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Lutz player recovers to win two

Last weekend was filled with action for junior singles and senior doubles and mixed doubles.

Local clubs hosted state-sanctioned sectional tournaments for players in the 18-and-under, 16, 14, 12 and 10 divisions.

In the boys 18, Cameron Babbitt of Lutz lost in the first round of the main draw but won two matches in the consolation.

Babbitt's first loss was to Orlando's Michael Venus, who was No. 4 in the state 16s last year.

"In the consolation draw, I played more offensively and got to the net better," Babbitt said.

Other local seeded players included No. 4 Konstantin Lazarov and No. 1 Alex Vuckovic in 18; No. 10 Istvan Bolgar and No. 4 Clint Bowles in 16; No. 3 Zoe Kent in 16; No. 2 Joel Samaha in 14; No. 10 Tyler Brown and brother Tanner, No. 15, in 12 and No. 1 Nathan Graddy in 10.

Meanwhile, senior leagues missed the rain Saturday.

Defending 3.5 women's champion Westin Innisbrook Resort is 6-0 in the 11-team division. Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club is second at 5-1 with its loss to Innisbrook.

Innisbrook's 3-0 victory against East Lake Woodlands came on the play of Maureen Sternberg and Dale Slive at No. 1, Anne Hammond and Nancy Kraemer at No. 2 and Sue Luidens and Kathryn Fitzpatrick at No. 3.

Heritage Springs won its first match in 3.5 2-1 against McMullen of Clearwater. Marilyn Linker and Christine Schneider won 7-5, 7-5 at No. 2 and Kathy Driscoll and Margaret Johnson won by default at No. 3.

In the women's 4.0, Shipwatch Tennis Club edged St. Petersburg Tennis Center for first with its 2-1 victory against Bardmoor.

The Phil Green Tennis Academy 3.5 North men's team, with captain Joe Gari, beat Innisbrook 3-0 and is 4-0 in the five-team division.

Senior mixed doubles leagues began earlier this month for three teams in the 7.0, five in 8.0 and two in 9.0.

Local winners advance to the state tournament during the spring.

In 7.0, Innisbrook won its opener 3-0 against Royal Racquet Club. Debra and Ed McGinley won at No. 1. Dale and Malcolm Slive at No. 2 won in straight sets and Anne and Robert Hammond at No. 3 in a third-set tie breaker.

Shipwatch Tennis Club created a three-way tie with Bardmoor and Royal Racquet Club in 8.0 by beating East Lake Woodlands 2-1.

In 9.0, the Racquet Club and Phil Green Tennis Academy split two matches and play four more times for the title.

K-SWISS WINNERS: Local winners among the nine women's divisions in the fall league include Cindy Swartz in the 3.5-minus and Anne Anderson in the 4.0-minus.

Among the 10 men's divisions, John Paulette won the 4.0-minus and Michael Halisky the 6.0.

Registration for the spring continues through Jan. 28. The season begins the week of Feb. 14 with the semifinals and final scheduled for May 8-9. For details, call (727) 865-0615 or visit www.ultimatetennis.com.

PROS: Kelly McCain, formerly of Wesley Chapel, reached the semifinals of the USTA $10,000 Satellite Women's Tournament at the Tampa Tennis Complex. The top seed, ranked 225th in the world, fell to No. 8 Nan Nan Liu 6-3, 6-3.

McCain teamed with Kristen Schlukebir and reached the semifinals along with Lutz's Stacia Fonseca with Cory Ann Avants.

COMING UP: The Brandon Swim and Tennis Championships for junior singles begins Jan. 30 at the Brandon Swim and Tennis Club. Call Pete Stecher at (813) 689-0908 before Tuesday. Train Smart Tennis Rookie I is Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Tampa for junior singles and doubles players. Call Alan Williams at (813) 610-7301 by Jan. 28. The Adult Winter NTRP is Feb. 6-8 at East Lake Woodlands. Men's and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles are available. Call Rick Workman at (727) 785-2212 by Feb. 3.

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