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Players make time to take part in charity event

Published May 30, 2007


Nearly 250 players competed on 56 mixed-doubles teams, 43 women's doubles and 45 men's doubles in last weekend's 17th annual Charity Tennis Tournament at East Lake Woodlands Country Club.

The three-day event was a benefit for the Arthritis Foundation.

Several players explained why they give up a weekend to participate in the area's various charity events. Generally, they said, participation is geared toward helping a good cause, the opportunity to face off with different competition and the chance to socialize.

"Except for USTA league tennis, there's no opportunity to compete and have that same kind of pressure, " said Dean Bryan, who competed in East Lake's men's and mixed 4.0 divisions. "I try to play in as many of these charity tournaments as possible. To play is fun. It's social and still competitive."

Bryan teamed with David Brown in the 4.0 men's division. The No. 2 seeds reached the consolation semifinal round. Bryan paired with Lisa Durkin in 4.0 mixed, and the No. 4 seeds reached the final.

"I enjoy playing tennis, and the profits from these tournaments go to a good cause, " said Susan Hobbs, who competed in the women's and mixed 4.0 divisions. "I try to play in as many of the charity events as possible and usually play two divisions. I also like the socializing aspect."

Hobbs teamed with Gail Pierce to win the women's 4.0 final 7-5, 6-3 over Sharon Dehnel and Nancy Morgan. In the 4.0 mixed with Ken Emery, the duo rebounded from a second-set loss to beat Durkin and Bryan 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

Janet Matthews, who played in the 4.0 mixed with John Green, likes competing in charity tournaments to help a good cause as well as experiencing that tournament-playing pressure.

"Obviously, the money from the tournament goes to a good cause, " Matthews said. "You get the feel of tournament play, from the pressure while playing to the cheering when winning and the heartache when losing, even though it's not a do-or-die situation. Also, the camaraderie is another reason I like playing in the charity events."

Matthews and Green, after losing their first round match, advanced to the consolation final, where the duo beat Barbara Emery and Paul Doucette 6-3, 6-4.

In other women's action, Pam Hodges and June Williams claimed the 3.0 doubles title in straight sets, as did top seeds Jill Faw and Charlotte Tao in the 3.5. In the 4.5/open round robin competition, Karen Randazzo and Jane Robinson were 3-0 among four teams.

Winning among the men were Terry Brady and Derek Mintzer in the 3.0 round robin; No. 3 Tom Johnson and Terry Midden in the 3.5; and Eric and Ezra Goldman the 4.0. No. 3 Adrain Pagani and Reinaldo Valor upset No. 2 Rick Workman and Scott Monette in the 4.5/open division.

Mintzer collected a second title when he teamed with Terra Brady in the 3.0 mixed and won in straight sets, as did Kirsten Willis and Rob Tenney in the 3.5 mixed. Emily Foster and Sean Kepinski won the 4.5/open mixed title in a three-set battle with Robinson and Pagani.

COMING UP: The Region 3 Summer Grand Prix is this weekend at Seminole Lake Racquet Club. Call 394-1733. ... The SPTC Junior Open is June 9-11 at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center. Call 823-2225. ... The Summer Classic at Seminole Lake Racquet Club begins June 16. Call 394-1733.

News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 445-4119; e-mailed to or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include phone number.

[Last modified May 30, 2007, 07:21:02]

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