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  • Good Bye Bournemouth 

    There was lots of good tennis played today in Bournemouth though not by me. We lost our doubles 62 63, though we had ads in several games we lost in the second set. Our opponents, Rushby/Carol Smith played well.

    Jane Rushby lost a marathon 60s singles to Kim Reed 75 in the third, 3.5 hours. Nearly as long was Lisa Prechtel’s 76 in the third win over Chris French, who had a match point or two before losing. 

    Pauline Fisher won the singles and doubles in the 65s, beating Marjorie Love in the singles final. 

    The weather was pretty good all week (the British were pretty proud of it). I asked Pauline if they sold sunglasses in Britain as I saw few hats and no one wearing sunglasses here all week!

    Singles winners and finalists are below:


    I am off to Germany tomorrow very early. I have German bread to look forward to! 


  • Doubles Specialist?

    Today I got “back on the horse” or at least back on the tennis court, for the doubles semis. We, Rosemary Wilson and I, played Dee Smith (note correct surname) and Tish Peal (who beat me yesterday). We won despite losing six games in a row in the middle of the match, from 4-2 up to 2-0 down. But we finished strong, winning the second set 63, and the tiebreak 10-6. To be fair, Smith had played a long singles match, about three hours, during which she cramped a lot in the third set. It wasn’t easy to watch. I heard that she had had two set points in the first set before dropping it 76, then won the second 63 and it was even in the third before she started cramping. All credit to the fitness of Jane Rushby though. Dee  seemed ok in doubles though understandably tired. Peal lost her singles 64 63. She said she was a bit tired from the week and her overhead wasn’t working. But I watched some of the match, and Kim Reed got the ball a bit deeper than I did and has a killer drop shot.

    Tomorrow we play Jane Rushby/Carol Smith in doubles. They beat the #2 seeds, Sally Freeman/Ann Brown 63 62. We have to wait for Jane’s singles to finish before playing doubles, then I have to hotfoot it to the airport for my flight to Germany…or take a flight on Sunday morning.

    A few things this week I’ve noticed: 1: After a match, the winners ask the losers for a drink (awfully civilized); 2: When players are unsure of a call, most times they play two after calling a ball out! 3: The only drinking water for refilling bottles is in the bar…and there’s one tap only! No drinking fountains, and no cups. And players seem to think having a tap for  water in the bar available is a luxury! 4: There’s a deposit for getting a towel, none are available in the locker rooms (so get your towel before stepping into the shower! 5: The balls are HEAVY! 6: Players get 4 new balls for every match here which is great, especially for matches in center court which is quite large.

    Also, I learned that Britain is changing out their 1# and 5# notes. With 5# it has already happened and the old ones are no longer any good; with the 1# coins, new ones are in circulation and the old ones are going to be valueless sometime in the fall.

    I did take photos today but will process them tomorrow or Sunday and post some then.

    For now: Draws can be found here.


  • Tennis is Tough

    Tennis can be so much fun…but today wasn’t much fun for me on the court. I lost to a pretty good player who played very well, Patricia (Tish, don’t call me Pat) Peal. She hit her returns, serves, and volleys really well. She hit near the sidelines and baseline. I hit near the service line on groundstrokes and unfortunately on lobs as well. So I lost. For me, it’s back to the practice court and drawing board to figure out a solution to her game and I hope to play her again after I figure that out.

    My pickup partner, who is playing down from the 65s, is Rosemary Wilson, a very good doubles player and a nice lady. We won our first round of doubles and play Peal and her partner, Diana (Dee) Wilson tomorrow. They will be tough, as were our first round opponents, Betty Maitland and Kim Reed.

    I didn’t take any photos today. I may tomorrow as I think I will watch Peal play Reed.

    Results: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038292

     

     


  • Successful Debut in Singles; Singles & Doubles on Tap for Thursday

    Quick post since I play at 8:45 tomorrow (and 4:30 for doubles, making it a long day. I miss my car!

    I played Syliva Shipley from GBR today and won 60 60. We played on the center court which is the furthest away from the clubhouse. It’s a big court so we had to chase balls a lot. I warmed up twice, with Ann Brown and Lisa Prechtl so I was ready to go. Tomorrow I play Patricia (Trish) Peal, a 6 footer who plays quite aggressively. She has a smooth game and it will be a challenge.

    We have doubles as well against a tough team of Betty Maitland and Kim Reed. Reed is new to the 60s (as is Peal) and is a very good clay courter, who spends a lot of time in Spain. I met my doubles partner today, Rosemary Wilson and we have a tentative plan for how to play together.

    The weather was great here today…felt just like San Diego, mostly sunny, not too warm or cold.

    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038292


  • Practicing on the “American Clay” in Bournemouth

    The British Senior Clay Courts is a well organized tournament held at the West Hants Club in Bournemouth. The past couple of days I’ve had a chance to practice in the evenings with Pauline Fisher, one of the top British players in the 65s and a member of this club. Matches are scheduled from 8:45 am till 6:30 pm since it doesn’t get dark till nearly 9pm here in Bournemouth.

    Bournemouth is about 2 hours southwest of London and is right on the sea. Yesterday it was overcast and gloomy most of the day; today the sun came out and really transformed the view.

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    I’ve been biking to the club and back. I still haven’t made it to the club without at least one missed turn, but made it back without mishap this evening. It’s supposedly a 15 minute ride, but it’s more like 25 since I and my bike are slow. And it’s uphill and downhill, but mostly a nice ride. In the city center, a long street next to a narrow but pretty park, it’s been quite crowded since it’s school holidays this week after a “bank holiday” on Monday. There are lots of families walking along the beach, pier and shopping, giving the area a very festive atmosphere.

    The tournament is being held on green clay, or as the Club’s website (http://www.westhants.co.uk/tennis) describes it, “American Clay”. The courts are hydrocourts, though apparently the reservoirs under the courts can get too high if it rains and lot, at which time the courts don’t drain.  The weather this week though looks pretty good and dry, though cool. The Paris heatwave hadn’t hit Bournemouth.   In winter two of the clay courts, and two outdoor hard courts are covered with bubbles to join the four permanent indoor courts for winter time play. The club also has a pool and a nice restaurant.

    I play tomorrow at 3:45 in the afternoon and am practicing with another British player in the morning. We start doubles on Thursday.

    Draws can be found here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038292

    Photos are here: https://goo.gl/photos/sXMhucQoD5byGitn7


  • Bournemouth, England

    I left Saturday for Bournemouth, but it wasn’t a sure thing that I would arrive much before my match on Wednesday! I arrived at San Diego Airport for my flight to Manchester via NY/JFK. However, the Jet Blue flight I was on was delayed by over an hour…and I had only 90 minutes in NY before the delay. The delay meant I would not make my flight to Manchester (the flight arrived into a different terminal). The next flight on Thomas Cook which had seats (booked via Condor) was Monday night. So United (yes the maligned United Airlines) and my miles rescued me. Actually 30K miles got me all the way to London. And I was able to figure out transport from London to Bournemouth while I was on the plane as the wifi was working.

    If I had looked at the flight status for Jet Blue or had had alerts enabled I could have avoided most of the issues, as I could have booked an earlier flight to NY on another airline instead of a whole new ticket.On the other hand, the flights on United were better and I ended up in London, which was much closer. Jet Blue has promised a refund and Condor and I are in discussions for a refund or voucher…we’ll see. Anyway, Travel Tips: Enable alerts; Check the flight status manually for your flights which connect and keep some miles for emergencies!

    Anyway, from London/Heathrow to Bournemouth, the best and cheapest way seemed to be a direct bus. It was pretty cheap and direct, but not so smooth till we hit the expressway. My wallet liked the fare, about $35 better than my stomach did. Anyway, I made it here yesterday around 1:30, in time to look around the water front (though it rained just as I arrived), rent a bike, visit the grocery store and bike out to the tennis courts. The club is big, lots of clay courts, and four indoor hard courts. Play was going on on all courts due to the rain delay. I met up with a friend and we are going to practice tonight. Bournemouth seems very nice. It has a long stretch of sandy beach, some piers, gardens galore and nice shops and lots of restaurants.

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    The draws are up for the tournament too. Draws can be found here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038292 (click on  order of play, then draws).

    60 singles