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Women Platform Tennis Players Whack It to Winter

WILTON, Conn. - Liz Cruz and Tina Lum smashed serves, ran down lobs and whacked forehands in Wednesday’s Connecticut Women’s State Paddle Championships.

It was their first time competing in the tournament, but they said they loved the competition, the concept and the delightful – for January – weather.

“It’s beautiful,’’ Lum said as she waited to compete in the semifinals. “We couldn’t ask for anything better weather-wise.”

Lum, who plays out of the Patterson Club in Fairfield, and Cruz, who plays at of the Weston Field Club, joined forces just this year and won a recent tournament in Madison, Conn.

The tournament featured 32 teams, almost all of them from Fairfield County clubs. The Lake Club in Wilton was the primary site for the tournament. Teams also played matches at Woodway Country Club, Wilton Riding Club and New Canaan Field Club.

Cruz and Lum formed an instant chemistry playing together, and it showed on the court. “We both enjoy the competition,’’ Cruz said. “That’s one of the things that makes us a good team.”

The matches began in the morning and continued throughout the day. Winners had to play multiple matches during the day to advance to the finals. It was cold with a brisk wind but relatively mild for January in Connecticut. Most players wore vests, long pants and long-sleeve shirts. Some wore hats.

“It’s nice that it’s a women’s tournament,’’ Cruz said. “Sometimes we play with the men and you really have to be ready. They hit it right at you."

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