• Category Archives Barcelona 16
  • ITF Tournaments » Barcelona 16
  • Baden Baden Champion

    Today, Friday, was finals day in Baden Baden for several divisions. Our final pitted World #1 Lyn Mortimer from Australia against World #2 (me) from USA. We were scheduled for noon, and about noon we were given the court assignment and balls, and told that the court would be free in a few minutes. We thought that meant the previous match had finished and the players were sweeping the court. However, that was not the case. The previous match was still going on, though one player was up 62 5-0…then 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5. It really looked like a three setter was in the works! However, the player who was leading finally managed to close it out 7-5 and we went to the court…just as the predicted rain showers materialized. They were light showers though, so we warmed up and started to play. It’s weird for someone who grew up on hard courts to play in the rain. I’ve done it many times, but it’s really not too pleasant, and my gut strings don’t  appreciate it either. However, the coatings on gut are pretty good these days and my strings held up fine. Anyway, I won the first set 64 after trailing 2-0. Lyn was up in the second set 2-0, 15-15 serving when it started raining pretty hard, so we stopped for a while. The court was starting to get muddy and we agreed to wait till it dried a little. Play on some of the other courts never paused. We were just told by tournament staff that it was up to us when to resume play. No roving umpires were every in evidence to look at the courts (or call foot faults). When we resumed, the rain had gone, there were patches of blue sky and we finished the match under dry conditions. I won the second set and the match 63. It was a very close match since there were a lot of deuce ad games.  Lyn and I are below with Angelika from the Baden Baden Club.

    Lyn, Carolyn Friday-001

    Heide Orth won the 70s here this week. Carole De Bruin, with whom I have been practicing this week, won her first round singles and mixed and is into the finals of mixed. In the 55s, Betty Michel (France) upset top seeded Laura DiVittori (55s, Italy) in three sets in her first ITF tournament outside of the world championships or French nationals. There seemed to be quite a few upsets overall in singles. The doubles draws were small. Marc Pepin of Canada advanced to the men’s 55 final without playing a match (bye/default) and to the mixed final by playing a single match, but the finals should be competitive.

    The rain continued on and off during the afternoon, but the courts here dry really quickly, so play wasn’t halted for too long, and matches ran mostly on time. I went to the Penny Market (sort of like an Aldi or Trader Joe’s) to return bottles (you put them in a machine and get a credit to use in the store, 25 euro cents per 500 ml bottle. The store bakes bread in house, has a vast array of chocolates at good prices, decent fruit and veggies and everything from shampoo to ice cream to spaghetti sauce. It’s always a good place to go shopping in Germany.

    Tomorrow I’m going to warm up Carole DeBruin and then wander around Baden Baden and perhaps watch some tennis. Then it’s taxi/train/bus/plane/taxi to Poertschach, Austria.

    Below are shown Carole/Carolyn.

    Carole and carolyn-001


    Photos can be found here.

    Draws and results can be found here.

  • Barcelona Champion

    I played the singles final tonight against Carmen Perea who is a very nice player. I won 62 63 and it was a good match, as Carmen is an extremely experienced and smart player. However she’s not the best mover and that was probably the difference. I got a lot of balls back and served well; she also served well at times and changed up her strategy often. She also has nice touch and a terrific backhand.

    starred photos-016

    Ross Persons, USA won the 60 men’s doubles and 55 mixed, both 76 retired. He did fall in the 60s final to the defending champion.

    Heide Orth and Kerry Ballard, my practice partners this week, both won their divisions in straight sets, Heide in the 70s and Kerry in the 65s. There are quite a lot of Aussies here; Andrew Rae won the 65 singles and doubles (with Quentin Massey, NZL); Quentin and Encarnita Gomez won the 60 mixed. Adriane Allee lost to Henri Cruchet in the 85 final but played well. Klartje Van Baarle won the 50 singles and 50 mixed with Randi.

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    I left after 11pm and the tables were packed for dinner still. There were quite a lot of spectators tonight too.

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    I saw the 45 singles champion lighting up a cigarette in front of a table that had about 20 empty beer cans. Training is definitely different in Barcelona!

    That’s a wrap on Barcelona; tomorrow off to Bordeaux!

    Barcelona draws and results.

    Bordeaux draws (from Sunday) and results.

  • Doubles Champions & Into Singles Final in Barcelona 

    Kerry Ballard and I are the 2016 W60 doubles champions in Barcelona, and we never had to take the court for a match!

    To recap:

    1. We entered 60 doubles
    2. We were put into the 55 doubles draw where we would have started in the quarters
    3. Next we were removed from the 55 draw and put into a 60 doubles RR with 2 Spanish teams
    4. We received a default from one team Wednesday
    5. Tonight after one of our opponents finished her 60 61 demolition of the #2 seed in 60 singles we were told we were receiving a default due to injury (which player was not specified)
    6. Therefore we won the 3-team round robin via two defaults!
    7. I play Carmen Perea, one half of the doubles team which gave us the walkover, in singles tomorrow 

    So Kerry and I both play singles finals tomorrow, and each of us has played only two matches all week!

    Heide Orth beat Sue Kimball 75 62 tonight. Ross Persons took out the top seed in men’s 60 singles, then won amen’s doubles semis, all while his potential singles opponents were battling it out. He plays the defending champion, a Spanish player, who, like Ross was unseeded.

    The Kimballs, Mos and Sue, are in the 65 mixed final tonight. (Updated: they won!)

    I won my singles today 60 60. I played the same person 4 years ago and felt I played better this time. I am ready for a tough battle tomorrow with Carmen Perea, a former pro who reached the third round of the French at one time.

    Link to draws and results

  • Tibidabo Mountain, Barcelona

    Today is Thursday; the tournament began Monday and so far I have played one match. It’s a good thing I have had Heide Orth and Kerry Ballard to practice with! Heide also had the day off (after also having yesterday off…I guess it’s a way to fill the hotels and keep players in the tournament longer).

    Today I hit with Heide, then along with Ludwig Orth we went to Tibidabo, which has great views fo Barcelona from the north-west of the city. It’s is 1,680 ft high making it the tallest mountain in the Serra de Collserola hill range. The Sacrat Cor church rises above the City. I saw the church and the statue on top of the church sparkling in the sun yesterday when I was practicing and googled “Barcelona Church on the Hill” and found out about it. Along with the church and views is an amusement park, mostly for younger kids, which opened in 1901!

    The views were really nice of the city and the beach. It was pretty clear and nice to see the Mediterranean Sea and the many sailboats. We took the elevator up from the second level of the church then I walked all the way to the top, but the views were nice from every level. There is also a hotel and a cafe at the mountain top.

    We took a taxi up but the bus back, which goes right to Catalunya in the middle of the city ; from there one can take a taxi or the metro most places in the city.

    Tibidabo Barcelona-002 Tibidabo Barcelona-031Tibidabo Barcelona-011Tibidabo Barcelona-009  Tibidabo Barcelona-016Tibidabo Barcelona-015  Tibidabo Barcelona-018 Tibidabo Barcelona-020 Tibidabo Barcelona-024 Tibidabo Barcelona-026   Tibidabo Barcelona-028

    Mount Tibidabo in Barcelona, Spain.

    Order of play for today Friday, is now up with no matches before 6pm. We play the doubles final not before 9pm and I play singles at 6 pm.

  • Night Tennis

    I played my first round match in Barcelona tonight. Checking in was chaos!  Players were there early but there was no way the organizers were going to allow players on court even a minute before 6pm! This results in a mad dash to try and get on a court right at 6pm, while the people at the tournament desk are still trying to get everyone checked in. It’s definitely NOT a tournament run on Finnish time! It’s more “manana time”.

    I got on a little after 6pm and played Silvana Gonzalez from Spain, via Uruguay. She smacked the ball, but was quite erratic, so I won 61 60. 

    There was a big change in the weather today, from hot and muggy to temperate and quite windy. The wind made playing tricky but it was otherwise pleasant.

    I probably play the #3 seed next, another Spanish player. 

    Buenos Noches de Barcelona!

    Blog from Mas and Sue Kimball: http://farmnecktennis.net/leaving-the-neck

  • Barcelona Grade A Wednesday

    I play my first round of singles and of doubles today, starting with singles at 6pm and doubles not before 9pm!

    In singles I play (to no surprise), a Spanish player, Silvana Gonzalez Lessa who is a pretty good player and just won a Grade 2 last month.

    60 S Draw

    Yesterday Kerry Ballard and I were in the 55 doubles with a draw of 10 teams and we didn’t have a match today. I think what happened is that after the draws were made  Carmen Perea and Rosa Togores were allowed to enter late  (they weren’t in the original draw) so there were 3 teams to make a 60s round robin. (Sala/Sala and Kerry and I were moved into the 60s.) Sometimes the ITF referees won’t allow any changes to draws once made and sometimes they apparently are extremely flexible.Or perhaps they had entered online and were overlooked when making the draw which may be the more logical interpretation. Anyway it happened, we  are happy to have a draw. We play Sala and Sala tonight!

    Update: I just received an email that we received a walkover tonight so I now only have a singles match at 6pm. Interesting…



    revised doubles drawOriginal 55 D Draw

    Last night I ran into Susan Kimball from the USA (though originally from GBR and since she’s just come from Britain, she sounds particularly British this week! She’s playing with her husband Mas in mixed 65s and also in 70 singles. She was happy to have beaten the #4 seed and defending champion Daniele Bonnet 76 62. She said after the first set she started to crowd Bonnet when returning serve and forced a lot of double faults. Mas and Sue are shown below. She next plays Heide Orth of Germany. Here is a link to their travel blog.


    Ross Persons, USA upset his doubles partner and the #4 seed, Felix Riba, using some clever drop shots 63 46 60. He plays the #7 seed, Alejandro Spinelli from Argentina next.

    Ross (2)

    I had a double practice yesterday and a slightly shorter double practice today with Heide Orth and Kerry Ballard. It was much cooler today and clearer and less humid. We are using Babolat balls here which are a lot lighter than the ones I practiced with next week (and lighter than the Dunlop Forts we will be using next week). I’m getting used to them and to the clay here which is quite nice clay, well maintained and not too slippery.

    Here’s a link to the draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100035775

  • Barcelona & the Real Polo Club

    Today was Day One for the Barcelona Grade A tournament. I don’t play till Wednesday at 6pm, but did get in a practice with Heide Orth and a bit with Kerry Ballard who arrived early this morning from Essen, Germany. Kerry and I are playing doubles here this week.

    Kerry Carolyn

    The courts here are softer than those at Global but the balls are Babolat which fly and are lighter than the Head ATP ones we practiced with last week, so conditions seem sort of similar. It was quite warm too by noon, and still warm in the evening.

    After lunch, I went to the Corte Engles department store. It is a big one and two levels down has a great grocery store. There are two aisles devoted to shellfish and tunafish; a lot of ham (some quite expensive too), dozens of Nutella and nutella type spreads but only 2 kinds of peanut butter; and an entire aisle of jams and jellies. It was interesting to see.

    food  (2) food  (3) food  (4) IMG_2351 IMG_2358 nutella

    In the evening I went over to watch the tennis and pay my entry fee. I saw Sue Kimball and Ross Persons from the USA and some Aussies I know. Dinner starts here around 8:30 and goes on late; there was a lot of activity since it was the first day and the tournament goes from about 6pm to midnight. One of the lights was out on the main stadium and it seemed quite dark.

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    I watched Ross for a bit. He doesn’t sit down on changeovers (big believer in the “continuous play” rule). His opponent sat for what seemed to be five minutes and was sucking air big time, but hung in, losing only 64 64.

    They don’t really call footfaults here (and Ross’s opponent made much bigger ones than this one at times).

    foot fault Ross (1) Ross (2)