• Category Archives Bad Breisig 2015
  • ITF Tournaments » Bad Breisig 2015
  • Tegernsee!

    Today I arrived in the Tegernsee area, about an hour outside of Munich, but a world away. I took two trains from Munich Ease to get here, then a taxi to the hotel. The hotel is fine but isn’t the one I meant to book in…it’s a bit further away and out in the country which means it’s quiet, I can hear cowbells more easily than road noise, a nice change from last week!

    Tegernsee is a lake (See means lake in German). There are mountains rising up behind the lake which are covered with trees and are quite green now; in winter, from about December to April this becomes a ski area.

    I had arranged to hit with someone from the club, which was good since there was no one at the courts from the tournament. My friends who live in the Munich area had other tournaments this weekend. We finished about 4:30 after a solid 90 minute hit and about fifteen minutes later there was a tremendous thunderstorm with heavy rains and lightning. I could see it moving towards the club, gobbling up the view of the mountains with white rain. Then about 20 minutes later the sun came out and it was pretty dry the rest of the afternoon.

    After tennis, I thought I’d check out the Aldi supermarket nearby but it was closed despite having a big sign saying it was open on Saturdays till 8pm. It didn’t seem to be out of business, but it definitely wasn’t open at 5:30pm! So I continued into Rottach and checked out the Penny Market, and same thing, open till 20hours on Saturday, but closed today. (On the other hand, the McDonald’s was open and doing booming business.). I knew the gas station was open, so I went there, got a few things and took the bus back to near the hotel. On the walk back I saw the cows whose bells I’d heard earlier from my room, and also some horses.

    The weather forecast looks iffy this week, but hopefully the rain will not go on all day. I have another hit tomorrow morning if it’s dry, then I’m hoping to bike around part of the lake in the afternoon.

    The draws are up, I don’t think I’ll play till Wednesday here. I’m the top seed and Olga Markova, my first round opponent from last week is the #2 seed. There’s another American in my draw, but she lives in Europe and plays my friend Bridget from So Africa first round.

    Below are photos from near the club, of the stream in town, the view from my room and the weather forecast.

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  • Baking in Bad Breisig

    It was hot here today, in the 90s and rather humid as well. It wasn’t so bad playing, the issue is that not only is their no air conditioning here (other than in the Edeka grocery store…maybe that’s why I was there three times today!). There also are no fans used anywhere…not in any stores here and not in any hotels, really different. So swimming or ice cream are the ways to cool off…I chose the latter, eating a sundae while watching the cargo boats going by on the Rhine after tennis today.

      ice cream waterfrontrhein and castle-001flowers and Rhein rhein  edeka

    I warmed up early, at 8, as usual. It was warm and actually steamy/foggy out,but the clouds quickly dissipated. Our doubles was scheduled for noon, and meanwhile I watched the men’s 80 (Wilfried Mahler vs Herbert Althaus; Mahler, a lefty,  won) and women’s 70 finals, Michelle Bichon of France vs Anneke Jelsma (Bichon won). Heidi Eisterlehner beat  Sylvia Bauwens 62 10 ret (Sylvia was ill..perhaps the heat).

    M 80 chammpionAlthaus M80 finalist-001 Bichon, Michelle-002  W70 finalist dutch-001

    We had a really nice doubles match, a bit too many lobs at the beginning (my fault!) but once we started going forward more we went from 5-5 to 75 50. I played with Olga Markova of Czech Rep and we played Margreth Beyer (Germany) and Jana Sedlakova also of Czech Rep. The challenge was that Olga doesn’t speak English much, “only” German, Czech and Russian…none of which I speak (a few words of German…my German and Olga’s English are on par). But it all worked out. Jana and Margreth rallied at 5-0, winning three games in a row and then went up 30-0, but we rallied to win the game and the match. One nice thing about playing yesterday at Remargen was the lack of proximity to a train track! Bad Breisig is a nice little town and everyone here was very nice, but I won’t miss the traffic or trains. Note the freight train in the background below.

    Nichols, Markova, Sedlakova, Beyer court overview-003 with train main drag of bad breisig

    For singles there’s prize money, but for doubles there’s flowers and wine, not so easy to carry on a train! So I left the pretty flowers with one of the tournament helpers and the wine with Olga who was traveling by car.

    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033165


  • Singles Champion Bad Breisig; Into the Doubles Final

    Today, Wednesday, I got to play a lot of tennis, which was great. I warmed up at 8 am with Heidi Eisterlehner, and after she won in under an hour, Nora Blom and I played for the second time in a week. This time, with the heavier balls and conditions, Nora played a lot better. I won but in three sets 64 26 61. I lost the first two games but came back to win the first set; in the second, Nora started on fire and I won two  points in the first four games, but fought back; Nora finally won the set on   her fourth or fifth set point with a net cord dribbler. Nora started well in the third, going up 1/0 40-0 but I came back i that game and then eked out the rest of the set, as most games were close. We both had to make strategic changes during the match. We had a chair umpire for this match, a teenager from the club. We asked her to call the score in German and she agreed, then called it completely in German and there were no German players on the court (though Nora speaks several languages extremely well besides Dutch…English, German, French for sure). So now I cam pretty much keep score in German and understand it.

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    After a pretty brief break, Olga Markova with whom I am playing doubles this week, and I took the shuttle to the Remargen Club about 15 minutes away. It’s a nice club, not too dissimilar to the one in Bad Breisig with quite a few courts and a nice restaurant and bar upstairs. We warmed up and started our 3pm match against a German and Swiss player, Gabby Kuhn  and Karen Wolf, a bit early. We had a lot of long games especially in the beginning but won 60 61. I watched our potential opponents, Margreth Beyer and Jana Sedlakova play some…it will be a tough match tomorrow. Sedlakova is a very nice player, a former Fed Cup player from Czech Republic and Maggie is solid.

     

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    We play the final tomorrow at high noon. We were scheduled for 4:30 pm but the consensus was that we wanted to play earlier and we sent Maggie to ask since she’s local…and she got the time changed.

    I’m staying now at the Klein & Fein hotel and asked the owner if there was a chance of using a washer…and she will do my laundry. So that’s one reason for the nice reviews for this hotel in Bad Breisig, because it’s not for the views (of the road) for for peace and quiet (road again…though with windows closed it is quiet.). But I’d stay her again if I come back.

    German players seem to drink a lot more beer than American players…there’s a tap going everywhere here..sort of like the Westwood tournament in Austin. After our doubles Olga has a klein bier (small) and I had a magnum (ice cream bar). Cheers!

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    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033165


  • Semifinals Day in Bad Breisig

    Today was semifinal day in Bad Breisig. I warmed up early again with Heidi, at 8am then chilled for a while as I didn’t have to play again till 1:30…or so I thought, that was the time on the board and I double checked it before I left.

    I had an early lunch and went back to the courts around 12:30. Court 1 was just finishing up and we were called at 12:50 to the court…fortunately I was ready to play early. I played Brigitte Friedl from Germany, a nice player and nice woman. We’d played once before a few years ago and I won but recalled it wasn’t so easy. She had some big shots. I started well and was up 5/0 in each set before losing some games; I won 62 61 and even (successfully) served and volleyed a couple of times! I then caught the last few points of the other semifinal between Nora Blom and a Czech player Jana Sedlakova. Nora had just beaten her handily in the European Closed championships in Sofia, Bulgaria and did so again 61 63. So for the 2nd time in a week I play Nora Blom in the final. It will be different here, as there’s no altitude so it will be harder to get the ball high on her, but it will be a good match. I also think we play doubles in the afternoon at another site in Remargen.

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    Update: In the evening there was a dinner for the players, one of two or three here (busy social program). There were some speeches, thanking the club and sponsors (I assume…it was all in German and I understood about every 10th word). Anyway, the tournament director picked two of the foreign players here for an interview, Stephen Dance from Tasmania (here playing Vets tournaments for the first time) and me. They wanted to know how this tournament compares to other ITF events and to events in the USA. These definitely are more social, the players stay around the club and watch, and all have men and women playing at the same time.

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  • Bad Breisig, Cologne and Tennis

    The interruption in this blog was due to technical difficulties…basically my computer didn’t like the last place I was staying and refused to connect to the internet, as did my phone. Both seem happier now! So I’m attempting this blog for the third time in as many days.

    Bad Breisig is a small town along the Rhein. People, mostly Germans, come her for vacation. There’s a small but vibrant waterfront consisting of hotels and many restaurants. At each end of the “restaurant row” is a bike path along the Rhein which seems endless. You see bicyclists with panniers on their bicycles often, touring around from town to town. I stayed three nights at a hotel on the Rhein. The Rhein is a very busy river for commercial traffic. There are barges going up and down the river all day and night long. On the other side of the town is the railway (which goes right past the tennis club). That too is busy, both with freight and passenger trains. In between the two is a very busy road going through the city, and it’s also busy and often bumper to bumper going through the city.

     

    BB waterfront path along Rhein, BB rhein and tanker

    On Saturday I hit with my friend Margreth Beyer who lives in nearby Andernach, and old walled city. She was the #3 seed in the tournament, though she lost today, Monday. The balls here feel very heavy and slow compared to Klosters and the courts are slower too, softer. We are using Dunlop Fort balls too, which are good balls but also heavier than even hard court balls at home. Going from Klosters’ light, dry air and 4000 foot elevation to Bad Breisig’s humidity and slow courts with heavy balls took a couple of days to get used to. It’s like going from Reno to La Jolla and from fast to slow hard courts.

    BB tennis club sponsor sign welcome sign WP_20150808_11_07_45_Pro starred photos-001

    Yesterday morning I hit with a club member early and then went into Cologne, which is near Bonn (the former capital of West Germany). Cologne is famous for it’s cathedral which mostly survived World War II intact. It’s right by the main train station in Cologne. I walked into the Cathedral which is large and awe inspiring with all it’s stained glass windows, mosaics, a large organ, and soaring ceilings. It was also packed with people, some taking photos, some taking a rest in the pews and others admiring the intricate design. After walking around the cathedral, I exited, walked around the cathedral and towards the Rheine where there’s  a long bridge over the river. The bridge should be called “love locks bridge” for the thousands of locks coating the side of the bridge.

    cathedral entrance-003 cathedral exteriorstarred photos-009   lovelocks-001 mosaic floor organ stained glass windows-005 stained glass windows-014  lovelockslovelocks and red trainbridge and cathedral-001

    After returning from Cologne (hint: when looking up train schedules, take a screenshot so you know when you need to be back to the station), about an hour from Bad Breisig by train, I retrieved my rental bike and zipped by the club where 6pm matches were just starting. I found out who I was to play today and went back to the hotel.

    Today I warmed up at 8am with Heide Eisterlehner, the # 1 seed here in the 65s (and the #1 player in the world in that division). Then I played at 9am against Olga Markova, with whom I’m going to play doubles this week. I played her in the final of the Karlovy Vary tournament in June. This time she started a little better, but I adjusted (even served and volleyed several times…her drop shot is wicked, much easier to hit if I’m already at net) and won 61 61. I play Brigitte Friedl from Germany, who beat Susanna Schweda, the #4 seed (and a semifinalist at the recent world championships) 62 64. She’s a good player and it will be a tough match tomorrow. Margreth lost to to a Czech player who plays Nora  Blom tomorrow.

     

     

    Olga Markova, Carolyn Nichols Karlovy Vary 2015

     

    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033165