I wrote a blog yesterday, thought I had posted it, and somehow it was lost in cyberspace…the draft too, so starting over…
I played my first match yesterday against German #4 Margreth Beyer. She’s a steady counterpuncher and we had some long rallies but I won 60 61, though we had a few long games. The balls here are Wilson German Clay Court balls, heavier than the ones we use in the USA and a bit larger in diameter. They really get heavy after about 6 or 7 games and it’s difficult to always keep the ball deep, though the clay court players here seem to have no problem with it!
The doubles draw came out yesterday too, and we are the top seeds, and Heidi Eisterlehner and her partner are the 2nd seeds. There are only 5 teams in the draw. It rained a lot yesterday afternoon and rained out some singles and doubles and consolation matches. We were to play the winner of a match and ended up playing 2 Aussies today, Wendy and LeAnn from Melbourne who won their quarterfinal match easily this afternoon. We won 62 61, it was a fun match, since they were solid doubles players, and Wendy had a huge topspin forehand, hit many topspin lobs too.
I played singles earlier today against Christian Derykre from Belgium. I’d played her once before, but this time she played a lot better, hitting good inside out and inside in forehands and hitting very deep. She moved well, and was patient and consistent. I was hitting a bit short too. I started coming to net on her high shots which made the difference between winning and losing the first set, then in the second set, she tired a bit, from running around her backhand all day, and started hitting a bit shorter. I won 64 60.
Tomorrow I play Lynn Mortimer from Australia, with whom I am playing doubles this week. We played earlier this year and had a very tight match in New Zealand. She plays on a German Club team here, so knows her way around a clay court for sure.
There are a lot of differences between US and European tournaments, but the differences fade after a while. The tournament, after the first couple of days, started giving out new balls for third sets as the rules require, but consolation matches do not get new balls, only 4 used ones. We did however, get 4 new balls for doubles. Sometimes used balls only are given for doubles. There are no footfaults called…and none can be called over the center line, as there is no center line mark on any of the courts here. After each match, the players sweep the court, win or lose! There have been a decent amount of spectators here, both casual (walking along Lichentaler Allee, and noticing the tournament sign), and interested club members and other players. It makes for a good atmosphere.
Lynn Mortimer, left and Margreth Beyer, Right