• Category Archives Croatia Super Seniors 2015
  • ITF World Team Championships » Croatia Super Seniors 2015
  • And it’s a Wrap: USA Wins Three Cups in Umag, Medals in Seven of Eight Cups

    US Teams Strike Gold in Croatia

    USA Super Senior Teams were Super Duper in Croatia during the ITF Super Senior World Championships. Super Seniors encompasses age divisions 65-80 in five year increments, so the USA teams were playing for gold in eight Cups in Croatia. The Cups and their names are:

    · Women’s 65: Kitty Godfree Cup

    · Women’s 70: Althea Gibson Cup

    · Women’s 75: Queens Cup

    · Women’s 80: Doris Hart Cup

    · Men’s 65: Britannia Cup

    · Men’s 70: Jack Crawford Cup

    · Men’s 75: Bitsy Grant Cup

    · Men’s 80: Gardnar Mulloy

    These Cups are named after legendary players from Australia, the USA and Great Britain (other than the Queens and Britannia Cups). Each Cup tie consists of three matches played consecutively; #2 singles, followed by #1 singles and then doubles. The first three days are devoted to pool (round robin) play, followed by three days of knockout rounds.

    The USA nearly swept the women’s divisions, winning the Kitty Godfree, Queens and Doris Hart Cups. The USA won the Doris Hart Cup for the first time.

    The USA medaled in all four men’s Cups, finishing second in the Brtiannia and Bitsy Grant Cups and third in the Jack Crawford and Gardnar Mulloy Cups.

    The members of the Kitty Godfree Cup team were Brenda Carter (captain), Kerry Young, Carol Clay and Kathy Bennett. They beat Great Britain 2/1 in the final, dropping the doubles point only after securing the Cup by sweeping both singles matches. Carter and Young played singles.

    Godfree Cup, Young, Carter, Bennett, Clay

    The members of the Queens Cup team were Donna Fales (captain), Lynn Little, Roz King and Grace Woo. They beat Great Britain 3/0 behind the strong singles play of Fales and Little. This team didn’t drop a single match in the 15 played during the week.

    Queens Cup, Fales, King, Woo, Little

    The Doris Hart Cup members were Rose Austin (captain), Burnett Herrick, Judy Smith and Mary John Lynch. Their toughest match came in the round robin portion of the competition against New Zealand where they split the singles and the first two sets of the deciding doubles before winning a thrilling match tiebreak 10-8.

    Hart Cup, Herrick, Austin, Smith, Lynch

    The Britannia Cup team members were Brian Cheney (captain), Padg Bolton, Michael Beautyman and Owen Robertson. They lost 2/0 to Spain in the final. Bolton lost a heartbreaking three set match at #2 singles and Cheney fell to the great Spaniard Jorge Camina Borda. Cheney and Beautyman had to win deciding doubles matches twice to reach the final, against Sweden on the first day and France in the semifinals.

     

    The Bitsy Grant Cup team consisted of Joe Bachmann (captain), Rudy Hernando, Lester Sack and Bob Quall. They upset #2 seeded Austria (led by Peter Pokorny) in the semis, but lost Bachmann’s singles services in so doing as he fell and sprained his knee playing Pokorny. However, Hernando and Sack were able to win the doubles point and Sack won at #2 singles. In the final they lost to a tough German team 2/1, salvaging the doubles point after Sack lost a long three setter and Hernando lost a tough match at #1 in two long sets.

    USA Bitsy Grant Cup Team, Sack, Hernando, Bachmann, Quall

    The Jack Crawford Cup members were Jody Rush (captain), Dick Johnson, Hugh Thomson and David Nash. They lost a tough match in the semis to the Netherlands. USA and Netherlands split the singles but USA unexpectedly fell in doubles. They rebounded to beat Germany 2/1, and this time Thomson/Johnson won the deciding doubles match in straight sets to clinch the bronze. Dick Johnson wore the extra warm up Hugh Thomson brought all week because the airline lost his luggage…he finally got his clothes on Monday, 10 days later!

    Crawford Cup, Thomson, Nash, Rush, Johnson

    The Gardnar Mulloy Cup team, George McCabe (captain), Neil Hurlbut, John Powless and Chuck Nelson were upset by Germany 2/1 in the semis. McCabe injured a hamstring but fought well, losing in a match tiebreak. Hurlbut couldn’t hold off Herbert Althaus, the top German at #1 singles but Powless/Nelson salvaged the doubles point in a match tiebreak. In the third place playoff, with both Powless and McCabe out with injuries, Hurlbut was the hero of the day, winning both his singles and doubles matches to earn the bronze medal for the USA.

    Gardnar Mulloy Cup

    The Althea Gibson Cup team (Betty Wachob, captain, Cathie Anderson, Lee Delfausse and Peggy Andry) lost in their round robin to eventual finalist Netherlands in the third set of the deciding doubles, then swept Switzerland and Australia to finish fifth.

    Althea Gibson Cup, Andry, Delfausse, Wachob,, Anderson

    For more information, click here.


  • Lost and Found in Mallorca

    Yesterday was a long one…4am pickup to go to Trieste, Italy, via Slovenia for a 7am flight…to Munich, Germany, finally arriving at 11am in Barcelona where I had to wait till 3pm for my flight to Mallorca.  The Barcelona airport is very modern. The last flight is a short one and I slept so soundly that when it landed I was in a daze.

    BCN 9 28 15-001

    Lost and found #1:

    The Palma de Mallorca airport is a busy one, especially considering that Mallorca isn’t all that large. The signage is let’s say, suboptiimal. There was a sign near the arrival gate for baggage claim that was prominent…no others were and I wandered around for a while, eventually getting to passport control (for passengers going out of the EU). I learned that “maleta” means suitcase in Spanish, executed a u-turn and finally was reunited with my luggage.

    Of course I was quite late to pick up my rental car but eventually found the area where the rental car company was to pick me up, and 30 minutes later I was at the rental counter.

    Lost and found #2: I got my car, and then tried to figure out where the hotel was. My phone took it’s sweet time finding it’s gps location, but eventually I had directions (no thanks to the hotel clerk who wouldn’t or couldn’t give me directions…probably the latter). I finally found the hotel and pulled up in front, only to learn that the parking was behind me. So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can’t just go “around the block” in Palma…the streets are at pretty much every angle other than 90 degrees…about 30 minutes later I found the hotel again and the parking area (the upside was I got free parking out of all the aggravation). Also, it was raining, did I mention that?

    So why am I here in Mallorca? Another tournament, starting Monday for me, in Font de sa Cala, on the opposite end of the island. I had a week in between the tournament in Croatia and the one next week so I’m training at a tennis academy for 4 days. Which led to…

    Lost and Found #3: The location of Global wasn’t on my GPS so I used one close by. I got near the academy and was in an industrial area…and figured I was hopelessly lost, so wisely called the academy for help…which came five minutes later and I followed their white van to the academy. I hit with one of the pros twice for 1 1/2 hours, did some light fitness and watched the hoards of impressive juniors smacking the ball…never heard a complaint either or a bad word.

    Palma seems like a nice city. There’s a huge church which looks like a castle and it’s right on the water. It was pretty cloudy and gloomy this afternoon and I was tired but Saturday I plan to explore, or maybe tomorrow if it rains a lot as the forecast predicts (50ml what ever that means).

    I did make it back from the academy and now have the gps coordinates but I figure I’ll make a few wrong turns yet. Mallorca has roundabouts everywhere. They are pretty useful…when you aren’t quite sure which way to turn you can just drive around in them a couple of times till you figure it out.

    Meanwhile in Croatia, Hugh Thomson, USA beat #1 seeded Peter Adrigan in the men’s 70s.


  • USA Britannia Cup Team Finishes Second in Croatia; Spain Wins Cup 2/0

    The USA Britannia Cup team fought valiantly against Spain but fell in singles to the tough Spanish players. Padg Bolton won the first set of #2 singles and said he lost a bit of focus and the balls got very heavy in the second set on heavy red clay. He thought the new balls would help in the third, but he couldn’t hold serve…there was only one hold of serve in the third and it was by the Spaniard. At #1 singles, Brian Cheney was facing an uphill battle against Camina Borda, who has won many world singles titles and team titles. The first few games took half an hour, but once Camina got the upper hand, he quickly asserted himself and won 62 61 to clinch the Cup for Spain. USA earned silver medals.

    Starred photos Britannia Cup Fianal-002 Starred photos Britannia Cup Fianal-004 Starred photos Britannia Cup Fianal-005 Starred photos Britannia Cup Fianal-007 Starred photos Britannia Cup Fianal-009 Starred photos Britannia Cup Fianal-011

    After the tennis, I biked into old Umag, a mixture of tacky waterfront souvenir shops, seaside fish restaurants and old buildings which are quite interesting. There’s also a pretty church in the center of town. I ran into Lee and Peter Delfausse and also into Cindy and Bruce Babb and their German friends.

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    The next stop was ATP stadium where the opening ceremonies were held for the individuals. There were only three players from the US there, Hugh Thomson, Jerry Thomas and Bruce Barrett…and they carried in the flag backwards, but finally turned it around. That was better than the Canadian player who carried in an upside down maple leaf though!

    starred photos individual opening-011starred photos individual opening-003  starred photos individual opening-012 starred photos individual opening-013 starred photos individual opening-015

    Off next to Spain, good luck to all the players in Umag next week for the individuals!


  • USA Wins Three Cups Saturday in Umag; Britannia Cup, Men’s 65s, Into the Final

    The USA won the Kitty Godfree, Queens and Doris Hart Cups in Umag today, for women’s 65 75 and 80 and over respectively. The USA won the Doris Hart Cup for the first time. It was the only Cup the USA had not previously won.

    The Godfree Cup team, Brenda Carter, Kerry Young, Carol Clay and Kathy Bennett, went undefeated in singles all week behind the stellar play of Young and Carter. They beat Great Britain in the final. The USA was the defending champion of the Godfree Cup.

    Godfree Cup, Young, Carter, Bennett, Clay

    The Queens Cup team also beat Great Britain. They were the defending champions of the Queens Cup. Donna Fales, Lynn Little, Roz King and Grace Woo were undefeated during the week. Fales and Little swept their singles matches, with King also playing some singles.

    Queens Cup, Fales, King, Woo, Little

    The Doris Hart Cup had a close call against New Zealand in the round robin portion of the competition, winning the deciding doubles 10-8 in the match tiebreak on Tuesday, but swept the singles against Great Britain and Argentina to win the Cup for the first time.

    Hart Cup, Herrick Austin, Smith, Lynch

     

    In the BItsy Grant Cup (M75), the USA lost both singles to Germany, but seeded fourth, finished second, a great effort. Austria won the Cup. USA finished 7th in 2014.

    USA Bitsy Grant Cup Team, Sack, Hernando, Bachmann, Quall

    In the Gardnar Mulloy Cup, (M80) and Jack Crawford Cup (M70), the USA finished third, winning the bronze ball playoffs today. Germany won the Cup. USA won the Cup in 2014.

    Crawford Cup, Thomson, Nash, Rush, Johnson

    The USA Women’s 70s, the Althea Gibson Cup team, finished fifth, beating Switzerland and Australia after falling to Netherlands in the round robin. France won the Cup. USA finished fourth in 2014.

     

    The USA Britannia Cup team beat France today 2/1 and plays Spain tomorrow for the Cup.

     

    Photos tomorrow…


  • USA Advances to Final in Kitty Godfree, Hart and Queens’ Cups on a Soggy Friday in Umag; Crawford Cup Semi Down to the Doubles Point

    The story of the day in Umag was rain. It rained during the night, stopped for a while then resumed around 7:30 am and really never stopped all day. However, it’s clay so the courts dried enough to be playable by around 3pm at some sites and by 4pm at other sites.

    wet court

    The USA Women’s 65, Kitty Godfree Cup, advanced to the final with win over Germany. Kerry Young beat Sylvia Bauwens 60 62 and Brenda Carter split sets at #2 singles after which her opponent retired. Carol Clay and Kathy Bennett won the doubles point.

    IN the Queens Cup, women’s 75, I learned  USA beat Germany because I ran into playing captain Donna Fales today and asked her, but I don’t know who played, or who they play in the final.

    In the Doris Hart Cup, Judy Smith and Burnett Herrick won their singles  in straight sets to lead the USA past Great Britain. GBR salvaged the doubles point against USA’s Rose Austin and Mary John Lynch. They face Argentina tomorrow in their final match of the competition. In their cup there is a three way round robin to determine the winner. Great Britain beat Argentina yesterday, so things are looking good for the USA to win the Doris Hart Cup for the first time.

    USA W 80s, Rose Austin and MJ Lynch (1)

    The Men’s 70s, Crawford Cup team split its singles today, with David Nash losing and Dick Johnson winning their respective singles matches against the Netherlands. The doubles will be completed tomorrow.

    The women’s 70s, Gibson Cup playing in the 5-8 playoff group, easily handled Switzerland today, with Cathie Anderson and Betty Wachob each dropping only four games. The doubles wasn’t played due to the nearly all day rain delay, and darkness. In that division, France plays Netherlands (who put out the USA in the round robin) in the final. Both won 2/0 today, though Elle Krocke, NED #1 had to go three sets before beating RSA Petro Kruger. France beat GBR 2/0. We finally saw a bit of blue sky late in the day.

    Elle Krocke NED 70s (2) Friday 9 25 Umag (58) Friday 9 25 Umag (64) Gail Benedetti, France No 1, 70s-001 Marijke TER HEERDT POELMAN NED -013 Michelle Bichon, FRA, 70s (1) Penny Wagstaff, GBR (1) Petro Kruger RSA 70s (3) Ray of light in clouds Sun and clouds

    The Bitsy Grant Cup team (men’s 75s) had an off day and play for the Cup against surprise finalist Germany tomorrow for the Bitsy Grant Cup.

    The men’s Gardnar Mulloy Cup team (80s) also had an off day and play for bronze against France tomorrow.

    The Britannia Cup, Men’s 65, didn’t play today, but plays the semis tomorrow and final or playoff on Sunday.

    Have a great day or evening…the sun set here a long time ago!

    Sunset Friday (3)


  • USA Teams Go Three for Four in Umag on Thursday; USA Bitsy Grant Cup Team Reaches Final

    It was men’s day for the USA teams in Umag…all the women’s teams had a bye today.

    It was cold and windy in Umag. Some matches had a late start due to weather and the need to finish matches which were not completed on Thursday.

    Courts Thursday Morning

    The men’s 65s, Britannia Cup, won 3/0 over Denmark, but didn’t finish till 6pm, due to a late start and numerous rain delays.  Brian Cheney won at #1; Padg Bolton took the #2 point and Michael Beautyman/Owen Robertson came from a set down to win the doubles point.

    starred photos Thursday 9 24-011 starred photos Thursday 9 24-026 starred photos Thursday 9 24-029

    The men’s 70s swept Great Britain 3/0. Hugh Thomson had a long match at #2 singles, winning 57 64 62, and displayed his infamous drop shot on numerous occasions. Richard Johnson played #1 singles and clinched the win handily while David Nash/Jody Rush won the doubles point.

    The men’s 75s had some drama but in the end beat #2 seeded Austria 2/1. Lester Sack as the hero of the day, winning at #2 singles and combining with Rudy Hernando to win the deciding doubles point. Joe Bachmann played #1 singles against Peter Pokorny but fell early in the match (he called it a Kim Clijsters split) and sprained his knee. He had to retire after a set. The USA plays Germany next. Germany upset Australia, the top seeds, 2/1, winning both doubles points. Klaus Haas upset Bob Howes at #1 singles.

    starred photos Thursday 9 24-007

    The USA men’s 80s team lost to Germany 2/1, salvaging the doubles point in a match tiebreak. George McCabe pulled a muscle in his leg but still played well, only losing in a match tiebreak. Neil Hurlbut lost to Herbert Althaus 62 64. John Powless and Chuck Nelson won the doubles 10-8 in a match tiebreak.

    Tomorrow all teams are in action except I think the men’s 80s and men’s 75s. The women’s teams are all playing for sure. All teams other than the women’s 70s are in medal contention.

    For more information click here.


  • USA Queens Cup an Men’s Bitsy Grant Cup Teams Reaches Semis on a Stormy Wednesday in Umag

    The USA women’s 75s, the Queens Cup, beat France 2/0 behind the singles play of Donna Fales and Lyn Little. Fales, playing first at #2 singles dropped only a game to put the USA up 1/0. Lyn Little struggled on the slow red clay against Inger Delamare but won the marathon 46 64 76 (5) to clinch the win. Thunderstorms and heavy rains meant the doubles went unplayed, at least for today. They play either Great Britain or Germany in the semis.

    Queens Cup

    The USA men’s 75s, the Bitsy Grant Cup, was 1/1 with France when the rains came. Rudy Hernando, playing at #2, nearly had a great comeback; he won the first set and was down 51 in the second before rallying to force a tiebreak, saving two set points in the process. He told me he played a bad tiebreak to lose the set. He lost the third set 64, saving two match points before succumbing. Joe Bachmann won at #2 singles in straight sets. That leaves USA, France and Sweden each with two wins, but since USA won both its matches 3/0, USA advances to the final regardless of the outcome of the 9am doubles match tomorrow. USA then plays #2 seeded Austria in the semis starting at 10am tomorrow, weather permitting.

    Grant 

    All USA teams are in action tomorrow or the next day. The weather forecast is iffy for today and tomorrow…it’s raining, with occasional thunder and lightning but the weather should improve by Friday and return to sunny and low 70s.

    The Doris Hart Cup team, is in a RR for the Cup with Argentina and Great Britain. The USA was seeded third while GBR and ARG were unseeded. GBR beat #2 France 2/1 while ARG upset #1 AUS 2/1. The USA narrowly avoided a similar fate when it beat New Zealand 2/1 yesterday. USA is guaranteed a medal.

    The Godfree Cup team has another day off tomorrow.

    The Gibson Cup team plays the loser of GBR and AUS tomorrow or Friday. They are playing for fifth.

    The Britannia Cup team plays Denmark or GBR tomorrow…the match was undecided when it started raining. It’s 5:20pm and it’s still raining. It’s a quarterfinal.

    The Jack Crawford Cup team plays GBR tomorrow in the quarters.

    The Gardnar Mulloy Cup team plays Germany tomorrow or Friday in the semifinals.

     

    For all draws click here.

    For live streaming of Courts 1, Center and Grandstand at the Umag stadium see the link below (htsv-hr/live-stream).

    live strea

    I started the day early. It was pouring at around 5am, so I thought that our 6:45 hit would be a non-event. But by 5:30 when I looked out the stars were out and it was breezy. So I went down at 6:30, and when Cindy wasn’t there, sent a few texts and rode off to the courts figuring she’d slept in and I would get to hit serves and do an on court work out at least. But she arrived just after I had swept the court and enjoyed the sunrise. Brian Cheney and his team arrived shortly afterwards and we had a great hit. The courts were perfect and the roosters slept in today, we never heard them.

     photo 2


  • Netherlands Upsets #2 Seeded USA in Althea Gibson Cup; USA Clinches playoff spots in Godfree, Hart, Britannia and Mulloy Cups

    USA’s Altheat Gibson Cup team (women’s 70) fought their hearts out on the red clay at Camp Umag today, but fell literally short of the Netherlands. (The Dutch team had at least half a foot on each of the USA’s players, Cathie Anderson and Betty Wachob.) Anderson played a brilliant match at #2 singles to beat Anneke Jelsma de Jong 61 63 at #2 singles to start off the tie for the USA in a positive direction. 2014 World Champion Elsie Krocke then took on the US #1, Betty Wachob and won 60 75, overcoming a 52 deficit in the second set to send the tie to the doubles. The four singles players took the court for doubles, the Dutch team towering over their American opponents and overpowering them in the first set 61. The Americans were more aggressive in the second set and lobbed well to win it 62. In the third set the first four games were long; once the Dutch team won the critical fourth game they relaxed and Jelsma de Jong played very aggressively at the net, finishing the match with a smash.

      Anneke Singles-001 starred photos-006Wachob-001starred photos-037dutch reaction-001   Tuesday Sept 22 Umag (120) 

    The USA Doris Hart Cup team won a nail biter against New Zealand today 2/1. Judith Smith, playing on her first every Cup match, lost to Margaret Burgess in a match tiebreak at #2 singles (67 61 (3)). Burnett Herrick then beat Jean Stevens 62 75 to level the match at 1/1. The doubles was really tight, won 63 46 1/0 (8) by Smith/Herrick. That puts USA into the medal round as they will play a three team round robin for the Cup, but tomorrow they have a well deserved day off.

    The only other notable results was that the Kitty Godfree Cup team beat Ukraine without the loss of a game in singles or doubles.

    Results:

    Kitty Godfree cup: USA d. Ukraine 3/0 no loss of games

    Althea Gibson Cup: Netherlands d. USA 2/1

    Queens Cup: USA d. Switzerland 3/0 Sgls King/Little; Doubles Woo/Fales

    Hart Cup: USA d. NZ 2/1 (match tiebreak of doubles 10-8 Singles Smith lost mtb; Herrick won

    Brittania Cup: USA d. Turkey 3/0; Robertson, Beautyman sgls; Bolton/Cheney doubles

    Jack Crawford Cup  USA d. Norway 3/0; Thomson, Johnson sgls; Nash/Rush doubles (3 sets)

    Bitsy Grant Cup: USA d. Sweden 3/0 Sack/Hernando sgls; Bachmann/Quall doubles

    Gardnar Mulloy Cup: USA d. Norway 3/0; McCabe; Powless singles (3, 6); Hurlbut/Nelson doubles

     

    For all results click here.


  • USA Men’s 65s Survives a Scare to Beat Sweden

    Top seeded USA Britannia Cup team beat Sweden 2/1 today, dropping #2 singles (Padg Bolton) in straight sets before veteran Brian Cheney won at #1 singles and teamed with Michael Beautyman to win the doubles. They played on the Grandstand Court which offered a streaming feed to those of you who wanted to watch seniors tennis in the middle of the night! The Swedes gave credit to the solid play of the American team, saying they had to take too many chances to beat them.

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    In the Doris Hart Cup, women’s 80s, the USA’s only problem was playing #1 singles first instead of second…the good news was that Ukraine did the same, so there were no disqualifications. The USA won 3/0 behind the play of Burnette Herrick, Judith Smith, Mary John Lynch and Rose Austin.

    In the women’s 65s, Kitty Godfree Cup, USA beat South Africa 2/1. Brenda Carter at #2 and Kerry Young at #1 won the singles in straight sets, followed by a topsy-turvy doubles match, won by the South Africans 61 06 76 (6)!

    The USA women’s 70s, Althea Gibson, beat Argentina 3/0. Rookie team member Peggy Andry teamed with Lee Delfausse to post and impressive first Cup win in doubles. Cathie Anderson at #2 and Betty Wachob at #1 swept the singles. They have a very tough match against Netherlands tomorrow.

    starred photos-009

    The USA Men’s 70s (Jack Crawford Cup) won 3/0 against Argentina, posting convincing wins in singles (“Hugo” Thomson & Dick Johnson) and doubles (“Jody” Rush and David Nash).

    The men’s 75s (Bitsy Grant Cup) team took on neighbor Canada but showed no neighborly friendliness, beating them 3/0. Lester Sack played #2, Joe Bachmann played #1 and Rudy Hernando/Bob Quall won the doubles point.

    The USA Queens Cup (@75) team beat Australia 3/0. Donna Fales won easily at #1, but Lyn Little had a fight against the experienced Nola Collins, winning 76 (0) 62. Fales/Roz King won the doubles point.

    The men’s 80s, (Gardnar Mulloy Cup) dropped only one game in beating Italy 3/0. George McCabe played #2, Neil Hurlbut won at #1 and John Powless/Chuck Nelson won the doubles point.

    All draws/results can be found here.

    More photos.

    Here are some other links for live scoring:

    All matches:

    http://www.tennisticker.de/itfsswtc2015/lp.html

    Matches of ATP site (Men’s 65, Women’s 75 & 80):

    http://www.tennisticker.de/itfsswtc2015/league/sbf.html?filter=M65_W80_W75

    Matches of Katoro (Women’s 65, Men’s 70):

    http://www.tennisticker.de/itfsswtc2015/league/sbf.html?filter=M70_W65

    Matches of Polinezija (Men’s 80):

    http://www.tennisticker.de/itfsswtc2015/league/sbf.html?filter=M80

    Matches of Park (Women’s 70):

    http://www.tennisticker.de/itfsswtc2015/league/sbf.html?filter=W70

    Matches of TC Punta (Men’s 75).

    http://www.tennisticker.de/itfsswtc2015/league/sbf.html?filter=M75


  • ITF Super Seniors World Championships: Captains’ Meetings, Opening Ceremonies and Draws

    The ITF Super Senior World Team Championships were declared open by ITF Rep Elsie today in Croatia. The opening ceremonies went off smoothly (Thank you Petra Martic and team). There were four players selected by each country to carry their countries’ flags, while the remaining players watched them parade in from the stadium. After some speeches and an Umag folk dance, players adjourned for champagne..(all but the US team which had its photo taken to the blaring of music inside the stadium…my ears are still pained from it).

    There were captains’ meetings first though to explain how the event was going to work this year (practice at 8:30 and 8:50; no play before 10; #2 singles followed within 20 minutes by #1 singles, then 30 or so minutes later a doubles match; 2 out of 3 sets, regular scoring; match tiebreak only for the men’s and women’s 80s divisions).

    I am an ITF rep for the men’s 75 (Bitsy Grant Cup) and women’s 70s (Althea Gibson Cup) teams. The meetings went smoothly, the players were prepared and the referees (Alex and Vladislov) and ITF staff (Hayley and Rachel) were brilliant.

    The USA is seeded in all eight Cups: #1 in the three divisions they won last year: Men’s 80, Women’s 75 & 65; #2 in Men’s 65 and Women’s 70; #3 in Men’s 70 and Women’s 80 and #4 in Men’s 75. To see the draws, click here (and scroll down).

    Prior to the opening ceremony we took some team photos and I took a lot of the players walking into the stadium. Photos can be found here. I will add to them during the week as I have a chance. 

    Well, the day started early as I hit at 7am with Cindy Babb…we are starting earlier yet tomorrow, 6:45. We heard the roosters today as we were hitting…the striking of the ball must have awakened them!

    Below are photos of all the team other than Men’s 65 (coming soon) and of the three “rookies” (Judith Smith, W80; Peggy Andry, Women’s 70 and Owen Robertson, Men’s 65).

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  • Rudy Hernando Arrives in Umag,, Rainbows over Center Court..Super Senior World Team Championships 2015

    The Super Senior World Team Championships begins on Monday in Umag. Tomorrow the Captains’ meetings and draws take place, followed by the opening ceremonies at 5pm local time.

    The USA is fielding eight teams, in men’s and women’s 65, 70, 75 and 80+ age divisions.

    Why is it big news that Rudy Hernando arrived in Umag? Rudy flew from Fort Lauderdale on September 17th to Philadelphia and then was supposed to take a flight from Philly to Venice, meet up with us and go to Umag from Venice. The first part of the plan went well, Rudy arrived in Philadelphia…where his passport was stolen shortly before he was to board. He had it in his backpack in a cover with a string attached…someone apparently reached in and grabbed the lanyard and ended up with Rudy’s passport. Rudy has a cell phone but no computer, no international phone plan and no smartphone. At the airport he was told he could get an expedited passport in Philadelphia the next day. So he and his tennis bag went to Philly, walked for five hours trying to find a hotel…(not an easy feat since the Pope is coming to visit very soon). He finally found one, then went to the passport office the next morning early…and was #80 something in a slow moving line. He finally got his $95 passport for $400 (expedited fee $150; fee for not knowing his passport number $150) and checked out of his hotel (late…hotel waived fee though). He was back to the airport going standby (#US Air didn’t charge him for the change, which was great of them). However, one last bit of drama when Rudy realized he’d checked his wallet and money with his luggage…30 minutes later he was reunited with his luggage, rechecked it and was on his way to Venice…maybe. Actually, he was…someone didn’t show up so Rudy got one of those comfortable middle seats in the back for the eight hour flight. So now he was in Venice, and had to get to Umag…which he did by bus to the train station then train, then bus back to the Trieste Airport where the ITF found him. I ran into him tonight just as he’d arrived at 8pm. He had had nothing to eat all day, and was tired but relieved to be here, as was his team and so was I.

    #1: Don’t lose your passport

    #2: Stay calm if you do

    #3: Go right now and write the number of your passport down and expiration date and make sure you can access it while traveling

    #4: Don’t lose  your passport!!!

    Rudy Hernando arrives

     

    Today was my first full day here. I rented a bike (naturally), met with the referees and ITF staff, checked out Camp Parc Umag where the women’s 70s will play then  afternoon I hit some tennis balls with Cindy Babb. I stayed after to do a little fitness work…I looked up a bit later and there was a perfect half moon rainbow over the courts. It didn’t rain either, so that must be a good omen!

    IMG_0385IMG_0384 IMG_0386Rainbow over center ct-004 (1) IMG_8747     Rainbow over center ct-001

    I hope to post photos of the teams, the draws and more tomorrow or Monday. Meanwhile, draws will be posted also at itftennis.com/seniors where you can also find links to the live scoring of matches game by game.