• Category Archives Barcelona 2017
  • ITF Tournaments » Barcelona 2017
  • Barcelona Doubles Success; Singles Final Tonight

    Draws and order of play are here.

    Last night we were scheduled for doubles at 9pm but our match went on about 15 minutes early.. I was scouting my singles opponent for tonight…their (not before) 7:30 pm match started around 8:30, so I didn’t get to see much before doubles. Kim Reed and I played a decent team, the #1 seed in 60 singles and her partner. We had some nice points but won 62 61. Playing under the lights was a bit challenging, though the lights are decent. As we were warming up an official came out to tell us the scoring for doubles had changed to no-ad and a 10 point Match Tiebreak for a third set due to the new curfew (of 1am).

    Kim is to my right above and our opponents are on either side of us. Kim just switched racquets and as it turns out we play with the same Volkl model, the V Cell 4. We play rather similarly so that makes sense.

    After we finished and took photos, it turns out the match I was scouting (which was on an adjacent court) was till ongoing. Carmen Chillidea-Belzunce, who I play tonight, won the first set 60 before it got dark, but the second set was turning into quite a battle. She was playing Mireia de Gispert Talavera who I played Monday night. Mireia was playing a lot of high topspin balls and coming to net behind some of them, pretty successfully, and pounding some two-handed backhands to good effect. She held off some match points at 5-6 and got the match into a tiebreak, which was even to 3-3…then Mireia stopped hitting high balls and lost four straight points and the match. Carmen stayed pretty calm to finish out the win.

    This morning I practiced again with Lisa for about an hour, then took the tram back to the hotel. Just before we started the club had all the kids from the camp on our court to take a photo…there are a lot of them of all ages, from about 3 years to teenagers. She plays mixed not before 10pm. It’s not bad playing at 6 and even 8:45 wasn’t terrible, at least it was light during warm up, but 10pm is tough!

    My tram stop going back to hotel.

  • Barcelona Champion: Tennis All Night

    Yesterday I won the 60 singles in Barcelona, beating the British Clay Court champion, Kim Reed,  62 61 in the final. I played very consistently, but the match was closer than the score, we had some long games and long rallies. We started early for Barcelona, at 5pm and finished just before 7pm. Our doubles was scheduled for 6:30pm but three of the four participants were still playing at 6:30. Erin lost a tough two-setter to Beatrix Mezger Reboul 75 64 and Kerry Ballard fell to Carmen Perera. We started about 8pm against Leanne Swaysland and Kerry and finished just before  11pm, losing 57 75 10-8. It was just a few points that separated us and was a good match.


    We finally got back to the hotel around midnight and packed up for the tirp to Bordeaux today.

    Other winners included Heide Orth, W75, King Van Nostrand, M80 and in mixed, MJ Pachl won the 55s.

    Today Erin, Hannah and I went to Casa Battlo, created by Gaudi around the turn of the last century. It has a water/ocean based theme on the inside and is creative, livable and pretty.

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    After that visit we walked through the Gothic quarter before heading back to the hotel.

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    We flew to Bordeaux and then had a long wait in line when we got off the airplane, as there was a passport check, even though we were flying from a Schengen country, probably due to the terrorism lately in France. We found our apartment, then wandered around Bordeaux and had dinner in the square by the church. Now we have to get used to getting up early and playing tennis before dusk!

    cathedralCANHannah Erin

    Photos from Barcelona: https://photos.app.goo.gl/alD0rfmCbTXULVv63

    Photos from Bordeaux: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ty4X78LOmIxqKDnv2

    Draws: Barcelona: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038580

    Draws: Bordeaux: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100039294

  • Success in the Semis in Barcelona

    Today was much like yesterday; Erin Boynton and I practiced in the afternoon after a late breakfast, then got ready for our evening matches. We played at 6pm singles and 7pm for doubles.

    I played the #3 seed Encarnita Gomez Ruiz and won 60 60. We had some good points and she was quite a bit stronger than my opponent yesterday. I play Kim Reed from Great Britain (though she lives in Spain) tomorrow. She won easily in the semis and is a very good player so it will be a tough match tomorrow. She’s steady, fast and crafty.

    Erin Boynton broke her opponent…she played the top seed Laura DiVittori and won 61 40 ret. She lost to DiVittori by similar scores a couple of years ago but is playing much better. After DiVittori retired with a foot injury Erin, as Erin does helped her figure out what her injury was and told her how to help it get better. So she basically broke her then fixed her!

    We were scheduled for 6pm singles and 7:30 pm doubles but started doubles around 8pm since we needed to change and Erin had to fix Laura. It’s not been hot her but it’s been quite humid. Today was particularly mild as it was overcast all day.

    We played doubles on court 35 which as one player, Quentin Massey said meant you have to take Bus #16 and change to the #25 to get to the court…this place is huge and we were a loooooong way from the clubhouse by the time we reached the court. There were singles sticks still on the court (and of course no sign of any referee…other than the one in the office I’ve not seen any sign of a roving referee all week) and the net was an inch low but there was no way to raise it. On the plus side, these nets are the tightest I’ve every seen which is great. And the groundspeople are doing a great job of prepping the courts before and between matches, sweeping, lining and watering them.

    Friday (2)

    We played two Austrian players and won 60 60 and finished around 8pm. Our probable doubles opponents tomorrow night, Kerry Ballard and Leanne Swaysland, were scheduled for 10:30 and Kerry just started her singles around 9pm!

    The tournament has food trucks, one with pasta etc, one with gelato and ices, one with local things like prosciutto, melon and lettuce salad (very good), hamburgers and steak and another with snacks, sandwiches and wine. Tomorrow we think we play at 5pm with doubles to follow.

    Draws can be found here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038580

    Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/alD0rfmCbTXULVv63

  • Barcelona: Tennis Under the Lights

    I played my first round match last night at dusk. I was scheduled for 7:30 and got on closer to 8pm. I was fortunately following King Van Nostrand, who wrapped up a win here in the men’s 80s right before my match. I played Patricia Labat Laberrere from France. I’d played her a couple of years earlier in Mallorca and we had good points there. I was a bit more aggressive this time I think and won 60 60…we didn’t have a lot of long rallies and finished just about sunset, and the lights had come on over our court.

    party thursday (1)


    Erin Boynton played a Spanish player and won 60 64. Her court was out in the back and had the older style lights and one light was out (though she said she never realized it). Her match started late this time because her opponent was 30 minutes late because she drove and couldn’t find parking. (The tournament had sent out an advisory to players that there would be no parking on Thursday due to a 120th Club Anniversary bash.) So it was pretty dark on that court and as it got cooler and the balls heavier, her opponent came alive and got a lot of balls back. Erin adjusted and won about every other point with a drop shot!

    The anniversary party went on apparently till 2:30 am…my room was on the opposite side of the hotel from the party but Erin’s was just above the party which apparently featured a horrible singer till 2:30am. The club was issued a permit to have loud music till 2:30am too so there was no way to stop the racket. It’s Spain. (Erin’s room is on the left side in the photo below…mine on the right..I was lucky!)

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    Tonight I play the 3rd seed, Encarnita Gomes Ruiz from Spain and Erin plays the top seed, Laura DiVittori from Italy. Then we play a couple of Austrians in doubles. (We last played doubles 3 days ago! ) We start at 6pm for singles and have doubles scheduled at 7:30 which is pretty optimistic scheduling by the referee I think.

  • Sightseeing by Day, Tennis at Night in Barcelona

    This week I’m playing a Grade A tournament in Barcelona, Spain. The tournament is quite unusual in that play only begins at 6pm each night and the last matches are scheduled not before 10:30pm! On Tuesday Erin Boynton from Canada and I played our first match, in 55 doubles, against two Spanish players, one of whom was a member of the Royal Polo Club where this event takes place. We played at 10:30 at night, under the lights and managed a 61 61 win. the match finished after 11pm so we had a long walk around the club back to our hotel, as the gate to the hotel from the club closes at 11pm.

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    The Royal Polo Club is huge, with soccer, field hockey, polo fields, Padel courts, and lots and lots of red clay courts, plus a clubhouse, restaurant and pool area. And just across the street is another tennis/padel/fitness club that’s also quite busy. Sport seems to be big here in Spain.

    It turned out that one of our opponents Magdalena (goes by Malen) is a curator at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Erin’s daughter Hannah just graduated with an Art History major, so she was delighted when she found this out. We ended up going to the museum yesterday, Wednesday and Malen gave Hannah a book on the museum that she’d help write. The Picasso museum here was mostly art from his early days. He was a child protégée, born in 1881 and most of the art was from the 1890s, but some was later. He actually painted landscapes and people who looked like people when he was young.

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    After leaving the museum we went to the nearby church which was beautiful. The whole gothic/old town area of Barcelona is quite interesting and vibrant. We walked to Las Ramblas to take the subway back to the hotel. We are pretty good at using the subway here by now. You can buy a 10 trip ticket which is convenient and not too expensive and the subway goes for miles.

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    Erin and I practiced in the late afternoon and Erin played a singles match in the evening. It was supposed to be a 7:30 match but started late since her opponent arrived late, in street clothes and then had to go back to her hotel to change, which she was allowed to do.

    The club really wakes up at night. There are food trucks at the tournament, some other booths and lots of people watching matches, eating dinner or waiting for matches.

    Today I play at 7:30 against a French player..7:30pm that is.

    Draws can be found here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038580

    Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/alD0rfmCbTXULVv63