Mother-daughter team wins national tennis tournament

Hattie Sommerville of Po‘ipu, Kaua‘i, and her daughter Betsy Purpura of Jersey City, N.J., recently won their second USTA National Mother-Daughter Grasscourt Tournament at the Newport Casino Lawn Tennis Club in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Somerville-Purpura duo beat Dora and Patricia Kinghorn 6-1, 6-3 of Hialeah, Fla., and Manasquay, N.J.

“Although the score doesn’t indicate it, Hattie and Betsy beat a very tough team in the finals,” said tournament referee Sally Utiger.

“It was great fun, said Purpura. “It’s always fun playing with my mom, and she is such a tough player.”

In addition to winning the championships, Sommerville and Purpura brought home the tournament’s Sportsmanship award in the senior division.

Earlier this summer, Purpura and her partner Laura Glitz won the women’s National 35 Grasscourts, defeating former Wimbledon Champion Jana Novotna and Jeanine Alexander, 7-5, 6-4 in the finals.

Somerville, the tennis pro at Po‘ipu Kai Tennis Club, is ranked No. 1 in women’s 65 singles in Hawai‘i, and No. 31 in the United States.

She and her husband John have been long time supporters of tennis in the islands, and all four of their children attended college on tennis scholarships.

Their son, Henry is the men’s and women’s tennis coach at Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Harriet Sommerville is one of the very few national champions who live on Kaua‘i.

Linda Estes contributed to this report.

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