Weather plays havoc with tennis tourney

Published 12:52 am Sunday, May 16, 2010

NATCHEZ — Day one of the 31st annual Natchez Community Cancer Tennis Tournament at Duncan Park, Trinity Episcopal and Beau Pré Country Club couldn’t have turned out any better — except for the heat and humidity.

Day two, however, was marred by a three-hour weather delay that went from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday with another round of heavy rain and thunderstorms that caused yet another delay in the action in the late afternoon.

The second round of rain not only forced the matches scheduled to take place in the late afternoon and early evening to be pushed back to this morning, but it will force today’s finals in each division in men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles to take place later in the day. Some of those finals matches are scheduled to start at 9 a.m.

As for the tournament itself, tournament co-chairman Noreen Pyron said everything has been good — with one exception that she was hoping to avoid.

“It’s gone good except for the rain. We were going so smoothly,” Pyron said. “When you have rain, it pushes everything back.”

As for the turnout for this year’s tournament, Pyron said she was not surprised that the number was down from last year.

“We have around 100 players, which is about 30 players down from last year,” Pyron said. “We’ve got a good number of locals, and we’ve got some from out of town.”

Pyron said that the tournament committee is thinking about moving the tournament back to around June 1, when it was held for several years before being moved to earlier in May a few years ago, to avoid any conflicts.

Friday and Saturday have both seen competitive matches take place and there have been some third-set tiebreakers.

The only good thing about the rain that moved through late Saturday morning was that it dropped the temperature nearly 15 degrees from the lower 80s to the upper 60s. It did warm up as the afternoon wore on, but Pyron said it wasn’t as unbearable as it was on Friday afternoon.

“It was really hot (Friday). As far as the heat, it’s been better today,” Pyron said.

Among the competitive matches that took place on Saturday was a mixed 7.0 doubles quarterfinals match pitting Lisa Dale and Joe Garrity against James Breaux and Carolyn Mann.

Dale and Garrity trailed Breaux and Mann 0-5 in the first set before rallying for an unbelievable 7-5, 6-4 win to advance to the semifinal round. However, none of the seeded teams in women’s open doubles, women’s 3.5 doubles, men’s 3.5 doubles, mixed open doubles or mixed 7.0 doubles have been upset yet.