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Neeld Has Formula for Tennis Success

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Nancy Neeld may be onto something other senior tennis players don’t know about. Enter a new age division at the beginning of a new decade to win a national title.

Neeld from Albuquerque, in her first year in the 60s division, defeated top-seeded Marjorie Kohler of Carmel, 6-4, 6-0, Sunday in the finals of the U.S. National Hardcourt Championships at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.

In 1970, her first year in the 40s division, Neeld defeated Dorothy Cheney of Santa Monica in the finals breaking Cheney’s streak of 13 consecutive national hardcourt singles titles. Then in 1980, Neeld won the 60s singles national hardcourt title in her debut in the division.

“She was awesome today,” Kohler said. “When she was ahead, 5-2, I think she got a little nervous,” Kohler said. “I was able to take advantage of that but for only two games.”

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Neeld frustrated Kohler with versatile play resulting in key errors by Kohler. Neeld would hit deep from the baseline then without warning move to the net with a drop shot.

“She had deep accurate shots,” Kohler said. “No matter what I did she had me moving all over the court. Then, if I hit it back super deep I was dead.”

But without knowing it, Kohler was frustrating Neeld just a bit.

“I hate anybody who can hit the ball back more than twice,” Neeld said. “After the match Marjorie said, ‘Nancy, you just ran me all over the court,’ but she ran me all over.”

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Two weeks ago at the National Claycourt Championships in Baton Rouge, La. Kohler had defeated Neeld in three sets in an early round match.

“I was pretty pleased with how I played in the tournament,” Kohler said. “There’s always one person better than you but that’s good because that’s how to learn.”

Neeld and Kohler met a second time Sunday and Neeld was again on the winning side. Neeld and Jeanne Garrett of San Diego defeated Kohler and Peggy Landtroop of Dallas, 6-3, 6-4, to claim the doubles’ title.

In the women’s 50s final, Arlene Cohen of Orinda defeated Sue Anawalt of Monte Serreno, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3. The two then teamed up to defeat Dorothy Matthiessen of Pasadena and Carol Wood of Rockville, Md., 6-3, 6-3 in the 50s doubles finals.

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