Andi Polisky, the tournament director of the 35-85 Women’s Hard Courts scheduled for October in Rancho Mirage, CA has cancelled this event.
Trish Faulkner, the tournament director for the Women’s 40-80 Clay Courts scheduled for October in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has cancelled this event.
Both tournament directors expect their events to resume in 2021.
Both tournaments were ITF Grade A events, all of which have been cancelled for 2020 (unless granted a downgrade to a Grade 2, 3, or 4).
Update: All USTA Category I Family, Age Division and Open tournaments have been cancelled for 2020. Tournaments have the option to hold these events as Designated Sectional tournaments with Category II points.
The ITF has announced a resumption of play for the ITF Seniors Circuits of August 31, 2020.
Grade 2, 3, and 4 tournaments only shall resume in 2020; Regional, Grade A and Grade 1 tournaments can apply to take place as Grade 2 tournaments if the ITF approves the change.
Best 4 tournaments from the period of March 18, 2019-March 14 2021 will be used.
Starting March 15, 2021, results from 2019 or 2020 will start to drop, replaced by their 2021 points. This is subject to change if the pandemic continues to restrict travel or for other reasons determined by the ITF.
Through at least December 31, 2020, players can only add to their point total, they cannot have their frozen point total reduced.
The ITF plans to return to the 52 week ranking period in December 2021.
Read below for exact details. This is subject to change if ongoing travel restrictions and lack of tournaments warrants it.
The ITF Press Release regarding the new tournament grades reads in part:
“2021 will see changes to the tournament structure, tournament grading system and a new tournament recognition scheme….”
“Among the most important changes to be introduced in 2021 is a new, refined and simplified tournament structure. The previous Grade A to Grade 4 naming will be replaced by numeric figures representing the points available to the winning player or players in each event.”
[These will be the World Championships, ITF Seniors 1000 (maximum of 12 world wide, minimum of one but no more than four in any one region) 700, 400, 200 and 100 tournaments.]
“The ITF Seniors World Championships – Young Seniors, Seniors and Super-Seniors categories – will remain the highlight of the season and the highest grade on the circuit.
The 2021 structure will also introduce a new grade – ITF Seniors 1000, a small number of global tournaments aimed at elite players within each age group. These events will offer a greater value of ranking points, relative to the points available at the World Championships.
In addition, four further grades will exist to provide a more appropriate tournament experience to players of different standards. Clearly defined entry-level tournaments – ITF Seniors 100 – are designed to provide more competitive opportunities and appropriate tournament formats for the huge number of players who already compete, while also attracting new tournaments and players to the circuit.”
“Matt Byford, Manager, ITF Seniors said: “We are very pleased to announce several developments to further enhance the tournament experience for players, officials, tournament organisers and our member nations from 2021 onwards….”
Updated April 1, 2020: Events now suspended until July 13, 2020.
Updated May 15, 2020: ITF Cancels all events through July 31, 2020 (including all seniors events).
The ITF today announced that all ITF events, including seniors events, are cancelled until at least June 8, 2020 (now July 13th). Read more here.
Here is the full text of the press release:
“Statement 18 MAR 2020”
“ALL ITF EVENTS POSTPONED UNTIL 8 JUNE 2020”
“After careful consideration and in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ITF has postponed the ITF World Tennis Tour until Monday 8 June 2020. This aligns with the ATP and WTA’s suspension of their respective tours and the decision by the Fédération Française de Tennis to postpone Roland Garros.
In addition to the suspension of the men’s and women’s ITF World Tennis Tour, the ITF will also postpone the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors, the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, ITF Beach Tennis World Tour, and ITF Seniors Tour until 8 June 2020.
The ITF, ATP and WTA firmly believe it is better for everyone in the tennis community if we work together. We are committed to working through these matters with players, tournaments and our national and regional associations in the weeks and months ahead. More than ever, the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to professional tennis demand collaboration and unity in order for us to do what is right for our fans, players and tournaments.
ITF President David Haggerty said, “In these challenging times, it is more important than ever for our sport to pull together to provide as much certainty as possible to all those affected by these postponements. We recognise the huge impact this will have, but ultimately the health and safety of players, officials and spectators has to be our primary concern. The ITF is committed to taking a responsible approach, working with all tennis stakeholders to enable players of all levels to resume playing as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The ITF has cancelled all tournaments including all seniors tournaments till April 20th
The notice today on the Houston website is: New tournament dates!! Due to the COVID-19 virus and with an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this event. All entree fees will be refunded. Our new tournament dates will be September 19-25 2020. NOTE NEW DATES! We will celebrate the 50th year then!! Wash you hands and stay safe!
To get a refund of your entry fee for the original dates go to the website and withdraw. You will need the email (which I’m sure everyone saved) which has your confirmation numbers. If you didn’t save the email their are instructions on how to withdraw. You will get a refund of the entry fee minus the USTA tennislink fee.
The last day of the Fort Lauderdale tournament was played under sunny skies. It was very windy, at least by the time I played singles at 10:30. I beat Wendy McColskey 63 62. It was a tough match, with lots of running, and so very windy…I’d swing at a ball only for it to move several feet as I was swinging forward…and of course that happened to Wendy as well. Bunnie Jackson beat Kathy Foulk to place third.
In the 55s, Jenny Klitch played a perfect match to beat Shelly Works 61 60 in about an hour, which is not easy to do. Shelly said Jenny was great at turning defense into offense nearly perfectly. Yvette Kruger placed third when Simone Vasconcellas didn’t play the 3/4 playoff due to injury.
Wendy McColskey, playing with her sister Dale won the 65 doubles 26 64 64 over Cindy LePrevost/Betsy Savitt. Tina Karwasky/Jan Kirkland-Cochran finished third.
The 55 doubles took place between Rainy Miller/Shelly Works and Anne Frautschi/Susanne Zuniga. Frautschi/Zuniga, who upset the #1 seeds in the first round went up 5/0 in the doubles final….only to lose the next 10 games! Then they rallied to tie the set at 3-3 and 4-4 before Miller/Works closed out the match 75 64. They had a lot of long and varied points…it wasn’t easy to win a point out there. I saw Works miss one ball into the net…she must have been really frustrated when she yelled “fiddlesticks”, a Shelly Works epithet if there ever was one. Mariana Hollman/Stacey Williams edged Susan Boyer/Susan Love 64 in the third; Susan Love’s legs finally gave out after an awful lot of matches in the past 3 days.
Betty Wachob/Sue Kimball won the 75 doubles beating tournament director Margy Edmunds/Kay Britt in the final.
On a beautiful day for tennis (mid-70s, moderate breeze, thin cloud cover), play resumed in earnest at the Lauderdale Tennis Club.
The 75s final started off the day with Carolann Castell continuing where she left off in upsetting Susan Kimball…ie playing great tennis. She took on Betty Wachob, the top seed and beat her 62 64, moving very well and playing solid all-court tennis.
The 85s final between Burnett Herrick, a multiple world champion, and local favorite Lucille Kyvallos was next up. The match went the distance (yes, the 85s played a full two out of three sets) with Herrick winning 61 57 61. Kyvallos cramped in the third which tells you something about how much these ladies were running.
The 35s winner is Kristine Kraujina (three person round robin) and the 45s Ann Clark (2 entrants)\
In the 55s, Jenny Klitch played another great match, beating Yvette Kruger 2,1 and Shelly Works took out Simone Vasconcellos of Brazil 75 63.
I didn’t see the 55s (or 85s) matches because I was getting my money’s worth of tennis playing Bunnie (Allare) Jackson. I won 61 67 (5) 62. I think I wore her out but she played a great second set. We both had chances to finish off the set before it reached a tiebreaker but it wasn’t to be. I play Wendy McColskey, a 62 62 winner over Kathy Foulk…that match was played earlier and was done before we took the court. Wendy is the 2019 ITF World Champion in 65 singles…not a typical Grade 1 final, that’s for sure.
In doubles, the top seeds in the 55s and 65s are gone. Yesterday the team of Anne Frautschi/Susanne Zuniga beat Kris McDonald/Kathy Zanon 76 in the third and today they took out unseeded Susan Boyer/Susan Love in the semis 75 64. The face the #3 seeds (and Hard Court champions) Rainy Miller/Shelly Works who edged #2 seeded Mariana Hollman/Stacey Williams in two tight sets.
In the 65s, Cindy LePrevost/Betsy Savitt, unseeded, took out Tina Karwasky/Jan Kirkland-Cochran 26 76 (5) 62; they play Dale and Wendy McColskey in the final; Dale and Wendy received a walkover into the doubles final due to an injury from one of their opponents.
In the 75s, Kimball/Wachob, the top seeds did advance to the final; they face tournament director Margy Edmunds and Kay Britt who were leading Castell/Lee Delfausse when they retired due to injury.
The forecast for today was for rain and the prediction was correct…it poured most of the morning in Fort Lauderdale. An hour north it also rained hard but stopped an hour or two earlier. All the rain meant no matches started till 3:30pm.
I warmed up in Palm Beach Gardens and then drove down, arriving just as the tournament decided to postpone the 65 singles till tomorrow, which, given that we were in the semis and the tournament ends on Friday was a good decision. It did mean I drove about 2.5 hours unnecessarily, but it wasn’t rush hour either way, it happens. The 85s final was also postponed, as were (I believe) the 55 semis.
But there was tennis. The 55 singles quarters were all played and in a “Groundhog Day” match, Jenny Klitch beat Susan Love 64 62 in a match that was very similar to their second round encounter from last week. Same opponents, same score. All four seeds advanced, Klitch to play Yvette Kruger and Shelly Works to play Simone Vasconcellas of Brazil.
The 75s did play their semis, with Betty Wachob beating Sheila Weinstock and Carolann Castell upsetting #2 seeded Sue Kimball.
On a warm (80s), windy, humid day, most players were in action in the 55/65/75 & 85 divisions. In singles the upsets were hard to come by but in 55 doubles, Susan Boyer (back from a two year hiatus) and Susan Love (back from a hiatus as well) combined perfectly to pick off the #4 seeds, Tina Karwasky and Jan Kirkland-Cochran in the round of 16. Karwasky/Kirkland-Cochran though had no problems advancing in the 65s, where they are in the quarters.
All the singles seeds advanced in the 55 & 65s without drama. In the 75s, Ann Hunt defaulted to Sheila Weinstock, her doubles partner, the other three seeds advanced. Sue Kimball and Betty Wachob are the 2nd and 1st seeds, age ups this year.
The 85s final is set between Lucille Kyvallos (who fell, tweaked her ankle and skinned her elbow…and won nonetheless over Esther Williams; she faces Burnett Herrick who weathered a stern test from Judy Smith in the second set but prevailed 62 75.
In 65 doubles, Kathy Foulk/Lil Pelt-Petow had to default due to injury; the remaining seeds progressed. The seeds in the grass 75s also advanced.
In 2020 the USTA scheduled the Palm Beach Gardens (for even age divisions) and Fort Lauderdale (for odd age divisions) back to back. The Fort Lauderdale tournament began today at the Lauderdale Tennis Club, an old fashioned, tennis-centric club surrounded by condominium buildings named for historic tennis players (Lenglen, Tildon etc.).
This week I’m playing my first 65s tournament. Last year I played the 55s, so I keep looking for my name in the 55s…it’s not there this year, though Shelly Works, the woman I played in the final is the second seed again this year. (Jenny Klitch is the top seed.)
I played Miriam Morey from North Carolina. She’s a professor at Duke in NC ( From the Duke website: “The general focus of Dr. Morey’s work is exercise and aging. All of her research examines how physical activity, exercise training, or physical fitness influence”). Miram plays at the same club where Wendy McColskey, the #2 seed here is a member. She’s a quick counterpuncher, and after adjusting to the wind we had some good rallies but I came out ahead. I play Helga Immerfall next in the quarters.
There were no close matches in the 65s and all the seeds won. The seeds in other singles divisions had byes and in doubles, the seeds are playing tomorrow for the most part.
The 85s draw, though only 6 players, is quite strong with Burnett Herrick, Judy Smith, Lucille Kyvallos, Margaret Canby, Esther Williams and Laurie Leach all playing. Smith beat Canby and Williams beat Leach today. All are enthusiastic about the thought of the ITF holding the Women’s 85 Cup in Mallorca this fall.
Jenny Klitch went three for three in Palm Beach Gardens, winning the 50 singles & doubles (with Lisa Bonder-Kerkorian) on Friday and adding the 40 doubles title (with Andi Pliski) on Saturday, beating the impending rain. The 40s final was a three-setter with the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center pro Tara Pressley and Julie Axlerod giving the defending champions a strong challenge, taking the second set 62 before Klitch/Pliski won the third 62. There were a lot of spectators cheering despite the overcast skies.
Susanne Clark, unseeded, won the 80 singles without dropping a set, beating her doubles partner, Grace Woo in the final. Clark/Woo finished second in doubles, beating the #2 seeds, Carol Wood/Burnett Herrick in two tight sets. The top seeds, Inge Weber/Dorothy Wasser, won the 80 doubles title, winning all three matches in straight sets.
Kathy Zanon/Ann Jacobs were tied at 2-2 in the third with top seeds Abbi Neuthaler/Kim Jones when the rain stopped the match under the Friday night lights. When they returned Saturday Jacobs/Zanon won the third set 63 and advanced to the final against #2 seeds Aimee Norris/Anne Frautschi. Frautschi/Norris came out of the gates strong, winning the first set 63, but Jacobs/Zanon played a nearly perfect final two sets winning 62 in the third to claim the 60 doubles title. Jones/Neuthaler finished third.
Friday was a long and busy day at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. Matches started early and were only halted after 7pm by a downpour.
Lisa Bonder-Kerkorian started off the singles with a win in the 40 singles over Kristine Kraujina 61 62.
Erin Boynton and I started at the same time; Bonder-Kerkorian finished their match about the same time we finished the first set! It was a very close match, with a lot of momentum changes. I won 64 63, but the finish was in doubt till the last point finished. Wendy McColskey beat Terri Thomson 61 64 to finish third.
Jenny Klitch played after her doubles partner Bonder-Kerkorian on the same court and we just managed to finish before Klitch beat Julie Dybenthal 60 61. However Dybenthal was happy with her play and said she played much better than she had last time against Klitch. Laurie Capra beat Jill Sickle 61 61 to finish third.
Judy Dixon edged Toni Novack 76 76 in a repeat of last year’s 70 clay court final. Toni said Judy played great. I watched a bit of that match and Judy moves really well and was able to get to many of Novack’s deadly drop shots. Brenda Carter received a default from Molly Hahn, so finished third.
In the 80s, Susanne Clark beat Burnett Herrick and Grace Woo edged Carol Wood 76 in the third; the doubles partners face each other in the final today (weather permitting).
The 30s is a round robin; however Elizabeth Kobak of NY has won the division winning all three of her matches including a 63 63 win over Bonder-Kerkorian.
The 30s had only two teams but Kristen Charlton/Grace Haggerty got their money’s worth in one match, winning 61 36 76 over Kobak/Jennifer Einhorn.
The 40s final is today (weather permitting) and pits Klitch/Andi Piski agains Tara Pressley/Julie Axelrod.
The 50s was won by Klitch/Bonder-Kerkorian over Boynton/Abbi Neuthaler 61 63. Karen Rembert /Alice Stubbs beat Daniella Esswein/Dybenthal in three sets to place third.
The 60s semis have Aimee Norris/Anne Frautschi against the winner of the rain interrupted match between Neuthaler/Kim Jones and Anne Jacobs/Kathy Zanon which is tied at 22 in the third.
Carter/Dixon won the 70s over Sue Kimball/Pam Simons (who upset #2 seeds Sue Bramlette/Hahn). Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman won the 3/4 playoff by default.
Carter/Dixon; Weber/Wood; Simons/Kimball; Ellen Markowitz, Weber/Boynton, Clark/Woo
So in the 80s all the seeds are gone; Inge Weber (CAN) the top seed and reigning world champion fell in her first match to Susanne Clark of NY 63 64. Clark is new to the division, four years younger than Weber and an excellent player who has played on may USA Cup teams, so it wasn’t as big a surprise as it may seem. Carol Wood had her dropshots in full force against #2 seed Dorothy (I don’t like singles) Wasser today (but Dorothy can really move) and edged her in three sets. Wood plays Grace Woo (another age up) and Weber takes on Burnett Herrick (who edged Irma De Marco in two tight sets).
In contrast to the 80s, the top two seeds have reached the final of the 70s. Toni Novack beat Brenda Carter while Judy Dixon beat Molly Hahn, by identical 62 62 scores.
Another current world champion, Wendy McColskey, the #2 seed, fell in the 60s. However McColskey is the defending 65 world champion and lost to the top Canadian 60s player Erin Boynton 62 63in a well played match by both players. Boynton, a rangy 6 footer, served great, moved well and didn’t make many errors in victory. I beat #4 seeded Terri Thomson 60 62, so face Boynton tomorrow.
In the 50s, the top seeds made it to the final; Jenny Klitch (1) beat Laurie Capra of TX 61 60 and Julie Dybenthal (2) beat Jill Sickle 2,3.
The results for the 40s have the #2 seed Kristine Kraujina advancing to the final while the result for the other semi between top seeded Lisa Bonder-Kerkorkian and TereTennis Stowell (great name for a player) have yet to be posted.
On another sunny, beautiful, breezy Florida day, there was lots of good tennis at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center.
I warmed up early and played at 10:30 against Mary Colonna from Michigan, our first meeting in 30 years. I won, and play Terri Thomson, the 4th seed, who ended Grace Hagerty’s run to the quarters 62 64, hitting deep, and mixing in angles and drop shots. Wendy McColskey blanked Suzanne Siegler and Erin Boynton beat Terri Thyssen 64 61.
There are a lot of Canadians here including Irwin Tobias, Rudy & MJ Pachl (who are USA citizens too) and Erin Boynton. See photos below of Terri Thomson, Erin Boynton & Thomson; Rudy Pachl and Irwin Tobias; Kathy Foulk and Frances O’Sullivan, Thomson, Grace Hagerty
In the 50s, #3 seed Danielle Esswein fell to Laurie Capra in straight sets. Other winners were Jill Sickle and Julie Dybenthal. The match of the day though was that between Susan Love and top seeded Jenny Klitch. I saw most of the second set; they were playing amazing points and Susan seemed to have to hit a line to win a point. Klitch won 64 62, displaying her great movement and court position while Love whacked her forehand and hit some nice volleys.
In the 70s, Molly Hahn edged Rosie Fortna and the three remaining seeds advanced, including Brenda Carter who beat Carol Clay 64 64.
The 40s got started and the top seeds advanced with ease.
The doubles so far is going according to form in all divisions.
Tomorrow are the semis in the 50, 60 & 70 singles and quarters in the 40s & 50s. 30 singles round robin singles play begins.
Hopefully the weather holds; there’s thunder, lightning and rain at 9:15pm!
For official updates check USTA.com. Note that all Category I Mixed doubles tournaments except for the 30s are ITF Grade A tournaments as well as USTA Category I tournaments and are open to all ITF players.
The final day was a big letdown. I got to the club early for my 10:30 match (8:30) to warm up because there was only one warm up court after 8:30 and I hadn’t reserved it. I warmed up, then went to check in…and saw I had won by walkover (no one told me). Apparently Fritteli had a pain in her shoulder and decided she wasn’t fit to play today, though I saw her practicing a lot yesterday.
So I practiced some with Shirley Friedl and Marc Pepin and a little more later with Shirley, and waited for the awards ceremony. I also watched some of the women’s 35 final, which was very interesting in a crash waiting to happen way. Rous Lorca is a club member or local anyway. She moved well and hit deep topspin strokes, never came voluntarily to the net and wasn’t able to flatten out the ball to finish a point but had a nice dropshot at times and a good slice and 2 handed on the backhand side. She pummeled her opponent’s backhand. Loreto Painmill, her opponent had a more well rounded game but by the time I started watching, deep in the second set (about 2.5 hours into the match), Loreto was cramping after points frequently. Loreto would grind, then play a short point (which was frequently successful). Rous won the first set 75 and then 76 (7). Loreto had at least one set point, and I think she was way up in the breaker. But Rous just kept grinding…oh, and she only served underhanded, a big topspin underhanded serve, which wasn’t too attackable. Anyway, it passed a lot of time.
Around 1:30 they started putting out some food, small sandwiches, and a big paella was being prepared, and was ready around 2pm. There was also an open bar and champagne. Then there was a pretty long awards ceremony, with trophies for first and second and for the singles winners, a bottle of wine and a box of knives (for the women) and a big knife, for the men, and quite nice knives.
I found new areas of the club today I hadn’t seen…the gym, racquetball courts and some other racquet sports court which used a small ball and tennis racquets and playing off the wall. I watched a lesson but don’t know exactly what they were doing.
And that’s a wrap on the tennis portion of this trip. I have a hike in the Andes tomorrow and am off to very southern Chile on Monday where instead of 90 it’s going to be in the 50s and windy.
Today was a pretty mellow day. I practiced with Andrew M and Marc P in the morning, ran a few errands…got a little currency, hit the Unimarc supermarket, and did some tennis writing.
Tomorrow I play the final around 10:30 and there’s a paella party after, which is fun.
I heard rumors of protestors marching in this area, but didn’t see any. However, walking back from the club I saw two policemen who were standing at the rear of the car with the trunk opened. One of them bashed his head on the trunk lid, which doesn’t bode well for their ability to protect citizens.
A couple more photos from the club. You can see how near the tall buildings are to the club. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom.
It was another beautiful day in Santiago, perfect for playing tennis. I played Graciela Donoso early and won 60 62. Afterwards I watched some tennis and warmed up my opponent from yesterday for her mixed doubles match. There is a kiosk here for tennis clothes and now I have a new Chilean skirt at a very reasonable price, a good souvenir.
The score cards here are interesting…the cards swivel so the score is always showing who is ahead correctly, and instead of having a marker showing which player won the first set, in the middle are numbers I-V, indicating which set is being played, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
Today the club was making good use of their multipurpose covered area. Tennis was being taught on one court; girls were doing gymnastics in the middle and basketball practices were on the front court, with music (for the gymnastics), shouts and whistles (basketball).
I walked back to the club after dinner and matches were running about an hour late, with the lights coming on as the sun was setting.
Potted plants on walls is a very Spanish way of displaying flowers…I found a couple of walls of potted geraniums today. The flowers and trees in general are very pretty here.
I have a day off tomorrow since the other round robin group didn’t start till Wednesday. We could have played the final tomorrow…the #2 seed won both her matches so has won her group, but they have an awards ceremony on Saturday and play most finals then.
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.
What a match between Thiem and Djokovic! Incredible offense and defense. Pleasure to watch both players compete (thanks to atptennistv app…worth it).
Onto info from Chile. I scouted tomorrow’s opponent (she won pretty handily), had a light practice in the morning and then watched some of the tennis, chatted with players, before heading back to my apartment. The street market by the subway was open, so I picked up some strawberries and blueberries, which are mostly missing from the grocery store. They smell good!
Later on I walked over to the club to try and find a warm up for tomorrow. I play at 10:30 against Shirley Friedl from Austria, who won the ITF Grade A in Brazil last week. I did find a warm up partner, and stayed to watch the first match on TV of Thiem/Djokovic before heading back and watched the third set on a tablet.
I saw a lineup of Lime scooters by the bus stop. I haven’t seen any Lime bikes…the scooters look like fun and I’ve seen a lot of people on various scooters, but I don’t think the time to learn to ride one is during a tournament (it was perhaps 40 years ago instead). There are docked city bikes somewhere but they aren’t so convenient.
In the afternoon the stores in the subway, even the OK store (which is like a 7-11, but owned by unimarc, a big supermarket chain) were all closed early. I haven’t figured out why but the produce market was still going strong.
The jacaranda trees continue to bloom and are very pretty. In the evening there were a lot of players watching matches; matches go on into the night with some starting around 7:30pm. It’s a really nice environment at the club, quite a yin and yang between the city life with it’s hustle and bustle and skyscrapers and the oasis around Estadio Espanol.
The tournament started today in Santiago, but the women don’t begin play till tomorrow. I play I presume on Wednesday. There are three players in my round robin group A and three in group B. The other two players are playing tomorrow morning. I play them the next two days.
I was able to practice a decent amount today though always with three to four players on the court. I hit with Andrew Moraghan from GBR and an Italian, Marco Catelli, (I’m pretty sure…). Andrew and I hit a second time on Court 11 which was a mess of bad bounces, likely because it was a practice court all day and there hadn’t been an opportunity to groom and water it much. But the bounces were interesting, most creating no bounce situations but a few bouncing sideways.
Where there was an empty garden yesterday, today there was a beehive of activity, with a trainer/masseuse, mobile pro shop (they even had Volkl racquets and bags!), a sitting area sponsored by what appeared to be a travel or tourism site promoting Chilean tourism (it’s really a very long and skinny country), and a display of old racquets for sale.
I paid my entry fee, and got my player badge, which will be useful as it has a barcode to get into the park, and read the security recommendation, the last sentence of which is “They should avoid going out at night, especially alone.” Yet 7:30 matches are scheduled. So I didn’t sign up for mixed. It was played under the less than luminous lights five years ago.
The weather today was great, cooler, only around 80, and cool by the time I left around 7:30 or so. I went by the grocery to get a chicken and a drink and the line for quick checkout was about 20-30 people, but moved very quickly and took only about 5 minutes.
The jacaranda trees are almost in full bloom now, with the heat of the past three days and are very striking. The plants growing here are very similar to those grown in California.
It was another warm (90ish) late spring day in Santiago. I practiced twice today, with a pro at the club and then with a Canadian I ran into. He’d come from Brazil where he said the courts were soft & wet and there was no altitude and seemed surprised by how differently the courts played (keep in mind it’s his 4th time here..). Today the courts were drier and were playing pretty fast.
As was true yesterday, the restaurants were busy in the afternoon, and again there were basketball and volleyball games going on, though today the basketball game was being played by men, not boys.
After leaving the club, I walked back to my apartment, stopping along the way to buy water. In front of the big OK store, there are always many motorbikes with cases on the back for deliveries and their owners just hanging out waiting for a delivery. The streets were quiet today, but it’s Sunday.
I decided to do laundry. The laundry is in the parking garage. There was no signage, so I asked and finally found it. I was hoping there would be a coin machine there (it takes 1300 Chilean or just under $2 a load, only 500 and 100 coins). There was not, and the person at the desk had no change. Since all the washers were full, I took the laundry back upstairs and went down to search for change and to figure out how to add money to my Chilean SIM card. At my third stop, the OK store (very similar to a 7-11), I found someone who knew what I was talking about regarding the SIM card. So now my phone works, though I’m not sure how much data I purchased! But they had no change. I only needed about 400 so I went to the grocery store and got an item I wanted and which would give me that amount of change, and successfully figured out the laundry instructions…you’ll be glad to know I now have clean, albeit wet laundry (not enough coins for the dryer!). Next time it will be easier.
The difficulty for me has been that very few people I’ve run into speak English and my Spanish is pretty rudimentary. But now my phone works (google translate is my friend). I am really wishing I’d paid more attention in Spanish class!
The tournament begins tomorrow but I think I won’t play till Tuesday or Wednesday…I’m in a round robin of three people and the other two seem to be playing Tuesday. My first round match is likely to be a good one.
Tomorrow I am going to try and find some practice and watch a bit of tennis.
The tournament I am playing next week is called the Alfredo Trullenque, an ITF Grade A. It’s been going on for a long time. It’s being played at Estadio Espanol, a club built along Spanish lines,with many interior courtyards, lovely gardens and many clay courts along with pools (indoor and out), soccer fields, a covered multipurpose area (tennis, and today basketball and volleyball games were going on) and more.
There are many dining areas, formal and informal, indoors and out and all were being used today.
I hit for a while with one of the pros at the club, and then hit some serves and ran some sprints afterwards. It was warm but there was a nice breeze and it’s very dry. There’s a bit of altitude, not much though, somewhere around 710 meters or about 2300 feet. So the ball carries some but not excessively. The court I hit on today was much better than any I remember from five years ago, there weren’t any more bad bounces than are usual for a red clay court.
The draw is now published. There are six players in the draw, so we have two round robin groups of three players. There are two seeds, one for each group, but it doesn’t mean much…one of the players in my group just beat the second seed in Brazil 62 61 today.
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.
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THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL CALENDAR! PLEASE CHECK THE USTA TENNISLINK SITE FOR THE OFFICIAL SCHEDULE ONCE IT’S POSTED! Anything with a link is final (but click on the link for official information and to enter).
January 7-11, NSMTA Super Senior Doubles, USTA Cat III (Men’s 55 & up); Sanchez-Casal Academy, Naples, FL
Janos Latura and I won the mixed doubles in Hungary today over Eva Bogar Szabo and Peter Sakovics from Hungary 64 31 retired. We were down 3/1 in the first set (we couldn’t get in a warm up, the tournament had not hired the courts we had been warming up on past noon today), and nearly down 4-1…we won a 3-3 point to make it 2/3. Eva was banged up from playing three events this week…she had a back brace, knee braces and both quads taped…the joys of senior tennis. We didn’t even have to ask for new balls today, we were just automatically given them, as it should be.
The weather today really changed, it was cool and overcast and the forecast was for rain all afternoon. We were lucky to get on 15 minutes early and get in our match before the rain hit.
After the match we went to the Krystal Hotel where we received our prizes, for singles a metal thermos and trophies for mixed and doubles. No prize money, though that’s not why we play ITF tournaments, it’s more about seeing and meeting old and new friends and playing tennis.
I am on the train now to Budapest and fly back tomorrow to the USA. It’s been a fun summer in Europe but will be great to get home again.