FULL HOUSE GREETS AVON TOURNAMENT
The Miami Herald
Tuesday, January 25, 1983
With capacity crowds and seesaw matches, the $100,000 Avon Cup tournament got off to a booming start Monday at Marriott's Marco Beach Resort.
In the tournament's main draw, Diane Fromholtz of Australia, a relative veteran of the women's professional tour at 26, pulled the biggest upset of the day with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over eighth-seeded Yvonne Vermaak of South Africa.
In other opening-day matches, Kathy Jordan of the United States downed fellow American Alycia Moulton 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; Duk Hee Lee of South Korea beat American Barbara Jordan 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; Catherine Tanvier of France defeated Wendy White of the United States 0-6, 6-1, 6-3; and Leigh Thompson of the United States edged fellow American Pam Teeguarden 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
In the qualifying matches, which will allow eight players to move into the main draw, Sally Solomon upset second-seeded Julie Harrington 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Solomon, sister of men's professional tennis star Harold Solomon, is from Fort Lauderdale.
Susan Flickinger, director of public relations at the resort, said about 700 persons watched the afternoon matches Monday and all 1,600 stadium-court seats were sold out for the evening matches.
The 2,300 seats sold on the tournament's first day of main-draw matches nearly equaled the 3,000 seats sold during the entire $100,000 Pinch Scotch Invitational held on the island last month. The Pinch Scotch tournament featured a 16-man field of 35-and-over men tennis professionals.
"I think that maybe there was a little bit more publicity," at the Avon tournament, Flickinger said. "There was certainly a lot more community support for this one."
Flickinger also cited the promotional involvement by the players. Billie Jean King held a press conference two weeks before the tournament, Evonne Goolagong meet the press after warming up on the resort's courts last week, and several players gave telephone interviews.
In addition, Flickinger said young, up-and-coming female tennis players such as 15-year-old Kathy Rinaldi and 17-year-old Andrea Jaeger were proving their drawing power.
"The people like to watch a lot of the youth of today play," Flickinger said. "Especially, the 16-year-olds."
Flickinger said the evening matches on Thursday and Sunday were also sold out, and Saturday's evening matches were headed for a sell out.