Becky Timmis, playing Lauderdale for her first time, came in third, beating Sue Bramlette in the ¾ playoffs. It was a pleasure to see Kerry Young back in the 65 doubles after being away for 3 years recovering from reverse shoulder and back surgeries. Kerry, who previously had two knee replacements and was once #1 in the world, is a testament to disciplined rehab. She teamed up with long time dubs partner Sue Bramlette. They lost to Cindy LePrevost/Ann Stanley in the ¾ playoffs.


New to the tournament was Miriam Morey, a top player from the Southern section and recently retired from a prominent career. She lost to Becky Timmis in a very tough 3 sets in singles  and teamed with Bunny Smith in doubles, losing to Lil Peltz Petow and Jan Kirkland Cochran in the quarters in a extremely tight match. Jan and Lil won the 65 doubles beating the McColskey sisters in the finals. I'm sure with a few more matches under her belt we will be reading a lot more about Miriam. It was also good to welcome back to the 65s Lou Armstrong who has been recovering from a heart attack and shoulder injury.


Carolann Castell traveled from snowy Kirkland, WA to Ft Lauderdale for her first time here. She lost in a tough 3 set match in the 75 semis to Cathy Anderson but won the 3/4 playoff in 3 sets against Susanne Clark. Carolann teamed with Lee Delfausse and won the doubles in 3 sets against #1 seeds Cathy Anderson and Donna Fales. Carolann said this was her favorite tournament so far, with great hospitality and exceptional competition.


The 85's were not without their entertainment: local Lucille Kyvallos (Lucille lives in NY In the summer) defeated Maria-Helena Barbosa from Brazil in an exhibition matches. Besides Lucille being a top player in her age group she is also in the Basketball Hall of Fame.


If you weren't able to play in this tournament this year; you really need to mark it on your calendar for 2020.