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New women's round-robin doubles event proves popular


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 12, 2000

Tournament 2000, a women's doubles round-robin event, was launched Saturday at Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club with plans for more events.

Eleven teams participated in the inaugural competition, brainchild of club member Judy Mullen, with six in a 3.0 skill-level flight and five in 3.5.

"More than anything, I wanted to see more competition on a fun level and to prove that it could be done easily," said Mullen. "With the use of the computer, it was easy to set up the activity in a program form for the entire morning of competition so everyone knew what to do and where to be."

Mullen, who with husband Dick won the club's mixed doubles title last year, also wanted to showcase the club with hopes of getting new tennis members.

The format included rounds of seven games, with total games won determining the winner in 3.0 and a percentage of games won determining the 3.5 winner.

"It was a real surprise to us when after four rounds had been played in the 3.0 that four teams were tied with 28 games each," said Mullen. "We used a nine-point tiebreaker to break it down to co-winners. The teams were tied -- and tired -- and we weren't going to schedule another round of play to come up with one winner."

Winning their tiebreakers and tying for first in 3.0 were the teams of Alice Lohss and Gail Grimm and Judy Dye and Emily Woo.

"This was a really nice idea and Judy did a great job," said Lohss, a member of the host club. "I'm sure the fun we all have playing in the South Pinellas Ladies Doubles League motivated her to do this, as well as for us to play in it."

Also participating were players from Lakewood Country Club, Seminole Lakes Tennis Center and the Treasure Island Recreation, Golf and Tennis Center.

In the 3.5 division, Dodie Kovalcik and Marie Aliotti had a winning percentage of 60, followed by Anni Coughlin and Gerry McCollough.

"This was really well-received and for a first-time event the turnout was good," said Kovalcik. As the event was winding down, players began discussing the next stop for Tournament 2000. Ripley Amell, tennis director at Seminole Lakes Tennis Center, said his club was chosen to host the round robin on April 26. A $7 fee includes prizes and lunch.Call Amell at 394-1733.

SUPER SENIORS: The St. Petersburg Tennis Center blanked Innisbrook 3-0 and Timber Pines Tennis Club did the same to Shipwatch Tennis Club last week in the Super Seniors Men's 3.5 Doubles League playoffs. SPTC and Timber Pines were to play Tuesday at Royal Racquet Club for the district championship and the right to advance to the state tournament in May.

Last Tuesday, SPTC's Fred DeJohn and Charlie Dorrell in No. 1 and Nick Karamessinis and Woody Woodbury in No. 2 won in two sets, and Bob Allen and Andy Chau won a second-set tiebreaker in No. 3.

WHEELCHAIR TOURNAMENT: Area players competing in the Florida Open 2000 Wheelchair Tournament in Boca Raton last week included William Oefinger and David Towns in the A division and Thierry Chatelier in the B.

Towns won three rounds in singles in a field of 38 and teamed with Oefinger to win one round in doubles. Chatelier advanced three rounds in the B consolation to reach the final after losing in the main draw's first round to the eventual champion. In the consolation final, Chatelier lost in three sets to No. 7 seed Bruce Young of Pennsylvania.

RANKED IN DOUBLES: Achieving top state doubles rankings through last month were Kristofer Goddard and Hagen Endler at No. 4 in the boys 18-and-under division, Marc Sawyer and Zachary Ganger at No. 2 in the boys 14s, and Kaela Kennedy and Brianna Williams at No. 4 in the girls 14s.

FREE FOR ALL: Steve Wey, teaching professional for the TradeWinds Resort and Conference Center on St. Pete Beach, is offering a USA Tennis Free for All from 9-11 a.m. April 29 for players 14 and older. Call the center at 367-6461, ext. 294 for details.

COMING UP: The St. Petersburg Tennis Center hosts the fourth event in the Suncoast Tennis Foundation/District 12 Tennis Challenger Series 2000 beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. The one-day singles competition is for players 16 and younger. Call 893-7301 to register. ... Suncoast Tennis Singles is meeting Sunday for a clinic and match play at Shipwatch Tennis Club. Players at 3.0-and-higher skill levels are encouraged to call Les Spang at 581-2020 to register. ... The SPTC Easter Classic is April 21-23 at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center and includes singles competition for players 18 and under. Call tournament director Al Sarmiento at 360-2643 before the April 18 deadline.

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