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Florida Men Dominate National 30’s Clay Court Championships

December 28, 2004 09:02 AM

By Steven Sheer, Boca Raton

The Men's & Women's 2004 National 30 and Over Clay Court Championships experienced some of unseasonable cold Palm Coast weather December 10th to 14th, but nothing could stop the reigning King of Clay, Carlos Gomez-Diaz, of Fort Lauderdale. Fresh off winning the National 35 and Over Clay Court Championships, Gomez-Diaz has demonstrated exemplary senior play.  Hardly losing a game in his matches, Gomez-Diaz swept through the draw, defeating his last two opponents 6-0, 6-0.

In the women's division, unseeded Angela Lettiere from Atlanta, Georgia took out the Number 2 Seed Renata Marcinkowska in the semis as well as top seeded Martha Garzon-Elkins of Augusta 6-1, 6-0 Georgia in the all-Georgia final. Lettiere was going for the rare triple before her partner was injured and could not compete in the Mixed Doubles.  Lettiere also won the women's doubles with USPTA National Player of the Year Robin Keener from Melbourne, FL.  The doubles was played via a round-robin format.

Gomez-Diaz, 36 years old and originally from Argentina, is now residing in Fort Lauderdale and working with former USTA National coach Nick Saviano. He was once ranked as high as #198 in the world and currently holds a ranking on the ATP tour with 4 points. Gomez Diaz is also coaching several nationally ranked junior and senior players.

Over the last three months Gomez-Diaz has won just about everything he has played.  After winning the National 35 and Over Clay Court Championships in Daytona in November, Gomez-Diaz has followed with wins in prize money events in Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, and a semifinal showing at the popular Turkey Bowl in Boca Raton.  During that run, Gomez-Diaz has beaten several highly ranked players along the way.

In the men's doubles it was Derek Brooks of Tampa and Mark Harrison of Melbourne taking the title with a three set win over singles finalist Todd Smith of Dickson, TN and Michael Garnett of Collierville, TN.

The mixed doubles was won by R. Thomas Coulton of Hilton Head Island, SC and Martha Garzon Elkins, taking out the top seeded pair of Mark Harrison and Robin Keener of Melbourne, FL 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Over 75 players competed in the event, which was originally scheduled over Labor Day, but canceled due to the Hurricanes.  There were players from New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Colorado and of course, Florida.

 

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