• Category Archives Grade A Tournaments
  • Wednesday: Singles & Laundry Successes

    Santiago, Chile

    Today I played my first match, against Austria’s Shirley Friedl. She is a nice lefty player, but I played pretty well and the altitude helped my high balls jump a bit and I won 60 60. It’s always an enjoyable, fair match. We played on Court 1 and again, the courts this year are playing much much better than five years ago. I don’t know what they’ve done but kudos to the grounds people for making them so nice to play on.

    After the match (and a short massage, $8 for 15 minutes and the guys working in the massage area are good and seem to be pretty knowledgeable physical therapy.

    After lunch I decided to see if the app I downloaded to pay for the laundry machine worked. What one does is open the app, give it access to your camera and then point it at the QR code on the machine you want to use. The laundry is in the basement, but there was some cell service there (this wouldn’t work without it), but it was slow. It took a few minutes but I managed to get both machines working, so I will have no more issues with a lack of coins for the machines.

    While I was waiting for my laundry to finish, I went to the Unimarc for some food and sunscreen. The packaging all has warnings (not the carrots I bought of course)…the chocolate says high in calories, saturated fat and sugar. As a result it’s quite good.

    I think I figured out why the stores were all closed early yesterday…buses stopped running at 5pm, and the metro shortened its hours, and there were more demonstrations at the Plaza Italia, and also in other cities in Chile. But there’s not much in the English language newspapers I can find. In Las Condes today, it was business as usual, and calm. But downtown, in the center, it’s a different environment.

    Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)

    First Practice in Santiago

    Practice Day 2, Santiago, Chile

    Practice Day 3, Monday, Santiago

    Santiago Tuesday: Last Practice Day


  • Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)

    Santiago, Chile

    I’m on the bottom half of the world now, in the Las Condes part of Santiago.

    The flight from Houston was delayed…not because the plane was late (it arrived around 5am; our flight was scheduled for about 10PM), but because no one brought it to the gate in time and when it arrived…it hadn’t been cleaned after the flight from Australia! It makes me wonder what the plane was doing…did it have an invisibility cloak? Did it decide to make a quick trip to Florida or Cancun? Anyway, we only arrived a bit late though it was a loooong walk from the plane to passport control. (Hint…there are about 10 restrooms along the way, so if there’s a wait at the first, keep walking). There were a lot of signs advertising this climate conference which has now been moved out of Chile due to the riots in late October.

    I had a taxi waiting, which I was happy about since several people approached me who weren’t official taxi drivers. There’s been a lot of vandalism here and rioting but honestly, we went through a lot of tunnels and I kept falling asleep, so didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary on the drive from the airport, but it was midday, not when the unrest has been occurring.

    I was able to enter my apartment and after putting my bags away, went to the bank (where there was an armed guard who was quite alert, by the door), and managed to get some Chilean pesos out of a machine which had instructions only in Spanish. Then I went to get a SIM card for my phone, in the subway area. It was humming, full of open shops in the middle and both sides of the passage. Then I went to the grocery store. The grocery seemed pretty normal. But there was a guard at the entry, and the entryway windows were covered with plywood. There was a very large area for avocados, another for citrus, and juice oranges, but overall the produce section was small. The refrigerated beverage section was huge and I even found bags of ice. Cookies seem very popular, chocolate bars less so.

    After I put my stuff away I decided to try and find the tennis club. Google took me to the parking garage. Instead walking a bit farther the same direction (which would have led me to the entrance), I walked around the opposite way which was over a mile, but I know now how to get to the club tomorrow for practice. (Turn right by the McDonalds).

    There were a lot of boarded up stores along Apoquindo Ave. but overall everything seemed here like business as usual. The area around the club had some really nice houses. A lot of them were in the half-timbered style of Normandy, and all had high fences with spikes on top. The club had a double fence.

    The weather here was nice today, warm but not humid and overcast so it didn’t feel very warm.

    Buenas noches.


  • Bordeaux Champion & Avoir Bordeaux, Hola Espana

    Bordeaux, France

    Sue Bartlett and I played the 60s final today and finally played on Court 1, which was a good court! We were the 4th match after 9am (and not before 1:30). Fortunately, the three previous finals were straight sets, so we got on court not long after 2pm. And then we hogged the court for nearly three hours. The first set was very long, and had a rhythm till the end; we actually were on serve till 5-5 with no breaks which for 60+ women on red clay was sort of amazing. We had a lot of long deuce games though, starting with the first one which lasted over 10 minutes I think. I finally broke at 5-5, won the first point of the next game….and then lost 8 points in a row, then won 7 straight to win the set 76 (4). The second set was also tough. I got up 4-0 because Sue slowed down, then she seemed to get a second wind and won 3 games straight. I managed to close out the set 63, but it took quite a few match points. Sue played really well and I scrambled well. As one spectator told me, she volleyed well and I had good legs for running.

    Sue and I with our doubles prizes.

    Ross Persons had a tough match with Pierre Godfroid in the men’s 60s final, losing 76 75. Ross said he had some set points in the first set but that Godfroid came up with big serves on the big points and accurate volleys. Persons though won the men’s and mixed doubles.

    Darren Price fell in the semis of the men’s 45 doubles in a match tiebreak (navigating those is tricky) and Catherine Taylor (Mary on the draw) lost her first round robin doubles match, but has another tomorrow.

    I didn’t see much this year of Bordeaux. I had to play one match each day at an undefined time and also had smashed my toes at the beginning of the week; they were ok by today but I couldn’t walk a lot on them till today. But I had a nice time, loved the local food and club.

    There was a nice awards ceremony after the matches finished (they were waiting for us I think) with prize giving, and some food and drinks. I won a huge bottle of wine (see above) which I exchanged for a gift certificate at a local tennis shop which sponsored the tournament. And we received tea towels from the club for doubles (much more portable than wine!). So we all went shopping after the ceremony and I have some more tennis clothes and a RF hat!

    The Alles (Adrian plays in the 85s) are at a lot of these tournaments…always smiling and dressed to kill!

    I’m off to Mallorca tomorrow to train for the worlds in Portugal. It’s very hot there so hopefully I’ll survive the training Monday!

    Draws are here.

    Previous posts about Bordeaux


  • Doubles Champions; Singles Final Saturday

    Bordeaux, France

    It was another lovely day in Bordeaux. Sue Bartlett and I were rescheduled to the 6th match after 8:30 (not before 2pm)…we got on around 5pm. We played two Spaniards, Encarnacion Gomiz and Carmen Lang and won 60 60, (and there were 3 no-ad games we played). We played on Court 7, which is basically concrete with a bit of red clay on top, painted lines, dangerously slippery.

    Sue and I play the singles final tomorrow 4th match after 9am, not before 1:30pm but on Court 1, the first time either of us has played a match on the main bank of courts. It’s unlikely I’ll see much if anything of Bordeaux this trip but I’ve seen a lot of Villa Primrose, which is a lovely old club.

    Don’t forget to sweep the court after play!

    Ross Persons finds himself in three finals; he won the mixed 55 with Luisa Gouveia of Portugal; and he’s in the 60 men’s final vs Belgian Pierre Godfroid and the men’s doubles final with Fritz from the Netherlands.

    Darren Price from USA and Andrew Moraghan GBR are into the QF of the men’s 45 doubles, beating two Brits to reach the semis.

    And that’s a wrap on today’s action. Final tomorrow then on to the next stop Sunday morning.

    Draws

    Previous posts:

    Traveling…

    Bordeaux Doubles Day

    Bordeaux Thursday; Singles Success; Slippery Clay!


  • Bordeaux Thursday; Singles Success; Slippery Clay!

    Bordeaux, France

    I played my second round robin match today against Carmen Lang, who just won the Spanish closed nationals in the 60s. We were the 2nd match after 11am on court 7, the 4th match overall on that court. The 3rd match began about 11:30 but went three sets so we didn’t start till after 2pm. Meanwhile, Court 8 next door was open for hours, till after we finished our match, while many matches were waiting for courts. But I was told that it was not possible to change courts once posted on the schedule.

    Anyway, it was my only match, a pleasant afternoon and neither hot nor cold so it was not unpleasant to wait under the trees. I warmed up with Ross Persons who is in the men’s 60 semis after upsetting the #2 seed yesterday. He had the day off from singles today. We warmed up on the slippery fast indoor clay (picture a cement court with thickly painted lines and a lot of red dirt thrown on top and you get the picture…VERY slippery). It was a perfect warm up because Court 7 was also very slippery, very dry, quite fast and had painted lines and clay thrown over cement. It was also pretty windy at times.

    I won 61 62, and Carmen played a good second set. She really whacked her forehand any time the ball was short or mid court, and whacked it pretty well to the corners, but also made a fair number of mistakes, which helped me out. We again were given pretty water bottles (which I didn’t’ realize was in my backpack so I carried it home).

    I also caught up with some friends I hadn’t seen for a while, Andrew Moraghan, Catherine Taylor and Darren Price. Darren fell in three sets in men’s 50s, Catherine lost in W45 but Andrew won, to face the #2 seed next.

    On my way to the club I walked by my favorite Patisserie and sandwich shop for a “poulet aux crudités” or a chicken, veggie and egg sandwich on a fresh baguette. It was wonderful (and I have half left for tomorrow)…all for about $4. On the way back from the club I picked up some carrot salad which is so very good in France and had a wonderful dinner with that, some Tomme cheese and baguette.

    Tomorrow Sue Bartlett and I play doubles, our final RR match and then on Saturday we play each other in the singles final. It’s been a pretty spread out schedule with only a match a day starting Tuesday.

    Draws are here.

    Traveling…

    Bordeaux Doubles Day


  • Men’s 75 Grass Moves to Rancho Mirage November 19-23 or 24

    The Men’s 75 Grass has found at home in Rancho Mirage, CA at the Mission Hills Country Club. Steve Solomon, who runs the 60 Hard Courts will take over this event from the Wesson LTC in Michigan.

    Here’s the link to the tournament home page:https://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=239813

    For questions, go to the home page which has Steve’s phone and email listed and hotel information

    Note that the 75s will start on Tuesday the 19th and finish on the following Sunday or Monday according to the website.


  • Successful Semis in Poertschach

    June 13, 2019, Poertschach, Austria

    The order of play here was posted pretty late yesterday (about 9:30pm), due to the thunderstorms which delayed play. I was scheduled for 9am which meant an early warm up. Fortunately Ellen Neumann and her friend Katy Boeroecz (who was in the 55 semis) allowed me to warm up with them!

    I played Cornelia Keller from Germany. We played on Center Court (only women’s matches were scheduled for such an early hour!). I won 60 61 and then watched the other women’s 60s semis for a while. I knew for sure I’d play another lefty, since the other semifinalists were both lefties. In the end Karin Theeuwes of the Netherlands won 75 75 over the #2 seed, Sylvia Reigl.

    I also watched a bit of Lucie Schwab’s final…she looked tired and her wrist was taped but she played very cleverly, using lots of spins and angles and drops and won 63 63 to take the 50s division over Karola Thumm. In the women’s 75s, Michelle Bichon beat Heide Orth again, in two close, tough sets. Laura DiVittori beat Katy in the 55s semis and Barbora Koutna took out Lisa Prechtl, so they face each other tomorrow. DiVittori played smart, mixing up the pace of her serve and ground strokes and holding off a determined opponent in the second set, winning 75 64. Koutna used her superior groundstrokes to power past Prechtl. In men’s 85’s, Aussie Adrian Alle lost but German Herbert Althaus won. Werner, the German 80s player I hit with the other day lost to an unseeded player who moved very well. Wayne Crowley of Australia won in men’s 65s. Heidi Eisterlehner, with whom I trained the second day I was here beat Carol Campling of Australia 61 61. Canada’s Taras Beyko was playing top seeded Alexander Lindholm when I left and the two were having a good, even battle in the first set. I ran into Danny Shaw, and American living in Europe. He was playing doubles with Keith Porter of Canada and mixed with an Austrian.

    The weather today was great, no rain, sunny and warm. They had a nice display of trophies up today since some finals were already played.

    I play the singles final tomorrow and doubles semis (50s).

    Draws are here.


  • The Sun Returns…then So Does the Thunderstorm

    Wednesday June 12, 2019, Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    This morning was beautiful and sunny here in Carinthia (the sun rises at 5am!). I hit midday with Laura DiVittorio (Italy, W55), and watched a little tennis. I ran into an Austrian friend and we arranged to hit at 3:30.

    I went back to my hotel for lunch and to do some writing (no, not this blog). I had the drapes shut so I could see the screens and did hear noises from time to time but thought it was the AC cycling on (it wasn’t…I had actually turned it off). A bit after 3pm I left the hotel and saw that the ground was wet. It was sunny…I had totally missed a couple of downpours. The practice court was soaked, and matches delayed. Back to the hotel for a bit.

    I went back around 5pm to see if my doubles partner was playing yet (she ended up coming on court after 6:30pm) and stayed to watch a really exciting women’s 50s match between #2 seeded Lucie Schwab (Austria) and #3 Petra Dobusch (Germany). This match was of a high level (the power was ridiculous) featuring huge forehands and service returns, insanely powerful overheads and magical down the line slices from Petra and gorgeous drops, slices that didn’t bounce (but still were returned), and lovely heavy topspin forehands combined with ferocious slice forehands from Lucie. Lucie won the first set before I started watching. Petra won the second 64. The two players didn’t take much of a break between sets, neither left the court and they didn’t even ask for new balls! Lucie won the first two games quickly; Petra rebounded, finding the court again from 2-3 down to go up 5-3 (Lucie gifted her the 53 game with two double faults and errors). Petra then blinked a bit…backed off with the power allowing Lucie to raise the ball more and hit some gorgeous dropshots, to win the final four games. This match was on court 11, the last court in the club. It should have been on a show court, it was a semifinal, or even center court. But center court seems to have only men’s matches. OK…there are more men than women by at least a 3/1 ratio but some women’s matches (and this was one) should be on center…and Lucie is Austrian!

    The other match I watched was a 35s women’s match (on a show court) which was in the third set when I sat down. It was interesting as it was between a counterpuncher who slid beautifully and an aggressive baseline who occasionally went to net. Apparently, after I left, one of them injured an ankle (the blonde aggressive baseliner). It was either Katherina Jacob or Christine Kraupa. Scores aren’t posted, so obviously it was the loser of that match. (I’ll update with the winner later). Update: Kraupa won by retirement, so Jacob was the one who was injured (taken to the hospital).

    American Bruce Barrett was upset in the quarters today. That match was next to the women’s 50 match, but other results aren’t posted yet.

    I didn’t play a match today…the match which went unfinished yesterday turned into a default today as the Austrian player had a conflict. So actually the four seeds all reached the semis and I play the German Cornelia Keller while two lefties battle it out on the bottom half of the draw.

    Draws are here.


  • Practice Day in Warm and Sunny Austria

    While it’s raining in England….it was warm (upper 80s) and sunny on the “Austrian Riviera”, and it’s supposed to hit 90 by Friday.

    I had a hit set up today at 11, but my practice partner strained something so I wandered down to the courts to see if I could find someone interested in hitting. I ran into Herbert Althaus who plays in the 85s, and he said his friend Werner needed a hit. Werner is the top seed in men’s 80s and is tall and walks very fast. The court I had been told was at the Leonstein courts up the road, but it turns out it was at the PTC (Poertschach Tennis Club) further up the hill abutting the railroad track (literally right next to the end of the courts). The court reservation had been made by a friend of the person I was supposed to hit with so there was initially a bit of confusion at the PTC as well, but it was soon sorted and we were hitting.

    Werner isn’t super fast but he hits a good ball and we had a great hit. It was not only warm but a bit humid and I was soaked at the end.

    I went to the store (Billa) to get lunch stuff and drinks (along with a lot of other people, it was pretty packed), and after lunch watched a bit of the match between Gundi Wieland and Ingrid Bruckner. I play the winner tomorrow which, as I expected, was Gundi. Both are lefties…there are a lot of lefties in this draw.

    Overall it was a mellow day, really warm and lots of people were swimming in the lake. Or having a drink in the shade.

    I play at 11:30 tomorrow (though looking at the schedule, I expect the tournament to be an hour behind schedule) and there’s a pretty good chance of thunderstorms all afternoon so I hope I get the match in without too much delay.

    And that’s it for Poertschach today.

    Draws are here.

    PTC, Interesting Window, Babolat balls are heavy, door to go with the windows

  • King Van Nostrand Sweeps 85s; San Diegans Win 75 Doubles

    While in a rain delay during Thiem/Novack (and the Barty/Anisimova semi was…streaky).

    I won my singles semis against Gundi Wieland from Germany. She beat the #3 seed yesterday; I won 60 60, though we had some good points. Gundi is the second straight lefty I’ve played and I practiced with a lefty most of last week…so it will be a bit weird playing a righty tomorrow! However, I warmed up with my doubles partner, Ellen Neumann who is in the 55s and a righty.

    Ellen played an excellent match against Laura DiVittori who is the #2 seed in the 55s. When I started watching it was the beginning of the third set and there wasn’t much between the two of them…believe perhaps. Laura won 75 in the third set, rallying from 1-4 and 4-5 down. Lots of slices and drop shots and from Ellen, great drives, from DiVittori, high changeups at critical times.

    King Van Nostrand beat his doubles partner, Herbert Althaus of Germany in the 85 singles final and then teamed with him to beat Hans Jell of Austria and Ashley from New Zealand. Ashely was really happy since they won 8 games. King is on his way home to Florida after this tournament.

    Dave Van Den Berg and Karl Placek won the 75 doubles over Peter Pokorny and his partner, and they are off, Dave to Spain and Karl to his native Czech Republic. Karl lost his semifinal singles today.

    Lisa Prechtel won her singles today and plays DiVittori in the 55 singles final.

    Taras Beyko from Canada was playing again on Center Court and Germany’s Stephanie Kolar was on a side court playing W40.

    Michel Bichon beat Heide Orth in the 75s in three sets but they are the top seeds next week, so may play again soon.

    They are using Babolat Team balls (not available in the USA…and they come in a metal can!). 8 Euros for 3 balls or you can rent them with a 5 euro deposit. Needless to say we search for lost balls and on the warm up court there is a lot of foliage at the end and side of the court where balls go to hide. So far we’ve found them all.

    Lake Worth, DiVittori, Neumann, Prechtel, Kolar, Beyko, W60, Sabine, Karl & Dave

    one.

    Draws are here. 


  • Let the Tournament Begin

    So the French Open ended early on a delayed quarterfinal day…so I’m writing without that distraction! Who will reach the final: Konta vs Vondrousova; Anisimova vs Barty; Fed vs Rafa; Thiem vs Djokokovic?

    Onto the tennis at the Werzer Cup in Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria.

    I played my first round match today. I had a good warm up with Laura DiVittori from Italy, who plays in the women’s 55. I played Shirley Friedl who is a good player from Austria (lives in France too). However I won 60 60 in under an hour because she has a bad back, a stress fracture in her right foot and also a partially torn plantar in the same foot. It was nice of her to give me a match (and she won one yesterday), but I hope she heals up soon.

    Speaking of injuries…Luisa Gouveia hurt her right arm (she’s a righty with a one-handed backhand)…falling off a hover board while trying to jump (hmmm), so is playing lefty this week and her forehand looks good…she won a match yesterday, but lamented her lack of a serve and volley left handed! She did lose today however.

    Karl Placek from San Diego played the #2 seed today in men’s 75, Johannes Muehlenburg from Austria. Placek won the first set, lost the second and it looked bad for him when he went 41 down in the third. Muehlenburg had several points to go up 52, but Karl saved a big one by hitting a behind his back lob over Muehlenburg for a winner. He was in control from then on, even if he didn’t got to net as often as his doubles partner Dave Van Den Berg wanted him to (which was every point). He’s in the semis now.

    Karl Placek after a 3+ hour win today

    King Van Nostrand won today in the 85s over Adrian Alle to advance to the final against his doubles partner, Herbert Althaus. Althaus is always smiling, talking, really a nice guy and a good player…my money is on King though.

    Adrian Alle left, King Van Nostrand, right

    Bruce Barrett, USA fell to his doubles partner from GBR, Chris Ornstein and they were having a tough time in doubles when I left, playing Velasquez and Hoefling.

    In doubles, Ellen Neumann and I have to play in the 50s and are in the semis (5 teams). So that will be a challenge, but hopefully a fun one.

    Draws are here.


  • Last Practice Day

    While NOT watching the French Open….

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    Unlike Paris, where it rained all day, it was a warm, sunny day in Poertschach, and even a bit humid. I had a great hit with King Van Nostrand and then with Bruce Barrett, so hopefully I’m ready for my first round match tomorrow.

    I did scout my opponent a bit. I play a lefty Austrian who is a good solid player, and hopefully we’ll have a good match tomorrow. I watched from the top of the Center Court bleachers and could see the Worthersee and the red clay court at the same time. They played on court 1, which on the weekend was nearly unplayable and covered with weeds. It still has issues (grass growing into the court making the sidelines narrow) but is playing much better.

    Left: Heide Orth; Right: Shirley Friedl on Court 1

    I also saw Heide Orth play a really nice match against a Swiss player who could move. Heide hits each shot with purpose (her backhand in particular is gorgeous) and won quite handily against a not bad player (she could move!)

    The #4 seed, Karin Theeuwes of the Netherlands fell to an Austrian player, Inge Pils-Feichter in straight sets. Pils-Feichter won the Grade 2 last week in Klagenfurt and beat the person who is the #3 seed here so she’s obviously a good player.

    My doubles partner, Ellen Neumann played a solid match in the 55s, scoring with several aces and some nice net play against her athletic opponent. She plays Laura DiVittori of Italy next in round robin play.

    Dave Van Den Berg and Karl Placek who are from my club at home won their 75 doubles match. Placek, seeded 7th in men’s 75, plays singles tomorrow.

    That’s it for today…waiting for the schedule to come out and there are still many matches on court.

    Draws and schedule are here.

    Previous blog posts:


  • Biking Around

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    While watching Wawrinka play another classic, this time against Federer….well, now in a rain delay at 3-3 in the fourth.

    Today was another warm and sunny ☀️ day in Austria. I hit for an hour in the morning, and after lunch rented a bike and rode along the sea a bit and stopped by Aldi (called Hofer in Austria). It looked pretty much like an Aldi in the USA with better (and fresh) bread.

    After my ride I went back to the club and on center court who do I see but Dave Van Den Berg from Rancho Santa Fe playing the legendary Peter Pokorny. Dave impressed the locals who are used to Pokorny winning 60 60…it was 2,2 and Dave rued his missed opportunities. He played the correct strategy though, serving big and giving Pokorny little rhythm. Pokorny though hits pretty deep and accurately and has a wicked drop shot… When Dave missed his big first serve he got behind in the points.

    I set up practice for tomorrow and then stared watching the French Open…

    Poertschach, Austria…Planes, Trains and Tennis

    Practicing on the Dirt

    Werzer Cup: Hitting With a Legend

    Draws and results.


  • Werzer Cup: Hitting With a Legend

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    Today I had a chance to hit with King Van Nostrand. King is aptly named…he’s a king of senior tennis, and is true tennis royalty. From Vero Beach, Florida, he’s been honored by the ITF with a seniors lifetime achievement award, having won more than 10 Individual World Championships and more than 10 team championships.

    King is playing in the 85s, but his ball is so heavy and his dropshot so short and spinny. There are several good players in the 85s, but I can’t see King and his titanium knees having too much of a problem winning this event.

    There are a few San Diego area players here, and I watched a bit of Dave Van Den Berg. He was playing an Italian player with two pretty hefty knee braces and cruised to a win. He now however has to play Peter Pokorny of Austria, the top seed and like King, a legend whose won more than 10 individual ITF titles and team events. A couple of other Americans, Karl Placek (seeded 7) and Robert Anderman (faces the #4 seed) are playing 75 singles here.

    I just practiced a couple of hours today, hit the grocery store and drug store and watched more French Open tennis (and listened to it on Radio Roland Garros which is excellent).

    Photos aren’t loading right now….wifi in Europe tends to be dreadfully slow at least in hotels.

    Previous Blog Posts:

    Poertschach, Austria…Planes, Trains and Tennis

    Practicing on the Dirt

    Draws are here.

     


  • Poertschach, Austria…Planes, Trains and Tennis

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    Thursday and Friday were travel days…I left California around 11:30am Thursday and two planes and three trains later ended up in Poertschach (with a nine hour time change) at 9pm on Friday. I put my racquets in a Volkl backpack instead of a bigger racquet bag and since they were visible got a lot of questions about why I had three with me. (Answer basically is 18 gage string doesn’t last, particularly on red clay). A player from Vancouver (but a Czech native) was very interested in seniors tennis; the Americans from Charlotte, NC on the train to Salzburg with me also had questions. Tennis is more popular than I thought.

    I had scheduled an 11am hitting session with Bruce Barrett from Florida. He won the 70 doubles at the worlds last year and I know him from a number of tournaments. He’s also a lefty. As it turned out I hit with three lefties last week and again today (twice) and will be playing with a righty (Heidi Eisterlehner) and Bruce tomorrow too. The draws were posted here and it turns out that I’m very likely to play a leftie first round, so my scheduling turned out to be a fortuitous accident.

    Bruce and I hit at the main courts in Poertschach. There was a junior tournament for quite young players (they were using short courts and soft balls), and it was co-ed…lots of girls vs boys matches in singles and doubles. That meant the practice courts were limited. We hit on Court 1 which was in pretty iffy shape. Lots of weeds are growing on it and the lines are half buried under the dirt. We swept them and rolled one end, but the consistency of the bounces were more reminiscent of a grass court than a clay court…some balls rolled, some jumped up or sideways…or both! We practiced twice. Today was sunny, warm, dry and beautiful…lucky us, apparently it’s been raining here for nearly a week!

    The tournament begins on Monday. I have a bye so don’t play before Tuesday. There are 14 players in the draw, and a number of good players. The woman I am likely to play first round was my final round opponent when I played her here several years ago.

    All for now…I’ll add some more photos but I’ll leave you with this view or the Worthersee, and some photos of the planes, trains and scenery along the way.


  • Finals Day, National Women’s Hard Courts, La Jolla: Two Marathons in One Day!

  • Friday was finals day at the USTA National Hard Courts at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. I didn’t get to see much tennis because I was on court most of the day from about 11:30 till about 8pm. Susan Wright and I played our second marathon in a month, and it was a tough match. I came away with the 26 75 76(4) win in about 3.5 hours (was down 41 in the third but kept on fighting). Susan is as gracious in defeat as in victory, the sign of a champion. About 90 minutes later Robin Harris and I took on Susan and Shannon Carney in the doubles final. Three hours later Susan and Shannon came away with a well deserved 57 63 62 win.
  • Shannon won the 3/4 playoff over Cindy Johnson in a match tiebreak 14-12. Their tiebreak (they were playing next to us) seemed to go on forever, though I think their match was shorter than ours. Erin Boynton/Abbi Neuthaler won the bronze over Una Davis/Tracey Thompson. Kathy Vick took 5th and Erin Boynton took 7th. (The tournament had a quarterfinal playoff and then a 7/8 playoff for the quarterfinal losers who lost their first match in the playoff, a first.
  • Jen Dawson was the only double gold winner of the week, edging top seeded Andrea Rice in a grueling 75 75 win. I saw a little of the beginning of the match and it was fantastic tennis. Jen is a rock at the baseline and Andrea played athletic all court tennis. You won’t find two nicer competitors anywhere (Shelly Works, you have competition for this title in these two!). Dawson teamed with Jenny Rens Keller to win the doubles over Rice/Anna Zimmermann 62 62. It was Jenny Keller’s first gold ball.
  • Conan Lorenzo, Andrea Rice and Jen Dawson with TD Bill Kellogg, photo courtesy of Mary Johnson
  • Kristen Kepler won the 50 singles bronze over Keller; Deb Higa/Jennifer Lyons took the bronze over Kepler/Neuthaler.
  • Judy Dixon won the 70 singles with an emphatic 63 60 win over #2 seeded Molly Hahn. I believe it was her first singles gold ball. Liane Bryson/Kathy Bennett won the doubles over Dixon/Vicky McEvoy 64 63. Sue Kimball edged Carol Gay in three sets for the singles bronze but Carol Gay/Sheila Johnson came away with the doubles win against Hahn/Kimball to win the doubles bronze.
  • Lorna Brooks, unseeded, won the 80 singles 62 64 over top seeded Dorothy Wasser. She did it the hard way too, beating the #3, #2 and #1 seeds en route to the title. Brooks is from Wyoming now but used to live in Exeter, in the Central Valley of California and we used to practice together about 35 years ago… I knew how good she was then and so wasn’t too surprised when she won. She was one of the top 2 juniors in SoCal as a youngster (Sally Huss was the top junior). She played with her hair down, which amazed some of the spectators (it doesn’t move). Lola O’Sullivan/Barbara Oldfield were the surprise doubles winner. For Barbara it was her first USTA ball of any color! They beat Claudia Giacommini/Dorothy Matthiessen 76(4) 63 for the gold.
  • Burnett Herrick won the 80 singles bronze by default (injury) over Carol Wood; Herrick/Wasser beat Lynn Tietz/Wood for the 80 doubles bronze.
  • The 90s final is this morning at 9am between Rita Price and Jane Lutz, followed by the de facto doubles final (it’s a three team round robin between the two undefeated teams) scheduled for 1pm.
  • Draws are here.
  • Day 1 Blog
  • Day 2 Blog
  • Day 3 Blog
  • Day 4 Blog
  • Photos (more will be added).

  • Semifinal Day: Loooong Day on Court

    I was on the court at least 6 hours today playing matches…started singles around 1:30, finished at 5pm then played doubles from about 6:15 to 9pm. That’s a lot of tennis. We started late because of morning rain, but as predicted it stopped around 11 or 11:30 and the courts were dry by 12:30. We had to wait a bit for a consolation match to finish. I played Shannon Gordon Carney from St Louis. She’s a former All American from UCLA and currently coaches a college team in St. Louis. She’s a counter puncher, I’m a counter puncher, we had long rallies despite a very stiff and persistent cross wind. I won 63 36 61…took five match points though in the last game. Susan Wright dispatched Texan Cindy Johnson 61 60. In doubles Robin Harris and I had a long battle which began in sunlight and finished under the lights. We won 36 61 64 against Una Davis/Tracey Thompson and it was a tough match with a lot of excellent points. We play Wright/Carney in the doubles final tomorrow…they took out Abbi Neuthaler/Erin Boynton 76 62.

    In other divisions, Lorna Brooks (my pre tournament dark horse pick in the 80s) reached the final with a 61 76 win over #2 seed Burnett Herrick. She plays top seeded Dorothy Wasser in the final; Dorothy edged Carol Wood in two tight sets.

    In doubles, Lola. O’Sullivan/Barbara Oldfield, the #3 seeds, upset #2 seeded Lynn Tietz/Carol Wood and take on #4 seeded Claudia Giacommini/Dorothy Matthiessen in the final. Claudia/Dorothy upset Wasser/Herrick in a long tough three setter.

    In the 70s Judy Dixon advanced to the final with a tough 3-setter over Carol Gay. I am not sure who won the other semi; the tournament website says Molly Hahn, but another press release says Sue Kimball…stay tuned. Update: Hahn won 63 62.

    I do know though that Dixon/Vicky McEvoy are in the doubles final against Kathy Bennett/Liane Bryson.

    In the 50s, the top 2 seeds, Andrea Rice and Jennifer Dawson advanced in straight sets to the final; Rice/Anna Zimmermann upset #1 seeded Deb Higa/Jennifer Lyons 62 75 and Dawson/Jenny Rens Keller ousted Kepler/Neuthaler.

    As expected Jane Lutz and Rita Price are in the 90 singles final.

    Live cam from ct 2: Court 2: https://www.ipcamlive.com/ljbtc

    Draws: https://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=222471


  • Quarterfinal Day at the USTA National Women’s 50-90 Hard Courts

    There were a lot of great matches at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club today in La Jolla, CA.

    In the 50s, Kristen Kepler edged #4 seeded Anna Zimmermann in three sets, a reversal of their result last month on clay. La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club member, and an altogether great person (I mean, her nickname is “Bubbles” because of her bubble personality…she’s never met a stranger), Jenny Rens Keller upset #3 seeded Michelle Saunders 62 46 61; in the second set Jenny stopped attacking but she rectified that in the third. She joins her doubles partner Jen Dawson, and Andrea Rice in the semis.

    Rice/Zimmermann lost the first set to Krista Oconnor/Lisa Traylor before rallying for the win; Oconnor/Traylor play together a lot whereas it’s Rice/Zimmermann’s first tournament together. They face Deb Higa/Jennifer Lyons in one semi while Abbi Neuthaler/Kepler take on Dawson/Keller.

    In the 60s, the match of the day was that between Tina Karwasky and Cindy Johnson. Johnson quickly won the first set 60 and seemed on the way to a straight set win, leading 3-0 in the second; but Karwasky, the consummate professional, fought back strongly, forcing a third set, which was tight all the way. Johnson prevailed 64, using all of the court to earn the win. Kathy Vick played a good first set, and lead 5-3 but came up just short against Susan Wright, 5-7; Susan played a flawless second set winning it 60. Shannon Gordon Carney outplayed Colleen Ferrell Clery 61 62 and I beat Erin Boynton in a tough match (the score doesn’t reflect the quality of the points and games) 62 62. I play Shannon tomorrow.

    In doubles, Johnson was also involved in the match of the day. She teamed with Vick to take on Una Davis/Tracey Thompson. Johnson/Vick won the first set 62 and seemed on the cusp of victory after rallying from 3-5 down in the second to level it at 5-5, but Davis/Thompson relaxed, changed their strategy a bit and won 26 75 61. Robin Harris and I won 60 60; Wright/Gordon Carney won a tough match against Karwasky/Carolyn Lane 64 76 and Boynton/Neuthaler beat Sherri Bronson/Kim Dean.

    In the 70s, Carol Gay of San Diego blitzed Ann Loose (who played consecutive 3-set singles the past 2 days) 60 60; Judy Dixon won in straight sets; Molly Hahn overcame a set deficit to beat Mary Alice Pisani and Sue Kimball also rallied from a set down to beat Barbara Hubbard. In doubles, the top four seeds advanced; only Gay/Sheila Johnson dropped a set (to Diana Kitt/Pisani).

    In the 80s, Lorna Brooks knocked off Dorothy Matthiessen 63 60 to set up an interesting semi with Burnett Herrick. Carol Wood beat Kathie Meyering in a first time meeting and faces Dorothy Wasser next.

    In doubles, all four seeds prevailed though Tietz/Wood and O’Sullivan/Oldfield had tough three set wins to reach the semis; they face each other tomorrow. Wasser/Herrick beat Palmer/Brooks and take on Giacommini/Matthiessen in the semis.

    Lutz and Price sailed past Sally Fuller/Joyce Vanderpol; both Joyce and Sally had very long three setters yesterday.

    All draws and results are here.

    Monday round up

    Tuesday round up.

    Live cam for court 2 here.