• Category Archives Bordeaux 2016
  • ITF Tournaments » Bordeaux 2016
  • Bordeaux Champion

    The big news today was that Kerry Ballard and I actually played a doubles match! It so flummoxed us that we nearly lost the first set (due in large part to the inspired play of Hildegard and Dagy, our opponents). We went down 52 before changing our strategy (I stayed back and Kerry went forward; took away the lobs and the balls down the line that I watched go by too often). Once we got going we didn’t drop a game, winning 75 62. One of my spinney serves actually knocked Dagy off balance and she fell; she was ok, but her back didn’t feel so well afterwards. I could see it when she didn’t move for a wide shot a few games later.

    W 60 doubles final

    In singles, I played Caroline Glazmann for the second time on this trip. I played well and won 61 60 which was a good end to my European tennis trip…just as I am getting accustomed to this red clay again, I am going back to hard courts and California!

    60 semifinalists and winners starredphotos-016

    As usual, Ross and I warmed up indoors. The courts are so much like a hard court with a bit of dirt on top but it made playing easier, since I was ready early for Caroline’s shots!

    starredphotos-008 starredphotos-009 dunlop balls

    Ross Persons of the USA won the men’s 60 singles & 55 doubles (with Carlos Behar from Colombia). He beat Behar in the singles final then he and Behar played the doubles semis and final (which went 3 sets and ended around 9pm!).

    starredphotos-021 M 55 doubles final Ross Bruno, Carlos

    The Aussies did well with four singles champions: Kerry Ballard (who won a tough three setter over #2 seeded Micheline Van de Wiele 61 16 75. Van de Wiele, a lefty, is a good mover and hits a lot of topspin which can create havoc for those with a continental grip) W 65S; Peter Keller (M70, who won despite a torn quad muscle over Italian Giuseppe Losego 75 62; Andrew Rae, who was made to battle hard this week to take out Frenchman Alain Vaysset the #2 seed, 64 64 (Rae had easily beaten him in Barcelona, but playing at home, Vaysset was much tougher) and Adrian Alle who won the men’s 85 round robin without dropping a set. Keller/Rae were doubles finalists (losing to Bruno and Quentin).

    starredphotos-028 Ballard Kerry-001

    Sue Thomas won the women’s 55 consolation over Wendy Harrison (by default; sore shoulder) and Wendy and Sue were doubles finalists.

    Sue and Wendy

    While we were watching the highly entertaining men’s 55 doubles final between Ross/Carlos and Fitz Raijmakers/Gabriel Monroy (Carlos and Gabriel were Davis Cup teammates for Colombia back in the day but Gabriel has lived in Berlin for over 30 years now), there was a mixed doubles final going on too. There’s a reason they call it mixed troubles…and there was a lot of commentary going on, by the players, but at the end, everyone kissed and made up and had a drink together, as is common in Europe.

    Daniel Grossman/Polo Cowan, USA are in the men’s 45 doubles final tomorrow.

    And that’s a wrap on the Bordeaux Grade A. Many thanks to Bruno and Shirley for running an nice and friendly event at Villa Primrose. I’ll be back!

    Draws: http://itfseniors.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/matches.aspx?id=0DB9AF7B-7BE6-4F08-A82B-84BA31CD1726&d=20160724

    Photos: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipO04d4FCBpLA8l2uIdN3EyahzlzuS0oh-yqPXu6R0JjYFjGyGpLzStZlhI9zDzG9w?key=NFJ6WHJNd29admNNcVZYRU1TVk11bEI1OXNTR2hR

  • Successful Singles and Another Doubles Default!

    I played the semis of the singles in Bordeaux against Christiane Deryckere today and won 60 64. The second set Christiane played very well…aggressively with few errors and she moved well. We had a few long games, she won some, I won some and then I played a good 5/4 game, a bit more aggressively, to serve it out. It was a good battle. Our referee looked to be about 15 and he was quite good, calling all the lines and missed only one out call, which is amazing considering how dusty and clay covered the lines become during a match.


    I really thought that Kerry Ballard and I would have an actual on court doubles match today. Our opponents had played a match yesterday and won it easily…but alas, they defaulted to us today! Let’s recap: Barcelona: We are in the 55s draw; removed from the 55s and put in the 60s; receive a default in both of our matches in Barcelona and win the title without taking to the court; enter Bordeaux in the 60s; get a bye; get a default; we are in the final still without having hit a ball! Kerry Ballard must just scare opponents sick when they see her name in the doubles draw! We will have a match tomorrow though! Our opponents said they would play.

    Tomorrow I am third match up on Court 1 because I am playing a French player, Caroline Glazmann. She’s a lefty and we just played in Helsinki, but that was indoors on hard, this is outdoors on red clay. I am looking forward to it.

    Ross Persons, USA beat Fritz Raijmakers, the #2 seed from Netherlands 46 61 62, but said the last two sets, particularly the third set was much closer than the score. So was the first since Ross had a lot of break points but Fritz played a fantastic first set, with good serving and nice volleys. Ross plays his doubles partner for the week, top seeded Carlos Behar from Colombia in the final.

    Fritz and Ross

    Daniel Grossman and Polo Cowan, USA are playing 35 and 45 doubles here but their scores weren’t posted. The other Americans in the draws lost earlier.

    I had a chance to talk with Adrian Alle, who plays in the men’s 85 and his wife. He’s 86 years young and they are travelling here in Europe till October! Next stop is Klosters, Switzerland. He said it was hard to find tournaments that offered his age division. We discussed the dearth of 85s players. He knows my dad from Cups going way back, so it was a nice connection. Tennis keeps you young I think.

    Alle and wife

    Draws: http://itfseniors.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/player.aspx?id=0DB9AF7B-7BE6-4F08-A82B-84BA31CD1726&player=194

    Photos: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipO04d4FCBpLA8l2uIdN3EyahzlzuS0oh-yqPXu6R0JjYFjGyGpLzStZlhI9zDzG9w?key=NFJ6WHJNd29admNNcVZYRU1TVk11bEI1OXNTR2hR

  • Practicing Indoors on a Balmy Day

    I had the day off today but like any nerdy senior player, I headed off to the club pretty early to watch and practice. I warmed up Ross Persons for his match (he won 61 61) and also Petro Krueger (she lost to Silvie from France 26 75 63 after having some match points in the second set so I suppose the warm up was ok) and after lunch (I walked down to the local bakery where they have nice baguette sandwiches and panini along with Croque Monsieur, lots of crosissants, pain au chocolat (called chocolaties here) and other tasty looking treats) I practiced again. All the practicing was done indoors on a sort of clay court. The court was basically a hard court with painted lines that had a bit of clay on top to make it slippery. It’s pretty fast but better than not hitting. The courts have skylights and no other artificial lighting during the day. There are five of these courts; three are in a building with pretty good light and the other two are in a dark building. There are also two hard courts and three 48 foot kids courts and a backboard. There are two outdoor clay  courts not being used for the tournament here, but they are reserved for members, who are playing on them most of the day.

    Tomorrow I play singles, second match after 9am, and since it’s an 80s match I follow it could be around 10 (they play match tiebreaks in lieu of third sets). Kerry Ballard and I also play doubles, or so we hope! At least our opponents are here and already won a match today in doubles (and I played one of them yesterday in singles.)

    Here’s a link to the draws, order of play and results: http://itfseniors.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/matches.aspx?id=0DB9AF7B-7BE6-4F08-A82B-84BA31CD1726&d=20160722

  • Into the Semis on a Cooler Day

    Wednesday brought cooler weather to Bordeaux and even some scattered thunderstorms. I played Gisela Heinold of Germany. She was much better than the woman I played yesterday. In fact she survived a long match in the heat yesterday, 75 67 76! I warmed up on an indoor clay court with Ross which was good; he won too.  I managed to win 60 60. Today the matches went quickly on my court so I finished earlier but it’s an inefficient way to schedule matches, especially for the players. I play Christiane Deryckere of Belgium on Friday, the #3 seed, which will be a much tougher test as she’s playing well. I have the day off tomorrow and then the semis of singles and doubles on Friday. The tournament ends Saturday I think.

    Every court at this club has a sign with  the name of a wine company on it. So I played on Court 9 today, Chateau Pedesclaux. At least that is what I think the sign means. The tournament definitely has a wine vibe, and each player is given a voucher for a bottle or two of wine (I gave mine to my doubles partner, who is an Aussie, and will be able to make good use of it with all the Aussies around here).

    ct 9

    I hit the grocery store again today and was looking for peanut butter, which here is in the International Foods area. The selection of American food stuffs was interesting; two kinds of marshmallow fluff (seriously, who eats that?); Arkansas brand peanut butter; and then of course catsup, mayo and yellow mustard…and baked beans.

    American foods American foods 2

    Now, on the other hand, in the most French section of all I found these bottles:

    wine 2 wine bottle wined display

    That’s all the news from here…not much site seeing till the tournament ends.



  • Bordeaux Tuesday: Success in the Summer Heat

    Bordeaux was pretty toasty today, it felt like summertime where I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California, only a bit cooler. (Yes, it was a dry heat). The scheduling here is quite different from that at a US tournament. Players are assigned a court, which in my case today was Court 3. I was the fifth match on and the 2nd match, not before noon. So I had to be there by noon in case there was a default or retirement. I finally got on the court at 5pm! Matches moved slowly on my court and with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees, players moved slowly, took their times on changeovers and found shade when they could. Europeans aren’t used to this type of heat in general.

    I arrived around 11am having taken the public bus and hit with Ross Persons for about 40 minutes, after which my legs were covered in clay from the knee down. The court we practiced on was dry and dusty. By the end of the day I felt like I was covered head to toe with clay! Then I hit the grocery store, a Carrefour, which is a big chain. There was a wall of chocolates (but it was too hot to buy any, it would have melted) and another of jams (but no peanut butter, only Nutella). The cheese display was impressive too. I got some warm bread, cheese and a cold drink and went back to the club…only to wait and wait. Ross and I had another short hit in the middle of the match described below.

    IMG_2535 IMG_2537 IMG_2539 IMG_2540 

    The match before my court was a women’s 60 between Austria’s Dagmar Sperneder and Marie Christine Deleuse of France. Dagmar wasn’t pleased with the heat and it was making her feel ill when the match started a little before 2pm. And it was pretty warm. She conserved her energy in the first set (sometimes at the wrong times) and came two points from claiming the set at 5/4, only to eventually lose it in the tiebreak. It seemed that Marie Christine would then take the match, but no, somehow Dagy started feeling better, despite not wanting to drink much water! She won the final two sets 64 62 a little before 5pm.

    My match with Marie Christine Rambaud was quick though. She didn’t have much experience with tournaments I think, and I won 60 60.


    One nice thing about the tournament is that every match is umpired, by juniors from the club, I think and they do a good job. They umpire four matches a day, regardless of the length, so the umpire for my match, which was under an hour, was lucky; the one umpiring Dagy’s match, less lucky.

    There was a cocktail party at 6:30 but I was covered in clay and hadn’t brought a change of clothes, so I hopped on the bus back to the hotel…and my air conditioned room!

    Draws are here. I’m 4th match on Court 9 tomorrow.

  • Bordeaux: Into the Fire

    Yesterday I flew from Barcelona to Bordeaux (travel tip: take the train!) along with several other players from Barcelona, mostly Aussies. The flight was fine and the tournament director, Bruno Renoult and another person from the tournament were there to meet us and take us to our hotel which was really nice. It was warm but pleasant and very sunny. After consulting my new friend Google Maps to see what was open on a Sunday afternoon, I walked to a small grocery store for a few things (I love the Tomme cheese and the carrot salad in France…and the baguettes are good too of course!).

    After my quick shopping trip I headed into the old city center which is really nice. There are trams going all over the city, though I mostly walked for a couple of hours, looking at the old buildings and churches. I popped into a sporting goods store and found that the brands of tennis balls on offer were quite different from those in the USA…priced differently too. It’s really a beautiful old city and after the tournament (and after it cools down later in the week from the 100s early this week) I hope to explore more.

    IMG_2472 IMG_2474 IMG_2481 IMG_2500 Bordeaux Sunday July 17-007 Bordeaux Sunday July 17-008 Bordeaux Sunday July 17-012 Bordeaux Sunday July 17-024 Bordeaux Sunday July 17-028 Bordeaux Sunday July 17-032 Bordeaux Sunday July 17-040

    Today one of the Aussies, Peter, gave us a ride to the courts (with the help of Google Maps offline, thank you). The Villa Primrose Club is old, very French and really nice. The organizers, Bruno and Shirley Friedl, do a great job from what I can see. There’s a trainer, one practice court (clay but indoors) and a nice restaurant on site. There’s also shuttle bus from the hotel to the courts and the public bus which goes 3-4 times an hour between a stop just outside the club to a stop near the hotel.

    IMG_2510 IMG_2513 IMG_2514 IMG_2516

    I hit with Shirley for about half an hour, enough to totally encase my shoes and socks in red clay and to get a feel for the courts which are different from Barcelona, drier and higher bouncing. The draw here is larger in my division and stronger I think and hopefully Kerry Ballard and I will get a doubles match in this week!

    There was a minute of silence today in all of France to honor and remember the victims in Nice. It really puts tennis matches into perspective.

    I play my first match tomorrow probably around 2 or 3pm (and it’s supposed to be around 103 tomorrow!) so I’m planning on drinking lots of water and staying in the shade (there’s no air conditioning at the club).

    The draws for Bordeaux and order of play 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.

    starred photos-006 starred photos-013 starred photos-014 starred photos-025starred photos-022 starred photos-020  starred photos-003 starred photos-029 starred photos-018

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

    starred photos-003 starred photos-021

    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.