- Category Archives ITF
Silver Medalist (x2); Fales Dominates 80s in Mallorca; Dittmer/Grossman, Liana Bryson, Dorothy Wasser Also Win Gold
October 22, 2021
The good news today was that the weather forecasters were wrong about the rain today…it never came (80% chance of rain = 20% of no rain at all). The weather app right now says there’s light rain…but it’s so light I can’t see or feel it.
The bad news, at least for me was that I lost both my matches today. I lost in singles and doubles (with Sabine Schmidt) to Pat Medrado (with Tina Karwasky). Medrado was very good and there were two long games at 3/4 and 3/5 in the second in which I had game points…on one she hit (yet another) great backhand which kissed the baseline and sideline and I don’t really remember the others except I was up 40-15. She makes very few errors and can do just about anything with her backhand. I lost 62 63, an improvement on our previous matches and it lasted just over two hours…but I learned a lot from the match and it was good competition. In doubles, we lost 76 61. Tina came alive in the second set and didn’t miss much. I served and volleyed the entire match…it’s exhausting though rather fun. We played a really good first set and had some chances, but not many in the second set. Congratulations to Pat (x2) and Tina and many thanks to Sabine for playing doubles with me. It was a good effort.
Donna Fales continued to impress, winning the singles 60 40 ret…maybe her opponent considerately retired so Donna could get to breakfast before the buffet closed at 10am (the match began at 9am). However, her opponent recovered sufficiently to play the doubles match which Donna and Dorothy Wasser won 60 61. If you are keeping track, Donna lost four games total in winning the 80 singles and doubles, but the 75 mixed has been a challenge (she plays the final tomorrow.) For Dorothy, it was her fourth straight 80 world championship, which is very impressive as well. Dorothy also won the 80s consolation singles.
In men’s action, Doug Ditmer and Daniel Grossman won the 65 men’s doubles title, 64 36 10-8 over top seeded Frits Raijmakers/Alan Rasmussen. Frits plays USA Danny Waldman in the 65 singles final tomorrow while Alan and Sabine play for the mixed 65s title. It was a first world title for Ditmer who hadn’t played on red clay or in Europe for decades, but he arrived early and practiced hard the week before the tournament (as did Grossman) and it paid off.
Liane Bryson combined with Germany’s Heidi Eisterlehner to win their second (or maybe third?) world title, the women’s 70 doubles. They beat Reinhilde Adams (who won the 70 singles) and Rotraut Spriess 61 26 10-8. That was an exciting finish.
Michael Beautyman/Les Buck, playing men’s 75, fell to Italians Antonio Claudi and Paolo Lazzari 36 76 (2) 10-7…so close!
The men’s singles finals and mixed are tomorrow. Dan Waldman is playing in the 65 final against Raijamkers; Suella Steel (with Peter Porkorny, Austria) is playing the 80 mixed final (six days after their first and only other match!); Herm Ahlers is playing the men’s 85 final (against Herb Althaus); Donna Fales/Dean Corley are in the 75 mixed final, Bryson is playing the 70 singles consolation final.
Here is a list of the winners thus far:
- W65 Singles: Pat Medrado (first singles in 5 years, hasn’t missed a beat)
- W65 Doubles: Medrado/Tina Karwasky
- W70 Singles: Reinhilde Adams
- W70 Doubles: Liane Bryson/Heidi Eisterlehner
- W75 Singles: Gudula Eisemann (unseeded)
- W75 Doubles: Eisemann/Barbara Von Ende (also unseeded)
- W80 Singles: Donna Fales (with the loss of 1 game0
- W80 Doubles: Fales/Dorothy Wasser (4 in row for Dorothy)
- W85 Singles: Odile Niox Chateau (by default)
- M90 Singles: Henri Cruchet
- M90 Doubles: Cruchet/Yves Lehman
- M65 Doubles: Doug Ditmer/Daniel Grossman
- M70 Doubles; Andrew Rae/Jairo Velasco Ramirez
- M75 Doubles: Paolo Lazzari/Antonio Claudi
- M80 Doubles: Jaime Pinto Bravo/Peter Pokorny
- M85 Doubles: Helmut Lotz/Gerhard Specht (61 06 10-5..odd score)
I will write something about tomorrow’s finals either Saturday or Sunday. I’m flying home starting tomorrow evening. It’s been a good trip! I recommend Mallorca and also playing the ITF 1000 that Helge runs each October for Super Seniors.
Thursday October 21, 2021
Today was a day off for singles but Sabine Schmitz and I played Hildegard Bruggraber/Christiane Deryckere. In contrast to our last match, everyone was from Europe except me, Sabine from Germany, Hildegard from Austria and Christiane from Belgium. We started well, winning the first set 62, and leading 53 in the second but from there it was tricky as our opponents started playing better and the sun became tricky. We had a match point at 54 and Hildegard actually hit the ball wide but I failed to call it, so we played on and eventually ended up in a tiebreak which we lost 73. So onto the match tiebreak which I don’t have much experience with. They had the momentum and forged 5-1 and 6-5 leads…maybe even 7-5. We then cut down on errors and went up 9-7, and as a loud altercation took place on the court next to us (it was an 85s match, so they probably didn’t realize how loud they were talking), I missed a shot and then it was 9-9. We finally won the match 12-10 in the tiebreak, though were never down a match point. Hildegard has improved a lot (she hadn’t lost a doubles or mixed match all year till today), and Christiane set her up nicely as the match went on. It shows how different singles and doubles are: I beat Christiane 61 60 in singles and Sabine beat Hildegard 61 61….In contrast to our meandering way to the final, Tina Karwasky and Pat Medrado won their semi 60 60. So we have our work cut out for us tomorrow. Singles is scheduled at 9am and doubles at noon.
In other action: Men’s 65, Dan Waldman advanced over Italian Paolo Moscelli 75 retired. Apparently Moscelli is a tricky opponent, reading the ball well and dropshotting well. Dan faces a different opponent on Saturday in Frits Raijmakers, the top seed and defending champion from the Netherlands, who belts the ball. Doug Ditmer and Daniel Grossman beat the #2 seeds American Danny Shaw and Swiss Peter Heller to advance to the 65 doubles final against Frits and Alan Rasmussen. In 65 mixed, Schmitz/Rasmussen beat Shaw/Bruggraber and face Marc Renoult/Benedict Legrand in the final; they beat Steven Dance/Caroline Glaszmann.
In the 70s there aren’t many Americans, but there were plenty of upsets. However, Reinhilde Adams was not one of them…the #2 seed took out Leyla Musalem of Chile and plays Heide Froeystock (4) who beat Micheline Van de Wiele (11th seed, who took out #1 Heidi Eisterlehner) 75 60. She was thrilled to reach the final. Eisterlehner did reach the doubles final, with USA Liane Bryson. They play Adams and Rotraut Spriess. In singles, Afred Boekl (2) beat Jorge Camina Borda in 3 sets and plays Bruno Renoult who beat Pedersen in 3 sets (Pedersen took out Andrew Rae yesterday). Rae is in the doubles final though with Velasco against Frans Norby/Kasper Rud of Denmark. The mixed final. is not yet set, there’s a semifinal match to be played still involving Adams.
In men’s 75, Michael Beautyman fell to Antonio Claudi of Italy, who faces Brit Chris Ornstein in the final. However, Beautyman/Les Buck won their doubles convincingly to advance to the final against Claudi/Paolo Lazzari of Italy. In women’s 75, Eisemann plays Von Ende; Eisemann/Von Ende upset top seeded Heide Orth/Suzy Burgraff who take on Chileans Lilian Eisele Pardo/Alicia Salazar Garrido. In mixed, Donna Fales/Dean Corley (USA) advanced to the final, in a match tiebreak for the second straight match (against Roger Dowdeswell/Anneke Jelsma) and play Telsche Andree/Zoltan Fabian, who won their semis against an Israeli team 11-9 in the MTB.
In the 80s, Donna Fales/Dorothy Wasser won their doubles semi 61 61 and play Germans Irmgard Gerlatzka/Elisabeth Van Boemmel in the final. Fales plays Gerlatzka in the singles final. In men’s play, Peter Pokorny and Jaime Pinto Bravo from Chile are in the singles final and doubles final (against Giovanni Argentina/Giancarlo Milesi of Italy. Mixed is a three team round robin & American Suella Steel is playing with Pokorny on Saturday (I think they played last Sunday…so it’s been a long week of waiting for Steel).
King Van Nostrand had to default his Men’s 85 singles final to fellow American Herm Ahlers due to severe tennis elbow. Ahlers will play #2 seed Herbert Althaus who beat American Ned Buckman. The doubles final was set yesterday. Gallay/Marx play Loesl/Specht in the mixed final on Saturday as was the women’s singles final.
In the first ever 90s event, Henri Crochet of France will take on Brit Leonard Lawrence in the final. They reached the final with the loss of only 1 game between them.
Tuesday October 19, 2021
Today I warmed up again with Sabine Schmitz even though I didn’t play till 2pm…it was good to hit early regardless. I watched the first set of Sabine’s match with Carmen Chillida. Sabine won it comfortably 63 and I left as it was noon and I thought Sabine had the match under control…which she did but she won 63 16 61. Carmen is very calm and methodical and has excellent passing shots and was moving well. Sabine has more firepower and was attacking well and mixing up her offense with drops, angles and volleys. Elsewhere (at Na Taconara), Pat Medrado allowed Benedicte Legrand only one game though Benedict said she had so many game points, but on all of them Medrado played great points and hit almost zero unforced errors. And she said Pat’s backhand was unreadable. Pat had a world ranking on the WTA tour of 48 in singles and 9 in doubles. She’ll play her doubles partner tomorrow (as I will), Tina Karwasky, who beat Caroline Glaszmann 75 63. Tina. had a WTA ranking high of 88. I beat Dagmar Sperneder 61 60; Dagy played well and hit some great drop shots and forehands. She certainly had the crowd behind her, there were even fans in the balconies off the hotel rooms above the courts yelling out her name, and any winner she hit was received with a roar of approval (my winners, not so much, but to be fair, the crowd didn’t applaud my errors).
Later in the afternoon, I returned to the courts to watch some of the Americans play and found Liana Bryson watching Donna Fales and Dean Corley play in the 75 mixed. Donna just turned 80, but runs more like she’s 10-15 years younger. Donna reached the singles and doubles quarters at Wimbledon and Roland Garros and the singles semis and doubles final at Forest Hills where she also won the mixed in 1966. She was ranked in the top 10 in the USA seven times during the 1960s. She also captained the USA Fed Cup team. Dean and Donna played the #2 seeds, Chris Ornstein and Christine Baron and won 75 64 in a highly entertaining match. On one point there was a high ball and Dean called the overhead…after which Donna calmly put the ball away. Donna complimented Christine on her down the line forehand and I thought Donna moved unbelievably well, she seems to see the ball so early.
There were some upsets around the grounds; In women’s 70s, top seeded Heidi Eisterlehner lost to a Belgian player she beat twice last week in the team competition. Heide Froeysok, winner of the marathon match yesterday, advanced to the semis and will meet Heidi’s conqueror there. Gudula Eisemann upset top seeded Sylvie Galfard-Kirsten decisively (and beat her in the Cup too but in a tight 3-setter); she plays Heide Orth next (who beat Marja Liisa Hedman, her conqueror last week in the Queens Cup);
In other action:
Dan Waldman advanced to the quarters in the 65s and takes on the #2 seed, Czech Radovan Cizek. Doug Ditmer/Dan Grossman and Danny Shaw play men’s 65 doubles tomorrow and Shaw is in mixed semis. Michael Beautyman and Donald Long both advanced to the 75 singles quarters; Beautyman/Les Buck and Miguel Cordova advanced to the semis but Corley/Long were upset in a match tiebreak by an Italian team in men’s 75. However Corley/Fales are in the 75 mixed semis. In men’s 80s, Robert Anderman lost to Italian Roberto Fumgalli in a match tiebreak. Anderman/Thomas Brunkow though are in the semis of the doubles and face Jaime Pinto Bravo/Peter Pokorny in the semis. Fales takes on top seeded Elisabeth Von Boemmel in the 80s semis (my $$$ is on Donna to win that one) while Fales/Dorothy Wasser have been waiting for a few days to play their doubles semi. As are Suella Steel/Pokorny. In the men’s 85s, three of the four players left are Americans with only Herbert Althaus, the #2 seed victorious against a USA player (he took out Chuck Nelson); #1 King Van Nostrand takes on unseeded Herb Althaus (who beat the #3 seed) and Althaus will play Ned Buckman, who advanced after winning a match tiebreak over Peter Jessen. Buckman/Nelson and Van Nostrand are in the doubles semis.
Monday October 18, 2021
Today I played my first singles match at the ITF Super Senior World Championships, ten days after my last match in the ITF 1000 here. I warmed up with Sabine Schmitz, my doubles partner at 8:15 (sunrise is about 8am). I played at Son Besso tennis club about five minutes from Font de sa Cala. I practiced there a few days ago and my match ended up being on the same court. I arrived early at Son Besso had my temperature taken (I was NOT hot headed), and watched Patricia Medrado, a former top 30 player and multiple ITF singles and doubles champion play as well as Tina Karwasky. Both cruised to victory and Medrado was very impressive in her movement. Tina was all over the net and also played really well.
I played Christiane Deryckere of Belgium. I’ve played her several times before and we’ve had some good sets. She started out blasting the ball, and hitting quite a few winners. But I figured out some of her pattens (and she made some errors on big points), and won 61 60 but it was nearly 1 1/2 hours including warm up. However she plays quite a bit slower than I do, or at least did so today. There were a few interesting moments; after I won the first game of the second set she was sitting down on the changeover and I reminded her that she could not do that after the first game of set (she didn’t sit down after the first game of the match). She asked when that rule changed (around 2000)…but it turns out she thought the set score was 62, not 61 (even though the scoreboard showed it to be 61), so her confusion made sense, in retrospect (after the match). We had a fair match; she called a ball out on herself (it was 8 inches out but I had trouble finding the mark initially); I called a serve out but overruled myself when looking at the mark (it just caught). In ITFs which aren’t chaired a player can be invited over to the other end of the court to check a mark; Christiane wasn’t sure of whether a mark was in or out and so called me over (it grazed the line in my opinion, and she gave me the point).
Sabine won easily over Hildegarde Bruggaber, who said she played well but came away with only two games. I play Dagmar Sperneder again (I played her in the semis of the ITF 1000 two weeks ago); she beat Leena Ranta of Finland in a good match 64 76.
In the afternoon we (Sabine and I) played doubles against Rosa Mendoza from Peru and Barbara Tsur from Israel. So we had players from four continents on the court, North & South America, Europe and Asia. Pretty cool. We won 60 60.
After the match we watched a dramatic women’s 70s match between two Germans, #4 seeded Heide Froeysok and Irene Smutny. They were half way through the second set when we started our doubles, and were at about 21 in the third when we finished. Another doubles match went on after our match and also finished before the women’s match (granted it was a 60 60 match). Heide finally won 76(5) in the third but not before Irene had two match points at 6-5 and led 52 in the tiebreak. Neither player held serve in the final set. There was quite a crowd watching to see who could finish off the match, which started about 1:30 and finished just before 5:30.
Round up of American results: Tina Karwasky won singles/doubles in the 65s; Doug Ditmer/Daniel Grossman and Danny Shaw all advanced in 65 doubles; Danny Waldman won in 65 singles; Michael Beautyman and Donald Long advanced in 75 singles while Miguel Cordova lost; Beautyman/Les Buck won in 75 doubles as did Dean Corley/Don Long (top seeds) and George Balch/Karol Placek (by default); Heide Orth won in 75 singles and plays the Finnish player she lost to in the Cup last week; Robert Anderman won in men’s 80 singles; Donna Fales won in women’s 80 singles; Anderman/Thomas Brunkow advanced in 80 doubles; Fales/Dorothy Wasser won in 80 doubles; Four of the eight remaining players in the men’s 85s are American: top seeded King Van Nostrand; unseeded Herm Ahlers (who beat the #8 seed), Chuck Nelson (beat the #7 seed…all that practice the week of the Cups must have helped) and Ned Buckman (beat the #4 seed). Van Nostrand, Buckman/Nelson all advanced to the doubles semis. Sheila Palmer lost in 85 singles and 80 doubles. Leona Bryson hasn’t played doubles yet.
Tomorrow I play singles only; all of the quarters in the 65s are at 10:30 except my match which is at 2:30 for some reason. I play at Beach Club Font de sa Cala. The schedule for the tournament is not done for the week as is normal in USTA tournaments…each evening an order of play is posted for the next day, so from day to day one may play only singles or doubles or mixed or all three, but till about 5pm it’s a mystery.
The USTA National Women’s 35-85 Hard Courts were scheduled for October 11-17 (the same week the Super Senior World Team Championships were to be held) in Rancho Mirage, CA (Mission Hills CC). Draws are here.
The turnout as usual was much lower than that of the other nationals (including the national 50-90 hard courts held in May in San Diego) due to the time of year, location, and conflict with the world championships.
Mariko Fritz-Krakow won the four-player 35 singles, with Mariel Tinnirello and Rema Thyagarajan playing for second and third on Saturday (no score reported).
The 35 doubles was won by Lauren Lancaster/Julianna Gates in another round robin. Lancaster/Gates had a great tussle with Fritz-Krakow/Francesca La O, winning 46 64 1/0 (9). Though finals are supposed to be a full two out of three sets, there were only four teams so none of the matches used a full format. The results aren’t posted for the other matches.
The 45 singles was won by La O, who was unseeded (but not unknown). Unfortunately for top seeded Mariko Atoji, she played La O) first round and lost 64 64; La O won her semis and final with the loss of only three games a match. She beat unseeded Farrah Northcott in the final; Northcott took out #2 seeded Alissa Yee in the first round. Jennifer Beindorf ousted the #3 and #4 seeds to place third.
In contrast to the upsets in singles, Debbie Spence Nasim/Tracie Currie navigated the 45s without problem, dropping one game in winning the gold ball. The won the final over Adrienne Simmons/Jill Gardner 60 61. The 3/4 playoff result is not posted.
Judy Newman won the 55 singles over Jenny Rens Keller. Keller, the third seed, took out Shelly Works in a 3.5 hour match the day before.
Simmons/Gardner won the 55 doubles over Keller/Newman and Works/Rainy Miller took the bronze.
Andrea Barnes won the 65 singles and doubles (with Leslie Murveit). Barnes beat Pat Purcell in the semis and top seeded Lisa (Culp) Musgrave in the final. Murveit took third by default over Purcell (ill). Barnes/Murveit beat Musgrave/Kandy Chain 64 46 64 to win the title; Betsy Kuhle/Sherri Bronson placed third.
The 75 singles was won by Brenda Carter over Carolann Castell in a repeat of the 75 clay final. (Does this mean Brenda won the “gold slam” since she won all the national level 1 tournaments offered for women in 2021?) Susan Kimball beat Cathie Anderson in the 3/4 26 62 76 (12) [Not sure if a match tb was played here…not supposed to be one).
Castell/Kimball won their second gold ball of the year over Carter/Anderson 63 63 and had a tussle in the semis with Judie Louie and TD Andi Polisky, winning that one 57 75 1/0 (5). Heather Fiscalini/Brenda Winstead won the bronze over Louie/Polisky 36 61 1/0 (5).
The 85s didn’t travel to play the event.
I played the final today in Mallorca. As usual I warmed up with Dagmar Sperneder at 8:30. We were scheduled to play at 10:30 and got on around 11. Today was partly cloudy, breezy and overall a nice day for tennis. The sun here is pretty low…despite being known as a warm vacation spot, Mallorca is pretty far north, just east of Barcelona and not so far from France. (The year round spot in Spain is Marbella to the south.) So this time of year the days are getting short and the sun is a bit challenging.
Sabine started well…volleying effectively and I missed a lot of backhands at the beginning…and Sabine made very few errors the first part of the match. She also has a wicked forehand drop shot. We went back and forth and I served at 4-5, and then finished off the set 75. I fixed a few tactical and technical issues towards the end of the first set too. The second set turned on the fourth game…I was up 2/1 but down 0-40, but scrambled very hard that game (I ran A LOT, and hit a lot of high lobs, which in the sun here are difficult to put away, especially since Sabine was not wearing sunglasses). I somehow won that game, then finished off the match 61. It was a fun match overall…lots of people were watching (they were not cheering for me but were fair) which made for a good atmosphere. I won a towel (that says winner on it…if you are second you get a “finalist” towel…nice big towels too) a gold medal and 400 Euros which was really nice!
In men’s 65, there was a marathon with Steve Dance from Australia losing to Martin Cornish from England in three very tough sets, 75 in the third…after which he had whole body cramps.
Andrew Rae from Australia won the men’s 70s over Jairo Velasco Ramirez, Spain in straight sets.
Jaime Pinto Bravo from Chile won the mens’ 80s over Peter Pokorny, Austria.
Herbert Althaus of Germany beat Ralf Bruse of Germany in men’s 85.
The men’s 75 was going on when I left with Peter Adrigan down a set to Hans-Peter Balke, both from Germany.
In Women’s 75, Suzy Burgraff beat Heide Orth 64 61.
Irmgard Gerlatzka won the four person 80s round robin over Elisabeth Van Boemmel. (She had the gold medal.
The women’s 70s was just starting when I left, and looked to be a good match. I’ll add a list of winners to this post tomorrow.
Tomorrow I’m going touring with a couple of players, then back to the courts on Saturday.
Here is the list of the top four finishers in each category:
Photos are here.
Wednesday was semifinal day in Mallorca. There were some ominous looking clouds in the not too distant sky as we waited for our court assignment. It was also very windy (not by Florida standards though). I played my warm up partner for the week, Dagmar Sperneder. We had a good warm up and then were out on the same court 15 minutes later. I posted a solid win (and hit about half a dozen aces which was a personal best against a decent player), as did Sabine Schmidt, the top seed, who took out Encarnacion Gomez-Ruiz in the other semi. Sabine said Encarnita was a bit tired/hurt from her long three setter the day before. We both finished by 10am, and had to play through intermittent showers, which still feels weird for someone who grew up on California hard courts where rain = stop playing! These clay courts absorbed the showers, though just as we finished it started raining a lot harder.
I didn’t watch a lot of tennis today because I moved into the apartment I rented for the rest of my stay. It turned out to be just across the street from the tennis courts, the location couldn’t be better. So now I have fast wifi (fiber), and a washer and dryer, a nice patio with a barbecue. The flat comes complete with an outdoor cat and food to give it. Of course, after transferring my luggage I had to hit the grocery store, Lidl and Eroski. Lidl is a lot like the European Aldi (quite a bit different though from American Aldi stores). I felt like a pro at the store…got bread, sliced and bagged it, a selection of Spanish cheeses they had which looked interesting, turkey, apples (of course), various drinks and items I hadn’t packed. The eggs of course weren’t refrigerated. They always have Feltsalat (I don’t know the word in English…something like lambs lettuce)..[update: it IS lambs lettuce] which is hard to find in the USA and delicious. And at the Eroski, some mango chutney sauce which is great on sandwiches. No peanut butter to be found though, so I’ll have to get that on the other side of the Island Friday or Saturday.
There were some interesting results today though. Stephen Dance from Australia (given special permission to travel as was Andrew Rae) upset #1 Fritz Raijmakers of Netherlands, handing Fritz his first 65s ITF loss of the year, 75 64. the conditions were really difficult with the wind and rain, but Stephen was the steadier player. The men’s 80s final will feature Jaime Pinto Bravo from Chile (who looks nowhere near his age and plays like a much younger man), who won 60 60 while Peter Pokorny had to fight hard to beat #4 seeded Eckard Kaercher 10-8 in the match tiebreak. Pokorny looked good too, hitting his topspin lefty forehand over Kaercher’s head a times.
In women’s 70, Heidi Eisterlehner (1) will face Leyla Musalem (2) of Chile in the final. Heide Orth will face her doubles partner Suzy Burggraf in the final.
I played the quarters of the ITF S1000 in Font de Sa Cala, Spain today, against Katrin Dippner. I warmed up early (8:30) with Dagmar Sperneder of Austria (and Netherlands and Spain). The procedure is to book a practice court no earlier than 3pm for either 8 or 8:30 the next day. (As I was writing this I realized it was 3:30 and I had not booked a court for tomorrow, though now that the draws are whittled down to the semis, booking a court is pretty easy, and there were plenty of courts left.)
She’s a good player (her ITF resume says she started playing at age 4), and has a good record against the top seed, Sabine Schmidt (who is playing very well). Katrin has four children (two of her sons and some of her six grandchildren are here), and recently retired so now has time to play more tournaments. I won 60 61 today, but we had some good points and a few close games…playing Dippner in two weeks could be a different proposition after she’s played the team event next week. Dagmar won too and even though we play each other tomorrow we are warming up together.
After I finished, I watched Fritz Raijmakers of Netherlands (top seed and world #2 in 65s) play a British player, Peter Warnock. Warnock tested him…he began by ripping forehand returns to break the top seed and the two exchanged periods of good play with periods of…less perfect play. Raijmakers finished well, winning 63 76 (1) in front of an entertained crowd. Fritz maintained his 2021 perfect ITF Seniors record.
After lunch I walked up to another venue, Na Taconara. It’s been a while since I was in Font de Sa Cala, and the Sports Club Na Taconara has added many beach volleyball courts, all of which were busy, though at the expense of four red clay courts. The fitness area seemed much upgraded too. There were a smattering of consolation matches from the tournament taking place there.
I wandered back, and along the beach, which on a lovely day was busy. Back at the Beach Club there seems to be something for every tourist…big pools, kids pools with water features and small slides, bocce courts, mini golf and more.
The dinner last night, buffet style, was quite good. There’s a lot to choose from: pasta bar, prepared meats and fishes, huge salad selection, fresh breads, potatoes of all sorts, fresh grilled chicken and fish and lots of deserts from fruit to cakes to ice cream. There is indoor seating and semi-outdoor seating in a screened in porch.
Font de sa Cala, Spain
I arrived in Font de sa Cala at around 9:15, checked in (my room was to be ready at 10:30, had a bit of breakfast, and read while I was waiting. The buffet breakfast was pretty much as remembered, lots of fruit, eggs, bacon, yogurts, breads (dozens) and cereals. Very nice and complete.
When I arrived the decision had just been made to postpone play till noon. So I was able to get into my room (once I found it…it was tricky) and get ready to play. I was told 1:30 pm. I ran into quite a few people I knew and caught up a bit, then got my racquets and ran around on the basketball court up by some of the courts. There are quite a lot of clay courts here, all red clay. I played my first match though without having hit a ball on red clay for over two months. I won pretty easily and tomorrow play Katrin Dippner from Germany, a very good player and many time former champion here.
I was able to get a practice court for tomorrow morning, get a bit of massage and finish transferring my luggage to my room in the afternoon, and get ready for tomorrow. I play second match on tomorrow, at 10:30 on Font A wherever that is, I just know it’s here at Font de Sa Cala.
This tournament is very nice, they do a lot for players…provide a shuttle between venues, a shirt and towel to all players, a player party at the Beach Club, a happy hour, physios (trainers) (2) are available, and it’s well organized…practice courts for example can be booked at 3 pm for the next day.
Also, I found out that antigen covid tests can be booked at the Beach Club for 30 euros, about $36…the antigen test is what Americans need within 3 days of departure for the USA return.
Saturday, after I finished my last match in Palm Beach Gardens I got organized (more or less…somehow I ended up with 4 hair brushes…and normally I wear a hat to avoid brushing my hair…).
I had a ride to the West Palm Beach Tri Rail station (thank you Erin Nevin) and took the train to Miami. It was $5 and went directly into the Miami Airport terminal…not bad for a nearly two hour ride.
I checked in, showed my QR code for Spain (easy online form to fill out) and vaccination card and was good to go. I used Clear to clear security (Iberia doesn’t use TSA Pre), then I wandered around the airport for a while and eventually ended up in the American Airlines Flagship lounge, similar to the United Polaris Club. It is in Terminal D though and I had to walk to Terminal E from there and take a train out to the international terminals. Passengers who had connected in Miami were called to show their vaccination cards and QR codes…I was not.
The flight to Madrid was quick on Iberia, and arrived quite early. In Madrid I was asked again about the QR code (though not at passport control) and eventually a sticker was put on my phone, which I had to show several times. My next flight was nearly full and arrived about 15 minutes late, no problem…in Palma I had to show my actual QR code and then was good to go…so make sure you fill out the Spanish health form online!
MAoI rented a car and went to my first stop near Palma, since I thought my match would be in the afternoon. It was out in the countryside with a nice terrace and was very quiet. But then I found out it was at 10:30…am. I had dinner at the hotel, a Mallorcan meal of red peppers and leeks, cod with a sauce, fresh bread, olives and aioli (that was the best part) and plum/apple crumble.
Today I got up early, even though the weather forecast was miserable and it was raining a bit as I left. I waited for dawn which is about 7:45 am here. The drive was a bit over an hour and was very pretty, though the middle of the island, past the town of Petra where I could see the big cathedral, and through old olive orchards and fields, with some hills in the distance.
I arrived in Font de sa Cala around 9:15, found an excellent parking spot right next to the check in desk (the car won’t move again till Wednesday!) and got my room.
Chandler, Smashey, Fales Win Singles at National Women’s 40-89 Clay: Palm Beach Gardens Day 5, The End
Fran Chandler won another marathon battle today, this against Vicky Buholz, 57 61 75, rallying from 0-3 down in the third to win the 3-hour match. In the bronze medal match, I lost to Diane Barker 61 64 in 1:45 hour. Susan Wright, who drew Chandler in the round of 16, won the consolation over Terri Thyssen, her first round opponent.
This tournament was unfortunately only an ITF 700, not 1000, despite having over 10 world titles in the draw! The downgrade is due to Europeans not being able to freely enter the USA for tourism.
Kaysie Smashey beat Yulia Bolotova 62 62 to win the 40 singles. She combined with Nancy Hilliard to beat Boltova/Mamie Inoue 41 ret inj. Christen Barrett won the consolation.. receiving three straight defaults. Barnes/Chaplin, the #2 seeds took bronze.
Donna Fales cruised to the 80s singles gold, and teamed with Dorothy Wasser to win the doubles. Next stop for Fales Wasser is the Individual Worlds in Mallorca in about two weeks.
Many thanks to Trish Faulkner, Bill, Wendy, Andi and the staff and volunteers for the tournament for having us as guests this week.
Next stop for me is Mallorca…very soon.
Bramlette, Cass Reach Singles & Doubles Finals in Palm Beach Gardens: National Women’s Clay Courts Day 3
Today was another nice warm day in Palm Beach Gardens, though a lot windier than it had been…but that kept the temperature feeling nice. Late in the afternoon, a stray thunderstorm finished play for the day leaving many matches pushed to Friday, mostly in the consolation.
Sue Bramlette upset Liane Bryson in straight sets today in 70 singles and will face top seeded Toni Novak in the final. In doubles Bramlette/Cindy Babb will face Cindy LePrevost/Bryson in the doubles final.
Julie Cass beat Marlo Carruth in a good match 75 63 to reach the 50s singles final against top seeded Nancy Hilliard, who has yet to drop a set in singles. In doubles, Cass/Beverly Bowes will face unseeded Veronica Barni/Daniela Alvarez from Orlando/Argentina.
In the 60s, Diane Barker beat Tracey Thompson and will face Vicky Buholz next; Buholz beat her doubles partner Cindy Johnson. I beat Kim Dean and will play Fran Chandler, who took out Aimee Norris. In doubles, Susan Wright and I beat Norris/Anne Frautschi in a good and fun match (lots of good points at net). We won 61 63. We play Buholz/Johnson in the final; they took out Sheila Chiricosta/Mary Jo Colonna 64 60.
In the 40s, Kaysie Smashey/Hilliard beat Lyn Vosloo/Tabatha Butler 63 62 in a good match and face Pressley/Axelrod next. Barnes/Chapin, the #2 seeds, had a tough match with Amy Alcini/Christen Bartelt in the second set, but advanced 61 76 to face Mamie Inoue/Yulia Bolotova.
The 80s round robin is underway in singles and doubles; Donna Fales played two singles matches today but didn’t drop a game in either; tomorrow she has two doubles matches (with Dorothy Wasser) plus singles.
The popcorn match on Wednesday started at 9am on the center court at Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. It did not disappoint. Fran Chandler, the second seed, took on Alice Marble Cup teammate Susan Wright in the round of 16 (there were only four seeds). The rallies were fierce from the beginning with Chandler defending and pummeling her backhand while Wright was offensive from both wings, particularly her backhand. Both players are slight but hit a big, hard ball. Chandler won the final three games of the first set to win it 64 and looked on track for a straight set win when she finally held serve in the second to go up 5/4. It was Wright’s turn to win three games in a row and she seemed to have the edge with her superior court positioning and excellent ball string. Wright was up 3/2 when I had to play my match; by the time I finished, Chandler had won the set 63. Vicki Buholz, Diane Barker and I won our matches in straight sets.
Amy Alcini and Marlo Carruth, weekly practice partners, faced each other in the 50s and Carruth won in a good match 75 76 (4). They would have been seeded had the draw been larger; as is there are only two seeds. Nancy Hilliard and Julie Cass advanced without incident.
In the 70s, the top seeds, Toni Novack and Liane Bryson both had tough matches today. Toni won 62 76, but was down 5-2, 40-15 in the second set before rallying to win it. Liana Bryson had to go three sets to oust Janet Watanabe 76 46 60. Cindy Babb upset Barbara Hubbard (3) in straight sets and Sue Bramlette got past Simmy Pell 75 62.
In 50 doubles Veronia Barni and Daniela Alvarez upset the #2 seeds, Pollyanna Clark/Diane Barker (Pollyanna is Diane’s niece) to reach the final.
In 60 doubles, the #2 seeds, Vicki Buholz/Cindy Johnson, survived a tough encounter with Tracey Thompson/Terri Thyssen. The latter team won the first set 76 and were up 5-3 in the second before Buholz/Johnson rallied to win the 2nd set and the match tiebreak. Vicki in particular was very solid during the tiebreak.
In the 70s, Bryson/Cindy Leprevost and Sue Bramlette/CindyBabb are in the doubles final, having won their respective round robin groups.