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Club's success leads to start of men's league

© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 28, 2001

Three men's doubles leagues have been running concurrently, providing plenty of action for the participants.

The first to begin was the inaugural South Pinellas Men's Doubles League. In response to the success of the South Pinellas Ladies Doubles League started by St. Petersburg Country Club tennis director Sam Vuille five years ago, he structured the men's league similarly.

"Some of the men that knew of the women's league asked about having one for them," Vuille said. "Since there seemed to be a need for it -- just like when I started the women's -- we gave it a shot."

The response was favorable for the league's first go-round, with four teams in the 3.0-3.5 division and seven in 3.5-4.0.

Following a six-week season, Isla Del Sol and Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club tied in the 3.0-3.5 double round-robin format, and Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club tied with Seminole Lake Tennis Center in 3.5-4.0.

Playing for the Isla squad were Bob Curtis, Larry Reynal, Tom Gaffney, Glenn Phillips, Bob Frye, John Amodeo and Stan Bishop.

Tying with Isla in 3.0-3.5, with both scoring eight of 12 possible points, were TI's Dick Derosa, Mike Sullivan, Dan Sullivan, Rudy Koletic, Jack Freider, Bud Bugatch, Tim Tyler and Rich Prestera.

"We're naming co-champions this first season," Vuille said, "because with the start of the USTA senior leagues, it would be difficult to have any kind of a playoff."

Playing for co-champion Seminole were Mike Parker, Lou Motko, Andre Carnikus and Hank Howser.

Joining Seminole as co-champion with 10 points were Bardmoor players Mike Ganster, John Gelestor, Tony Henrion, Tom Lincicome, Morris Horne, Frank Bellcourt, Tom Jones, Tom Cawthon and Bill Ganster.

Entering its final three weeks of action is the Men's 60-and-over Fall Doubles League. Nine teams, ranging from north Pinellas to St. Petersburg, compete weekly on Tuesday afternoons. Each squad has three doubles positions.

Up to this week's matches, Shipwatch Tennis Club and Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club are tied for first with a 4-1 record. Shipwatch's loss was to St. Petersburg Tennis Center. Treasure Island fell to Renaissance Vinoy. The league continues through Dec. 18.

Starting this month and continuing through January is the USA Tennis Florida local Senior Men's Doubles League. Teams are comprised of players at least 50 years old and include three doubles positions. Local champions advance to state competition in the spring. The squads are divided into 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 playing levels, with 3.5 divided into three sub-divisions and 4.0 into two. Twenty-five teams are participating.

The Racquet Club has four squads, the Vinoy two and Shipwatch, Bardmoor, Seminole, Feather Sound and Treasure Island one each. Competition is on Saturday afternoons.

NATIONAL OPEN: In last week's USTA Championships in Tallahassee, Marc Sawyer teamed with Zachary Ganger of Jacksonville to win the 16-and-under doubles title in straight sets. In singles, fifth-seeded Sawyer played to the quarterfinal main draw and reached the consolation final.

Haley Dodson rallied from a first-match loss to win four rounds in the consolation draw.

At the competition in Plantation, Lindsay Dvorak won a match in the girls 12 division and advanced three rounds in the consolation draw. She paired with Natalie Collins of Vero Beach to reach the doubles final.

Second-seeded Kelly Nelson rebounded from a first-round loss to win six consolation rounds in the 18 competition in Pensacola, playing in the final with No. 3 Danielle Wiggins of Jacksonville. Wiggins won 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.

Erin Heeder advanced to the round of 16 before losing to No. 7 seed. In consolation action, Heeder won a round, then was eliminated by the eighth seed.

JUNIOR NOTES: Anthony Barrancotto reached the boys 10 final in the Train Smart Tennis Top Gun Satellite Circuit.

Barrancotto eliminated second-seeded Kosuke Hasegawa of Wesley Chapel 2-6, 6-1, (6) in a semifinal to face No. 3 Joseph Valdes of Tampa in the championship. Valdes won 6-3, 7-6 (6). Tarpon Springs' Luke Bodine, No. 2 in the 14 division, finished first in the state-sanctioned tournament.

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