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11 St. Pete league players win titles

By NANCY MORGAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 13, 2000


The St. Petersburg city tennis league completed its summer session, crowning four champions in women's singles and seven in men's.

After two second-place finishes in the A-1 division, Matt Casey captured the league's top position, including a win over perennial champion Nik Sukhasam.

"He beat me once and I beat him," said Casey, who lives in Largo and works in St. Petersburg.

"Then, he lost another match to Dave Drescher to give him two losses," Casey said. "But, I'm sure he'll be right back at me."

It was Dee Haupt's first time in the flex singles league, although she plays doubles in several organized leagues.

Earning an undefeated record among eight players resulted in a first-place finish for Haupt in the B-1 upper division. It gave her a boost of confidence.

"I was surprised at being unbeaten and then at even winning," said Haupt, who plays in the South Pinellas Ladies Doubles League as well as USA League Tennis.

"I've not played much singles before, but felt it would improve my doubles game. I've taken lots of drills and lessons for doubles, and I wanted to give singles a try."

Jennifer Bernhart has played in about 16 leagues, but not since 1996 in the C division had she won

Working her way back up through the league after a break while attending graduate school, Bernhart finished first among five others.

"I think my biggest advantage is that I can run down the ball," said Bernhart, "and I have pretty good endurance.

"I need more consistency, and I'm working on a topspin forehand," she said.

Bernhart and her husband, David, who won the B-3 division in the spring league, play on the city courts at Denver Park.

Joining Haupt and Bernhart as winners in the women's competition were Lori Intravichit in A-1 and Cheri Jenner in the B-2 lower division.

Intravichit survived a playoff scare from Myra Shipman to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Gordon Mantler won the B-5 division in the spring and captured the B-3 in the summer league.

Although Mantler never has participated in organized lessons, his involvement in racquetball and similar sports made tennis a natural.

Exercise and the psychological challenge are two key reasons Mantler likes to play. He will continue to do so despite beginning graduate school this fall.

Bob Doyle has played in the city league sporadically the last 15 years.

Marriage and family entered the picture, and over three years had passed since Doyle last competed in the league. The former B-2 player was was unbeaten in B-4 this summer.

"I literally hadn't swung a racquet during that time off," said Doyle, 38. "Finally, I just decided I needed to play.

"I wasn't certain which division to play in, but I did OK in B-4 and will move up for the next league," he said.

Michael Scharmer repeated as champion in A-2 and was undefeated, as was Charlie Samaha in A-3 and Carlos Gallisa in B-2. John Powell captured the B-1 title with a 6-3, 6-4 playoff win over Mike Sagese.

The city league, in its 20th year, begins its fall league this month. For more informaton, call 893-7755.

JUNIOR SATELLITE: Local players captured six of the eight singles titles in last weekend's Lakewood Junior Satellite.

Winning were Monica Sly in the girls 14-and-under, Lauren Satiel, 12s; Lindsay Dvorak, 10s; Dan Niemann, boys 18s; Jason Swenson, 16s; and Satyan Sreenath, 12s.

Sly and Niemann each finished first in round-robin competition. Saltiel, Dvorak and Swenson won in straight sets, and Sreenath survived a second-set loss to win 6-3, 2-6, 8-6.

Finalists included Samantha Melby in the 10s and Sonny Kennedy in 12s.

MEN'S LEAGUE: Plans are underway for the Pinellas Men's 60-Plus Doubles League schedule to begin next month.

Teams of three doubles positions each will compete on Tuesday afternoons.

Last year, nine squads participated in the nine-week league. A team from Shipwatch Tennis Club finished first with an 8-1 record.

For more information, call Vince Trapano, 799-3200.

K-SWISS: There may be openings in the K-Swiss Tennis League fall session for players interested in men's and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles. Call 865-0615 for details.

COMING UP: The St. Petersburg Country Club, formerly Lakewood Country Club, is offering USA Tennis Free for All Clinics beginning this evening from 6-7:30.

There's a second clinic Monday from 6-7:30 p.m., followed by an adult clinic Sept. 20 from 10:30 a.m.-noon and Sept. 23 at the same time.

The clinics will be followed up by USA Tennis 1-2-3 Sessions. Call the club, 867-9105, for details.

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