Our local super seniors took to the road this past week, serving it up in the West Coast Super Senior Grand Prix Category II at University Park Country Club in Sarasota. At least two of them had been riding consecutive event win streaks.
Locals in Sarasota
In the Men’s 55s, David Vaughan was coming off singles and doubles titles at Cape Coral Racquet, and another doubles championship (both doubles wins with Peter Redpath) the previous week at Colonial. Steve Shreiner went into the University Park event with three consecutive Men’s 60s Doubles titles on the West Coast Tour, two with Howard Ames, one with Terry See.
Streaks Hit the Skids
The draws were deep and the path to the titles steep. Seeded fifth in the Singles Draw, David played a tough first set in his first match, dropping it 5-7 before rebounding to beat Tom Hebrank of Marietta, GA 6-1, 6-0 in the second and third sets respectively. The first set of his second match was a struggle as well, and he lost that one 5-7. I suspect David’s recent return to singles competition hasn’t prepared him fully for the long haul yet, because he lost the second set, and thus the match, at love to Sumner Chase of Dallas, TX.
Playing doubles in addition probably didn’t help either. In doubles, David and Peter were seeded third and won their quarterfinal match, before running into the No.1 Seeds, and eventual Champions, Jeff Davis of Treasure Island and Jeff Winkler of St. Pete in the semis. David and Peter fell, 4-6, 3-6, but should be consoled knowing that they got five more games than Davis and Winkler gave up in the final.
Steve and Howard came in as the fourth seed in 60 Doubles and reached the quarters with relative ease, downing their Round of 16 opponents 6-3, 6-0. But a stiff test awaited in the quarters against John Ambrose of Arlington, VA and Allan Thompson of Sarasota.
Steve and Howard were edged 4-6 in the first set, but regrouped to cruise 1 and 2 in the final two sets. They faced one of the favored teams in the semis, the legendary Larry Turville of Naples, who was seeded No.2 with partner Neal Newman of Columbus, OH. Steve and Howie needed a breaker to pocket the first set, and also triumphed in the close, 6-4, second.
I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for the locals this week, because Steve and Howie ran into a buzz saw in the No.1 Seeds, Phil Landauer of Naples and Tom smith of Alpharetta, GA. I wasn’t there, but I’m betting the match was a lot closer than the 2-6, 1-6 score indicates. Three out of four ain’t bad at all though; is it? Way to go Steve, Howie!
Larry Turville of Naples was seeded first for good reason. He dropped 10 games total in four matches, including a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Gewan Maharaj, the Second Seed, who had lost only 13 games in three matches himself before careening into Larry. No one else from the area played in this draw. I suspect Larry’s presence may have had something to do with that (wink).
Armor Persons of Breckenridge was the only other “local” to travel north. He gave the Men’s 55 Singles a shot, but he fell in the first round in straight sets against Larry Stark of West Bloomfield, MI.
The West Coast Super Senior Grand Prix continues next week at the Payne Park Tennis Center in Sarasota. I’m not sure how many of our guys, if any, will make the trip, but I’ll keep an eye out. Game, set, match…T A