• Category Archives Karlovy Vary, Czech Rep 2015
  • Travel » Karlovy Vary, Czech Rep 2015
  • Czech Champ

    Today was the final day of the Karlovy Vary tournament. I had a 10 am match, and had to take a bus from the hotel to the club. It’s walkable but I had a lot of stuff…camera, clothes to change into etc and my racquet bag. The bus (#7) comes to my stop only at 8:18 and 9:28, so I had to take the early bus and hope the schedule was correct. The bus stop is sort of in the middle of no where, by a field and stream.

    The bus did come, a few minutes early and I have the procedure down; get my ticket stamped (right side up) and then hit the stop button on the bus when we get close to the courts. It was pretty sunny, no rain in sight and the birds were singing and it was pretty much empty at the club at that hour. I hit some serves, then got to warm up with John Burness from Australia who was in the men’s 60 final against Wayne Cowley.

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    I played Olga Markova from Czech Republic. We’ve played before and she’s a nice player, very aggressive, good volleys and a fantastic drop shot. I think she hit about 30 of them during the match; I hit about three! I won the first set pretty handily 60, then she woke up and the second set was 63 (after I led 3/0). We received porcelain dishes and I got a large towel and Olga received bath oil…the same gifts were given to the guys who seemed a bit perplexed by the bath oil (and bath soap for doubles).

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    I had arranged for transport to Prague airport at 3:30 so I was able to watch a bit of the end of John and Wayne’s match, had lunch and saw some other Aussies/Kiwis play before Philip Seeman, a Kiwi offered to give me a ride back to my hotel. He was waiting for his mixed match which he won later on.

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    Link to draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033061

    Link to photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/111133686884013323699/KarlovyVary2015

    It turns out that the airport hotel I booked is in the terminal here in Prague, and has a pretty cool view.

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    It was a fantastic three weeks of tennis, off to London and then home soon.

  • Into the finals in Karlovy Vary

    I played my final round robin match today and won over a very nice recreational player. As she said, she plays for fun, not seriously, though she was playing mixed later and looked pretty serious then.

    I warmed up early..7am! with Heide Orth and then warmed  up Ellen Neumann. Heide had a tough match with Sylvie Galfard-Kirsten from France, losing 63 75. Sylvie is a very good player and good mover. I went back to the hotel for breakfast and then walked to the club. It was a nice sunny day and the countryside is lovely.

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    I also got to hit with Leanne Scott from Australia for about an hour and then played my match around 2pm. It only lasted 30 minutes, but gave me time to scout my opponent for tomorrow. She won the first set 61 and received a retirement as her opponent had vertigo.

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    Leanne and Ellen and I watched some Aussies play then it was time to pack and get ready for tomorrow and to make arrangements to to to Prague then London.


    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033061

  • Karlovy Vary Wednesday

    I had a day off today from tennis, since it’s a round robin of three players. I will play the second round robin match tomorrow.I did hit for an hour in the morning with Ellen Neumann and Heide Orth and serve. I tried to watch Ellen play but it was absolutely freezing, and sprinkling and so instead I went and sat in the restaurant with Heide and Ludwig and drank hot tea! It feels colder than the summer in San Francisco here.

    I did watch last night, both Ellen’s match and Leeanne Scott and the #1 seed in the 55s from Italy. My feet are still cold from that effort. It was raining intermittently during both matches, and not pleasant for the players. I had played earlier on the center court and it was pretty nice weather then. The only issue with that court is that there are huge speakers on the court and they are the ones used for calling players to the courts. Since you can hear the announcements 200 yards or more away you can imagine how they sound right in one’s ear.

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    At this tournament every match is chaired, mostly by children from the tennis program here. My umpire yesterday was a small 10 year old boy wearing glasses. He did a pretty good job, called the score accurately in English and Czech. He looked younger than 10. My opponent Vera, our chair and me after the match. I won 60 60. Vera did win her round robin match today though, so I think I’m in good shape for tomorrow’s match.

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    I was supposed to play women’s doubles but I think all the women changed to mixed. Doubles isn’t too popular or well respected anyway in Europe, though mixed is pretty popular.

    The players’ party is tonight and I’m going to go, then try and get in more hitting tomorrow. The rain is supposedly finished which is great. When the sun comes out here the scenery is spectacular.

    Site of Official Dinner in Karlovy Vary starred photos 6-24-2015 9-53-12 AM 5472x3648 Official Dinner in Karlovy Vary

    Link to draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033061

    Link to photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/111133686884013323699/KarlovyVary2015

  • Karlovy Vary

    After checking in for the tournament yesterday, I ran into a couple of Americans who were playing in the 75s and Wayne Crowly, from Australia, the top seed in the 60s.  I sat for a while in the dining room at the hotel/club and people watched. There were two players next me, both fit looking and not very tall…but they could eat! One had a whole fish on top of a large plate of potatoes…ok, not out of the ordinary…but then each had an entire plate of pancakes filled with fruit and accompanied by cream or ice cream. And a beer…they were right, there was no more tennis yesterday afternoon, it rained hard all day.

    So I caught the bus to Karlovy Vary. It’s about $1 or less for 60 minutes. I rode it all the way to the bus depot and started walking around. This is a spa town known for it’s healthy (foul tasting) water. People buy these mugs with spouts and take water from various fountains around town. There are a lot of Russians who visit here, and of course Czechs and some Germans…very little English is heard and that from Asian or English tourists not from Americans.

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    The town is really pretty, it feels like a movie set each time I see it again. The buildings are old and beautifully painted and restored. It’s hilly and from up high you can get a panoramic view of the city.

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    I of course had to buy some of the delicious Czech wafers, about 8 inches in diameter, thin and variously flavored, though plain and chocolate are always popular. When I was finished I had to find a bus stop…I climbed up a lot of steps and eventually found one that was for the #7 stop though i had no idea when it would come. The bus schedules at the stops aren’t very clear or accurate. I was almost ready to give up and get a taxi when the bus came and dropped me back at the tennis club, a 15 minute walk from the hotel. It wasn’t raining though so that was no problem.

    My doubles partner Ellen Neumann from Germany knocked on my door last night and we got caught up. Her German team is doing well and had a big win Saturday. Ellen got to the club just in time to play she said, a big disappointment to their opponents.

    Today I am scheduled not before 3:30, but I hit 45 minutes with Heide Orth and 20 with Ellen and the courts feel pretty good. They play fast here and are a bit slippery. The lines here are taped lines not painted and there’s a little altitude. We are using Head ATP balls.

    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033061 I am in the round robin group A and if I win my first two matches I play the winner of round robin group B.


    Photos: https://plus.google.com/photos/111133686884013323699/albums/6163507344058480449

  • Another Day, Another Tournament, Another Country

    I woke up in France, flew through Germany and landed in Czech Republic today…the scenic route, as I didn’t look at Nantes-Prague flights.

    The CDG airport is complicated. The shuttle dropped us off at Terminal 2. Then I had to go down a level, then up a level through these tubes containing a moving walkway..sort of like going through an MRI machine. All this to get to a train to go to Terminal 1, of course the last stop. But from there check in was easy, and my flight was on time.

    Karlovy Vary is about 90 minutes by car from the Prague airport. Immediately after leaving the airport we were in the countryside. It’s very green here, probably because it’s always raining! It’s chilly here, 60ish, and there’s a little altitude, about 1500-1700 feet.

    I took the bus to the club, which would be fine if it wasn’t pouring rain and out in the open! The courts were of course somewhat wet…

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    I am supposed to play tomorrow, it may depend on how many matches get played today.

    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100033061