The big news today was that Kerry Ballard and I actually played a doubles match! It so flummoxed us that we nearly lost the first set (due in large part to the inspired play of Hildegard and Dagy, our opponents). We went down 52 before changing our strategy (I stayed back and Kerry went forward; took away the lobs and the balls down the line that I watched go by too often). Once we got going we didn’t drop a game, winning 75 62. One of my spinney serves actually knocked Dagy off balance and she fell; she was ok, but her back didn’t feel so well afterwards. I could see it when she didn’t move for a wide shot a few games later.
In singles, I played Caroline Glazmann for the second time on this trip. I played well and won 61 60 which was a good end to my European tennis trip…just as I am getting accustomed to this red clay again, I am going back to hard courts and California!
As usual, Ross and I warmed up indoors. The courts are so much like a hard court with a bit of dirt on top but it made playing easier, since I was ready early for Caroline’s shots!
Ross Persons of the USA won the men’s 60 singles & 55 doubles (with Carlos Behar from Colombia). He beat Behar in the singles final then he and Behar played the doubles semis and final (which went 3 sets and ended around 9pm!).
The Aussies did well with four singles champions: Kerry Ballard (who won a tough three setter over #2 seeded Micheline Van de Wiele 61 16 75. Van de Wiele, a lefty, is a good mover and hits a lot of topspin which can create havoc for those with a continental grip) W 65S; Peter Keller (M70, who won despite a torn quad muscle over Italian Giuseppe Losego 75 62; Andrew Rae, who was made to battle hard this week to take out Frenchman Alain Vaysset the #2 seed, 64 64 (Rae had easily beaten him in Barcelona, but playing at home, Vaysset was much tougher) and Adrian Alle who won the men’s 85 round robin without dropping a set. Keller/Rae were doubles finalists (losing to Bruno and Quentin).
Sue Thomas won the women’s 55 consolation over Wendy Harrison (by default; sore shoulder) and Wendy and Sue were doubles finalists.
While we were watching the highly entertaining men’s 55 doubles final between Ross/Carlos and Fitz Raijmakers/Gabriel Monroy (Carlos and Gabriel were Davis Cup teammates for Colombia back in the day but Gabriel has lived in Berlin for over 30 years now), there was a mixed doubles final going on too. There’s a reason they call it mixed troubles…and there was a lot of commentary going on, by the players, but at the end, everyone kissed and made up and had a drink together, as is common in Europe.
Daniel Grossman/Polo Cowan, USA are in the men’s 45 doubles final tomorrow.
And that’s a wrap on the Bordeaux Grade A. Many thanks to Bruno and Shirley for running an nice and friendly event at Villa Primrose. I’ll be back!