As told to me by Margaret Canby, W85 Captain:
“We have won, today Rose [Austin] and I won the doubles 6-0 6-1. Really played well!
Yea USA 85 Women Cup winners 2019!”
Congratulations to Margaret, Rose and Irene Bretzel!
Lisbon, Portugal, Friday Aug 9th
The USA three of six cups at the 2019 ITF Seniors World Team Championships in Portugal, and none of the victories were easy today, with all three teams splitting singles and winning the deciding doubles point.
The most nerve wracking part of our day was when Susan opened up her racquet case to discover that…her strings had broken yet again! The one that she’d never hit with broke in a second spot and the one she’d just had strung yesterday also broke overnight. So she couldn’t even warm up with us. She had one strung with a multifilament string (instead of gut) and hit with it; during the rain delay I had her string the second one. So she was set to play with something other than natural gut for the first time ever.
The Alice Marble Cup (W60) beat France to regain the Cup they lost last year to Australia. I played #2 singles and lost rather badly to Catherine Suire who really played well. Then it rained and there was a two hour delay. When play resumed, Diane Barker was up at #1 against Betty Michel and won the first set 62. The second set was closer, but after having match points at 54, Diane closed it out 75 to send the match into the doubles. Since Susan’s strings were still intact, Diane and Susan Wright took on Benedict LeGrand and Suire. They were down early but rallied to 45 and nearly leveled the set before dropping it 64. They made some adjustments and took the second 63, and went up 1/0 in the third. Suire took a medical time out and had her ankle taped (we thought she was cramping but apparently not). Nonetheless Suire played aggressively, hitting her share of winners, and LeGrand moved well and covered many lobs. Susan and Diane (the MVP of the Cup) won the third and the Cup 63.
The men’s 60s was perhaps more dramatic. They played Germany. Danny Waldman won a tough three-setter at #2 singles; Mark Vines fell to Norbert Henn at #1 singles. Mike Tammen and Danny (MVP of their team) won the deciding doubles in three sets though the third set was won emphatically by the USA. Tammen is an amazing doubles player and Waldman is also a terrific doubles player though with a different style. They dedicated their win to Wes Cash who was originally on the team but had to withdraw when his wife became ill.
The Maria Bueno Cup team beat Spain 2/1. They dropped the first three sets of the tie, and won the next four. Julie Cass lost at #2 singles; Debbie Spence Nasim won at #1, playing her third singles three-setter in as many days, winning 67 62 61. Nasim/Ros Nideffer won the doubles point decisively 60 63 to retain their title. They had to play indoors due to bad weather. Photos below by Andrea Rice.
The USA Maureen Connolly Cup team fell to France 2/1. Shelly Works was down a match point at #2 singles and hit the back of the line to level the game; she ended up winning in three sets. Vicki Buholz lost at #1 singles. Mary Dailey/Buholz, playing under lights, lost a tough one 75 in the third, playing till about 10pm. They earned copper medals for fourth place.
The Austria Cup team, men’s 55, finished around 10pm as well, falling to Italy in both singles, and finished in 6th place.
The Fred Perry Cup team, men’s 50, finished 7th, beating Germany 2/1 in the 7/8 playoff.
The individual World Championships begin tomorrow.
The USA women’s 60 team (Alice Marble) had the most straightforward match of the day, winning 3/0 against Great Britain to advance to the final. I played singles vs Anne Clark and won 61 64, though Anne started playing really well at about 4-2 in the second and we had a big battle the rest of the way. Anne has great anticipation and a fantastic backhand. Diane Barker beat Sue Bartlett at #1 62 75. Sue went up 5-4 in the second at which point Diane found another gear to go up 65. The last game was a tough one, but Diane didn’t back off her aggressive play and secured the win. Diane and Susan Wright completed the sweep with a 62 62 win over Tish Peal/Hazel Lindfield. We play France tomorrow. France edged Australia 2/1, winning a tightly contested deciding doubles 75 75 (rallying from 0-3 in the second set).
The men’s Von Cramm Cup team edged Australia 2/1. Danny Waldman won in three sets over Mike Ford at #2; Glenn Busby beat Mark Vines in straight sets and Waldman/Mike Tammen won 64 36 64 over Busby/Ford to clinch the tie. They played on center court and there was a big crowd for the doubles match. Photos will follow tomorrow or Saturday. They play Germany tomorrow.
The USA women’s 55 team fell to Netherlands. Vicki Buholz played Carole DeBruin at #2 and lost a heartbreaker…she won the first set, lost the second and the topsy-turvy final set fittingly ended in a tiebreak, won 75 by the Dutch. Tracy Houk fell to Lisa Prechtel at #1 singles and Shelly Works/Mary Dailey lost their doubles match in a a match tiebreak.
The women’s 50 team got a late start in Estoril due to rain, and only started after 2 in the afternoon. They played France and I believe are still on court. Julie Cass won in three sets at #2; Debbie Nasim lost in three sets at #1 and TBD for the doubles. Ros Nideffer and Debbie Nasim are playing the doubles…which is being played now under lights, starting around 9pm!
USA down a set and up 5/2 second set. Will update tomorrow morning.
Update, USA won 62 in third to advance to the final. 9 sets played, finished in fog at around 10:30 pm. Photo & updates by Andrea Rice.
USA Men’s 50 lost 3/0 to Belgium in the 5-8 playoff today. They play Germany in the 7-8 playoff tomorrow.
USA Men’s 55 had a bye today and play for 5th tomorrow.
The Gala Dinner last night was exceptional. It was in a botanical garden, nicely lighted as we walked through to the banquet area. The food was great and there were lots of fun deserts. We walked to the dinner from our accommodations and showed Tracey Thompson, who arrived yesterday, the view from the park.
The top seeded USA Alice Marble Cup team (W60) advanced to the final with a 2/1 win over 5th seeded Argentina. USA won both singles (Carolyn Nichols 61 61 and Diane Barker 62 60) but fell in doubles (Susan Wright and Robin Harris) to an exceptional Argentine doubles pairing featuring Betty Villaverde. It was a really good match. We play Great Britain tomorrow. The #2, 3 & 4 seeds all had a bye today.
The top seeded USA Von Cramm Cup team (M60) advanced to the semis against Australia, winning both singles against Great Britain behind wins by Danny Waldman and Mark Vines.
The USA Maria Bueno Cup team, seeded #1, edged Great Britain today 3/0. Julie Cass won in straightforward fashion over Katie Shaw but Debbie Spence, playing #1 against Teresa Caitlin, GBR barely got over the finish line first, winning 36 63 76 (2). The doubles was won by the USA by default. They face #3 France tomorrow. France had a rest day today.
The 7th seeded USA Fred Perry Cup team (M50), lost 2/1 to Italy. Eoin Collins lost a close and tough match at #1 singles 64 in the third; Dana Gill at #2 fell in straight sets and Willie Alumbaugh/Greg Paukstis won the doubles point in a match tiebreak.
The Austria Cup (M55) lost to a very strong Austrian team, dropping both singles points. Stu Saiki fell at #2 singles and Bill Moss lost to a very tall guy who hit amazing, heavy forehands and great drop shots.
Immediately after the finish of her doubles match, the strings in both of Susan’s racquets broke…the one on the left without every being hit. She’s recently moved to Florida and had them strung at the USTA National Tennis Center…on one the knot clearly broke. So we had to go back to our apartment, get string, and get a racquet strung so she has something to hit with tomorrow. (Fortunately I had some Babolat gut on me, though of a different gage.)
We taste tested another Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese cream tart) at the tennis center today…so far the ones we stumbled across the first day are still in first place, though these weren’t bad and are backed on site.
We have the gala dinner tonight. I’ll report on that tomorrow as it will be late when we get back.
All the USA teams won today 3/0 to advance to the knockout portion of the draw.
We beat Spain. I played #2 singles and won 64 61 against Patricia Armet, a Spaniard who lives in Argentina. Mid match my toenail decided to come off (I hurt it in May) and I had to have the trainer come out and cut it off after the first set, but now it’s fine. Patricia was really fast and consistent…I went to net a lot! Diane won quickly 60 61 at #2 against Carmen Chillida and Susan and Robin won the doubles vs Carmen Lang and Heide Deda Kolata 63 60 (they were up 32 when Diane came out to coach them and they didn’t lose a game after that.)
We play Argentina tomorrow. They edged Germany 2/1. Germany won the #2 singles and I watched some of the #1 singles at the beginning where the Germany #1 was cruising, winning the first set 60. The match became more physical in the second and the rallies were long as both players are counterpunchers. The Argentinian #1, Marcelo wore out her German opponent, winning the third set 61. Argentina has a very strong doubles team and won the deciding match to advance to the quarters. Germany now plays for 6th.
I saw the men’s 55 playing Ireland. They were winning pretty convincingly…Bill Moss is below belting a forehand.
Here are a few photos of the women’s 55 team. I ran into Vicki Buholz and gave her a quick lesson on air drop and google photos and got some photos dropped back to me in exchange. USA beat Brazil today in women’s 55.
Luisa Gouveia told me a few weeks ago that seafood was the specialty of Portugal. So far we’ve tried salmon, squid and a white fish. Today we were at the market, with Google Translate working hard to let us know what the various fish names were in English (we did recognize octopus). We decided on sea bass, which here are displayed whole. However, there was someone behind the counter who weighed then cleaned the fish (but the head was left on the fish). I searched how to cook it, and we’ll bake it later tonight. That was our main food adventure today.
Update: the fish was fresh and very good.
Another specialty of Portugal is the Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese egg/cream tart, as mentioned in an earlier blog. The first ones we tried were the perfect blend of crisp pastry and a dense, not too sweet custard filling (Fabrica de Nata). They were great, but a 20 minute walk away. So we tried some from the pastry shop by the El Corte Ingles. I did not try these since Robin & Susan tried them first…the verdict; tough pasty crust but good filling. At any rate, all were eaten in one sitting. Today we tried one at a local pastelaria, or pastry shop. We all tried it…crust was a bit chewy, but better than the ones from last night, but the filling was too sweet. So I’m sure we’ll be walking back to Fabrica de Nata again this week.
Susan was complaining about the taste of the milk here. What we didn’t realize was that it was goat milk…we didn’t notice the picture on the bottle till it was empty (ok we never realized it…Robin did). Hopefully the bovine milk will be better tasting. #wedontspeakportuguese
Susan and I took Robin up to see the view of the city from a nearby hotel. We could see our apartment from there.
We did play some tennis today, on court 22, which is very short. For me, that would be good and bad…some balls would go over my head but many of my balls were going in and then hitting the fence without being touched. We had some good drills and doubles though. Somehow the discussion of string tension came up…Susan strings her racquet (a Dunlop) at the max, 63 or 63 pounds with natural gut; Diane is at 60 with a Babolat and multifilament; Robin is at 58 with multifilament and also a Babolat…and bringing up the rear, I string a 105 Volkl at 44 pounds with multifilament (or 48 with gut). After tennis we stretched a long time and then headed back to the apartment via the Kapten, a ride-sharing business (like Uber).
Tomorrow we play Spain, which is a stronger team than Brazil.
And that’s a wrap on Day 2 of the 2019 ITF Seniors World Team Championships.
Please click on the following links to view all Draws and Final Results:
Today we had our first complete team practice, as Robin arrived too late yesterday to practice. We played some singles and doubles and stayed from about 10-1. The clay here is very hard, the ground is hard and feels more like a hard court than a clay court. It’s also been very windy and the courts at the park where we’re playing are in long swaths and wide open.
I had to take the selfie because I’m the tall one in this group. 🙂
The park is huge, with soccer fields, indoor hard courts, dozens of outdoor clay courts, a stream, soccer fields, golf courses and more, acres and acres of greenery too.
We are pretty sure we have the Uber thing down and were dropped off and picked up without drama today. (The official transport, not so much, they were dropped off far away this morning).
After we practiced, Robin, Susan and I headed back to our apartment and while Robin rested and napped, Susan and I headed out in search of an unlocked cell phone and a European SIM card. We headed toward Vodafone, but they only sold locked cell phones. But we were told to go to another store in a shopping center up the hill. On the way up we were treated to not one but two classical music concerts by street artists, one a four person orchestra, the next a solo on a large stringed instrument. On Friday afternoon, the streets were packed, since we were approaching the old town.
I got the phone and the SIM card,a and mostly have figured out an android phone.
On the way up we had tried our first Pasteis de Nata, or Portuguese Custard Tarts. They are buttery sweet tarts with an aromatic custard that gets backed till it’s just scorched on top. We both found them delicious so stopped in again on the way back and bought a few more. Robin enjoyed them too.
We went by the Praca Dom Pedro IV, a large plaza and a busy one.
On the walk we saw this pretty bouquet of ceramic flowers.
Susan and I decided not to ride a scooter on the crowed, cobblestones streets…but there sure are a lot of scooters around. Also a lot of Jump (by Uber) electric bikes in bright red.
Opening ceremonies are late Saturday afternoon, after the captains’ meetings (where the draws are made). Matches start tomorrow.
Today, Thursday, all of the USA Marble Cup team members have arrived in Lisbon. Susan, Jenny and I met Diane and Jack Barker at the CDN Jamor (National Stadium) in Oeiras, just outside of Lisbon. The Uber driver dropped us off near the stadium…with all of Jenny’s luggage…and then we found out we were a 15-20 minute walk from the courts. We followed the signs to the courts and then didn’t see where the office was. I went looking for it and found the ITF office and Hayley Iveson in front of the stadium court. Diane and Jack arrived shortly after (also having been dropped off far from the courts).
We all practiced on two courts, then Susan and I went to meet Robin Harris at the airport and Diane, Jack and Jenny back to their hotel…or we assume they did…as we left they were trying to find their Uber driver, who was lost. We’re practicing at 10 tomorrow so we’ll find out then.
We eventually found Robin at the airport…in the Metro (not sure how go right after exiting the baggage claim lead to the Metro, which entailed going out of the airport and down a level) but we collected Robin and headed back to the flat. It was our smoothest airport Uber experience so far. I’ll be giving airport tours soon.
We showed Robin the local grocery store and our apartment, I cooked salmon and yams and we’re ready for a dual practice day tomorrow.
This is how small our elevator is…Susan barely fit with Robin’s suitcase.
The ITF Seniors World Team Championships begins on Sunday morning. Yesterday I met Jenny Cerff from So Africa and Susan Wright, one of my Alice Marble Cup teammates, at the Lisbon Airport. I took the metro to the airport, easy without luggage, then waited for them to arrive. I’d messaged both a photo of a meeting spot, because it was chaotic as passengers emerged from baggage claim. It was very busy as all flights emerge from one exit, regardless of the airline.
Jenny’s flight landed early and she was coming from Turkey so passed Customs quickly. Susan’s flight from JFK was late and she went left and we waited right at exit. We sorted things out quickly, ubered to our AirBnb (the Uber pickup at Lisbon is a bit confusing, but I’d done it the day before so we successfully found our driver first time). We left our bags and went in search of water and food. The hotel I stayed in last night as it turns out (ok, I did plan it) was just around the corner, so we went to the same grocery store I’d visited the day before. And I took them up to the rooftop bar for a look over Lisbon.
Jenny, Carolyn & Susan, from the rooftop bar (there’s a nice view behind us…)
After lunch we practiced at one of the clubs used for the World Championships, with Luisa Guivia, returned to our flat, got some dinner and crashed.
Today we have a practice in the afternoon, with Diane Barker our top player, and then pick up our final team member, Robin Harris at the airport. Tomorrow practice begins early, Saturday we have practice and captains’ meetings and the opening ceremonies, then our first matches on Sunday.
This is the page where the draws for the ITF Seniors World Team Championships are now posted (along with blog articles) and where the ITF Seniors Individual World Championships will be posted.
The Individual Championships are from August 10-17
Draws will be linked here (once available)
Photos (link will be posted here about August 10th & updated during the competition)
The USTA has announced that the following players will represent the USA August 4-9 in Lisbon & Estoril Portugal at the ITF Seniors World Team Championships.
|Maria Esther Bueno Cup|
|Fred Perry Cup|
|Andrea Rice||Bethesda||MD||Dana Gill||San Jose||CA|
|Debbie Spence-Nasim||Carlsbad||CA||Eoin Collins (captain)||Houston||TX|
|Julie Cass||Austin||TX||Greg Paukstis||Washington||DC|
|Ros Nideffer, Captain||San Diego||CA||Wilie Alumbaugh||Leawood||KS|
|Maureen Connolly Cup|
|Mary Dailey||Delray Beach||FL||Bill Moss (captain)||Malibu||CA|
|Shelly Works (captain)||San Antonio||TX||Ken White||Elma||NY|
|Tracy Houk||Montara||CA||Leo Young||Eagle||ID|
|Vicki Buholz||Dallas||TX||Stuart Saiki||Orlando||FL|
|Alice Marble Cup|
|Von Cramm Cup|
|Carolyn Nichols (captain)||Rancho Santa Fe||CA||Daniel Waldman||Washington||DC|
|Diane Barker||Daniel Island||SC||Mark Vines||Naples||FL|
|Robin Harris||San Diego||CA||Mike Tammen (captain)||Portland||OR|
|Susan Wright||Grand Junction||CO||Ross Persons (replacing Wes Cash)||Houston||TX|
Hotel Information for Portugal can be found here. Complete fact sheets available by the end of March per the ITF Seniors Department. See below.
The ITF are pleased to confirm that the ITF Seniors World Team & Individual Championships 2019 will take place in Lisbon & Estoril, Portugal from Sunday 4 August to Saturday 17 August 2019. The Team Championships will run from Sunday 4 August to Friday 9 August although Saturday 10 August will be used if there is inclement weather.
Hotel information is now available here
The full fact sheet will be published here by the end of March 2019.