I play my first match here today in Austria, against an Austrian. I don’t know her, and haven’t seen her hit so I will be ready for a good clay court match today.
Yesterday I practiced a lot, which felt good after sitting on the train all day Sunday. I hit with Dennis Dumas from Canada in the morning at 7:30. Carol Campling and Judy Hancy from Australia were nice enough to let us share their court at 7:30 for 20 minutes, then we walked to the Leonstein Club which had an open court at 8am and we got in another good 30 minutes of hitting. Dennis had a match in the men’s 50 yesterday but lost to a good Italian player. There’s a bit of altitude here and the balls are different, US Open Extra Duty, the ones we use on hard courts in the US. The courts here are a bit slower I think than in Baden Baden, and not too slippery, but the ball does bounce higher, due to the altitude. The mats to drag the court here are lighter and have only one layer of matting, not two as in Baden Baden. The tournament organizers here are very strict on practice times, the gates to the club are locked till 7:30 and about 8:25 everyone is ordered off the courts via megaphone, at least at the Werzer courts. At the other two smaller clubs things are more relaxed. After breakfast I met up with an American, Bruce Barrett, who plays in the 65s and is a good lefty serve-volleyer who is a rarity among Americans…he speaks German! We walked about a mile to another site after checking out the possibility of practice at the three clubs in Poertschach (nil). We got in a couple of hours hitting.
In the afternoon I decided to bike around but the chain fell off my bike (it’s having a tough trip here!)…it’s at the bike shop now getting fixed up. Poor bike!
The weather here is quite cool for now, upper 60s to low 70s and so far not raining, though cloudy a bit.
I play at 3pm today at Leonstein Club on the same court I practiced on yesterday. It’s pretty short in the back so hopefully I can get my opponent into the back fence on a few shots and she doesn’t do the same.
Here are a few shots from the train ride to Poertschach and from the tennis yesterday.
Draws from the tournament can be found here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100030421 (click on order of play then draws).