Friday, May 15, 2015

Houk's streak ends in USTA Senior Hard Courts

   Tracy Houk's streak is over.
   The 53-year-old Montara resident fell short of the 50-and-over final at the USTA National Senior Women's Hard Court Championships in La Jolla for the first time since 2010.
   Top seed and defending champion Ros (Fairbank) Nideffer of San Diego dispatched Houk, the fourth seed and 2013 champion, 6-2, 6-2 in Thursday's semifinals. 
   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).
   Joining Houk on the sidelines were the other two remaining Northern Californians in singles.
   Fifth-seeded Judy Newman of Scotts Valley lost to second-seeded Frances Chandler of Jackson, Tenn., 6-3, 6-2 in the other 50-and-over semifinal.
   Also, third-seeded Martha Downing of Shingle Springs fell to second-seeded Carolyn Nichols of Rancho Santa Fe 6-1, 6-1 in the 60-and-over semifinals.
   Play was suspended for the day by rain before the scheduled doubles matches could be completed.
   In the 50-and-over semifinals, second-seeded Mary Dailey of Delray Beach, Fla., and Erika Smith of Oakland will face third-seeded Lisa Naumu of La Quinta and Newman.
   In the 60-and-over doubles semis, top-seeded Kathleen Bennett of Laguna Woods and Downing will meet fourth-seeded Una Davis of La Jolla and Nichols.

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