• Category Archives 2015 ITF Seniors World Championships, France
  • ITF Individual World Championships » 2015 ITF Seniors World Championships, France
  • Au Revoir La Baule; Americans Dominate Action Sunday in France

    La Baule was a very nice site for a world championship and today was a beautiful day, overcast and beachy in the morning and sunny by afternoon.

    Tina arranged for an 8:30 pickup at the hotel. Lyn Mortimer warmed me up while Tina’s doubles partner Nora Blom warmed her up. We started around 10am as did Danny Waldman and Sal Castillo. (They won in a match tiebreak). Tina and I both had set points in the first set before Tina won the set 9-7 in the tiebreak. She went up 4-2 and the end must have seemed close to her…it did to me and not in a good way. At 4-4 we played a game that one of our two spectators (Sherri and Nora) said lasted 20 or 30 minutes…it was a long one. I won it and pulled out the next game (backhand topspin lob on set  point) to even the match. It was nearly 1pm when we resumed and I won the set and the match 61. For me I kept thinking I might never be there again, so fight! So to win was a dream come true.

     

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    The other finals were pretty routine; Mike Tammen/Mike Fedderly won easily over the Brits to take the men’s 55 title; Ros Balodis beat Chris French, who pulled a pec muscle early on and couln’t serve; she had to retire in the match.

    Considering how many Americans were in the draws we did well…swept 60 singles and doubles; won men’s 55 doubles, and finals of women’s 55 doubles, final of 55 singles and semis of 55 singles, men and women, final of 50 women’s singles and semifinalist 50 singles, semis of 55 mixed.

    Off now to the next one, Au revoir France. A bientot!


  • Saturday in France: Doubles Champions!

    Saturday was finals day for our division in doubles. Lyn Mortimer and I played a South African team which was unseeded, but they won three matches to get to the final, including taking out the German team which had destroyed the #2 seeds 60 61. When I arrived at the courts they were practicing (so was Tina, for the final tomorrow).

    Lyn arrived at 11, we had a good warm up and after photos started play against Annelie Celliers and Lynne Hughes. The first few  points were really good but we came out on top and our opponents, playing in their first World Championship final were a bit nervous. We played well and I don’t think ever faced a game point, winning 60 60. Lyn played terrific all week. WP_20150620_12_06_32_ProWP_20150620_15_20_16_Pro

    After our final Danny Waldman of the USA and birthday boy Paul French, GBR took the court. The points were long and featured drop shots by Paul and volleys by Danny and also lots of topspin forehands by Danny crosscourt to the left handed French’s backhand. Danny though won the first set 62 and went up 4/0 at which point Paul changed tactics, going forward more and broke twice to get the set back on serve at 5-4. He went up on his serve but Danny fought back and ended the match with a terrific backhand down the line pass to win another world title. He’s going for a double gold tomorrow with Sal Castillo in 60 doubles.

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    The other Americans in finals didn’t fare quite as well. Mike Tammen lost 2,2 to Glenn Busby in the 55 singles final but has a chance for gold in doubles tomorrow with Mike Fedderly. Fran Chandler was overwhelmed and a bit leg weary most likely from her 4 hour match yesterday; she went down 61 62 to Van Baarle of Belgium. Susan Wright and Paul’s wife Chris French lost in a match tiebreak to Ros Balodis/Leanne Swaysland in the final of the 55 doubles.

    I play Tina Karwasky at 10 am tomorrow in the 60 singles final so win or lose there will be an American champion in that division. Fingers crossed!

    I did a brief detour on the bike ride home and went out on the pier here…there are lots of boats in the marina for sure and also lots of sail boats in the bay. It was a gorgeous, California day.

     

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    You can check here for results tomorrow: http://itfseniors.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/matches.aspx?id=7A0DA883-F179-4854-AA21-505B2B399B69&d=20150621.


  • Americans Find Success on the Red Clay on Thursday

    Thursday was quarterfinal day in most events. I played Caroline Glaszmann from France. She played #1 on the bronze medal winning French Marble Cup team. She’s a lefty with a 2-handed backhand. She started slowly against me…I think she was a bit tired but at 60 30 she woke up and from then on it was a dog fight…she attacked more and played quite differently and moved better. I was lucky to win the second set 64 and advance to the semis. Meanwhile my doubles partner this week, Lynn Mortimer (Australia) was playing top seeded Nora Blom (Netherlands). Lynn prevailed in three well played sets. Tina won in just under an hour 61 60 against Margreth Beyer of Germany. The fourth quarter pitted Sherri Bronson’s victor, Susanna Schweda, Germany against #3 seed Encarnacion Gomez of Spain. Schweda won in three sets and then defaulted to me in the semis because of a hand injury, arthritis in her thumb. So I am through to the final which will be played on Sunday.

     

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    Lynn and I played the semis of the doubles too, against Tina and Nora. We started slowly, going 41 down before winning 75 61. Lynn played brilliantly and I was steady, which worked well. We play a South African pair in the final on Saturday; they took out Margret and Jutta Boekmann from Germany in a match tiebreak.

    In women’s 50s, Fran Chandler won over Lisa Prechtel and Gretchen Magers took out Ingrid Gutmann Resch, a former world champion in three sets, so both are in the semis, played tomorrow.

    In men’s 50s doubles,  Polo Cowan/Daniel Grossman lost in the quarters.

    In the 55s, Susan Wright had a marathon with last year’s World Champion and World #1, Chris French. She started slowly, going down 51; fought back to split sets and go up 41 in the third and had a match point before losing 76 in the third. Kathy Vick took out the #3 seed, Vittori from Italy 62 61 and plays French next.

    Jack and Diane Barker are in the 55 mixed semis but have a tough semi against Barbara Koutna and Pierre Godfroid.

    Val Wilder advanced in three sets over Godfroid and Mike Tammen also reached the semis; Mike Fedderly lost to Glenn Busby, the top seed. Fedderly and Tammen are in the doubles semis; they play the Aussie pair which too out the top seeds a few days ago.

    In men’s 60s, Danny Waldman had a marathon, three hour plus match against Wayne Cowley, the #5 seed before prevailing; he plays the top seed, from Brazil, Roger Guedes tomorrow. Paul French, Chris’ husband, who was too sick to play the Cup last week, too out #2 seeded Andrew Rae 60 in the third today. That was a long match too. Waldman and Sal Castillo took out the top seeds 62 61 today. They are in the semis tomorrow.

    So I have an off day tomorrow and am going to practice a bit and warm up Fran and Lynn and watch Lynn and Tina play.


  • Wednesday: Into the Singles Quarters and Doubles Semis

    Wednesday was another beautiful day in La Baule and Pornichet. I warmed up early with Fran Chandler (she won her 50 singles, as did Gretchen Rush); then biked over to the Sporting Club where Lynn Mortimer, my Aussie doubles partner, and I warmed up. Tina, Sherri, Wendy and Wendy’s sister Dale were also there warming up for their tough round of 16 matches; all but Tina played seeded players.

    I played Sharon Van Der Schyff from So Africa (RSA), a lovely lady who does a lot for seniors tennis in RSA including managing their facebook group. We got to our court…here we are assigned specific courts and are to go to the court and the umpires bring the balls, water and do a coin toss. They are also doing live scoring of the matches. No one had swept or lined the court, so we did that!I won  60 60, and went to watch my potential next round opponents, 7th seeded Dagmar Sperneder from Austria and Caroline Glaszmann from France. Glasczmann won 61 62. She’s a tough lefty who played #1 for the French team which finished first in the Alice Marble Cup so will be a big test tomorrow. Sherri Bronson was playing a German woman, Susanna Schweda and when Dale and I arrived at the court (Wendy was playing Nora Blom, the top seed and had just split sets), Schweda and Sherri were on the same side of the court discussing a call, looking for a mark while the roving umpire looked on too. In the end Sherri said she had to play the point over, lost it, and went down 3/0 in the second set having lost the first. She ended up losing 64 60, though it was closer than that for sure, very long games and points.

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    Tina by this time had beaten Benedict Le Grande, the #2 French player last week (who went undefeated in Cup play in singles) after a slow start and Wendy and Nora had just started the third set. Wendy went up 2/0 and Nora fought back to 3/2; then Wendy won two quick games to put her up 4/3 and Nora seemed to tire. However, Nora at that point dug in her heels and quickened her already quick feet to win the set and the match 64.

    USA’s Danny Waldman then took on the #4 seed from France, Bruno Renoult and won 62 62. He has a tough Aussie next though, #5 Wayne Cowley, the #5 seed.

    Around noon Lynn and I played doubles against May (from the Aussie Marble Cup team) and Rosemary Davis. May plays unorthodox tennis, she has good hands and lobs well. We  had some long games but lost only one, winning 61 60.

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    Just as we finished, Nora and Tina were taking on Wendy and Sherri. Nora and Tina started sharply, getting on top of the net and won the first set 60, and led 50 with some match points when Sherri and Wendy changed tactics and Nora and Tina lost a bit of focus then got a bit tight. Sherri and Wendy won six straight games before Tina held serve easily to force a tiebreak. Sherri and Wendy went up 42, but Tina and Nora got a bit more aggressive and won the final five points and the match. Match tiebreaks are played in all doubles and mixed in lieu of third sets, so winning in straight sets is pretty important.

    Margeret Beyer from Germany beat Carmen Perera 64 in the third, rallying from 3-4, 15-40 in the third set, then combined with Jutta Boekmann to beat the #2 seeds in 60 doubles 61 60! They play a So African/American (Celliers/Hughes)  team in the semis.

    Over at the 55s, Susan Wright and Chris French (GBR) beat Sue Bartlett/Libby Eden 62 61 to reach the semis; they play top seeded Ros Balodis/Leanne Swaysland next. The top seeds beat Kathy Vick/Erin Boynton, but Vick beat Dorothea Foks to reach the quarters. Susan won her singles over Eden and plays French next.

    In men’s 55s, Mike Fedderly and Mike Tammen won their singles and doubles; Val Wilder won in three sets today in singles too.

    In men’s 50s, Polo Cowan and Daniel Grossman are the top doubles  seeds and are into the quarters.

    Ann Pellow was playing mixed as were Diane and Jack Barker today.

    Times aren’t out yet for tomorrow. Here’s the link to the draws. http://itfseniors.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draws.aspx?id=7A0DA883-F179-4854-AA21-505B2B399B69

    Here’s the Live Scoring link to follow matches in progress.

    Update: times are out…2nd on Court 8 after Tina, who plays at 10. Doubles to follow on the same court after a break.


  • Individual World Seniors Championships: Tuesday

    Today I started the individual world championships with a win in singles over a Dutch player, Sylvie. We had a nice match, some good points as she’s improved since I last played her three years ago…big forehand and solid backhand. I won 60 61 and play Sharon from South Africa next.

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    In other matches involving US players, Susan Wright and Kathy Vick advanced in singles and doubles in women’s 55s while Ann Pellow fell to Ros Balodis in singles and lost her doubles..but she’s still in mixed.

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    In men’s 55, both Mike Tammen and Mike Fedderly went three sets but both won as did Val Wilder, while Bill Moss lost to top seed Glenn Busby. Tammen and Fedderly, seeded 3rd, also won their doubles and Val Wilder won his singles.

    In the 60s, Danny Waldman won his singles.

    In the women’s 50s, Fran Chandler advanced, and so did Gretchen Rush.

    Tina Karwasky, Sherri Bronson, Wendy McColskey also won in the 60 singles and Sherri and Wendy won their doubles, but play Tina and Nora Blom tomorrow.

    I was able to go watch some of Kathy and Erin Boynton’s match because Wendy and Stuart Australians from Tokyo gave me a ride which was great.

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    Also, there are some balls being used here I’ve never heard of…nothing wrong with them though. This is also the first tournament I’ve played where there are painted lines…at Sporting, some are coming up off the dirt in spots.

     

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       I ran into some Aussies I’ve met on teams and in Europe, Julie, Leanne, Wendy and Sue.  

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    An odd thing was in the paper…the cathedral we visited Sunday in Nantes caught fire and a lot of it was burnt. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33134463.

    Draws are here: http://itfseniors.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draws.aspx?id=7A0DA883-F179-4854-AA21-505B2B399B69


  • Nantes

    Sunday Susan Wright, Kathy Vick, Tracy Houk & I took off for Nantes, the capital of Brittany (Bretagne), though I practiced first with Tracy,  indoors as it was raining. We left from La Baule Escoublac, so we had to taxi to the train, and arrived in Nantes just before noon.

    Almost as soon as we exited the station, map in hand, we saw the Cathedral and then the Chateau de les ducs de Bretagne, an old castle from medieval ages. It’s surrounded by a moat and thick walls and still has slits in the walls for guns to defend the castle and the city. After we entered the courtyard of the castle we went to the museum, which has the history of Nantes. Nantes used to be a big port town, but now the river has silted over so big ships can’t get into Nantes as a port. It’s more of a Delta type river now, an alluvial plain. It’s still a thriving city, with industries and is the home of Lu cookies, Susan’s favorite kind.

    The museum was interesting, lots of models of ships, including slavers, starting back in the medieval ages and going up to current times. There are tons of gigantic fireplaces, big enough for a tall person to stand in, throughout the museum and the wall depth is measured in feet, not inches. There’s a park surrounding the castle, between the moat and the castle wall.

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    After touring the museum, (lots of steps), we went to the cathedral, which is beautiful and not crowded at all (unlike sites in Paris). It was very peaceful.

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    Around the castle and the church are lots of narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants. The shops were closed since it was Sunday but the food establishments were open and we visited the gelato store which was quite excellent.

    We arrived back to the train station around 4pm, but the first train back to La Baule/Pornichet wasn’t till 6, so after looking at the “Relay” store (a chain in Europe, sort of like a 7-11 but smaller), Tracy bought a deck of cards and Susan and I, somewhat unsuccessfully, tried to teach Tracy and Kathy how to play hearts. I think we did a good job since they beat us in every hand we played! We took the train to Pornichet, which is really where our hotel is, about 4 miles or so from La Baule and managed to find our hotel.

    The individual world championships began yesterday. The women’s singles and doubles begins today, and Kathy is playing now. I had a bye and play tomorrow, as does Susan.

    The seedings are done mostly based on ranking and for doubles the seeding changed from using a combined total of the two players’ singles or doubles rankings, whichever was higher, to just their doubles ranking, which resulted in some interesting seeds and draws.

    The other change is a new referee for the individuals, so instead of giving us start times, a player is told he/she is the 2nd match, 3rd match etc after 9am or eg the 4th match not before 1pm etc and players are assigned to specific courts. This means all 2nd matches have to be there at 9am in case the first match is a default or retirement and other players may be waiting for a 3 hour match to finish to play 2nd match. This is common in Europe though,  not in the USA except in professional tournaments.

    I hit early this morning and am going over to my venue now, which was changed last night from the Ninon club to the Sporting Club. The latter is where we played last week, so that’s fine, a little longer bike ride but not bad and I’m happy I don’t have to use the transport system. The ride is nice, right along the beach most of the way. The weather is fine now and supposed to be good all week.