Higher seeds advance at AmSouth Cancer tennis opener

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Day one of the 25th annual AmSouth Bank Cancer Tennis Tournament at the Duncan Park, Beau Pr and Vidalia tennis courts was greeted with good tennis and spectacular weather.

The former is what is expected, but the latter usually hasn’t happened much in recent years. In fact, in some years first-day play has gone as late as around midnight because of inclement weather.

But Friday’s play started and actually ended on time as the rain that was expected to hit the Miss-Lou early in the morning finally decided to stay away.

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There were no major upsets Friday, but there was one close call in the women’s 3.0 doubles division as top-seeded Pat Dickens of Natchez and Kathy Boulet of Lafayette, La. were pushed to a three-set match by Carlyn McKinney of Natchez and Nikki Mattison.

But in the end, Dickens and Boulet were able to advance with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win to advance to today’s semifinals against Lindy Cardneaux of Natchez and Judy Quimby of Ferriday, La.

&uot;It’s (the tennis) been good,&uot; tournament director Noreen Pyron said. &uot;The weather’s cooperated. Everything’s been on schedule.&uot;

There was one &uot;upset&uot; in the men’s 3.5 doubles division that took place in a most unusual way.

Second seeded Vincent Washington of Natchez and Joe Tucker of Baton Rouge were scheduled to face unseeded David Bell and Kaleel Jabour of Vicksburg in a quarterfinal match Friday afternoon.

But Tucker was stuck in traffic in Baton Rouge, Pyron noted, giving Bell and Jabour the match by default to advance to the semifinals while Tucker and Washington fell to the consolation bracket.

Several players from Natchez and Vidalia played quite well Friday, including former Trinity tennis coach Adam Cardneaux and current Natchez High soccer coach Dennis Hogue, both from Natchez, and Mary Ruth Caldwell of Vidalia.

In the men’s 3.5 division, the top-seeded team of Cardneaux and Shawn Thompson of Vidalia had a first-round bye, then defeated Doug Nigreville of Natchez and Marshall Savage of St. Francisville, La., 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals.

Then in the mixed 8.0 doubles, Cardneaux teamed up with Nancy Laird of Vidalia to defeat Dunbar and John Amoss of New Orleans 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals.

In the mixed 6.0 round robin

division, Hogue teamed up with Missy Brown to defeat Bill and Frances Pugh in round one, 6-3, 6-4.