March 7th, 2017

Panhandle Tennis Blog: League, Pro, Junior, College Results: More

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Pensacola Tri-Level 4.5 Women 2nd at Sectionals

Escambia 4.5 Tri-Level ( l to r) Susan Nitterauer, Kim Andrews, Rachel Trahan, Lisa Bew, Renee Baggett, Lauren Haack, Ingrid Hewette and Angela Stewart.

The Pensacola Tri-Level Women’s 4.5 team finished second at the sectional championships held Feb. 4-5, 2017 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. The locals ripped through the pool play without losing a match.

First to fall was Region 2 Alachua (Jones Tennis Center) followed by Region 4 Brevard (Rockledge) and Region 7 Collier (Heritage Bay).

The final match was another matter entirely as Pensacola was defeated 3-0 by Region 2 (Orlando-Marion).  The number two doubles team of Lisa Bew and Angela Stewart managed to get their match to a third-set breaker but still went down. Great job by the Escambia team.


Hubert Kessler Annual Tennis Tournament at Hidden Dunes

All the Kessler players

On Jan. 28-29, 2017 the 10th Annual Hubert Kessler Invitational Tennis Tournament was held at the Hidden Dunes Tennis Center in Miramar Beach.

Duffle’s winning team from left, Steve Duffel, Tim Sharpe, Chuck Brainard, John Cox( us open), Butch Dixon (behind cox), Marte Pearson, Garnett Scott, Scott Reed, Cary Shahid, Chip Thomas, Jay Schwalm, William Owens and Steve Erickson.

Fifty-six men played in this invitation-only four-team round robin event. Dig Eatery provided lunch both days while a Friday night dinner was held at the Ocean Club Restaurant.

For nine out of the 10 years Gaines Dyer’s team has won this event but 2017 was rewarded with a new winner, Steve Duffle’s team.

Director of Tennis, Renee Broxson, Head Professional  George Cobia, and shop manager Que Tran did their usual terrific job in hosting the event.


Guarachi Wins Doubles at ITF $15K in Spain

Alexa Guarachi (left) and Lauren Embree

Miramar Beach’s Alexa Guarachi teamed with former Florida Gator Lauren Embree to win the women’s doubles at the ITF $15,000 women’s circuit tournament held Feb. 6-12, 2017 at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor (Mallorca) Spain.

The unseeded duo defeated another American team, No. 4-seeded Jaeda Daniels and Quinn Gleason 6-1, 7-5 in the final.

This doubles victory marked Guarachi’s ninth professional doubles title with nine different partners!

Guarachi also won a singles round in the tournament and is playing stronger every outing after a year off for knee surgery.


Weaver Takes Consolation at Texas Level 2 Nationals

After an opening round loss to the No. 5 seed Fiona Crawley of San Antonio, Pace’s Elena Weaver swept through five matches to win the consolation at the USTA Level 2 nationals tournament in Austin, Texas.

Weaver was able to avenge her opening-round loss by defeating Crawley 6-2, 6-1 in the consolation final. Weaver did not lose a set in the consolation event, defeating No. 7 seed Carmen Corley of Albuquerque 6-1, 6-4 in the consolation semifinals.


Ling, Lyons Have Good Results at USTA Florida Seminole County Junior Level 5

Justin Lyons (left) and Patrick Ling

Pensacola boys’ 12 players Patrick Ling and Justin Lyons, seeded #9 and #5 respectively had good results winning three matches at the USTA Florida Seminole County Level 5 Junior Tournament held Feb. 2-6, 2017 at Red Bug, Sanlando and Lake Cane Tennis Centers.

Both Pensacola players won two rounds reaching the quarterfinals before losing — Ling by 6-2, 7-5 to #2 seed Santiago Cardenas (Tampa) and Lyons to #10 seed Maximilian Petreski (Boca Raton) 7-5, 7-5, 1-0(2). Both boys also won a match before losing in the consolation. Ling beat #6 seed Andres Wolf (N. Miami Beach) 7-6(4), 6-4 in his consolation win.

Five other area players got into the tournament — Elizabeth Nowak, Caraline and Collin Scheufler and Annalisa and Gordon Smith. Nowak won a match.


Gulf Breeze’s Essary Commits to Birmingham Southern

Congratulations are in order for Gulf Breeze senior and #1 boys tennis player Hayden Essary who has committed to play tennis for the Birmingham Southern Panthers.

Essary, who recently won the men’s doubles title with Brock Sakey and the men’s open singles consolation singles at the Pensacola Adult Clay Courts Championships, joins a host of fine area players including Buddy Gonzalez, Julie Bushmiaer Dyson, Michael Eddins, Julie Meeker Schneidt, Daisy (Humphrey) and Richard Turner, Lisa Denbigh, Terry Neill, Jeremy Taylor, Rob Dunn, Raymond Knorr, Keith Williams, Jenna Kafferly, Allyson Yarbrough Clay, David Leatherwood and Jonathan Wilke.

Essary will join Panama City Mosley’s Emily Whitlock who is currently a freshman on the Panther women’s tennis team.


Annalisa and Gordon Smith Win Level 6 Titles in Amelia Island

Annalisa and Gordon Smith.

Pensacola junior tennis players Annalisa and Gordon Smith both won their respective divisions at the Amelia Island Spring Smash Level 6 held Feb. 18-20, 2017 at Amelia Island Plantation.

Unseeded Annalisa won the Girls 16s 6-0, 6-0 over Claire Olson (Ponte Vedra Bch) while brother, Gordon the #2 seed in the Boys 16s, downed #3 seed Ryan Thompson (Ponte Vedra Beach) 6-3, 6-1 in his final.

This is the second time the brother-sister players have won titles in Amelia Island.


Frattini Wins Men’s Open Singles at Pensacola Adult Clay Courts

Former University of West Florida player Felipe Frattini defeated defending champion Elliot Minvielle (Youngsville, LA) 6-1, 7-5 to win the Men’s Open singles title at the Pensacola Adult Clay Court Championships, a USTA National 500 tournament, held Feb. 23-26, 2017 at the Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola.

Ninety-five players from 14 states participated in this year’s event and were treated to the best three-day weather in many, many years.

In addition to the beautiful weather and spirited tennis, players enjoyed a Saturday lunch from Newk’s as well as plenty of fruit, energy bars and beverages.

Complete results can be found at:


Jonsson, Thomas Finalists at Raymond James Super Senior Grand Prix in St. Petersburg

A group of really good doubles players. (from left), Marty Pearson (Oxford, MS), Chip Thomas (Miramar Beach), Roger Pearce (Columbus, GA) and Keith Bannister (Roswell, GA)

Miramar Beach neighbors Evert Jonsson and Chip Thomas both reached the finals of their respective doubles divisions at the Raymond James Super Senior Grand Prix USTA Super Category II held at various sites in St. Petersburg on Feb. 27-March 5, 2017.

This tournament is one of the largest adult events in Florida and it is only senior men’s event from 55-85 in singles and 55-80 in doubles. Players from all over the country and the world attend.

Evert Jonsson, big forehand in St. Pete

Jonsson was the #4 seed in the Men’s 70 singles and the number #2 seed with Hank Irvine of Placida, FL in Men’s 70 doubles. In singles, Jonsson had a bye, defeated Joe Adams (TX) 6-7(8), 6-1, 6-1 and was upset in the quarterfinals by #5 seed Larry Back (AR) 6-0, 6-4.

In the doubles, Jonsson and Bannister won their quarterfinal match 6-1, 6-1 and their semifinal match against #3 seeds Larry Albritton (FL) and James Hendrix (NC) 6-2, 7-6(2). Top seeded Jerry Thomas (TX) and Hugh Thompson (GA) took the title 6-3, 6-4.

Thomas was unseeded in both Men’s 60 singles and doubles with partner Keith Bannister of Roswell, GA. In singles after an opening-round loss in singles, Thomas beat three opponents including Steve Talner (FL) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0(9) and in the consolation final Pavel Jockel of Halifax, Nova Scotia 7-6, 6-4.

Thomas and Bannister opened their excellent run with a 6-7(6), 6-1, 1-0(6) over Tom Meigs (SC) and Dan Simos (MD). Next to fall were #4 seeds Bill Ashley (NC) and Dan McClure (FL) in another three setter 1-6, 7-5, 1-0(7). In the semifinals, Thomas and Bannister faced #1 seeds Fred Robinson (MC) and Jeff Winkler (FL) and again prevailed in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-3! The dream tourney finally ended in the finals against #2 seeds Rollin Rhone and Andrew Stanley from California 6-3, 7-5.

Kudos to Chip and Keith for a really terrific tournament.


Wachob Wins Women’s 70 Doubles at Les Grandes Dames JoAnne Russell Cup

(from left) Brenda Carter, Joanne Russell, Betty Wachob

Top seeded Betty Wachob of Panama City and Brenda Carter of Charleston, S.C., defeated #2 seeds Carol Clay of Ft. Lauderdale and Ellen Goodman of Winter Park 6-1, 6-1 to win the Women’s 70 doubles at the Les Grandes Dames JoAnne Russell Cup, a USTA Category II tournament held at Academia Sanchez-Casal in Naples on Feb. 15-19, 2017.

Wachob and Carter only lost two games in the doubles.

Wachob was the #2 seed in the singles where she was upset in the semifinals by #3 seed Susan Kimball of Oak Bluffs, MA, 6-3, 6-4. Wachob won the third place play-off 6-2, 6-2 over #4 seed Ellen Goodman.


Ling Wins 3 Matches at USTA Florida Junior Level 4 Championship at USTA National Campus

Pensacola’s Patrick Ling won three matches at the USTA Florida Level 4 Championship held March 4-6, 2017 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

The tournament featured 32 draws in all the boys and girls divisions from ages 12-18. So, getting into this one was quite tough. Only three area players got in — Ling, Caraline Scheufler and Annalisa Smith.

After an opening-round loss, Ling won his three matches including a consolation quarterfinal 6-2, 4-6, 1-0(8) over Jose Murariu from Ellenton. In the consolation semis, Ling fell to Francisco Montana of Cutler Bay 6-2, 6-3.