• Category Archives Umag, GMP Cup
  • ITF Tournaments » Umag, GMP Cup
  • GMP Cup 2018 Champion

    Thursday September 14, 2018, Umag, Croatia

    It was a lovely day to play tennis today in Umag…a bit of cloud cover to make it feel cooler and no wind.

    I played Sylvia Reigl of Austria in the final. Sylvia is a good athlete….she shows up for matches on her scooter…I’d fall off of one! She took up tennis late, but has a strong lefty forehand, and likes to run. She also seems to like pace so I rope a doped her, giving her little pace and few angles. She hit four winners in the first game…after that I won the next 12, though she had game points.

    I watched the end of my doubles partner’s match after mine ended. She was playing Laura DiVittori of Italy, who is a nice player with good variety. Laura won but Ellen played pretty well.

    45 minutes after they finished we were on the doubles court. We played the final on center court which was cool. There were a few people watching (maybe to get some shade and comfortable seats!). We played Petro Kruger and Sue Jamieson and Ellen played fantastic doubles. I was consistent and we won 61 61 but really had a fun match. Petro hit one shot where she misfit the ball and the ball hit her racquet several times (one continuous motion) before it ricocheted off the frame and into the court for a winner.

    After doubles, I watched Ellen (and Marc Pepin) play mixed against DiVittori and Quentin Massey of NZL. There were lots of long games but DiVittori and Massey won the majority.

    There was a trophy presentation after the matches….big trophies (though the mens’ trophies, even for consolation were much larger than the women’s trophies…hmmmm…but the women’s had handles). Ellen won three trophies but she was driving home so it was ok.

    I rode my bike around for a while after that and ran into some Aussies at the grocery store and then back at the ATP stadium, ran into my doubles partner from Klosters and Barcelona, Kerry Ballard, and also some Americans, Brent Abel, Don Long, Jimmy Parker, Michael Stewart and Don Clark from the 70s and 75 teams, and Mai Ichikawa.

    And that’s a wrap on the Umag tournament. It was fun, decently organized, with good weather. The venue is nice, if you want to see Croatia, it’s a good starting point.


  • Successful Semifinal Day in Umag

    September 12, 2018, Umag, Croatia

    GMP Cup 2018

    I played singles and doubles today; singles against Radomila Martinicova and doubles with Ellen Neumann in the 55s.

    The singles was actually my second round robin match, but winning it meant I reached the final. Radomila is from Czech Republic and is a nice player but was hampered by an Achilles injury so couldn’t run like she’d wished, especially after drop shots.

    In doubles we played against Sylvia Reigl and another Austrian, Maria (who was hampered by a knee injury). I’m playing with Ellen Neumann from Germany who ambitiously entered three events and is now in the final of the 55 singles, doubles and mixed (with Marc Pepin of Canada).

    For the obligatory court comment of the day: the courts were playing much better today. The tournament staff was taking clay off of court 11, which is the one where I practiced Monday and played both matches today. Monday the clay was like a pillow, today it was fine. Even though the courts are still very slow and soft I like them.

    The one thing that some of the tournament referees are not doing is checking the net height when they put up singles sticks…the net on our court was about two inches low (5 cm)! I noticed it after the first game and a referee was promptly dispatched to measure and fix it. And my opponent hit a lot of balls into the top of the net during the match.

    As is normal in ITF seniors tournaments, foot faults are rampant and officials notice and completely ignore foot faults. I saw one player who was footfaulting about 2 feet into the court on most serves, an official was monitoring that match and said he could do nothing unless standing on the court…but he was there to answer calls about line calls and was only 6 inches outside the court. I’m not sure what the solution is but allowing officials standing just outside a court or inside a court to at least warn players about foot faults would be a start. Either that or let players serve from wherever they wish…from the baseline, from the service line, from the net…..we’d all feel like John Isner serving from the net! At least the player I observed foot faulting was not serving and volleying and though the player’s footfaulting may have extended the match it did not impact the outcome.

    Tomorrow is the last day of the tournament for me, singles at 9am and doubles not before 11 (more like noon or so). We play Petro Kruger and Susan Jamieson, who are already finished with singles.

    For more information click here.


  • GMP Cup 2018: Successful Start

    I played my first match at the GMP Cup in Umag today, and beat an Austrian player, Ingrid Bruggraber. We played on Grandstand Court, and the match was live streamed and umpired, very unusual for a senior event. The courts here are really slow and have a lot of clay on them. (I know I wrote that before but it’s worth repeating daily). And the balls, Head ATP are pretty heavy. I hit a lot of successful dropshots today.

    After playing and lunch (and a massage!) I rented a bike and with another American, Joann Nicodermus (the massage therapist) rode to a Croatian Lidl and also to a Spar. It’s really interesting looking at grocery stores in different countries. The Lidl format is similar but the foods are different (alas, no carrot salad!). The Spar, which is more of a traditional grocery store had lots of pate; the Lidl specialty seemed to be ice cream and ice cream bars. It was a nice ride and I was happy to be back on the wheeled transport of my choice, a bike, rather than driving a car!

    There wasn’t a lot more to the day today but I have a couple of matches tomorrow, singles and doubles. The tournament is trying to finish by Thursday, then I’ll have some time to explore the area more.

    The tournament website (including a link to matches which are being live streamed) is here: Tournament Web Site and Live Streaming Links