• Category Archives Helsinki, Finland
  • Finals Day & Off to Tallin, Estonia 

    I played Pat Medrado in the final of the Worlds came in second best. She beat me 60 62 but it was a 1 hour 45 minute match, lots of long games and rallies, but she won all the big points and most of the other ones! She has an incredible topspin backhand, moves well, and maintained tremendous intensity throughout. I played much better than the last time we played, and learned a lot. The moral victory was that our match was at least 30 minutes longer than the other finals, even though I had fewer games to show for it.


    So, after the final, I was supposed to meet up with the gang, Susan, Vicki and Erin. Vesna is on her way back to Florida now.Shelly  Works and I took the public bus. I got on the one to Centrum, as I had been told, (a new bus line for me), 550. Well, it was a long ride and we ended up at the wrong Centrum and had to take the Metro back, costing me about 30 minutes.  I stored my racquet bag and got the tram to the waterfront. The tram of course was late and took longer than I expected. So I had about 20 minutes to find the boat to Talkin and buy a ticket.. I thought. Erin texted me directions.. Several (but unfortunately no photos!) and I found it, got my ticket, boarded and the boat started moving about 3 minutes later, 7 minutes early! 

    We had a nice view of the harbor in Helsinki as we left. And in just over an hour I will be in Estonia, another new adventure.

  • Doubles Finals Day in Helsinki: Tammen/Fedderly; Karwasky/Persons & Sherri Bronson Win Gold Medals

    Today in Helsinki all the doubles finals were played. Amongst the USA players, Mike Tammen and Mike Fedderly won the 55 doubles; Ross Persons & Tina Karwasky won the 60 mixed and Sherri Bronson (with Pat Medrado, Brazil) won the 60 doubles. Other USA medalists were Susan Wright/Vicki Buholz (finalists, 55 doubles), Tina Karwasky/Wendy McColskey (finalists, 60 doubles); Carolyn Nichols/Una Davis (bronze, 60 doubles); Sherri/Peter Bronson (bronze, 60 mixed); Mitch Perkins/Ken White (bronze, 50 doubles) and Alex Behar/Alex Pier (bronze, 55 doubles).

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    The singles finals are tomorrow.

    I practiced early with Erin Boynton, then watched some doubles. After that we took the bus and then then the tram to the city center where we went to the mediation center (I flunked “ohm” and had to leave). We also went to the pretty rock church. After that we visited the market down by the harbor before going to the medal ceremony.

    Tomorrow we are off to Talin, Estonia. I’

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  • Semifinal Thursday in Helsinki: ITF Seniors World Championships

    The semis were played in all divisions today in singles, doubles and mixed, which made for a long day for a few players here, including Tina Karwasky from the USA. She began by playing singles with Patricia Medrado. She is a former Brazilian  Fed Cup player who attained a career high ranking of 51. Karwasky also played for years on the WTA tour. I saw the beginning of the match which was of an extremely high quality. Tina was playing superbly; Medrado was playing a bit better and hitting a bit heavier. Medrado won 61 64. I played Wendy McColskey, who took out the #4 seed in straight sets; I beat Wendy 61 61 in over 90 minutes…we had some long games and long points, but I managed to win the big points. The singles finals are on Saturday. In doubles,Una Davis and I lost to Pat Medrado/Sherri Bronson 63 63, and they play Tina and Wendy in the final.


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    In the 55s,Susan Wright lost a heartbreaker to Leanne Swaysland, who she beat last week in the Connolly Cup. She won the first set in a tiebreak, lost the 2nd and was leading in the third when Leanne played “go for broke” tennis, serving big (and she’s a lefty!) and hitting heavy forehands which jump on this surface. Leanne won 64 in the third and plays her doubles partner, Ros Balodis in the final. Balodis took out a fit and determined Ingrid Resch to reach the final. However Wright and Vicki Buholz have a chance to avenge that loss tomorrow in the doubles final.

    In the 50s, it’s Lisa Prechtel and Marie Christine Calleja in the final. Calleja took out Olga Shapnoshinkova in the semis while Lisa beat Petra Dobusch. Both semis went the distance.

    In men’s play, Ross Persons of USA lost to Paul French in three sets. French will play Glenn Busby in the 60s men’s final. Alex Behar and Alex Pier fell in the semis of the 60 doubles.

    Mike Tammen retired down 51 in the semis of the men’s 55 singles (pulled hamstring according to Vesna) but was able to successfully team with Mike Fedderly to reach the doubles final.

    Mitch Perkins and Ken White lost in the semis of the men’s 50 doubles.

    Ross Persons and Tina Karwasky are in the 60 mixed final against a So African pair who took out Sherri and Peter Bronson.

    For all results and draws click here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100035781

  • Semifinals Set in Helsinki

    The quarters were played today at the Talin Tennis Center in Helsinki for the ITF Seniors World Championships and several Americans are amongst the winners.

    I played Sue Ellis from Australia, who took out the 6th seed, Dagy Sperneder, yesterday. I won 60 60, since Sue was carrying a bit of an elbow injury. I play Wendy McColskey of the USA in the semis, a repeat of last year’s and this year’s clay court semifinals. Tina Karwasky, USA, plays Pat Medrado in the other semi. So it could be an all-American final.


    In doubles, Una Davis and I played So Africans, Lyn Van’t Hof and Annalie Celliers and won 62 62. Una played great and I hung in there too. It was a good match to start. We play Medrado from Brazil and Sherri Bronson, USA in the semis.


    Ross Persons is still in the men’s 60s singles and mixed with Karwasky. His partner, Glenn Busby, pulled out of doubles due to a knee injury, but is still in the singles semis. Ross plays Paul French in the semis.

    In the 55s, Susan Wright is in the singles and doubles semis. She plays Leanne Swaysland from Australia in singles and with Vicki Buholz play Aussies Leanne Scott/Wendy Harrison.

    In men’s 55, Mike Tammen, the top seed, is in the semis of singles and with Mike Fedderly is in the doubles semis.

    Erin Boynton of Canada plays the doubles semis tomorrow with Wanda Howes of Australia.

    In the 50s, Mitch Perkins lost today in the quarters of singles and doubles with Ken White and Shelly Works lost the QF of women’s 50 doubles.

    i took some action photos but those will have to wait for another day.

  • World Individual Championships Day 4, Helsinki: Vesna Goes Down

    The Individual World Championships Round of 16 were played today in Helsinki. There were winners and losers among the Americans today. Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100035781

    Vesna McKenna was playing a great match today against Carole DeBruin, the 6th seed from Netherlands till 4-4 in the third. That was when she (unsuccessfully) tried to slide on the hard court, her foot stuck, and she went down (and out of the match and the tournament)  with an injured hamstring and adductor. Fortunately there were the following on site: a tournament doctor, great trainer,  Erin Boynton (an orthopedic doctor) and Carole (a family doctor). Between them they got her off the court. A few beers and some painkillers later, Vesna was still hurting but able to walk home carrying her bags. She will  be out of commission for a few months.

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    Vicki Buholz played an excellent match against Ros Balodis today, but came up just a bit short, losing 75 64. In the second set Vicki was down 52, but caught up to 54 and had a point for 5-5 before Ros prevailed.

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    Susan Wright played Betty Michel from France for the second time in a week and beat her for the second time in a week. Then she combined with Vicki to win a first round doubles match.

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    Erin Boynton fell to Leanne Swaysland and lost 64 63 but was happy about her play. She put aside her singles disappointment and with Aussie Wanda Howes reached the doubles quarterfinal.

    I won my singles 60 60 and then Una Davis and I practiced in the afternoon. There’s a red clay court outside the indoor building and I was eyeing the players there enviously. Then we went indoors and workers were doing maintenance on the roof which kept opening and closing, casting shadows on the indoor court. So we moved courts and so did the workers! We got a good hit in anyway and are ready for our first match tomorrow. We play two So African players who were on their 60s Cup team.


    Wendy McColskey upset the #4 seed from So Africa 62 61; Sherri Bronson fell to Jana Sedlakova from Czech Republic; Tina Karwasky blanked Jenny Cerff from So Africa and Judy Newman fell to the #3 seed in three sets in the 50s. Shelly Works also went down in singles today. Ross Persons from Houston upset the top seed from Brazil today in three sets.He has a busy rest of the tournament as he is also playing mixed and doubles. Mike Tammen survived a tough one and joins Mike Fedderly in the 55 quarters. Mitch Perkins is in the quarters of the 50s.

  • Rainy, Lazy Day in Helsinki

    Today, Monday was an off day for me, but my flat mates all had matches and Susan, Erin, Vicki and Vesna all won today. I hit in the morning with Susan. We heard this loud noise, then noticed the roof was being opened. Next thing we knew, a tennis ball fell down and hit Erin and certainly startled her! I then went with Susan, Vicki and Erin to find the correct bus to take them the tennis center. After several inquiries we found it. The weather turned cold and it was starting to rain, so I loaned my warm up to Erin. She’s about 8 inches taller than me (20cm) so the pants fit perfectly for a rainy day! (floods). I sent them on their way with a list of the stops and apparently they mDe it, since they won their matches.

    I walked quickly back to the apartment, put on warm clothes and headed out in the rain. I had to find a new camera lens since I dropped and broke mine. The Finnish people were really helpful and I found the correct camera store and bought a used lens. After hitting a cool Marimeko store (they are everywhere), and going grocery shopping, it’s nice to relax. 

    Grocery shopping can be an adventure here.. When the Swedish is the most understandable language on the package. There seem to be a 100 ways to prepare salmon and we have been eating lots of it. The apples though are not good. Not the season but in season fruit is quite expensive, $5 for a small cantaloupe for example. There are also a 100 different types of flat breads. Dr. Atkins would not fare well here! Licorice is a national candy.

    I play tomorrow at 10:30, R16, still no doubles.


  • Week Two at the Seniors World Championships: First Round Success

    The Individual World Championships began yesterday in Helsinki, but there were no women’s matches. Today, Sunday, the bottom half only of the 60s began along with the out rounds of the other women’s age divisions. Play continued in the men’s singles divisions. Mixed began today too.

    We warmed up at a different facility not far from our apartment. We took the bus but it was a fairly short ride. The courts were nice and light. Both sides of the row of courts were glass with a nice view of the trees outside. The courts were near the sea and adjacent to a cemetery.

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    I played Reiko Suzuki of Japan today. She had pretty nice groundstrokes and in warm up, an excellent serve, but once we started playing she didn’t stay in the points well and I won comfortably 60 60. Midway through my match though I heard the tournament desk calling for my doubles partner, Una Davis to check in…twice. So Susan Wright, who was watching, checked on it and Una had arrived…there was a snafu with transport but she arrived on time and won her mixed with Stephen Dance from Australia. They beat the #7 seeds, Christa and James  Cameron  from Canada 62 76(4). The second set was close, after the Cameron’s closed a 4-1 gap, but Una and Stephen played a good tiebreak to win. Una and Stephen are shown below on the right.

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    USA players Tina Karwasky/Ross Persons played Lynn & Ronnie Van’t Hof in mixed today too and it was an excellent match. Ronnie, a lefty who once played doubles in Wimbledon, is an excellent doubles player and was on the So African 60s Cup team as was Lynn. They gave the #4 seeds all they could handle, splitting sets before Ross picked it up in the match tiebreak to win it 10-4.

    Vesna McKenna/Ken White, USA won in the 50 mixed but Shelly Works and Judy Newman and their partners fell in the first round. Sherri/Peter Bronson won their first round mixed too.

    The Americans (there are a lot of men who came over to play the individuals) did really well today with many upsetting lower seeds.

    Here is a link to the draws and results: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100035781