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Doubles league teams preparing for playoffs

By NANCY MORGAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2001


The road to the state tournament is narrowing as playoffs begin Saturday in the Senior Men's Doubles League.

The Racquet Club of St. Petersburg has two teams entered in the 3.5 playoffs. The Renaissance Vinoy has one.

Rounding out the teams are Westin Innisbrook, Royal Racquet Club and Countryside Country Club.

One Racquet Club team advanced to the playoffs by winning its division. A second squad was forced to win its final regular season match to advance. The Vinoy needed a victory in its finale.

Earning a first-place finish and an 8-2 overall record in the senior 3.5 south division, the Racquet Club -- with Marshall Craig the captain -- will face Countryside on Saturday in the first of three rounds to determine the overall division winner.

Playing for the Racquet Club have been Don Campagne, Steve Uebel, Tony Damouny, Ray Cianci, Tom Stewart, Vaughn Haight, Jack Weldon, Neel Voss and Andy McCloud.

A rain-postponed match between the Racquet Club and Innisbrook was played Monday evening. The Racquet Club won 2-1 and advanced to Saturday's first playoff match with a second Innisbrook team.

Clinching the Racquet Club's berth were Ron Whitaker and Nick Routh with a straight-set victory at No. 1 and Tom Shevlin and Dave Farnsworth with a 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 3. Captain Larry Sewall and Nick Pavonetti fought to a 7-6, 6-3 loss at No. 2.

The Vinoy defeated the first-place Racquet Club in the final match of the regular season to secure its playoff spot against Royal Racquet Club.

In its 2-1 win, the Vinoy's Patrick Dines and Richard Graf won at No. 2. Norm Ott and Don Mathias won at No. 3. Dick Finan and Jeff Szilagi fell 6-3, 6-4 to Damouny and Uebel at No. 1.

No playoffs were needed in the senior men's 4.0 division with Shipwatch Tennis Club securing the division title and recording a 7-1 overall record.

In its final match last week with Seminole Lakes, Shipwatch's Scott Chambers and Mike Carrigan at No. 1 and Wendell Walker and Doug Godinho at No. 2 defeated Seminole challengers. Joh Beda and Tim Kahle fell in two sets to Seminole.

The senior women's doubles league competition continues through the end of the month. All division winners advance to the state tournament, May 19-21 at a site yet to be determined.

SUPER SENIORS: The women's 60-plus doubles league began Monday for four teams in the 3.5 division.

Innisbrook won its first match 3-0 over Shipwatch Tennis Club, and Timber Pines Tennis Club beat Bardmoor 2-1.

The 4.0 super senior team from Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club is unchallenged and playing qualifying matches in the senior women's 4.0 division. Timber Pines is in the senior 3.0.

In men's super senior action, an Innisbrook team with Joe Gari as captain has clinched Flight I in the 3.5 division and will face the Flight II winner. A win Tuesday for the St. Petersburg Tennis Center team with Fred DeJohn would advance the squad to the Feb. 27 playoff.

SPTC is in first place in its flight with a 4-0 record.

SOUTH PINELLAS: The South PInellas Ladies Doubles League enters its fourth week of the spring session today.

Participating are two teams from St. Petersburg Country Club and the Vinoy and one each from Feather Sound, Isla Del Sol, Seminole Lakes, St. Petersburg Tennis Center and Treasure Island Recreation Center.

Through three weeks of competition, Treasure Island is unbeaten in the two doubles position format. Squad members are Sue Best, Linn Riffe, Robin Cain, Karen Richnak, Gay Womack, Charlene Garner, Gill McDonnell, Barb Murray, Louise Strong, Jean Simmons and Margaret Tseng.

MARATHON WINNER: Aniko Kapros, 17, of Hungary completed a streak of 14 wins to earn her first professional tournament victory in the $25,000 USTA Women's Challenger of Clearwater last week at McMullen Tennis Complex.

Kapros, the No. 2 junior in the world, won six matches in a pre-qualifying event to reach the tournament.

Three more victories advanced Kapros to the 32-player main draw, in which she upset third-seeded Dawn Buth of New York in the first round and No. 2 Alina Jidkova of Russia in the final.

Buth is ranked 120th in the world, and Jidkova is 81st.

WORKSHOP: Area enthusiasts have an opportunity to learn more about USA Tennis programs at the organization's Ultimate Workshop, March 10-11 at Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.

Jeff Davis, one of four USA Community Coordinators statewide, will be in charge of the two-day training session. For more information, call 360-6543.

ROTARY CLUB RESULTS: Lynn Sayler and Margaret O'Grady finished first among seven teams in the women's doubles round robin in the Bill Burnson Rotary Tennis Doubles Tournament at Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club last weekend.

Morris Horne teamed with Frank Bellcourt to win the men's 3.5 contest among six teams. Ward Johansen and Ken Cherven were first in the 4.0 among eight squads.

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