Today was a 50/50 day…I won the singles over Lyn Mortimer 61 76 (1) and we lost the doubles to Lyn and Sabine Schmitz 26 64 1/0 (8); we played a match tiebreak in the final and lost 10-8. Sabine told her friend before the match that they had no chance to win but they played very well in the 2nd set, returned consistently and served well, volleyed better. It was a fun match and nice to play some good doubles but it was disappointing to lose the match tiebreak.
In singles I was up 61 3/0 and had an ad to go up 4/0, 4/1, and 4/2 but Lyn started playing much better, and keeping the ball in the court much better. I knew she would but still wasn’t ready for it! I played better though at 45 and 56 and played a very good tiebreak to win the match. We will probably play again in 2 weeks in the Czech Republic.
So some things that are different about European Tournaments (different from USTA tournaments in the USA):
1: Entry by ipin (and you have to have an ipin)
2. Times are posted each evening, not several days in advance
3. Most if not all have men and women together and mixed doubles
4. Sign up for mixed and doubles is at the tournament
5. Very few players play doubles or mixed
6. One entry fee for doubles and singles at most tournaments
7. Used balls for consolation matches
8. No consolation for doubles; voluntary consolation for singles
9. Match tiebreak for all doubles matches
10. Matches normally are assigned to specific courts so an exact start time is not posted (only a “not before eg 2pm” time
11. Summer tournaments and tournaments in Southern Europe are held on red clay
12. Tournaments often allow players who are foreign to pay on site in the local currency
13. The ITF ranking is used for seeding and is considered important
14. There are 5 levels of ITF tournaments; the lower the number (eg Grade 1), the stronger the tournament usually, unless held in Eastern Europe
15. Rooms are small in hotels and drinks, including water (but not food) are very expensive.
Tomorrow I’m off by train, bicycle in tow, to Austria. Two changes of trains will be a challenge.