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St. Petersburg club crowns its champions

Published February 11, 2004

Sue Carter and Dr. Fred Guerrier were named 2003 champions at St.Petersburg Country Club.

Carter faced no opposition in her first challenge for the women's singles title, and Guerrier captured his eighth crown in a four-man draw.

"The women's division started out with four or five players entered, then they began to fall off so I ended up with no one to play," Carter said.

"When the club announced the date for the championship, I started to practice," she said. "I hadn't played singles in a long time and wanted to give it a try. Now, I play a couple of times a week."

Carter, a lefty with a topspin forehand in progress, describes her style as that of a baseliner who plays aggressively and can be effective at the net.

"I played a lot of softball, including on the Northeast High School team, and a lot of those skills helped me in tennis," she said.

Carter and partner Cindy Bellini qualified for the club doubles final match and will face defending champions June Ide and Suzanne Alvarez later this week.

Guerrier didn't begin playing until he was a teenager attending school in Miami. With more soccer experience than tennis, the family-practice doctor initially relied on his speed and footwork to beat opponents.

"My forehand was always my strength, but I've improved my backhand," Guerrier said. "My strategy has improved, too, so that now I think about the shots I'm going to hit rather than just hitting them. I'm still a scrappy player and run down a lot of balls. I also try to always be ready and to focus."

Guerrier battled Troy Holland in the club final and was especially pleased to beat him. It was a rematch of last year's championship. Guerrier capped hisSt.Petersburg Country Club title with a championship in 4.5 singles at the Renaissance Vinoy.

"It was a good match, and Troy is a very good player," Guerrier said. "He can beat me on any other day."

NET SHOTS: Singles winners in the Longwood Super Series included Danielle Collins (girls 12-and-under), Lindsay Dvorak (16) and Joel Samaha (boys 16). Among the runners-up were Julia Claire Jones (12), Alexander Saltiel (boys 10) and Nicholas Berning (16).

Fourth-seeded Dvorak won the girls 14 singles in last weekend's Seminole County Winter Designated. Alexandra Cercone and Gainesville's Keri Frankenberger captured the 14 doubles. Singles finalists included No.5 Morgan Frank (girls 16) and No.2 Joel Samaha (boys 14).

LEAGUE ACTION: After last weekend's 3-0 win for the Racquet Club's 9.0 senior mixed doubles team over PGTA, a makeup match will determine the division winner. Scoring third-set tiebreak victories for the Racquet Club were Linda Miller and Mike Carroll (No.1) and Jackie Keller and Bill Young (No.2). Sandy Martin and Jan Lagergren won in two sets.

To register adult mixed doubles teams, call Erika Boardman, 399-2459. The league begins in mid-March and continues through May.

Seminole Lake Tennis Center clinched the senior men's 4.0 South division with a 2-1 win over the Vinoy. Larry Daum and Dave Heeder won at No.2 for Seminole, and Jim McCook and Leon Kennedy pulled out a three-setter at No.3. Scott Stewart and David Pitt won a three-set match for the Vinoy.

It's not too early to begin planning to participate in District 12's Combo League for men and women. Play starts in May and continues through September. The sectional tournament is in January. Teams include three doubles positions playing the best of three sets. Women will compete on Tuesday mornings and men on Saturdays. Call Norm Ott, 526-7966.

COMING UP: A free tennis carnival for children 5-12 is scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Seminole Lake Tennis Center. Participants will have opportunities to win T-shirts, private lessons, racquets and a week of summer camp. ... The fifth annual Mixed Doubles Tennis Classic is this weekend at Clearwater's McMullen Tennis Center. Teams of three men and three women compete in A, B and C skill levels. For information, call 669-1919 or 531-2300. ... The 21st annual American Cancer Society's classic is Feb.20-22 at McMullen Tennis Center. Events include women's, men's and mixed doubles from the 3.0 skill level to open. The cost is $40 for one event and $65 for two. Call 669-1919 for player questions and 581-7062 for sponsoring opportunities.

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