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Dear Members,

I hope everyone’s fall is getting off to a good start and that temperatures in your area are easing up. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we get some of our most beautiful weather in the fall, although at the moment we’re experiencing very hot “Indian Summer” days. I’m ready for it to cool down!

This month I am asking you to put on your thinking cap. Competitive senior tennis, especially in our Category I events, is thriving in the older divisions. Sadly, the younger divisions are struggling with fewer and fewer participants. Back in the late 80's when I played my first year of 35s Cat I tournaments the draw sizes were very different than they are today. Here is the scary comparison:

35 Hard courts 1989: Singles entrants - 41, Doubles entrants - 60
35 Hard courts 2018: Singles entrants - 0, Doubles entrants - 0

35 Grass courts 1989: Singles entrants - 48, Doubles entrants - 48
35 Grass courts 2018: Singles entrants - 4, Doubles entrants - 10

35 Indoors 1989: Singles entrants - 23, Doubles entrants - 38
35 Indoors 2018: Singles entrants - 4, Doubles entrants - 6

35 Clay courts 1989: Singles entrants - 31, Doubles entrants - 38
35 Clay courts 2018: Singles entrants - 14, Doubles entrants - 32

Thank you to Carolyn Nichols for getting me the 1989 information!

In an effort to find out what players are looking for in tournament play the NSWTA put out a “tournament participation survey”, but we didn’t really get enough responses to have a real picture of what our players are looking for and what drives their decision to enter a tournament. Here are my calls to action:  
  1. If you are a player in the 30, 35, 40 or 45 age groups, who participates in Cat I and Cat II events, please tell your tennis friends why you like these tournaments and encourage them to play.
  2. Younger players - Tell us what is not working for you. Are the tournaments too long, too expensive, or is there something else we can do to grow our participation?
  3. If you are an older player, tell your younger tennis player friends about the fun, friendships, and competition they will find at our Cat I and Cat II events.
  4. If you have some great ideas for growing participation in the younger divisions, let us know!
If we don’t work together to figure this out we could lose our best events! We need new ideas and we must be open to change to make national level senior tennis thrive in the future. Our membership is filled with bright women who can help us find solutions. Please let me know what you think at

Andrea Barnes
NSWTA  Co-President 
New Members and Renewals 
Brigid Chick, Jane Fluet, Jane Huff, Christiane Jackson, Elizabeth Kibler, Quynh Le, Sheryl Leicher, Claire Magruder, Jeannette McGlone, Krystal Meier, Mari Mitchell, Cary Morris, Brenda Neurell, Stephanie Newell, Janet Ogawa, Elise Orban, Sheila Palmer, Simmy Pell, Jan Pierson, Katherine, Burdett Roesler, Leila Anne Rowan, Bette Sacks, Curtis Scipiarath, Jane Tabet, Phyllis Taylor, Jacquie Van Haelst and Kathy Vick.

Look For Your New NSWTA Directory Soon
Board member Elizabeth Barnhill has done an amazing job of updating our database and putting together an accurate member directory. We’re now ready to send it to you! Look for the NSWTA E-Directory in your email inbox soon. Our plan is to send the continuously updated directory to our members regularly so you will always have accurate contact information for your NSWTA friends.


Congratulations to First Ball Award Winners!
Pictured above: Wilma Lee (left) won her First Gold Ball playing 70 singles at the National Indoors in Vancouver, WA. Lois Harris and Pam Simons (middle) won their First Gold Balls at the National 70s Indoor Doubles Championships. Chris Smith (right) has won USTA Balls before in the Mother/Daughter, but at the National Indoors she won her First Silver Ball in her age-group, playing 80s doubles with Kathie Meyering.

Nominate a Member for the 2019 Margaret Russo Award 
NSWTA members are invited to nominate a fellow member for the Margaret Russo Award. The award honors the memory of Margaret Russo who was an NSWTA member who epitomized outstanding sportsmanship on and off-court as well as being an outstanding player. She is greatly missed by all her knew her. The award is given annually by the NSWTA to a female player who exemplifies the finest qualities of outstanding sportsmanship both in tournament play and off the court. The winner is recognized for her love of the game and her respect and concern for her fellow competitors. Previous recipients of the award are: Belmar Gunderson, Joni Hannah, Patricia Graham, Carol Clay, Brenda Carter, Betty Wachob, Trish Faulkner, Kathy Langer, Shelly Works, Lu Fendig, Barbara Hubbard, Cindy Babb, Kathy Barnes, and Mary Boswell. The award is presented during the banquet at the National Senior Women’s Intersectional Team Championships. The winner does not have to be present. 
  The NSWTA Award committee will review all the nominations and choose the winner. The deadline for returning this form is October 20, 2019


Hall of Fame Inductees

Kathy Vick
Lubbock High School Hall of Fame
Kathy Kuhne Vick was in Austria on the day of 9/11 and in New Zealand when a killer earthquake struck in 2011. When she had a flight canceled once, she took a ride with a total stranger the more than 500 miles from Branson, Missouri, to Chicago. Tennis has taken Vick a lot of places, and it started innocently enough in the Lubbock Independent School District. “My dad introduced me to tennis in my sixth-grade year,” Vick said, “and then some friends from Parsons asked me to join them in a free clinic for those who might be interested in competing at the junior high level. “And ever since then, I was hooked and have had a passion for the sport.” Read more

Cindy Babb
USTA South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame

Whether Cindy Babb is playing tennis or volunteering, her undying love for the sport undergirds her success on the court. Babb has been actively involved as a player and volunteer since she moved to South Carolina in 2004. She has been ranked among the top three singles players in South Carolina for twelve years, including number one for five years and number one in doubles since 2005. She has been ranked the number one singles player in the south five years and the number one in doubles 13 years. Babb earned national rankings of number four in singles and number one in doubles in 2016, the year she won the USTA National Grass Court Singles Championships. Read more
Words Are A Constant Source of Misunderstanding
By Mary Hill
Teaching and coaching cues should paint a picture in our minds of the action that we want to accomplish. Too many times our words are “misunderstood” in our mind’s image. Three examples of misunderstood words or phrases are 1) watch the ball, 2) pay attention to your ball toss, and 3) hit an overhead. When you watch the ball, you more often turn your head back and allow the ball to get in so the ball plays you. Instead, put your focus on your  “contact zone”, the space that is forward towards the net. Read more

Mary is one of Northern California’s most respected tennis coaches. She has worked with Carolyn Nichols, Martha Downing, and countless other outstanding players. In addition she enjoyed an outstanding player career, capturing multiple national titles. 

Bea Burnette "Queen Bea"
At age 83, “Queen Bea” has accumulated multiple pages of national and world-wide tennis titles. Since the age of 17, she has had quite the life of traveling, adventures, and occupations. Some of her favorites– staring in over 50 television commercials and 6 soap operas. The sport of tennis quickly became Bea’s passion, and it helped that she was pretty good at it too! She always managed to make tennis a large part of her life no matter where she was, whether that be teaching lessons or playing professionally. Please enjoy this wonderful story and video featuring 80s player Bea Burnette. Click here for video

USA Alice Marble Cup Wins ITF Seniors World Team Title in Portugal
By Carolyn Nichols
The ITF Seniors World Team Championships take place annually and are the senior equivalent of Davis Cup and Fed Cup. There’s a three day round robin competition followed by a three day “knock out” competition which determines the finishing order of the teams. The competition this year was held at the National Stadium just outside of Lisbon, and the playing surface was red clay. There is an opening ceremony at the start of the competition annually and the players from each team paraded into the center court behind their country’s flag, wearing their national track suits. It’s the closest most of us will ever get to the Olympics and is a fantastic feeling. Read more and view photos

Fun in Seattle - 60s Indoors
By Leslie Airola-Murveit

The beautiful Seattle Tennis Club hosted the last Category I tournament of 2019 for the 60s. This tournament is unique in that it includes only one age group, but because the men’s 60s also plays, there is an opportunity to play mixed doubles. This is a great benefit for doubles specialists who have the chance to play two doubles events in their age group. Pat Purcell took full advantage by foregoing singles and winning the gold ball in women’s doubles (with Carolyn Lane) and the silver ball in mixed doubles (with Curt Chan). Read more and view photos

National 40, 50, 70, 80, 90 Indoor Championships
September 2-7, Vancouver, WA
By Pam Simons

One of the joys of playing national age level tournaments is the people you meet. This was particularly true in the 70s draws at the National Indoors in early September. A Portland-area location, the Indoors drew a lot of West Coast players that this East Coast player doesn’t know or get to see often enough. Back after a short medical hiatus was Mid Westerner Sherry Ploor, who with dubs partner Elizabeth Barnhill kept us in stitches. “Let’s get together and break things” is how Sherry greeted her eager friends. (The duo would limp home injured but happy, as they are now eligible to apply for the Wilson Friendship Cup).  Read more

Nonagenarians at the National USTA Championships
Left to right: Jane Lutz and Rita Price (Gold), Joyce Vanderpol and Elizabeth Harrison (Bronze), Janet Hubbard and Pat Weidenmann (Silver)

More photos from this tournament

Friendship Cup Applications Close Soon!
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation has made possible a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for NSWTA women members, 75 and older, and an equal number of International players to participate in a tournament in Portschach, Austria to vie for the coveted Friendship Cup. The next Friendship Cup will be held May 28 to June 7, 2020 in Austria. Deadline for applications is October 15, 2019. Click here for more information or download the application. For questions, please contact Program Director Ann Moore.

Save Money on Your USTA Entry
You can save money on your USTA entry for the National Women's 35, 45, 55, 65, 75 & 85 Hard Court Championships. The USTA charges approximately $6.00 to take tournament entries online. If you wish to save that money just go to the tournament website. From the home page, scroll down to "Important Info" and and click on more info next to the "Tournament Entry Form". The NSWTA will be available every day during the tournament to answer questions and renew and add new members. Please come by and say hi! Let’s all support our membership and grow women’s tennis!
Upcoming Registration Deadlines 
USTA National Mother Daughter Clay Court Championships     
October 4-6. Academia Sanchez-Casal, Naples, FL
Entries close: October 01 Register

Barbara Cooper Cup Presented by Les Grandes Dames - Cat II
October 16-20. Lauderdale Tennis Club, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Entries close: October 11 Register

USTA National Women’s 35, 45,  55, 65, 75, and 85 Hard Court Championships
October 21-27. Palm Valley Country Club, Palm Valley, CA 
Entries close Oct. 9 Mail-in registration (save $6.00)  Online registration

Texas Super Senior Sectionals - Cat II
October 24-27. San Antonio, TX
Entries close: October 13 Register

Bermuda Family Championships - Cat II
Entries close: October 20. Coral Beach and Tennis Club, Warwick, Bermuda
Entries close: October 20 Register
NSWTA Website
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