Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Houk, Newman gain USTA Hard Court 50-over semis

   They come from small Northern California towns.
   But Tracy Houk and Judy Newman are big-time senior players.
   Houk, seeded fourth, and Newman, seeded fifth, today reached the 50-and-over semifinals in the USTA National Senior Women's Hard Court Championships in La Jolla.
   Houk crushed Mariana Hollman, also seeded fifth, of Walkertown, N.C., 6-0, 6-0, and Newman held off third-seeded Erika Smith of Oakland 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
   Houk is from Montara, population 2,909, on the Pacific Ocean 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of San Francisco. That's Montara, not Montana.
   Newman's home of Scotts Valley is a bustling metropolis compared to Montara with a population of 11,580. It's located six miles (10 kilometers) north of Santa Cruz.
   In Thursday's semis, Houk will take on top-seeded Ros (Fairbank) Nideffer of San Diego, and Newman will face second-seeded Frances Chandler of Jackson, Tenn.
   Houk has reached the final for the past four years, winning in 2013. She fell to Nideffer of San Diego 6-2, 6-3 in last year's title match after subduing Newman in a 4-hour, 15-minute semifinal.
   Nideffer, a 54-year-old South Africa native, climbed to career highs of No. 15 in the world in singles in 1990 and No. 12 in doubles in 1986. She reached the Wimbledon singles quarterfinals in 1988 and 1989 and won two French Open women's doubles titles (with Tanya Harford of South Africa in 1981 and Candy Reynolds of the United States in 1983).
   In the 60-and-over quarterfinals, third-seeded Martha Downing of Shingle Springs in the Sacramento area blitzed Carolee Hammel of Wellsville, Utah, 6-0, 6-0.
   Downing will meet second-seeded Carolyn Nichols of Rancho Santa Fe in the semis. Also, top-seeded Tina Karwasky of Glendale will play fifth-seeded Rita Giles of Falls Church, Va.
   Karwasky, the three-time defending champion, routed Downing 6-1, 6-0 in last year's final.
   The tournament also features 70-, 80- and 90-and-over age divisions. All singles and doubles finals are scheduled for Saturday.
In La Jolla
(Divisions with remaining Northern California players only)
50-and-over quarterfinals
   Eleanor Hammargen and Jennifer Lyons (1), San Clemente, def. Tracy Houk, Montara, and Anna Zimmermann (5), Indianapolis, 6-4, 6-2.
   Mariana Hollman, Walkertown, N.C., and Tracy Worley Hagen (4), Tustin, def. Lynn Ellis, Poway, and Susan Carol Whiteside (5), San Diego, 6-1, 6-1.
   Lisa Naumu, La Quinta, and Judy Newman (3), Scotts Valley, def. Carol Jensen and Prentiss Van Den Berg (5), Rancho Santa Fe, 6-1, 6-1.
   Mary Dailey, Delray Beach, Fla., and Erika Smith (2), Oakland, def. Christina Kaus and Maria Nunez (5), San Diego, 6-3, 7-5.
60-and-over quarterfinals
   Kathleen Bennett, Laguna Woods, and Martha Downing (1), Shingle Springs, def. Leslie Airola Murveit, Portola Valley, and Sue Sprague (5), San Diego, 6-1, 6-3.
   Una Davis, La Jolla, and Carolyn Nichols (4), Rancho Santa Fe, def. Carol Gay, San Diego, and Sheila Johnson, Peoria, Ariz., 7-5, 6-1.
   Sherri Bronson, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Ann Stanley (3), Lake Sherwood, def. Julie David, San Clemente, and Rita Rector (5), Spring Branch, Texas, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
   Tina Karwasky, Glendale, and Jan Kirkland-Cochran (1), Tyrone, Ga., def. Joan Avedian, Visalia, and Pene Burgess (5), Carson City, 6-1, 6-0.
90-and-over round robin
   Elizabeth Cookson, San Mateo, and Betty Eisenstein, Washington, D.C., vs. Jane Howard, San Diego, and Lucille Trefzger, Lake Oswego, Ore., walkover.

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