Somehow I am the Czech Senior Open Champion in singles and doubles after having played a grand total of five sets, three singles and two doubles. Apparently the thought of playing me made two opponents ill and hurt a third in singles; in doubles Ellen and I played one match and received a default in a second match. It was disappointing to come so far to play so little. The problem in singles was that I played the #2 seed early, and the other three players had played the matches they thought they could win, and forfeited the rest. Doubles in Europe is always difficult to get organized, and players don’t take it seriously. A default in doubles is never a total surprise.
Today I warmed up with Ellen at 8:30, went to check out which court I’d be playing my match on, and saw the match crossed out. My opponent had withdrawn, but I hadn’t been notified. I watched several matches after that, Andrew Moraghan vs Gerhard Fahlke in men’s 40s (FAhlke, a lefty, won convincingly, with a combination of deep groundstrokes and terrific drop shots); Petro Krueger and Birgitte Hoffmann in women’s 70s (Petro outlasted Hoffmann, winning in three sets after Hoffmann won the first and kept the second close with smart play); Judy Hancy, women’s 70s; Lyn Mortimer vs Encarnacion Gomez (Lyn won 64 75, rallying from 35 down in the second; Encarnacion has improved a lot, she works hard at her game); and then in women’s 50s, Klaartje Van Baarle (Belgium) and Pavia Mrazova (Czech Rep). It was an excellent match, with neither player looking or playing like a 50 year old. Klaartje won the first set pretty handily 63, and led 53 in the second when Pavia rallied, held off a match point at 54 and led 65 before Klaartje leveled and won the tiebreak 73, hitting some critical lines and getting a lucky netted overhead in the breaker.
After that match I took the bus into Karlovy Vary, an adventure in itself, before doubles. I got on the bus just fine…the problem is that I hadn’t asked anyone where to get off. So when I saw a good view of the city I got off at the aptly named Panorama stop, took some photos and got on another bus to the end. I though the last stop was the center…it was instead the bus depot. I still found the city center and found the city as beautiful as ever. I discovered I could just walk up the hill to where I’d first stopped, at Panorama, after a few false stops. The Karlovy Vary Film festival is this weekend; there was a lot of construction getting the city ready for it, putting up posters, finishing some construction, etc.
Ellen and I played Encarnacion adn Heide Froystek in doubles and won 60 62, (I had to request new balls for the match; we were given used balls and not even good used balls!) then we received our prizes for winning; porcelain plates and socks and a certificate for doubles; for singles a shirt instead of socks. I was told I had a default in singles tomorrow and we were told we also received a default in doubles..
That’s it for tennis this trip.