ALLEN, RAIN DON'T STOP HOLTON
The Miami Herald
Thursday, February 3, 1983
The sky waited for amateur Amy Holton, 17, to score the upset of her career Wednesday morning before it rained havoc on the $150,000 Murjani Cup at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.
The pint-sized Holton, ranked 138th in the world by the Women's Tennis Association, defeated No. 22 Leslie Allen, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, in a two-hour match before play was suspended for the rest of the day at 2 p.m. Allen was the tournament's 12th seed.
"Leslie is my biggest win," said Holton, who employs a consistent baseline game similiar to that of Chris Evert Lloyd, the tournament's top-seeded player. "The wind made it really hard for Leslie to volley. I threw up a few lobs at critical times."
Holton graduated from high school two weeks ago and immediately hit the road to try the professional tour as an amateur. So far, all is well.
"Amy Holton has already won enough matches here to constitute an entire tournament," said John Korff, the Murjani Cup promoter.
She fought her way through two rounds of qualifying, then beat Pat Medrado, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round and Allen, a lofty serve-and-volley player, in the second.
Along with Evert, the top-seeded players trying for the $27,500 first prize are Andrea Jaeger, Hana Mandlikova and Wendy Turnbull. The 56-player tournament will run through Sunday.
Second-seeded Jaeger and fourth-seeded Mandlikova could play three matches each today because of the rain.
"I don't mind too much having the schedule messed up," Jaeger said. If I have to play a lot more, that's OK. I'm anxious to start playing because I had a good week last week."
Holton admitted being nervous before the match but said she knew her style, steady from the baseline, is the kind that gives Allen the most trouble.
"I hope this win will move me up in the rankings," Holton said. "I don't have any understanding of how the computer works."
In the two other singles matches that were finished before the rain came, unseeded Yvonne Vermaak of South Africa beat 11th-seeded Kathy Jordan, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, and Betsy Nagelsen beat veteran Rosie Casals, 6-3, 6-4.
After her match, Holton returned to her hotel room to call older sister Kathy, a freshman at the University of Florida who also happens to be the Gators' No. 1 player.
All four Holton children play competitive tennis. Brother Ricky ranks third in Florida in the 16-and-under division, and sister Holly ranks 24th in Florida in the 12-and-under division. Amy is ranked first in the state in girls' 18-and- under and 12th nationally.
Kathy and Amy often play doubles together and faced each other last summer in the singles final of the Florida State Tournament.
"It was hard on both of us," said Amy, who won, 6-2, 7-5.
Amy credits Kathy with some of her success. "There were always times I didn't feel like practicing when Kathy would drag me out on the court. She's really disciplined," Amy said, rolling her eyes.
Holton said she plans to play amateur and professional tournaments until next fall, when she will enter college for "at least one year." She'll compete in professional events this winter and then play the national junior circuit this summer.
An underdog in the pro ranks, she's a favorite among the juniors.
When she's home in Sarasota, Holton practices at Nick Bollettieri's tennis camp. The 5-5, 110-pound, green-eyed blonde has won two national junior doubles titles and one national junior singles title.
Second round -- Yvonne Vermaak d. Kathy Jordan, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1; Betsy Nagelsen d. Rosie Casals, 6-3, 6-4; Amy Holton d. Leslie Allen, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1; all other matches postponed because of rain.
Anne Hobbs-Sue Leo d. Laura Arraya-Hana Strachonova, 6-2, 6-3; Barbara Potter-Sharon Walsh d. Ann Henricksson-Barbara Hallquist, 7-5, 6-1; Pat Medrado-Claudia Monteiro d. Felicia Raschiatore-Kim Steinmetz, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Stadium court, 8:30 a.m. -- Joanne Russell vs. Susan Mascarin, followed by Andrea Jaeger vs. Paula Smith; Kathy Rinaldi vs. Shelly Solomon or Andrea Temesvari, followed by Russell or Mascarin vs. Smith or Jaeger; Wendy Turnbull-Rosie Casals vs. Chris O'Neil-Pam Whytcross; Betsy Nagelsen-Kathy Rinaldi vs. Kathy Jordan-Pam Smith.
Stadium court, 7 p.m. -- Chris Evert Lloyd vs. Yvonne Vermaak. Hana Mandlikova-Virginia Ruzici vs. Betty Stove-Rosalyn Fairbank.
Court 8, 8:30 a.m. -- Lisa Bonder vs. Andrea Leand; Jenny Klitch vs. Hana Mandlikova; Wendy Turnbull vs. Bonder or Leand; Betsy Nagelsen vs. Klitch or Mandlikova; Zina Garrison vs. Amy Holton; Kathy Horvath-Yvonne Vermaak vs. Joanne Russell-Anne White; Andrea Jaeger-Mary Lou Piatek vs. Anne Hobbs-Sue Leo.
Court 10, 10 a.m. -- Shelly Solomon vs. Andrea Temesvari; Iva Budarova vs. Anne White; Rosalyn Fairbank vs. Sabina Simmonds; Wendy White-Leigh Thompson vs. Lisa Bonder-Beth Herr; Lea Antonoplis-Barbara Jordan vs. Andrea Leand-Sabina Simmonds.
Court 11, noon -- Leslie Allen-Lelee Forood vs. Helena Sukova-Catherine Tanvier; Petra Delhees-Marcella Mesker vs. Laura Dupont-Nancy Yeargin; Duk Hee Lee-Lucia Romanov vs. Pat Medrado-Claudia Monteiro; Barbara Potter-Sharon Walsh vs. Allen-Forood or Sukova-Tanvier.