Today, Friday, was finals day in Baden Baden for several divisions. Our final pitted World #1 Lyn Mortimer from Australia against World #2 (me) from USA. We were scheduled for noon, and about noon we were given the court assignment and balls, and told that the court would be free in a few minutes. We thought that meant the previous match had finished and the players were sweeping the court. However, that was not the case. The previous match was still going on, though one player was up 62 5-0…then 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5. It really looked like a three setter was in the works! However, the player who was leading finally managed to close it out 7-5 and we went to the court…just as the predicted rain showers materialized. They were light showers though, so we warmed up and started to play. It’s weird for someone who grew up on hard courts to play in the rain. I’ve done it many times, but it’s really not too pleasant, and my gut strings don’t appreciate it either. However, the coatings on gut are pretty good these days and my strings held up fine. Anyway, I won the first set 64 after trailing 2-0. Lyn was up in the second set 2-0, 15-15 serving when it started raining pretty hard, so we stopped for a while. The court was starting to get muddy and we agreed to wait till it dried a little. Play on some of the other courts never paused. We were just told by tournament staff that it was up to us when to resume play. No roving umpires were every in evidence to look at the courts (or call foot faults). When we resumed, the rain had gone, there were patches of blue sky and we finished the match under dry conditions. I won the second set and the match 63. It was a very close match since there were a lot of deuce ad games. Lyn and I are below with Angelika from the Baden Baden Club.
Heide Orth won the 70s here this week. Carole De Bruin, with whom I have been practicing this week, won her first round singles and mixed and is into the finals of mixed. In the 55s, Betty Michel (France) upset top seeded Laura DiVittori (55s, Italy) in three sets in her first ITF tournament outside of the world championships or French nationals. There seemed to be quite a few upsets overall in singles. The doubles draws were small. Marc Pepin of Canada advanced to the men’s 55 final without playing a match (bye/default) and to the mixed final by playing a single match, but the finals should be competitive.
The rain continued on and off during the afternoon, but the courts here dry really quickly, so play wasn’t halted for too long, and matches ran mostly on time. I went to the Penny Market (sort of like an Aldi or Trader Joe’s) to return bottles (you put them in a machine and get a credit to use in the store, 25 euro cents per 500 ml bottle. The store bakes bread in house, has a vast array of chocolates at good prices, decent fruit and veggies and everything from shampoo to ice cream to spaghetti sauce. It’s always a good place to go shopping in Germany.
Tomorrow I’m going to warm up Carole DeBruin and then wander around Baden Baden and perhaps watch some tennis. Then it’s taxi/train/bus/plane/taxi to Poertschach, Austria.
Below are shown Carole/Carolyn.