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MTC's Mike Woody (Mgr), Sue Beckett, Laura Granville (2nd), Bianka Lamade (1st), Dow's Gifford Brown

Future Women's Tennis Tour Stars Lamade, Granville Shine at Midland

$75,000 USTA/Dow Corning Challenger Draws Crowds

February 11, 2003       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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The $75,000 USTA/Dow Corning Women's Challenger tennis tournament at the Midland Community Tennis Center has to be one of the class events in the mid-Michigan area.

In addition, for tennis fans the Midland tourney gives a preview of tomorrow's stars who will be showing up in important tournaments worldwide.

Managing Director Mike Woody and staff welcomed crowds all week, capped off with a rousing upset in the finals Sunday, Feb. 9, as qualifier Bianka Lamade, a 20-year-old German, defeated world 47th ranked Laura Granville of Chicago 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 for the title and a $12,000 purse.

The doubles title was annexed by first seeds Abigail Spears and Teryn Ashley, California collegiate stars, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 over Florida teen sensations Bethanie Mattek and Shenay Perry.

Midland has traditionally been a breeding ground for new stars on the women's tennis circuit. Lamade became the fourth qualifier in the past eight years to win the championship. Others were the well known Anna Kournikova, 1996, Alexandra Stevenson, 1998, and Na Li, 2002.

Watch for Lamade to rocket from her 233rd ranking to the top 50 with her powerful serve, clocked at up to 110 miles per hour, and great ground strokes.

Even more satisfying for the German girl is the fact that she was sidelined for six months with a broken foot suffered last July until she resumed tourney play a month ago.

Undoubtedly much also will be seen of Granville, who is in her first year as a pro after winningtwo NCAA titles at Stanford.

For information about tennis instruction or playing programs, contact the Midland Community Tennis Center, 631-6151, or check their web site.

The scene during weekend play at the Midland (Michigan) Tennis Center -- Big crowds all weekend

Champion Bianca Lamade cheers a winning shot

Chicago's Laura Granville returns from the baseline

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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