Several take shot in junior tourneys
By NANCY MORGAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 22, 2001
Tournaments were plentiful for juniors last weekend and provided opportunities for matchplay, ranking points or achieving a national championship berth. Clearwater played host to a state-sanctioned singles tournament, the Winter Wonders, at the McMullen Tennis Complex for about 100 players. Just a little south of McMullen was the USTA National Championships for the 16-and-under girls at Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Center.
Cheval Country Club in Lutz was the site for the USTA National Open for boys 14, and Arbor Green in Tampa staged the USTA National Open for 18-year-old boys and girls. Designated events, worth more in ranking points than a local state-sanctioned one, were played for all age divisions in the Fort Lauderdale area.
"There are three ways for a junior to get accepted in USTA national tournaments," said Maria Cercone, director at Bardmoor and a member of the national junior competition committee.
"One is by your USTA section's endorsement list, another is to be among the top 60 in your age division nationally and the third is by the USTA open events," she said.
George Navas of Belleair was one of those who advanced to national play through the open competition in Lutz.
Fifth-seeded Navas advanced through the 64-player draw to the semifinal round, in which he was beaten by his doubles partner, Evan Dufaux, 6-4, 7-5. Navas went on to finish third overall in the class for 14-year-olds.
"I'm kind of an all-around player, and I really like coming to the net," Navas said. "I worked especially hard this year on controlling my emotions on the court, and I think that's helped my game."
Navas and Dufaux, seeded second, advanced to the doubles final and upset the No. 1 team of Joanathan Clarke and Patrick Batemen of Orlando 6-4, 6-0. The win helped avenge Dufaux's 7-6, 6-2 singles loss to Batemen. As a result of Navas' finish, he advances to the USTA Super National Spring Championships, the Easter Bowl, in April.
A first through sixth-place finish in singles or a doubles victory in a USTA National Open are required to advance to the super nationals.
Bugsy Bauer reached the girls 16 quarterfinals in singles and teamed with Kristi Miller to win the doubles. Kelly Nelson and Linda Yang were runners-up in the 18 doubles.
In the designated competition, area players Marc Sawyer and Haley Dodson reached the round of 16 in the boys 16 class, and Patrick Gleason won three consolation rounds. Kaela Kennedy played to the girls 16 consolation final round. Goran Dragicevic won three rounds in the boys 18 consolation.
In the Clearwater tournament, Anastasia Sokolova won three matches to capture the girls 14 title in straight sets, and Alex Gillott outlasted Denis Nyberg of Wesley Chapel in the boys 14 division to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. Sokolova and Gillott train at East Lake Woodlands.
First-time tournament player Alex Cassalvieri was a finalist in the boys 12 consolation bracket.
CHARITY EVENT: Eleven coed squads participated in the second annual Time Warner Mixed Doubles Team Tennis Classic, a benefit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast.
Finishing first was Antonio's Pasta Grill, which consisted of Mary Jane Evertz and Mike Carrigan, Jill and Larry Jackson and Julie Ponton and Woody Woodbury. Antonio's defeated Suncoast Bay Properties 22-20.
Fitzgerald Auto Mall -- with Boots Hartwell and Ray Pasinski, Leanne Hoffman and Nat Fisher and Charlotte Sterling and Jim Dunne -- edged Phillips Environmental 18-17.
The event raised $14,000. SENIOR LEAGUE: Innisbrook women clinched their third 3.5 doubles title in four years last weekend with a win against St. Petersburg.
Winning were Debbie McGinley and Maureen Sternberg at No. 1 and Judy Murphy and Cheryl Cravener at No. 2. A rain-delayed match for No. 3 Anne Hammond and Josie Doucette is scheduled for Friday.
Despite being tied with Timber Pines overall, Innisbrook has won more individual positions. The women's Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club captured the 4.0 district title without losing any matches among four teams.
In men's action, Innisbrook's 3.5 squad eliminated Royal Racquet Club 2-1 in a semifinal playoff match.
Straight-set wins from the No. 2 unit of Bill Schieman and Willie Coquelet and No. 3 John Kuhn and Richard Hough advanced the team to Saturday's 11 a.m. showdown with the Racquet Club of St. Petersburg at Innisbrook.
The Racquet Club advanced to the final with a 2-1 win over a second Racquet Club team.
SUPER SENIOR LEAGUE: Innisbrook women scored a second doubles victorywith a 2-1 win over Timber Pines last week.
Phyllis Gary and Joan Holland won in straight sets at No. 1. Maureen Sternberg and Anne Hammond captured the No. 2 victory, and Jean McKenzie and Marilyn Linker lost at No. 3 after a second-set tie-breaker.
On Monday, East Lake Woodlands handed Innisbrook its first loss on the play of Esther Spenadel and Carmen Wagner in the No. 2 position and No. 3 Helen Battles and Harriet Middlebrook.
In a second match, Timber Pines handed Shipwatch Tennis Club a 2-1 loss.
In men's competition, the final playoff match for the 3.5 division is Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. The St. Petersburg Tennis Center plays host to Innisbrook. The winner advances to the state tournament, June 1-3. ADULT SINGLES: Bill Christensen, after upsetting 55-and-over top seed Reinaldo Valor in the semifinal round, defeated No. 3 Tom Grayson 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the SPTC Adult Championships in St. Petersburg.
Other local winners were Jim Vuille (85 division), Tom Avirett (80s) and Bob Meyerdierks (75). Don Mathias won the 60s consolation and Ralph Howe the 55 class.
Joy Ackerman took the women's 45 division. R. Michael Carroll was the 45 consolation champion.
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