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  • Munich, Munchen, Sunday Vibes

    June 16, 2019

    Munich, Germany

    I arrived late in Munich after a longer than expected train ride (the train stopped for about half an hour just before my stop…but the ride was pleasant, and parts were beautiful, especially passing along the Gastein valley west of Villach.

    Sundays in Bavaria are pretty quiet. Some restaurants are open, and shops in the train stations and airport, but otherwise shops and grocery stores are all closed. I knew this, so took my time over breakfast and hit the gym and laundry. Late morning I decided to walk towards Marienplatz, where the famous Glockenspiel above the Rathaus are located, to do some window shopping and I had visions of biking in the English Gardens. It turned out to be a nice day for a lot of walking, mild and only a few drops of rain.

    On my way to Marienplatz I walked by the huge Deutsches Museum. I consulted with my friend Google and decided to go in. There was a long ticket line. Google was consulted again, I found the website for the museum and quickly bought a ticket (this is my travel tip for the day…if you are spontaneously visiting an attraction and the line is long, first try to buy a ticket on your smart phone). Minutes later I was walking in the door and my online ticket was scanned with no problem.

    What is the Deutsches Museum? Well, it’s huge, and it’s a science and technology museum. Though actually there’s not a lot of technology…they could have more modern displays. But it covered a lot, from astronomy to glass making to sun dials to the history of flight to submarines (it was a bit eerie seeing a U-Boat submarine…do not go on a submarine if you have any issues with claustrophobia…or are not svelte.). The history of flight was interesting…there’s that Samuel Beckett saying which Stan Wawrinka has tattooed onto his arm: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again.” which applies to flying. So many people tried to build airplanes before the Wright Brothers succeeded and they all looked so dicey, some lost their lives, humans didn’t give up.

    After a few hours in the museum, I reached the market and then Marienplatz and found all the tourists, German and otherwise. There was a big stage in the plaza and music, lots of drinking and wursts around. I got some beautiful strawberries, and did some window shopping. (Tomorrow it won’t be just “window” shopping I fear.)

    After walking around the area, I walked back to my hotel. I walked by a marijuana store which was amusingly (to me anyway) situated next to a chocolates store. Both were closed. I also walked by a sign for the Bier Oktoberfest Museum and peered down the street…yup, there it was! Till tomorrow…

    Guten abend.

    European Singles Champion; Auf Wiedersehen Austria

    Biking Around the Worthersee


  • Rainy Friday in Munich

    Today I bid adieu to Robin, going with her to the airport and seeing her off (after a too long wait at check-in…Lufthansa has the baggage check-in completely automated, but not for people who booked with an airline other than Lufthansa…for them there’s a long line and one person checking people in). It’s worth mentioning again because the line was over an hour long I think when we left it.

    I took the train back to the hotel and after a workout and lunch, Erika and I went into Munich and visited the Residence, a huge palace/museum full of opulent rooms and also the Treasury which did contain a lot of treasures, silver, gold, tiaras, jewelry, porcelain and items necessary for running such a huge palace.

    We also visited a couple of churches, St. Peter’s, since Erika hadn’t walked in yesterday and the Frauenkirche which was pretty plain though very large. It was rainy but people were waiting in the rain to see and hear the Glockenspiel…

    I searched for peanut butter afterwards and found this selection (I chose chocolate, naturally).

    Next up is Paris…taking the TGV train tomorrow early. The European adventure continues….tennis will resume on Monday.

    d


  • Munich/München

    Marienplatz ✔️; Vikuelmarket✔️; Glockenspiel✔️; St. Peter’s Church ✔️; Theatine Church ✔️; Shoe 👠 shopping ✔️; Chocolate 🍫 shopping ✔️

    We had a busy day in Munich yesterday. We took the train to Marienplatz where the Auld Rathaus (town hall) is located. The building has a clock tower where bells and dancing figurines go off at 11, 12 and 5pm (in summer). We planned on the 5pm performance. We walked to the big market full of fruits, sausages, cheese, vegetables, flowers, restaurants and souvenirs.

    We tried to go to the Milka store but it was gone. ☹️ However, we found a world of chocolate in the basement of the large department store on the edge of Marienplatz. The only problem with the selection was that it was so vast we had a hard time choosing which to buy!

    After the market we walked to the top of St. Peter’s church which had a great view of Munich despite the overcast weather, and of the Rathaus. That gave me the idea of climbing back up (just under 300 steps/cost 3 euros) around 4:30 to video the Glockenspiel. I did and got a good viewing spot while Erika and Robin had coffee in the Platz.

    After our climb, we went to view the beautiful Theatine Church which is full of beautiful carvings in a nearly all white pallet.

    The day ended with shoe shopping. I wandered into a shop I like and Erika and Robin came a bit later, teasing me about buying shoes, but Erika came away with two pair, Robin with one and I only bought light plane mules. It was a fun expedition.

    I just took Robin to the airport gate. The line wasn’t long but was slooow moving at Lufthansa for people who couldn’t check luggage automatically.. so we were in that line with one person working. Another reason to arrive early.

    Today Erika and I will do a bit more touring on a rainy day then off to Paris tomorrow. And then there were two…


  • Doubles Finalists, Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland, Hallo Austria

    Robin Harris and I played Susan Wright and Patricia Medrado and came very close but fell 63 76(5) in the final of the 60 doubles. They made some good shots on big points and there were lots of big points. We played the entire match in the rain..sometimes a drizzle and at other times rain. It was a 2-hour match and the conditions were exceptionally heavy! It was a fun match despite the outcome…next time!

    Mark Vines, USA had three match points in the second set and lost it but rebounded to win 64 67 64 on his 5th or 6th match point despite a balky calf. It was a great week for Mark who also won the team championship the previous week.

    Tom Coulton, USA combined with Anders Jarryd to win the 55 doubles (Jarryd won the singles too.)

    Danny Waldman (USA)/Norbert Henn fell in the doubles final.

    Leanne Swaysland was playing 55 doubles with Ros Balodis but hurt her shoulder/bicep in the second game and they had to retire.

    Other USA medalists were Mary Dailey, Ross Persons, and Vicki Buholz in mixed 55s (and Waldman).

    Here’s a photo of Regina Marsikova, Patricia Medrado, Susan Mehmedbasich Wright and Robin Harris who all played on the WTA tour in the 70s.

    After the matches, Susan, Robin, Erika Smith and I reordered the luggage in our rental car and headed off to Salzburg. We had hoped to arrive before dark but it didn’t happen and it rained for the entire drive. The weather, 80s only days before, was barely in the 50s and damp. We made it safely to Austria though, bought our Vignette (a toll pass) just before the border and checked into our hotel. Tomorrow I will show everyone Salzburg, since it’s the first time in Austria for all three of them.


  • There’s Always Doubles!

    Today I played Diane Barker and it was a Groundhog Day situation…I keep playing her and the outcome never varies…Diane wins. This time it was 63 61. I played ok but not great (a lot of that had to do with Diane of course) and Diane played well and hit a lot of winners. Regina Marsikova trounced Ros Balodis in the other semi…Marsikova is playing exceptionally well.

    Jenny Klitch fell to top seeded Klartje Van Baarle in straight sets. We commiserated…we both tried a lot of things and our opponents countered too well! She and Andrea Rice are in the doubles semis tomorrow.

    Jenny Klitch, Vicki Buholz, Andrea Rice: Rain Delay
    Susan Wright, Jenny Cerff

    Danny Waldman caused the biggest upset of the day, beating defending champion and top seed Glen Busby (60s) in three sets despite losing the first five games of the match. He’s also in the men’s doubles semis and mixed semis. Mark Vines beat the #2 seed, Pierre Godfroid in three sets as well.

    Vicki Buholz and Ross Persons are in the 55 mixed final along with Waldman/Mary Dailey.

    Susan Wright/Patricia Medrado won their QF doubles today.

    Robin Harris and her partner Steve Myers fell in the semis of the mixed to Medrado/Godfroid in a rain and thunder/lightning storm interrupted match which finished just before dark.

    The weather took a big turn in the late afternoon…it’s been quite hot but this afternoon it was cooler and there were some tremendous thunderstorms with lots of lightning. It is going to drop from about 90 to the upper 60s by tomorrow. And there’s a very high chance of rain tomorrow.

    Forecast for tomorrow: 👎🤔💦☔️

    We play the doubles semis at 9:30 tomorrow morning and Susan plays third on the court. Diane plays at 10.

    I had time today to run errands and arrange for a car for our trip starting Saturday to Austria and Czech Republic.

    It’s late…here is a link to the draws.


  • Monday, Funday: ITF Senior Individual World Championships

    It was another early start today in Ulm, Germany. Susan Wright and I had 9am matches, so we left at 7:30. We had a half hour warm up then played our first matches.

    Susan beat PatriciaWire of GBR with the loss of only a game. I played Rosemary Everett, in a repeat of our semifinal match in Klosters two weeks ago. I won 60 61, but we had some long points.

    After lunch we played doubles, Susan with Pat Medrado and Robin Harris with me. We played Jenny Cerff and Jeanette Robert from So Africa and won by the score of the day 60 61, though to be fair Jenny played marathon singles matches yesterday and today.

    Robin is now playing mixed with Steve Meyers from Australia against my singles opponent (who is a better doubles player) and another Aussie.

    Most of the women’s singles and doubles were played in Ulm today, so I got to see Jenny Klitch, Andrea Rice and others.

    Tomorrow I play Elna Botha from So Africa and Robin and I play Pat Wire/Tish Peal.


  • Ulm Cathedral, Flammkuchen & Shoes: Saturday in Ulm

    Today, Saturday we had the day off from tennis and since it was Pat Purcell’s last day in Germany, she planned the day…mostly.

    We started with Robin, Pat and I grocery shopping at Aldi, Lidl and Rewe, which are all near each other…staples from Aldi, bread from Lidl, and yogurts from Rewe.

    After shopping we headed to old Ulm to view the Cathedral and perhaps go to the top. However, a concert was going on and the cathedral was closed for a while, so we had “free time” for 45 minutes. There was a farmers’ market going on so I wandered around it for a while. Lots of nice produce, meats and cheeses and flowers were on display.

    After looking at the market, I went shoe shopping at “Think Shoes” and got some sandals. I like their shoes and they are half the price here that they are at home, with a much better selection. Robin and Susan found me there and we went back to meet Pat at the Cathedral.

    We were on the hunt for Flammkuchen, a regional specialty of Baden-Wurttemberg. It is rather like a very thin pizza, cooked quickly in a brick oven. We got a traditional one of speck (sort of like a cross between bacon and Canadian bacon), onion, leeks and creme fraiche. We also got a “pizza” variety which was also very thin and rectangular, but had tomato sauce and salami on top. Shelly & Scott Works, Willy and Fran Chandler and Mary Dailey of the USA walked in as we were eating and soon were eating a ham pizza themselves. Pat found out that a Pinot Noir wine in this area is more like a Pinot Pink.

    After lunch we went to the Cathedral, Ulm Minster (technically not a cathedral), the tallest in the world, over 500 feet high and over 700 steps to the top. Pat thought there was an elevator to the top as she saw people being transported up on the outside but we later figured out that was probably construction workers being moved up mechanically. We got our 5 euro tickets and transported ourselves by foot up the church. Pat made it about 2/3 of the way before going down and we continued up. The last part is narrow and unlike the other staircases has 2-way traffic so going down was tricky. The view from the top though was very nice and it was a clear day. We could see the Danube, and fields and mountains in the distance. And we worked off some of our flammkuchen! We visited the inside of the church afterwards. It’s a beautiful gothic church, as so many are in Europe.

    Tomorrow Pat goes back to the USA, Robin, Susan and I are practicing early after taking Pat to the bus station and we have one more free day before the tournament begins.

    Draws for the individual world championships are here.


  • USA Women’s 50 Advance to Final; USA Women’s 55, Men’s 55 Fall in Semis

    The USA Women’s 50 had a terrific win versus France today. Jenny Klitch got the team off to a positive start with a 75 60 win at #2 singles (against a player to whom she’d lost in 2014). That set the stage for a big battle at #1 singles with Debbie Spence Nasim playing for the USA. Debbie rallied from 15-40 down at 6-5 in the first set to take the opening set. An hour or more later, her opponent took the tiebreaker to level the match. The third set was another long battle, finally won by Nasim 75. Debbie had been sick and her breathing at times was labored but she fought so hard, hit great backhands and propelled the USA team into the final with her win. They play home team Germany in the final.

    The USA women’s 55 team fell to Germany in the semis, with Vicki Buholz at #1 and Tracy Houk at #1 losing very tough and competitive matches.

    The USA men’s 55 fell 2/1 to Germany, with Bill Moss picking up a win at #2 but then losing the #1 singles and the doubles points in straight sets.

    The USA men’s 50 team fell 2/1 to defending champion Italy in the 5-8 playoff with Eoin Collins supplying the sole point for the USA team.

    The USA Men’s 60s, Von Cramm Cup, are still playing, tied at 1 match apiece and having lost the opening set of the deciding doubles.

    Please click on the following links to view the Draws and Results:

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Fred Perry Cup (M50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maria Esther Bueno Cup (W50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Austria Cup (M55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maureen Connolly Cup (W55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Von Cramm Cup (M60)

    2018 ITF Seniors Alice Marble Cup (W60)

    Draws for the individual world championships are here.


  • USA Women’s 60 Team Into Finals in World Team Championships

    The USA Women’s 60 Team, the Alice Marble Cup, is the first USA team into the final in Ulm Germany. Today we beat France 3/0 behind strong singles performances by Susan Wright and Diane Barker and a strong doubles performance by Carolyn Nichols and Pat Purcell. Wright played a nearly flawless match against Benedict LeGrand, dropping only four points in the first set and winning the match 60 61. Barker followed with a hard fought win over Betty Michel at #1 singles, winning 63 75. Michel is a great mover, especially on clay (as is Barker) and has a terrific backhand drop shot. Barker though was the more aggressive player and much more willing to come forward to finish points. Nichols/Purcell played steady, aggressive tennis to beat Michel/LeGrand 63 62 to make it a clean sweep.

    We face a very strong Australian team in the final, led by Ros Balodis and Lyn Mortimer. They beat Great Britain today, winning both singles in straight sets.

    My doubles partner, Robin Harris, arrived today from San Diego…a very long trip, involving three flights. Of course after tennis we then went to a grocery store, this time a new Rewe. Unfortunately they didn’t have the brand of yogurt Susan prefers (Fage, Greek), but they did have good produce and more variety of products than the Aldi or Lidl…but no peanut butter! (They did have fluffy nuts though).

    We went into Ulm for dinner with Michael Hughes of the USTA and Jack and Diane. We went to a restaurant near the Ulm Cathedral but this time we parked in a parking garage, which was a much better experience than street parking! Though driving is going a bit better (I have a new copilot…long story). I tried to see the interior of the cathedral but it was closed. The outside though is pretty impressive.

    In other USA play, the Men’s 55 had a bye into the semis; the Men’s 50s lost in the third set of the deciding doubles to a very tough Russian team; the Men’s 60s advanced to the semis; the women’s 50s and 55s both won deciding doubles matches. The USA W50s played Spain and rallied from a 0/1 deficit after Spain took the #2 spot over Ros Nideffer. Debbie Spence Nasim won at #1 and Ros/Debbie barely lost a game in winning the doubles point.

    Mary Dailey/Vicki Buholz won the deciding point in the women’s 55.

    In men’s 50, Eoin Collins beat Andre Chesnokov a former top 20 player after USA lost the #2 singles.

    Please click on the following links to view the Draws and Results:

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Fred Perry Cup (M50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maria Esther Bueno Cup (W50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Austria Cup (M55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maureen Connolly Cup (W55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Von Cramm Cup (M60)

    2018 ITF Seniors Alice Marble Cup (W60)

    Draws for the individual world championships are here.

    Tomorrow we have a day off before playing the final on Friday. The individual world championships begin on Saturday.


  • USA Marble Cup Team (W60) Advances to Semis in Ulm, Germany

    The USA Alice Marble Cup team concluded round robin play by beating Argentina 2/1 behind strong singles performances of Susan Wright (winning 61 60 at #2) and Diane Barker (60 60 at #1). Pat Purcell and I unfortunately lost our doubles 62 75 to a very good team, Patricia Candegabe and Beatrix Villavere, the latter of whom is a superb doubles player and Candegabe played and served extremely well too…tough loss but a learning experience.

    I went upstairs to the SSV clubhouse to get ice (and it was there!) and took some photos from the terrace. I have lots of other photos but the cell service here is too slow to upload them…perhaps over wifi at the club one day. We’ve been playing on back courts, so there hasn’t been a chance to get connected there.

    USA vs ARgentina

    Tomorrow we play France for a spot in the final, while Australia faces Great Britain in the other semifinal.

    All six USA teams (men’s and women 50/55/60) won today, so all start either in quarters tomorrow except our team which is in the semis. Men’s 55 received a bye into the semis so have an off day tomorrow.

    Please click on the following links to view the Draws and Results:

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Fred Perry Cup (M50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maria Esther Bueno Cup (W50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Austria Cup (M55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maureen Connolly Cup (W55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Von Cramm Cup (M60)

    2018 ITF Seniors Alice Marble Cup (W60)

    Draws for the individual world championships are here.

     


  • Practice Day: Tennis & Driving

    Today, Monday, all of the USA teams were off, after a successful opening day Sunday for all six USA teams.

    We were planning on practicing at 3pm till Diane contacted us with the weather forecast which called for rain in the afternoon. She and her husband Jack were going to hit early, and after reviewing the weather forecast, Susan, Pat and I decided to do the same and arrived at 7am. (Jack and Diane were there at 6:30!).

    We thought we’d be bumped before 8am but actually were there for nearly two hours, with the three of us rotating serving on one court and drilling/playing points on the other. After we finished, I tried to find ice for my shoulder. I went to both restaurants on site. One gave me three ice cubes and the other two. I did comment on this to someone working  on site and he  arranged for ice to be delivered, which is great. Ice is just not as ubiquitous as it is in the USA.

    After practicing we went on a shopping expedition. I wanted to find an O2 store to buy a sim card. I selected the closest one on Google Maps and off we went. We ended up in an area near the Cathedral of Ulm (the tallest in Germany).

    The SUV I rented felt like a Winnebago in those narrow, crowded streets. Looking for parking we inadvertently went down such a street not realizing it dead ended into a pedestrian only zone. So I had to back up (after first panicking some). Pat was inside the car looking out and Susan was outside directing me. While I was dithering about backing up, a second delivery van  parked behind me so I had to navigate passing the van on one side without hitting any of the restaurants tables and concrete low planters on the other side. It took quite a while. Eventually I did get out of the alley on one piece and we saw a parking place not too far away. We parked and a few minutes later went to a machine to get the parking pass (which we had to ask for help…it turns out that the fee for an hour was 1,80 but if you put in more than that all your money was returned because no change is given).  Despite paying for the parking we got some sort of ticket! It wasn’t a great driving day, other than we didn’t hit anything or anyone. Here’s a photo of the alley.

    It didn’t work out to get a sim card because in Germany you  have to show not only your passport but proof of staying in Germany in writing and the contract we have was at the rental house. However, the trip wasn’t a loss because Susan and Pat both got European travel hair dryers and Pat got a curler, and I got some Think brand shoes! We also hit our fourth grocery store of the trip (we’ve been to Aldi, Lidl and Kaufland), a Rewe which was very nice. I even found the Feld Salat I was looking for (lambs lettuce).

    We had a second practice at 3pm and did get in about 45 minutes of doubles before it started to rain. At the first drops, Susan was done (she has gut in her racquets and also has California roots…Californians do not play tennis in the rain! We headed back to the house and had dinner (I cooked, anything to get out of doing dishes!).

    Tomorrow we play Argentina, the 8th seeds, for a spot in the semis at 8:30 am…warming up about 7:30am!  They beat Norway today.

    Please click on the following links to view the Draws and Results:

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Fred Perry Cup (M50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maria Esther Bueno Cup (W50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Austria Cup (M55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maureen Connolly Cup (W55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Von Cramm Cup (M60)

    2018 ITF Seniors Alice Marble Cup (W60)

    Draws for the individual world championships are here.

     

     


  • USA Marble Cup Team Beats Norway

    The USA Marble Cup team won its first round robin match at the ITF World Team championships today against Norway. Susan Wright won at #2 singles 62 60; Diane Barker followed at #1 singles and won 61 60. Pat Purcell and I finished the tie winning 61 60. We play all matches on the same court; today that was court 8.

    We started today with warm up around 7:30 and finished just after noon. There must be a lot of churches around since at 11 and especially at noon the church bells started ringing. It was very nice to hear.

    I signed the scorecard (four times!) and we returned the water bottles (the system is that each team has one token, good for 6 liters of water; fail to return any bottle and it costs a euro, about $1.15). We returned all bottles!

    By the time we finished playing, the club was packed. We are playing at SSV Ulm and TK Ulm which are separate clubs but literally right next to each other…they use the same check in desk for the tournament even though there are two club houses. The men’s 50 play starting around 12:30 so those teams were arriving and most other 8:30 matches were playing #1 singles or doubles.

    I watched a bit of the men’s 55 against Russia. Stu Saiki looked to be in trouble for a while then suddenly won 26 50 retired. Bill Moss picked up a win at #1 singles to clinch the tie. This red clay is a challenge to many of the players.

    A couple of Americans came by to watch, Michael Hughes from the USTA and Joann the massage person who is there. Jack Barker watched too. It’s always nice to have some home country support.

    We left around 1pm and had the idea of running some errands, going to the grocery store etc…then I remembered it was Sunday and everything (other than the churches, restaurants, and gas stations) is closed. So we went home and did laundry.

    Pat was trying to work; I was trying to get my photos edited and do a bit of blogging; Susan was a bit at loose ends because there’s no WiFi here and she has no data and she was stuck with 2 introverts. (Robin, we need you here!). But we passed the time well enough, I cooked dinner and we are going to bed early because we decided to practice very early tomorrow since it may rain in the afternoon. We have the day off tomorrow as do all 6 of the American teams.

    Draws are here:

    Please click on the following links to view the Draws and Results:

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Fred Perry Cup (M50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maria Esther Bueno Cup (W50)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Austria Cup (M55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Teams Maureen Connolly Cup (W55)

    2018 ITF Seniors Von Cramm Cup (M60)

    2018 ITF Seniors Alice Marble Cup (W60)

    Draws for the individual world championships are here.


  • Düsseldorf Shopping Expedition

    Today Jenny Cerff and I had a plan (well I had a plan) to go to Düsseldorf, walk the full length of the Konigsallee and then go to the Rhine and walk along it and possibly visit a castle. We made it to Konigsallee and a few streets around it and not much further. We did however cross the Rhein in the car several times due to missing turns! Fortunately it’s not a toll road.

    It was another lovely day, and there were again hoards of people out shopping and watching World Cup soccer.

    We arrived about 11am in Düsseldorf and left after 9pm when shops were closing. Jenny is a shrewd bargain hunter and found some nice work and tennis clothes and I got a dress. We actually had to talk one dress (for Jenny) off of a mannequin since it was her size and the last one in the store. Below are the before and after photos of the mannequin. The mannequin’s arms had to be removed to remove the dress. Many years ago my Cup teammates and I attempted to undress a mannequin in a German sporting goods store to buy the clothing it was wearing. It was a hilarious moment in a “you had to be there” way (we removed a leg but not the shorts, finally a store employee helped us out). This time it was a smoother process…

    We found a huge sports store, the Decathalon. It had everything from girls ballet leotards to bowls to camping gear to tennis clothes under one roof.

    It was a fun day and we do plan to make it to the Rhein tomorrow after a morning tennis practice.


  • Donner und Blitzen & Rain in Essen; Successful Semifinal Day

    Thursday began with Thunder (donner) and lightning (blitzen) followed by scattered showers The courts got wet at the club but many people worked hard to dry them off, mostly by dragging mats around to get rid of puddles. No fancy clay court dryers here!

    The 9am consolation matches were farmed out to other clubs and main draw 10:40 matches started by 10:30. Sabine and I got on at 11:15 for our 10:30 match (the one that was scheduled for 1:30, then 6pm then 10:30!

    I won 62 60, but the first set was closer than that, many back and forth long games. Our match lasted about 75 minutes; the other semi between Gundi Weiland and Lyn Mortimer went over 3 hours. I saw some of the first set and both players were playing well, long rallies and deep slices. Lyn prevailed 57 64 62. We play tomorrow, presumably at 10:30.

    Jenny Cerff won the consolation singles and is playing mixed now at 6pm. There’s a player dinner later.

    Draws and Results (click on order of play first).


  • Mittwoch Victory in Essen

    Today, Wednesday (Mittwoch in German), I played my quarterfinal match against Sabine Robertz, a German player who lives about an hour from the tournament site. She is a quick, steady player, but I played well and beat her 60 61. We played on Center Court again and once again the stands were empty! I play next the winner of Sabine Schmitz, the #2 seed (and tournament director) or Annelies Simons from the Netherlands. They started late, after 6pm, since Annelies drives after work from the Netherlands to play). Update: Now the top half of the draw (with a local club team member) is scheduled for 10:30 am and the bottom half at 6pm with the final at 10:30 am! Originally both were scheduled for 1:30.

    IMG_4883
    Center Court, ETUF, Essen

     

    The top seed in my division, Australian Lyn Mortimer, took on Jutta Boekmann, who took out Jenny Cerff yesterday. Lyn prevailed in three sets, winning the third set decisively 61 after splitting two tight sets earlier. And speaking of Jenny, she won her consolation match today handily to put her in the consolation final tomorrow. Fortunately Jenny checked the draw one last time before going to sleep. She was surprised to find out she played at 9am! Not as surprised though as her opponent who didn’t have internet access and showed up at 11.

    The match of the day was that between Nora Blom and Heidi Eisterlehner. Heidi won the first set; Nora attacked the net in the second successfully and continued her success in the third, going up 5-2 before Heidi changed tactics and drove the ball more, keeping Nora back. Nora had one match point at 65 before Heidi won the match 76 (5) in the third (62 36 76). It was a nice match between two outstanding players.

    After I finished my noon match, Jenny and I did the rounds…of grocery stores. We stopped first at Edeka to get ice (the Edeka was the only store which carried ice of the three we visited today) and chocolates (Ritter Sport, 59 cents this week!); Aldi (apples), and Netto (owned by Edeka) (feldsalat, what we call Mache, a type of lettuce). We also learned many new words, to go with our new favorite saying Gute Fahrt (Bon Voyage or Good Trip).

    This is a photo of the bottle recycling machine. Leergut hier means “empties here”, and of Jenny with our ice, a rare commodity here. 

    At the Aldi, we saw this sign that said Kundenparkplatz and parkdauer: customer parking and parking time (1 stn = 1 hour) respectively. (Since there was a photo of a car being towed, we wanted to know what the sign said.) In the stores, the chocolate and sweets aisles are long and fully stocked…similar to the chips aisles in an American store.

    The last word of the day is ankunftszeit which means arrival time; it was on this placard which was in the rental car. We figured out that it was something to put o the dashboard showing what time we arrived in the parking lot.

    IMG_4893

    Draws are here (go to order of play, then click on draws).

     


  • Successful Start to the German Open

    Today was another warm, sunny day in Essen, and I finally played my first match. I played Eldeltraut Horstmann from Germany, a steady, quick lefty. However, she didn’t take any volleys or overheads in warm up…and approached the net only to retrieve drop shots. We had some good rallies, but I managed to win most of them, and after dropping the opening game won 61 60. We played on Center Court before one fan (hundreds of empty seats…must have been roaming the grounds instead of watching us!).

    Jenny Cerff had the match of the day. She played Jutta Boekmann who is a member of the German Marble Cup team this year. She has a nice drop shot and a very good backhand. Jenny said she made too many errors in the first set but was on track in the second, on serve and finally broke to go up 65…then she started cramping. That was just as I finished my match (we started about 40 minutes later than Jenny). I could see she was having some issues but she still managed to win the 2nd set 76 (5). The third set was tough to watch since Jenny kept cramping, but she didn’t stop, fought till the end and lost 62 in the third. She plays consolation now at 9am…fast turnaround after a long match.

    In the women’s 65s, Heide Eisterlehner plays Nora Blom in the final in a battle of two former world champions. Heide Orth is in the 75 semis in singles and doubles. I had a nice visit with all of them…Heide and Heidi are shown below.

    And below are some words for the day, courtesy of the wall of the Mercure Hotel (which has one of these pairs on each floor in the stairwell).

    Draws can be found here (click on order of play, then draws).


  • The German Open, Last Practice

    After a day off , Jenny Cerff and I hit the practice court today for a final tune-up before the tournament. We had a solid practice. It was another warm sunny day, marred only by the racket of a grass mower cutting several feet of growth off the levee behind the courts. I thought they were grinding wood, it was so loud! Then music began over the PA system. It was a good challenge to our concentration.

    I found out a bit about my opponent today. She’s a marathon runner, very fast and left handed, it’s a bit of a tricky opener. Jenny plays a woman who is on the German Cup team this year, also a challenge.

    After tennis, as usual we bought ice from the Edeka, then hit Tennis Point (so I could get my racquet strung), and Penny Market.

    The recycling of bottles here is interesting. There’s a deposit of 15-25 Euro cents on most cans and bottles. At most stores there’s a machine where customers can insert bottles they purchased at that chain and get a refund to use at the store. It’s fast and easy.

    We returned to the club and they have put flags up from many countries including South Africa, which Jenny appreciated. There’s no USA 🇺🇸 flag though, so I stood in front of the German Open sign instead.

    Top 65s players Nora Blom and Heidi Eisterlehner were in action on the 2 center courts today. Nora is shown below (iPhone photo).

    German Senior Open Draws

    German words of the day:

    Platz = Court

    Trinke = drink

    Eis = ice cream


  • Germany!

    Quick post before I try to get some jet lagged sleep here…

    I arrived yesterday into Dusseldorf, Germany (via Frankfurt, from San Diego). My flight was on time to Germany. I had a decent cushion to make my next flight which was good because Customs was slow…we were held up one floor because there wasn’t room to process everyone downstairs. It was a hurry up and wait situation after that…I hurried to my flight and onto the plane…only to wait for about an hour before we took off. But halfway through the wait I fell asleep!

    My tennis friend from So Africa, Jenny Cerff landed just before me and we met at the rental car agency. Though we had about the same length flights, she has no time change. I ended up with an automatic car of a brand I’d never heard of but it’s fine, not too big and has navigation.

    We checked into our first hotel and then went out to the club, ETUF, which is on a small man made lake. The club has rowing, sailing, field hockey and tennis and is very nice. We wandered around and then Sabine Schmidt, the tournament director and a friend met us, showed us around the club house and we had a drink looking over the lake.

    Jenny Cerff

    Clubhouse

    Center Court

    Hockey Field

    Today we had a good hit in the morning on the red clay. It will take a while to get used to but the courts were very nice. There was no ice at the club so we hit the Edeka grocery store and found a bag of the precious stuff (for my shoulder and Jenny’s drink) and moved to our new hotel, a Mercure which is quite nice. Sabine has negotiated nice prices here.

    We then went to a Tennis-Point store which is sort of like a Tennis Express at home, a large tennis store (no Volkl racquets though 😠). We will be back, it has a plethora of clay court shoes of all brand types.

    That’s it for now…tomorrow we’ll practice again and perhaps do a bit of site seeing again.