Glendale's Tina Karwasky wins two tennis events overseas

Tina Karwasky has crisscrossed the world multiple times. While going from one continent to another and logging her fair share of miles, she's managed to overcome the exhausting travel schedule and find comfort on the tennis court.

Karwasky's latest excursion took her to Antalya, Turkey, to compete in the annual Maureen Connolly Cup and Individual World Championships in March.

It proved to be a sweeping success for Karwasky, a Glendale resident for more than 20 years, and her teammates.

Karwasky worked with Diane Barker of Daniel Island, SC, Susan Wright of Grand Junction, Colo. and Pat Purcell of St. Louis, to finish first in the Maureen Connolly Cup competition in the women's 55 and over bracket. Karwasky, 60, then paired up with Wright to win the World Team Championships.

"It was a lot of traveling, but it was certainly worth it and what we were able to get done," said Karwasky, who helped lead the United States to the Connolly Cup for the seventh year in a row and is currently ranked first in the world by the International Tennis Federation in the 60-and-over age bracket in doubles. "The traveling can be pretty interesting at times, so you try to relax as much as you can and think just a little about tennis."

Karwasky teamed up with Purcell, as the duo lost only one set in the division that featured 16 countries in the Connolly Cup. The Unites States posted wins against Argentina, Germany and Australia before topping England in the championship. Barker and Wright won their respective singles matches, giving the United States a 2-0 lead.

Karwasky and Purcell didn't play their doubles championship because the Unites States recorded the mandatory two points needed to win. Karwasky said it caught Purcell and her off guard.

"We thought we would have the chance to go out there and play, but the ITF said no doubles," said Karwasky, who played and coached tennis at Cal State Los Angeles. "It was disappointing that we couldn't play.

"Coming into the tournament, we were the favorites. We knew it would be tough, though. You have to be on your toes, knowing that every point counts and that you are playing for your country."

After briefly basking in the glory of winning another Connolly Cup, Karwasky prepared with Wright for ITF Seniors World Individual Championships, the highest-ranked event on the ITF Seniors Circuit for male and female players ages 35-55.

In the women's 55 doubles championship, Karwasky and Wright recorded a 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 win against Carolyn Nichols and Purcell.

It marked the first time that Karwasky, currently ranked second in the world by the ITF in the 60-and-over age bracket in singles, had won the event.

"It was fun, but it certainly wasn't easy looking back on it," Karwasky said. "It's fulfilling to finally be able to win it after coming so close before.

"We won the first set pretty easily. You get to the second set and it's a case in which you try to be more careful because you can go to a tiebreaker and then anything can happen. We lost that second set, forcing the tiebreaker, but we were able to regroup. It was hard because the momentum can change during a tiebreaker. We were able to hit our shots and get eight straights points and Susan was mentally tough."

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