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Senior Vets Tournament draws three Pasco players

Pasco players were among the nearly 85 competitors in last weekend's Senior Vets Tournament at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center.

Gaenor Broffel of Hudson played in a round-robin in the women's 55 division, and Peter James of New Port Richey and John Miller of Hudson competed among 21 in the men's open.

"I lost but I made them work," said Broffel, who is ranked No. 23 in the state in the 55 age division. "Sunday's match took 3 hours for three sets with the wind really making the ball sit up. It was very tiring."

In Broffel's first match, she lost a 2-hour straight-set match to Ali Beehner of Palm Harbor and then forced Helen Schmidt of Canada to three sets.

Miller finished No. 1 in the state in the men's 25 last year. This year he is competing in the men's open.

"You get bigger draws and better competition in the open," said Miller, 28. "I'd like to get myself ranked in the top 10 in the open."

Miller survived a lengthy three-set match with James in the quarterfinal round and met top-seed Bjorn Kerr of Jamaica in a semifinal.

"I'm a baseliner and a scrapper," said Miller. "I can run down a lot of balls. I played tentative against James, who got me out of my game.

"Our match was so long that by the time I played the top seed an hour later Sunday, I was wiped out.'

Miller defeated James 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 before falling 6-4, 6-1 to Kerr.

James, ranked No. 41 in the open, didn't start playing tennis until he was 16 years old. He prides himself on forcing the action in a point and not just being a retriever.

In all, six men's divisions and four women's were contested during the two-day state-sanctioned tournament. Other area players included Asako Tanaka (women's open), Jurpei Unten (men's open), Ron Schwarzach (men's 65), Steve Ruben (men's 45), Jeff Adamo (men's 35) and Phillip Wood (men's 35).

SENIOR NATIONALS: Florida's 3.5 senior women's team from the Westin Innisbrook Resort competed among 17 teams in last weekend's USTA Senior National Championship in Orlando. Innisbrook faced teams from Minnesota, Maryland, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania and earned a 1-3 record. Louisiana defeated Oklahoma for the national title.

PASCO WOMEN'S DOUBLES: Ten teams are competing in a women's doubles league at Veterans Memorial Park. Halfway through the 10-match season, Monika Feller and Mattie Smouse are undefeated, followed by Gaenor Broffel and Viv Lawson, and Eileen Lock and Ellie Steffler, tied for second place with 6-2 records. Competition continues through November.

SENIOR MIXED: Players at least 50 years old are encouraged to participate in the USTA/Florida Section's pilot mixed senior league. Called the Suncoast USTA Mixed Senior League, it will begin next month with matches played on Sunday afternoons. Teams include three doubles positions, with each position's combined NTRP rating equal to the team's playing level.

For more information, call Erika Boardman (399-2459), Liz Dunlop (391-0811) or Bob Hagerman (391-4380).

RATING CLINICS: Next month's rating clinics for players needing a National Tennis Rating Program evaluation are at Royal Racquet Club (799-3200) Nov. 11 beginning at 7 p.m., and at Crescent Oaks (934-6920) Nov. 22 beginning at 1.

COMING UP: An organizational meeting for this season's area USTA/Florida Senior Men's League is at 7 tonight at Royal Racquet Club. The Zephyrhills Tennis Association meets at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at Zephyr Park. Call 783-9309 for more details.Call 869-7341.