Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Battle of the Club Champions on Deck | Mixed Doubles Teams to Determine Best in Area

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Battle of the Club Champions on Deck | Mixed Doubles Teams to Determine Best in Area

Article excerpt

TENNIS: COMMENTARY

This, that, and the other ... as tennis heats up.

Though the temperature still feels like summer, a sure sign that winter is approaching around the country can be seen on the sun- drenched tennis courts around the area.

Courts that were often nearly vacant the past few months are once again filled with players as snowbirds return and local players who took a break from the summertime heat begin to knock off the rust.

The time has also arrived for idle bragging to end and real competition to begin.

Tennis club members are typically proud of their facilities and like to think they have the best players in the area. Talking is fine, but getting a chance to prove something is even better.

Don Caprio, tennis director at The Meadows Country Club, continues to provide that format with a competition that pits some of the best mixed doubles teams that area clubs have to offer.

Teams from eight clubs from around the area will take to the courts at The Meadows Country Club this weekend to compete in the 2015 Battle of the Club Champions.

Caprio began a battle for club supremacy in 2010 for men's and women's doubles teams. For the past three years The Meadows has hosted the Battle of Club Champions in mixed doubles and there has been no shortage of spirited play.

This year the past two champions -- Laurel Oak Country Club in 2013 and Sarasota Bath & Racquet Club in 2014 -- are on opposite sides of the draw. "However, this year, with the depth of some of the newer teams, it can be anyone's event," Caprio said.

In addition to the past two champions (Eric Abbott and Ann Lammers from Bath & Racquet and Ken Fugate and Celia Marchese of Laurel Oak) and a team from The Meadows (Jay Engstrom and Diane Baraldi), rosters representing area facilities in the competition this weekend will include, Bradenton Country Club (Doug Hicks and Sue Adrian), River Strand (Mike Stanton and a partner to be determined), The Landings Racquet Club (John and Carolyn Fournier), The Athletic Center at Lakewood Ranch (Wayne Osher and Marcia Frost) and a combined team from Jacaranda and Courtside tennis clubs in Venice (Bob Abbott and Kim Zastempowski). …

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