Members of Clearwater's 4.0 men's team from Royal Racquet Club leave today for the USTA-Volvo National Championships in Palm Springs, Calif. It's the second trip for seven of the 11 players; the team finished fourth in the nation in 1988.
Injuries and an accident have created concern this season.
"We played all season without injuries," said Bill West, team captain. "Now, we have three players with injuries and our lineup is going to totally change for nationals. Still, we have a good chance."
2 singles player Frank Ingram, who lost just two matches in that position, has a severe case of tennis elbow and will be unable to play. Harry Lambert, No.
1 doubles player with Paul Corace, has the same injury and is questionable. Chip Gamble, No.2 doubles with Phil Malone, hurt a toe in a home accident and may see limited action. That leaves Tom Borst at No.1 and West and Robin Kippenberger at No.2 from the basic lineup. Bob Newhouse, Richard Priest and Bob Brierly will be counted on to pick up the slack in the lineup.
On Friday, Royal plays a team representing Southern California. Saturday, there are two matches, with Texas and the Pacific Northwest.
"We still have a good chance," Lambert said. "What concerns me are the two matches on Saturday. The temperature shouldn't be a factor, but the dry heat may. It's important to keep hydrated."
West said the team is fortunate to be headed to nationals. Local matches were close with a three-match playoff against Feather Sound Country Club.
"We sort of squeaked by," West said. "Several teams could have been in our position. We won a lot of 3-2 matches and with that you can't say you blew anyone off the court.
"It's going to hurt us losing Frank, and with Harry and Chip hurt, but we'll give it a fight."
Royal's players, whose ages range from 34-58, have prepared by practicing on hard courts _ the surface at nationals _ and running.
"Our team has played together for a long time," Lambert said. "That's going to help us. Even though we're changing lineups, we know each other's game. We'll concentrate on doubles _ hopefully win two _ and go for a singles win.
"Most of all, we'll go with a positive attitude _ and do the best we can."
Catlin selected: Marissa Catlin of Clearwater has been selected to participate in a Developmental Training Camp Nov.23-27 at the USTA Regional Training Center at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel.
Catlin is one of 32 players in the 12-under division who will participate in three days of intensive training.
Tennis reunion: Past and current players from the St. Petersburg Tennis Center (formerly Bartlett Park) are invited to participate in an on-court reunion 1-5 p.m. Nov.10. Gloria Sullivan and Sandy Ellison, organizers of the event, are planning an afternoon of tennis for players who have called the center their home club anytime since 1935.
Call Sullivan at 864-4285 or Ellison at 347-7234.
Dunedin singles: Juan Pablo Pinzon, 12, of Dunedin won his third consecutive junior singles tournament in Dunedin Oct.21. Pinzon defeated Kelly Nacol 6-4, 6-3 in the Super B division. Last month, Pinzon also won the Dunedin competition and won in Clearwater Oct.13.
In the B division, 10-year-old Richard Greene III of Belleair defeated Steve Hobbs of Clearwater in straight sets.
A junior tournament will be held Nov.3-4 at the McMullen Tennis Complex.
Women's Volvo: Clearwater's 4.5 women's team finished in the top half among 16 teams in the USTA-Volvo National Championships this month in Tucson, Az.
Clearwater won two matches before losing 3-2 to Jackson, Miss., the eventual national champion.