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Seniors take spotlight in state tourneys at Pinellas sites
By NANCY MORGAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2000
A dozen area adult teams will join more than 120 others in state competition this week at three clubs in Pinellas County.
Fifty-two teams in the Super Seniors Doubles League for players at least 60 years old begin play in the USTA Florida Section state championship Thursday, and 82 more in the Seniors Doubles League for those at least 50 begin competition Friday.
Vying for USTA Florida Section titles in the super senior division are Timber Pines Tennis Club (3.0), the St. Petersburg Tennis Center (3.5) and Shipwatch Tennis Club (4.0) in the men's competition, and Timber Pines Tennis Club in the 3.0 and 3.5 women's divisions.
"We'll go with the lineup that won the local playoff for us and probably have Michel Antoine and Brian Limberg play in our second match," said Fred DeJohn, captain of the St. Petersburg Tennis Center team.
Heading that lineup for the opening match at Royal Racquet Club at 8 a.m. Thursday will be DeJohn and Charles Dorrell in No. 1, Nick Karamessinis and Woody Woodbury in No. 2, and Bob Allen and Andy Chau in No. 3. The opponent will be a team from Ormond Beach.
"Since we finished the local season, we have been practicing playing a third-set tiebreaker, which is the format we'll play at state," said DeJohn. "Otherwise, we're doing what we think we need to do to be prepared."
This is the third consecutive trip to state for the SPTC. Last year, it qualified in the senior league and in 1998 it advanced in the super senior.
"We won the super senior local playoff at Royal Racquet Club last month," said DeJohn. "We think playing state there will be good luck for us this week."
Senior teams competing include Feather Sound (3.0), Innisbrook (3.5), Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club (4.0) and Royal Racquet Club (4.5) for the women, and Innisbrook (3.5), McMullen of Clearwater (4.0) and Safety Harbor Spa (4.5) for the men.
The Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club was unbeaten in the regular season among four teams and brings state and national experience to its first match at 11 a.m. Friday at Royal Racquet Club against Ocala. Judy Grim was on a team that advanced to the nationals in 1996 and 1997; Pat Kelly and Susan Hobbs also were on the 1997 team.
"After the team went to nationals three years ago, they had to split up and we didn't have a team in 1998," said Patti Prestera, Treasure Island's captain. "Susan and I formed a team last year and we went to state where Ocala eliminated us. This year, we plan to beat them."
Prestera plans to place herself and Hobbs in the No. 1 position, Kelly and Lynn Klein in No. 2, and Ann Worthington and Joan Plaster in No. 3. Grim, Gail Nickerson and Margie Scheidt also will be used during the four-day competition.
"I really think we have a good team and a good chance at making it to nationals again," said Prestera. "With the use of the third-set tiebreaker, what we need to do is win the first set so we can set the pace in the second set."
The top four teams in their respective divisions advance to semifinal and final play Saturday for the super seniors and Monday for the seniors. Preliminary matches will be played at Royal Racquet Club (799-3200), Countryside Country Club (796-1136) and St. Petersburg Tennis Center (893-7301). Super senior finals are at Countryside; seniors are at Royal Racquet Club.
PRO LEAGUE: The Pinellas Pro League, sponsored by the Suncoast Tennis Foundation, makes its debut at 7 p.m. May 25 at the Treasure Island Recreation, Tennis and Golf Center. The format will include singles, doubles and/or mixed doubles for club tennis directors and head and assistant teaching professionals in social, competitive play.
The league will move throughout the county on a bi-weekly basis. For more information, call USA community coordinator Jeff Davis at 360-6543.
K-SWISS LEAGUE: The spring session of the K-Swiss Tennis League concludes this weekend with a tournament at the Cheval Country Club. Semifinals are Saturday and finals Sunday.
Registration for the summer session continues through May 30 and includes men's and women's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles. Call 865-0615.
TEAM TENNIS: This summer's USA Team Tennis for youths ages 18 and under will include the Red division for beginning players ages 6-12, White for intermediate levels 10-14, and Blue for beginner to advanced level players 13-18. Players should call Sam Vuille (867-9105), Phil Girardi (360-6062) or Doug Woods (893-7301) by the June 16 deadline.
MORE JUNIOR EVENTS: This weekend, the McMullen Tennis Complex hosts Memories in Clearwater, a state-sanctioned juniors singles competition for players 18 and younger. Call tournament director Krishnan Anandan at 669-1919 today to beat the entry deadline. ... Next weekend, juniors will be vying for a position in the 64-player draws of the third state-sanctioned designated singles tournaments for the 18s, 16s, 14s, 12s and 10s. The May 27-29 competition is scheduled in the Delray Beach area, with players accepted based on standings of the week during the selection process. ... Topspin TV, a CBS show that highlights tennis from a young person's point of view, is seeking youths 17 and younger who have developed a creative talent associated with tennis. Contact the show through the USTA communications office at (914) 696-7000.
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