USTA National Women's Clay Court Championships (Closed)
HOUSTON, TEXAS: The USTA National Women’s Clay Courts Closed were held February 25-March 2 in Houston, Texas.
Offering both singles and doubles in the 35s, 45s, 55s, 65s,75s and 85s.
Taking place in Houston with Tournament Directors Sue Bramlette and Cathy Lassiter with Harriett Hulbert as the referee.
The tournament offered an excellent venue and a strong field of competitors including current 55s ITF World Champion Diane Barker, Susan Wright (55 doubles) and Erika Smith and Alissa Finerman (45 doubles).
The tournament attracted many past world champions including Mary Dailey, Rita Price, Carolyn Nichols, Brenda Carter, Carol Wood, Dori deVries, Kathy Langer, Burnett Herrick, Elaine Mason & Lyn Tietz.
This tournament also attracted players with USTA membership from Norway, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and Canada.
Jorgelina Torti from Argentina, who had a career high singles ranking of 347 in 2000 won the womens 35s beating Simona Bruetting (USA) 67 63 76. This was a day after she upset the top seed, American Patricia Zerdan, 64 in the third set. Gee Gee Garvin and Bruetting won the doubles title, beating Tammy Morris and Jill Toney in the final.
The women’s 45s saw the return of American Jolene Watanabe. After causing an upset by defeating top seed Anna Zimmermann (USA), she completed the ideal comeback with a 76 61 win over former tour player Jenny Klitch (USA) in the final.
Current 45s world champions Alissa Finerman and Erika Smith defeated Vesna McKenna and Mary Dailey in three sets to claim the doubles crown.
2012 ITF World 55s champion Diane Barker (USA) retained her title in this event, dropping only one set in the semifinal to Carolyn Nichols. She then ousted Susan Wright, in a repeat of last year’s final, 61 64.
Carolyn Nichols and Susan Wright were to take doubles title with a win over Tracey Thompson and Chris Ramsower-Pearlstein 64 75.
Top seed American, Brenda Carter, who won a “Gold Slam” in 2012 (winning the USTA National 65 singles titles on Hard, Clay, Grass and Indoors), continued her unbeaten streak, winning her sixth straight national 65s singles title with a win over Molly Hahn. Hahn had upset No. 2 seed Carol Clay on her way to the final.
Brenda Carter and Betty Wachob took home the doubles title after beating Molly Hahn and Judy Louie.
The 75s women’s event was loaded with current and former world champions. American Dori deVries held the trophy at the end, beating her doubles partner, Roz King, in the semis and Ria Graham in the final. Ria was playing her first national in the 75s age category and had an excellent tournament up to the final beating third seed Burnett Herrick (USA) and second seed Lyn Tietz (USA) before losing out to Dori in the final.
Dori deVries and Roz King (USA) took the title of the women’s 75 doubles.
The women’s 85 age category produced a strong draw and was also to receive ITF World Ranking points in their own age category for the first time. The title was won by Doris Lutz (USA) who was handed a walkover in the final after Rita Price of America was forced to retire with injury.
The women’s 85s doubles title was taken by Janet Hubbard and Beverley Little (USA) as a result of the injury sustained by Rita.
Many thanks to the members, sponsors and tournament organisation for sponsoring, hosting and running such a great event.