- Category Archives Umag, Croatia
California, USA, Reporting from Afar
The opening ceremonies of the ITF Super Senior World Team Championships (ISSWTC) in Umag took place yesterday, as well as the captains’ meetings, during which the draws were made.
Photos courtesy of Carol Wood, Bob Litwin and the players’ facebook posts!
The USA is seeded in each category and all teams, other than the Women’s 85 (a new division which only has 2 teams, USA and Argentina).
The most dramatic tie of the day was that of the USA Women’s 80 team vs Australia. Both singles matches went to match tiebreaks (match tiebreaks are only used in the 80 & 85 divisions). First Burnett Herrick won 64 46 1/0 (6). That match was not exciting compared to the one Dorothy Wasser won. Dorothy, playing on her first ever cup team, debuted at #1 singles! She dropped the first set 62, won the second 76 (4), then squeaked out the tiebreak 13-11! I wasn’t there but imagine she held off some match points along the way. That gave the USA, the #2 seeds, an unassailable lead. Carol Wood and Sheila Palmer (another woman making her Cup debut in the 80s), were scheduled to play the doubles point.
In contrast to the women’s 80s, the women’s 65 (Kitty Godfree) easily beat Croatia, dropping only two games in beating the host country. Wendy McColsky & Tina Karwasky played #2 and #1 singles respectively, while Jan Kirkland Cochran made her Cup debut alongside Lil Peltz-Petow in doubles.
The women’s 70 (Althea Gibson), beat Sweden convincingly. Judy Dixon made her singles Cup debut at #2 and Toni Novack, fresh off winning the 65 singles at the GMP Cup in Umag the week before, won at #1 singles. Brenda Carter, returning to competitive play after a knee injury, combined with Liane Bryson, the 2018 world doubles champion, to take the doubles point.
The Queens Cup team, W75, took on Argentina. Carolann Castell at #2 and Charleen Hillebrand at #1 prevailed in singles and doubles.
The Britannia Cup, M65, beat Hungary 3/0; Geoff Cykman played #2, Mark Meyers #1 and Gary Jenkins/Tom Smith won the doubles point.
The Jack Crawford (M70) team easily beat Australia in the singles behind the play of Geoff Moore (#2) and Bob Litwin (#1); Brent Abel/Steve Gottlieb dropped the first set in doubles before rebounding to finish strongly 26 62 61.
In men’s 75 (Bitsy Grant) play, USA beat Zimbabwe 3/0; Don Long won at #2, Jimmy Parker had a tough 2-set tussle with Roger Dowdeswell at #1 and Dean Corley/David Dollins took the doubles point.
USA won 3/0 against Croatia in the Gardnar Mulloy Cup (M80). Lester Sack at #2 and Bob Quall at #1 played singles; Herm Ahlers/Wilbur Jones won the doubles point.
The very strong men’s 85s team, led by legendary Kin Van Nostrand, beat Australia 3/0. Joe Russell held on to win a tough 2nd set 76 at #2 singles while King at #1 and George McCabe/John Powless (another legend) completed the win.
Please click on the following links below to view the final draws for the 2019 ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships.
Kitty Godfree Cup, W 65 (USA is in Group A); USA is in the 1-4 playoff
Althea Gibson Cup, W70 (USA is in Group B); USA in the 1-4 playoff
Queens’ Cup, W75 (USA is in Group B); USA in the 1-3 playoff
Doris Hart Cup, W80 (USA is in Group B); USA in the 1-3 playoff
Britannia Cup, M65 (USA is in Group C); USA in the playoff or 1st
Jack Crawford Cup, M70 (USA is in Group F); USA in the 1-6 playoff
Bitsy Grant Cup, M75 (USA is in Group B); USA in the play off for 1st
Gardnar Mulloy Cup, M80 (USA is in Group B) USA in the playoff for 1st
Men’s 85 Cup. (5 team round robin)
USTA Announces Super Senior (65-85) Timeline for Umag, Croatia: Applications Are Closed; View List of Applicants; Teams Announced May 1st
The USTA sends teams to the ITF World Team Championships annually. For 2019 the 65/70/75/80/85 are playing in Umag, Croatia.
Applications are now open until April 1. Applications are now closed
The timeline posted on USTA.com is:
Saturday September 29, 2018, Reporting from San Diego, CA
The ITF Super Senior Individual World Championships finished in Umag today and American players can back with seven titles including one singles gold ball.
Dori DeVries (NorCal) won the 80 singles title in Umag, edging her teammate Burnett Herrick (NC) in the final in a match tiebreak. The 80s women dominated the division, also taking bronze in singles (Roz King, SoCal) and gold, silver and bronze in doubles. Dorothy Wasser (FL) combined with Inge Weber, CAN to win the doubles, edging DeVries/King for the title. Carol Wood (MD)/Herrick took bronze. Kaz Saito was a semifinalist (bronze medalist) in 80 men’s singles. Nick Ourusoff (USA) was a bronze medalist in mixed with Elena Mikola.
Daniel Grossman (NorCal)/Andrew Rae (AUS) successfully defended their men’s 65 doubles title.
Bruce Barrett (FL) won his first world title, teaming with Chris Ornstien (GBR) to win the men’s 70 doubles crown. Liane Bryson (SoCal) also won her first world title, teaming with Petro Kruger (RSA) to take the women’s 70 title. Brenda Carter (SC)/Elle Krocke (NED) were bronze medalists.
In the 75s, Cathie Anderson (SoCal)/Fred Drilling (FL) won the mixed, handing Peter Pokorny his only loss of the fortnight. Drilling/Jimmy Parker (NM) were doubles finalists. Donald Long was a singles finalist, having edged Drilling 76 in the third before falling to Pokorny in the final. Parker was a bronze medalist as well. Suella Steel (SoCal)/Charleen Hillebrand (SoCal) were bronze medalist in women’s doubles.
Joe Russell/George McCabe won the men’s 85 doubles and Russell was a finalist in singles.
Posted from San Diego, CA
The USA ended a successful week in Umag Croatia with four gold and four silver medal winning teams.
The USA won the Men’s 65 (Britannia), 85s, Women’s 65 (Kitty Godfree) and 80 (Doris Hart) Cups.
The USA was a finalist in the Men’s 75 (Bitsy Grant) and 80 (Gardnar Mulloy), Women’s 70 (Althea Gibson) and 75 (Queens) Cups.
The Men’s 75 fell 2/1 to Austria. Don Long won at #2, Jimmy Parker lost a tough 3-setter to legendary Peter Pkorny and Michael Stewart/Fred Drilling fell in doubles.
In men’s 80s, Sweden upset the USA 2/0. Lester Sack won at #2 singles, Kaz Saito fell at #1 and Goldwater/Hayes dropped the doubles point.
Please click on the following links below to view the draws and order of play for the 2018 ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships.45.45040813.517089
Friday September 21, 2018, Palm Desert, California, USA; 5:15 am PDT
A second article will be written tomorrow, or earlier to recap all matches.
The USA Women’s 80s team, the Doris Hart Cup, beat Great Britain today in Umag, Croatia, to give the USA a second gold medal winning team (the Men’s 85 won yesterday). Dori DeVries won first at #2 singles and Roz King clinched the win at #1 singles. Both wins were emphatic.
The Men’s 70s beat Great Britain today to clinch a 9th place spot. After losing the first day the team won four consecutive matches. Geoff Moore and Brent Abel won the singles point; the doubles is ongoing. (Thanks to Don Clark for the photo).
In other finals, the USA is up 1/0 in the women’s 65 (Kitty Godfree) over Australia; the men’s 65 (Britannia) over Austria and is down 1/0 in the women’s 70s (Althea Gibson) against France. The women’s 65 team is shown below (photo by Carol Clay).
The women’s 70s team: (photo courtesy of Liane Bryson).
Please click on the following links below to view the draws and order of play for the 2018 ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
San Diego, California, USA
The USA will compete in seven finals on Friday in Croatia. Matches in Center, Grand Stand and Court 1 at ATP Stadium will be streamed live (see links below). Draws have been posted for individuals, see link below.
The USA was in action in four Cups today, the Men’s 65, 70, 75 & 85.
The USA WON the Men’s 85 behind the singles play of Saul Snyder and Joe Russell and the doubles expertise of George McCabe/Chuck Nelson. Here’s a photoof McCabe, Snyder, Russell and Nelson from the opening ceremonies. They beat Australia in the final round robin match, going 4/0 in the competition.
The Men’s 70s, Crawford Cup, has been on a roll since their loss on Monday. They beat Finland 3/0 today and play for 9th tomorrow. Geoff and Brent played the doubles; Clark and Hammel played the doubles (winning again in a match tiebreak).
The Men’s 65s and 75s both played Australia today in their respective divisions and both won 2/1.
The Britannia Cup team, M65 saw Dave Sivertson win at #2 singles; Len Wofford played a great match against Andrew Rae but fell 76 64 and Paul Wulf/Tom Smith won the doubles point. Photos courtesy of Jeanne Sivertson; I created the collage.
In the Men’s 75, Bitsy Grant cup, G. Waygood was too good for USA’s Fred Drilling at #2 singles, winning 76 46 62. Jimmy Parker at #1 won 64 64 over A.Walker. Drilling and Michael Stewart were too good for Waygood/B. Rehn, winning 64 62.
Matches on center court are being streamed here: http://Htsv.hr/live-stream. Matches start at 9am CET (GMT +2).
Please click on the following links below to view the draws and order of play for the 2018 ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships.45.431388913.5238889
September 19, 2018
San Diego, California, USA
The USA reached the final of all four women’s events in the ITF Super Senior World Team Championships in Umag, Croatia for the second straight year. In 2017 the women went four for four in the finals. However, three of the four teams had to win the doubles to advance today.
On the men’s side, the men’s 65 and 75s have reached the semis while the 80s are in the final and the 85s have won the three matches they have played.
The Godfree (W65) team beat Great Britain 3/0 without any trouble. Wendy McColskey and Karwasky won the singles points and Judy Dixon/Vicky McEvoy won the doubles. The team is now in the final.
The women’s Althea Gibson (W70) team had a tough time with the German team today. Molly Hahn fell at #2 singles but Brenda Carter won in straight sets at #1 and Carter/Betty Wachob took the doubles point (with Liane Bryson coaching). The USA is now in the final.
The Queens (W75) beat France 2/1. Cathie Anderson at #2 singles was a wall; Suella Steel lost at #1 singles to Michelle Bichon (a former Olympian in javelin…her serve and movement are remarkable); but Charleen Hillebrand/Steel won the doubles convincingly 62 61. The team is in a 3-team round robin group and needs to win one more match to seal the gold.
The Doris Hart (W80) team also won 2/1, over #2 seeded Canada. Burnett Herrick won easily at #1; Roz King lost to 2017 World Champion Inge Weber, but Carol Wood/Dori DeVries point handily to advance the team to the final.
The Britannia (M65) team beat Netherlands 3/0 to advance to the semis. Tom Smith and Dave Sivertson again played the singles while Paul Wulf/Len Wofford won the doubles. Photos below courtesy of M65 spouses; collage made my me.
The Jack Crawford (M70) team, playing in the 9-16 group, beat So Africa 3/0 to advance to the 9-12 playoff group. Geoff Moore won in three sets at #2 singles; Brent Abel won at #1 singles and Don Clark/Laury Hammel scored their first win, taking the doubles point 10-6 in the match tiebreak. Photo courtesy of Don Clark.
The Bitsy Grant (M75) team beat Germany 3/0. Don Long at #2 won in three sets; Jimmy Parker at #1 and Fred Drilling/Michael Stewart in doubles dropped only four games in those two matches. They are now in the semis.
The Gardnar Mulloy (M80) team continued its domination, beating Argentina 3/0, with the loss of only nine games, only four of which were in singles! Lester Sack and Kaz Saito won the singles while Jerald Hayes/Lloyd Goldwater took the doubles point. The team has advanced to the final.
Matches on center court are being streamed here: http://Htsv.hr/live-stream. Matches start at 9am CET (GMT +2).45.431388913.5238889
Tuesday September 18, 2018
San Diego, CA, USA
The USA went eight for eight on Day three of the 2018 ITF World Team Championships in Umag, Croatia
The Kitty Godfree Cup team (W65s) were merciless against Sweden, dropping only two games in three matches! they advance now to the semifinals. Wendy McColsky & Tina Karwasky played singles; Vicky McEvoy/Judy Dixon won the doubles. Since medals are awarded for 1st-4th place, they are guaranteed a medal…now the only question is what color?
The Althea Gibson Cup team (W70) won 3/0 against Great Britain but not without a fight; Molly Hahn at #2 singles edged her opponent 64 in the third; Brenda Carter won easily at #1 singles and Liane Bryson/Betty Wachob fought hard to win 75 75. They are now in the semis of the playoff group for gold.
Photos for W70 team courtesy of Brenda Carter.
The Queens Cup (W75) beat Australia 2/1. Cathie Anderson dropped only two games at #2 singles; Charleen Hillebrand fell to Judy Hancy at #1 singles in three tight sets, but Hillebrand/Suella Steel won the doubles with the loss of only three games. They are guaranteed a medal too, since there are three teams in the playoff group for gold.
The Doris Hart Cup beat Germany 3/0 without the loss of a set. Dori DeVries at #2 and Roz King at #1 won the singles and Carol Wood/Burnett Herrick won the doubles point. They are now in the semis and play #2 seed Canada tomorrow. Canada finished second in their group of four, falling 2/1 to Great Britain today.
The Britannia Cup (M65) swept Great Britain 3/0. Tom Smith made his first singles appearance of the week at #2; Dave Sivertson won at #1 and Paul Wulf/Lenny Wofford won the doubles in three sets, getting better with each set, 36 63 60. They play Netherlands in the quarters in ATP stadium tomorrow. If you want to get up early, the match will be live streamed! (The ITF draws the byes randomly and #2 seeded Austria got on the one bye in the 1-7 playoff group).
The Jack Crawford Cup (M70) had a bye today and plays South Africa tomorrow in the 9-16 playoff group.
The Bitsy Grant Cup (M75) team beat Japan today 3/0, with Fred Drilling at #2 and Jimmy Parker at #1 each dropping only a game; Don Long and Michael Stewart won 64 62. They play Germany in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
The Gardnar Mulloy Cup (M80) dominated Czech Republic 3/0 with Lester Sack at #2 singles, Kaz Saito at #1 (and playing his first cup) winning the singles and Jerald Hayes/Lloyd Goldwater winning the doubles point. The team dropped only four games today. The team is now in the semifinals.
The Men’s 85 are playing a five team round robin. Today they beat Sweden 3/0, dropping only eight games behind the singles play of Saul Snyder and Joe Russel and doubles pairing of Chuck Nelson/George McCabe. They are 3/0 and just need to win one more match for the gold. Tomorrow they have the day off, and they play Australia Thursday or Friday.
Monday September 17, Los Angeles, CA
The USA Men’s 85, Women’s 80 (Doris Hart Cup) and Men’s 70 (Jack Crawford) teams won today in Umag.
The Crawford Cup team beat Turkey 2/1, with Cup rookie Laurie Hammel making his singles debut. He lost a tight match, but Geoff Moore won handily at #1 singles and combined with Brent Abel to take the doubles point. They finish 2nd in their group and will play for 8th Wednesday-Friday.
The Hart Cup Team trounced Australia 3/0. Burnett Hedrick and Roy King won the singles points. Carol Wood/Dori DeVries won the doubles.
The Men’s 85 beat Germany 3/0. Saul Snyder and Joe Russell won the singles points and George McCabe/Chuck Nelson won the doubles.
Tomorrow all USA teams except Men’s 70 are in actions.
Photos are from Carol Wood and Brent Abel.
Trieste Airport, Trieste, Italy
The Super Senior World Team Championships started today; since I finished my tournament on Thursday, I’ve been biking around Umag and taking photos of the players practicing and helping take team photos and photos of the opening ceremonies. Today and yesterday I biked into old Umag which is a real mixture of old and new…a very old building with a satellite dish and air conditioner; laundry hanging between streets above restaurants; clear water filled with small fish not far from t-shirt hawkers.
Yesterday the opening ceremonies took place after all the captains’ meetings, where draws were made. (These can be found here, along with photos). The players all walked into the stadium to music and four flag bearers remained as the rest of the countries paraded in. It made for a colorful picture when all the players in their nations’ tracksuits walked in. Players from countries from A (Argentina) to Z (Zimbabwe) walked in before host country Croatia arrived to cheers.
And that’s a wrap for this European trip…I’m on my way to home via Munich…thanks for reading.
Draws for Cups (click on results to see draws)
Thursday September 14, 2018, Umag, Croatia
It was a lovely day to play tennis today in Umag…a bit of cloud cover to make it feel cooler and no wind.
I played Sylvia Reigl of Austria in the final. Sylvia is a good athlete….she shows up for matches on her scooter…I’d fall off of one! She took up tennis late, but has a strong lefty forehand, and likes to run. She also seems to like pace so I rope a doped her, giving her little pace and few angles. She hit four winners in the first game…after that I won the next 12, though she had game points.
I watched the end of my doubles partner’s match after mine ended. She was playing Laura DiVittori of Italy, who is a nice player with good variety. Laura won but Ellen played pretty well.
45 minutes after they finished we were on the doubles court. We played the final on center court which was cool. There were a few people watching (maybe to get some shade and comfortable seats!). We played Petro Kruger and Sue Jamieson and Ellen played fantastic doubles. I was consistent and we won 61 61 but really had a fun match. Petro hit one shot where she misfit the ball and the ball hit her racquet several times (one continuous motion) before it ricocheted off the frame and into the court for a winner.
After doubles, I watched Ellen (and Marc Pepin) play mixed against DiVittori and Quentin Massey of NZL. There were lots of long games but DiVittori and Massey won the majority.
There was a trophy presentation after the matches….big trophies (though the mens’ trophies, even for consolation were much larger than the women’s trophies…hmmmm…but the women’s had handles). Ellen won three trophies but she was driving home so it was ok.
I rode my bike around for a while after that and ran into some Aussies at the grocery store and then back at the ATP stadium, ran into my doubles partner from Klosters and Barcelona, Kerry Ballard, and also some Americans, Brent Abel, Don Long, Jimmy Parker, Michael Stewart and Don Clark from the 70s and 75 teams, and Mai Ichikawa.
And that’s a wrap on the Umag tournament. It was fun, decently organized, with good weather. The venue is nice, if you want to see Croatia, it’s a good starting point.
September 12, 2018, Umag, Croatia
GMP Cup 2018
I played singles and doubles today; singles against Radomila Martinicova and doubles with Ellen Neumann in the 55s.
The singles was actually my second round robin match, but winning it meant I reached the final. Radomila is from Czech Republic and is a nice player but was hampered by an Achilles injury so couldn’t run like she’d wished, especially after drop shots.
In doubles we played against Sylvia Reigl and another Austrian, Maria (who was hampered by a knee injury). I’m playing with Ellen Neumann from Germany who ambitiously entered three events and is now in the final of the 55 singles, doubles and mixed (with Marc Pepin of Canada).
For the obligatory court comment of the day: the courts were playing much better today. The tournament staff was taking clay off of court 11, which is the one where I practiced Monday and played both matches today. Monday the clay was like a pillow, today it was fine. Even though the courts are still very slow and soft I like them.
The one thing that some of the tournament referees are not doing is checking the net height when they put up singles sticks…the net on our court was about two inches low (5 cm)! I noticed it after the first game and a referee was promptly dispatched to measure and fix it. And my opponent hit a lot of balls into the top of the net during the match.
As is normal in ITF seniors tournaments, foot faults are rampant and officials notice and completely ignore foot faults. I saw one player who was footfaulting about 2 feet into the court on most serves, an official was monitoring that match and said he could do nothing unless standing on the court…but he was there to answer calls about line calls and was only 6 inches outside the court. I’m not sure what the solution is but allowing officials standing just outside a court or inside a court to at least warn players about foot faults would be a start. Either that or let players serve from wherever they wish…from the baseline, from the service line, from the net…..we’d all feel like John Isner serving from the net! At least the player I observed foot faulting was not serving and volleying and though the player’s footfaulting may have extended the match it did not impact the outcome.
Tomorrow is the last day of the tournament for me, singles at 9am and doubles not before 11 (more like noon or so). We play Petro Kruger and Susan Jamieson, who are already finished with singles.
I played my first match at the GMP Cup in Umag today, and beat an Austrian player, Ingrid Bruggraber. We played on Grandstand Court, and the match was live streamed and umpired, very unusual for a senior event. The courts here are really slow and have a lot of clay on them. (I know I wrote that before but it’s worth repeating daily). And the balls, Head ATP are pretty heavy. I hit a lot of successful dropshots today.
After playing and lunch (and a massage!) I rented a bike and with another American, Joann Nicodermus (the massage therapist) rode to a Croatian Lidl and also to a Spar. It’s really interesting looking at grocery stores in different countries. The Lidl format is similar but the foods are different (alas, no carrot salad!). The Spar, which is more of a traditional grocery store had lots of pate; the Lidl specialty seemed to be ice cream and ice cream bars. It was a nice ride and I was happy to be back on the wheeled transport of my choice, a bike, rather than driving a car!
There wasn’t a lot more to the day today but I have a couple of matches tomorrow, singles and doubles. The tournament is trying to finish by Thursday, then I’ll have some time to explore the area more.
The tournament website (including a link to matches which are being live streamed) is here: Tournament Web Site and Live Streaming Links
Umag, Croatia, Monday September 10, 2018
Umag, Croatia is in Istria, and is a summer vacation spot for Europeans…it has biking, hiking, tennis, water sports and golf. Umag also has an old downtown area and harbor and an ATP 250 tournament, won by players such as Thomas Muster, Carlos Moya, Tommy Robredo, and Dominic Thiem.
I am playing in a Grade A tournament, my last before heading back to the USA. But the next two weeks the super seniors are playing in Umag (teams and individuals), so it will be nice to see some familiar faces at the end of the week. I’m playing doubles here with Ellen Neumann in the 55s and then 60 singles.
Today was a practice & relax type of day….I warmed Ellen up for her match (she won) then had a nice 90 minute practice with Laura DiVittori of Italy who plays in the 55s. Ellen had an interesting thing happen during her match…her opponent broke a string and had only one racquet…never said anything but eventually a friend came and brought her a second racquet. I wonder what the racquet was strung at!
After we practiced, Ellen took me to the grocery store, Lidl, for supplies. I could bike there but bringing the stuff back was the issue. Then we eventually figured out how to reach my apartment in a car which was not intuitive and involved some backing up and u-turns (Ellen is a very good driver).
There was a welcome cocktail party for the tournament, and I also walked around the stadium area which has the signage up for next week and also for this week…everything is very professional.
The courts heard are VERY slow and thick with clay and the Head ATP balls are heavy. I don’t mind that but drop shots are going to be extremely effective here this week≥
The tournament website (including a link to matches which are being live streamed) is here: Tournament Web Site and Live Streaming Links
The ITF Individual Championships in Croatia started this week. This is the first time I’ve been able to stay and play the individuals & it’s been a very busy and wonderful experience for me.
After my team winning the Queen’s Cup in the women’s 75 team competition, it was back to the courts and an opportunity for me to play not only doubles but singles as well.
I am now in the singles and doubles semi finals main draw and have played women from South Africa, Germany, France, and Australia – all in three days. I feel like I’ve traveled the world! Everyone has been so nice, friendly on and off the court, but at the same time very competitive on the court.
Today I play the semi’s in the doubles with Carol Wood against a team from Australia and tomorrow I will be playing the singles semi finals against a woman from Austria. I hope to do well in my play the next two days, but regardless of my final placement, I will never forget the wonderful experience of not only playing a high level of tennis, but meeting people from all over the world; being exposed to Croatia & Slovenia both of which have some beautiful vistas, as well as enjoying the camaraderie which has been evident throughout these two weeks.
Here is a link to the draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100035782
#1 – My singles Opponent (Mary Jane Marty from France) who I defeated to advance the the semi finals in the 75’s
#2 – Sunset over the Adriatic Sea
#3 – Carol Wood & my opponents ( Reiko Maruso & Kathy Neval from South Africa) who we defeated to reach the semi-finals in the 75 doubles
To read about the Cups:
King Van Nostrand, M 80 and Dick Johnson, M70, are still in the singles as well.
The Women’s 65s Kitty Godfree Cup team had the day off today. Actually a lot of teams had time off due to heavy rain. We took this opportunity to see some sights in Croatia.
Our first stop was Rovinj, a busy tourist town on the Adriatic Sea located about 30 miles south of Umag. It was inspired by Venetian architecture.
Finally we headed inland to the enchanting village of Motovun. The countryside was beautiful, and the town is located 1,000 feet above the valley. It was quiet and exactly how one would picture a Croatian/Italian village.
Just a quick summary of the past week — the ITF Individual World Championships.
Many of the team players remained in Umag to play in the Individuals, while others went home. In addition, many non-team players from around the world entered. It makes for a long stay away from home, but it’s another week of great competition and great camaraderie.
Competitively, the week was surprisingly successful. I entered 3 events: 70s singles, women’s doubles (with Sue Kimball) and mixed doubles (with Jerry Thomas). In singles, I made it to the semifinals, then lost to the person who won the title. The road to the semi’s was challenging as I was playing higher seeds along the way. We were unseeded in doubles and mixed doubles.
In the women’s doubles, Sue and I beat (I say that loosely, because it was a very close match) the top seeds in the semi’s. We split sets, then the third set was a super tie breaker which we won 10-8 — whew, a barn burner. We went on to upset the #2 seed in the final in straight sets. So, a gold medal for us!
In mixed doubles, Jerry and I would have played the #4 seeds along the way, but they withdrew due to injury. We played two matches early in the week, then finished up Friday and Saturday. We played the #3 seeds in the final (#1 and #2 seeds had been upset) and won in straight sets, but we had to come back from behind in the second to avoid the 10-point tie-breaker. Both of my partners played fantastically, were very supportive, and we had fun! We enjoyed the competition, then enjoyed receiving our medals at the closing ceremony.
Even though this week was an Individual Championship, I know there is really no such thing as an individual award. There is always a support team who helps a recipient achieve whatever the goal may be. So, I say thank you to my support team — family, friends, doubles partners, team members, practice partners, coaches, prayer partners…… These medals are yours as well!
I went for a long walk this afternoon along the Adriatic Sea on my last day here. It was a gorgeous day and I tried to wrap my mind around this whole fabulous two-week experience. It’s very hard to do and even harder to put in words. This kind of experience is much bigger than tennis and winning (both things I like a lot!). At this event, I’ve been with people from all over the world — all of us over 65 up to high 80s. You would be amazed to see these people on the court! Off the court, we are all friends, no matter where we are from. We realize we are blessed to have this opportunity to compete, but more blessed with the health we enjoy. A common wish among us is for peace, joy and kindness throughout the world.
Again, many thanks for your support.
Day 8 Great Britain Wins Althea Gibson Cup
I know you’ve been dying to know who really won the Althea Gibson Cup, which was completed today, so I thought I’d let you know.
Long story short, Great Britain beat The Netherlands 2-1 in a very exciting match. They split the singles, both matches going to 3 sets. I saw most of both singles matches — great play by both teams. Great Britain won the doubles in 3 sets, winning the third set 6-0. The gold medal team is the team that beat us on the first day and we lost to them by a similar score. Even though that doesn’t make us co-silver medalists, we still were competitive with the champs! All the teams were quite competitive — everyone fighting hard all week. Great fun!
Many of you have responded so nicely to my “reports” and I have not responded back individually, but your comments have been shared with the team and have been very much appreciated. We all are thankful for your support.
The World Team Championships are now complete and the World Individual Championships started today. I am also participating in the Individuals, so will be in Umag for another week — then on to another tourney in the states the following week. Thanks for the kind travel thoughts you’ve already sent.
Day 6: USA Beats Austria 3/0 to Finish 7th
Well, the weather cleared and we were able to start the morning completing matches which were on the courts when the bottom fell out yesterday — amazingly, starting close to on time. Even though it was clear, we experienced gale-force winds — so the conditions were very tough for everyone. The wind is a tremendous equalizer! I was able to complete my match without losing another game, so my final score was 7-6,6-2. Cathie and Sue played the doubles and won handily. They were leading 6-1, 5-0, deuce and the rains reappeared! This caused a two-hour delay to complete the match! When play resumed, they took care of business and won the second set 6-1. It was nice to end the tournament with the win over Austria, and we come home 7th in our division. We’ve had a wonderful time, played hard, made new friends, met up with old friends and we all are very thankful for our health and realize what a blessing it is to participate in this fantastic event.
The Althea Gibson Cup winner will not be decided until tomorrow morning as The Netherlands take on the Brits for the Cup. This should be a very exciting match. A little consolation for us is that the team (GB) who beat us in round robin play in a close tie has made it to the finals. Germany bested South Africa for the bronze.
We attended the awards ceremony this evening and the USA fared very well. On the women’s side, our 65s placed 3rd and our 75s and 80s team won gold! On the men’s side, the 65s placed 3rd and the 80s won. It’s a proud moment for all of us when they play our national anthem at this international — tonight we heard and sang it three times!
Thanks so much for being part of our team! We appreciate your support and riding along with us. All the best to each of you.
2016 USA Althea Gibson Cup Team: Cathie Anderson, Sue Kimball, Betty Wachob and Brenda
The pictures: 1. With friends from Sweden and Finland; 2. The calm Adriatic was churning today
Friday Day 5: USA Leads Austria 1/0 Before Overnight Rain Delay
We have unfinished business on Friday!
We’ve had great weather until today. The rains came about 12:30 and halted play for everyone. Very few ties were completed — none at our venue. We are playing Austria and Betty handled the windy conditions beautifully, and beat her opponent 6-1, 6-1. The score in my match is 7-6, 3-2 — we are scheduled to finish at 9 AM tomorrow.
They have a couple of indoor courts here and USA 65s men’s team played their #1 singles tonight. It was great fun to watch Dave fighting toe-to-toe with Spain’s Jorge Camina, a perennial World Champion. Dave lost 7-5, 6-2, but played great. Tomorrow’s doubles will decide which team advances to the final.
Today we did a lot of waiting for the rain to stop. We’re hoping the weather forecast is wrong and tomorrow is a nice day.
Thanks for pulling for us!
Attached is a picture of us with Austria.
Thursday, Day 4: #1 Seeded France Beats USA 2/1
I wish I could report to you a more winning story for the day, but I can’t. France, the top seed in our division lost on Monday — that was a big upset! After round robin play, France, USA, Austria and Australia ended up 2nd in their respective RR’s, so today started a playoff among these teams. By the luck of our draw, we got to play France. Betty and I were very competitive in our singles matches, but both of us lost in straight sets to two very good players. We knew them from years past and knew we had our work cut out for us. Sue and Cathie played the doubles and won in straight sets, so we lost the tie 2-1. We will play Austria tomorrow for a 7th place finish. The medal round will begin tomorrow with South Africa vs. Great Britain (3/4) and Germany (2) vs. Netherlands (3/4). The matches will be hotly contested, as a number of the players have very high world rankings.
Since we had the day off yesterday, we played “tourist” for the afternoon, visiting Parin and Portoroz, Slovenia, two beautiful seaside villages not very far away from Umag. It was a beautiful day and so much fun with the team and Pam!
Four of USA’s 8 teams will be contending for medals! Go USA!
The pics: USA/ France; Seaside in Parin
As always, thanks for your support.
Tuesday, Day 2: USA Beats Canada 3/0
oday was a good day at the “office”. We won all 3 matches against Canada today. Again, the matches were well-played. Cathie played at #2, winning 6-4, 6-3. Eileen is a tough competitor with some very unusual strokes — I was told she has a lot of experience playing squash. She was very steady, played the mid-court very well, and surprised Cathie on some occasions with her shot-making. However, Cathie kept the pressure on with her steady, smart play and pulled away in the end. I played Mary Ann, their captain. She has fabulous technique, can make a ton of winners. Luckily for me, she made a few errors and gave me the opportunity to win 6-3, 6-1. Betty and Sue played the doubles against Anne and Jillian. They had some very nice points, but Betty and Sue were just too strong for the Canadian pair today — coming out on top 6-1, 6-0. The Canadian team is very nice and lots of fun to be with!
We returned to the hotel and decided to just hang out at the beach, as it was a beautiful day. The water of the Adriatic is crystal clear and the shoreline is very rocky. Everyone wears water shoes. So it’s very different from the beaches most Americans visit — it’s gorgeous. The pictures are of the view from my room and Sue and Betty carefully wading out for a dip at the beach near the front of our hotel. The beach pic makes it look like few people are around, which is not true. Many others are off to the left in chairs parked on rock ledges or sitting on their towels. Even though high season is over, the area is still buzzing with people.
We have no match tomorrow, will practice in the morning and are going on a short tour in the afternoon. The tournament banquet is tomorrow night.
Until next time ……
Monday Day 1: Night, USA Falls to GBR 2/1
It’s been a busy, long day in Umag for all of the players, but I think we were on the court the longest. The day started with the opening ceremony, then everyone departed for their respective venues for first day of play. Play started at noon and we finished at 7. The final outcome was not what we wanted, but we played hard against a strong team from Great Britain.
Betty started us off well with a win over GB’s #2, winning 7-6, 6-3. It was a fantastic match, with both players playing superb tactical tennis. Betty had lost to her opponent in straight sets the last time she played her — making it a real “sweet” win. We are so proud of her. Then I faced GB’s #1 player, a player I had beaten in two close sets the last time we played. She was definitely the better player today — my hat’s off to her — as she beat me 6-4, 6-2. To win the tie, we needed to take the doubles. Betty and I played the same two players and lost in 3 sets — 6-1,5-7,6-1. The first set wasn’t as close as 6-1 — they were steamrolling. All the games in the 3rd set were close, but we just weren’t able to get the last point but once! Surprisingly, France, #1 seed, was upset today by South Africa.
Twelve countries are represented in the Gibson Cup. We are divided into 4 round robins. The winners of the RR’s will move out into a semifinal bracket. The second place teams will for play for positions 5 – 8. If we can beat Canada tomorrow, we’ll be playing in the 5-8 bracket.
All said and done, we fought valiantly, but just couldn’t pull it off.
I’m attaching a photo of all of the USA teams that are competing this week. There are 113 teams from all over the world here in Umag. It’s amazing.
The second picture was taken tonight at our tennis venue when we completed our match — a beautiful sunset over the Adriatic Sea — quite a setting.
As always, thanks for your support.
Monday: Day 1: Morning
Just a quickie to let you know we have made it safely to Umag — and as far as I know, everyone’s luggage also arrived!! All teams are busy practicing as the competition begins on Monday. We hope to soon be over jet lag. We as a team are already having a great time and the weather has been very nice.
Meet the 2016 USA Althea Gibson Cup Team:Left to right: Betty Wachob (Panama City, FL, Brenda Carter (Charleston, SC), Sue Kimball (Martha’s Vineyard, MA), Cathie Anderson (Delmar, CA).
We just had the opening ceremony and are soon off to our site to play our first round — against 4th seed Great Britain (we are unseeded). It will be a tough battle and we are excited!45.431388913.5238889
USA Kitty Godfree Cup Team Advances to Medal Round: Plays Australia on Thursday (Center Court; May be Live Streamed).
The Women’s 65s Kitty Godfree Cup Team achieved their first goal by completing the Round Robin play undefeated. We played a very friendly Canadian team with the following results:
Toni Novack defeated Jean Martin, 6-0, 6-1; Molly Hahn defeated Paddy Mann 6-2, 6-4; Kathy Barnes/Sue Bramlette defeated Jandi Frazier/Linda Negulic 6-0, 6-1. We invited all of the Canadians to come to Houston to play the clay courts. After the match, we hit some singles and then went for a swim in the Adriatic Sea. Tonight is the tournament banquet.
Tomorrow we start earlier in the morning with a warm-up at 8:30 a.m. We play a very tough Australian team in the semi-finals.
Below are photos of Toni Novack and her opponent from today and the USA and Canadian teams.
Kathy Barnes is the shall we say more outgoing of the four teammates.
The USA is into the medal rounds in the Men’s and Women’s 65, 7 & 80 divisions after round robin play concluded Wednesday in Umag.
65s: The Kitty Godfree Cup team beat Canada 3/0 and has yet to lose a set in the competition. They play the semifinals against Australia tomorrow on Center Court (for those early risers, this will probably be streamed live; if they are it will be here: http://live-stream.htsv.hr). The Britannia Cup beat Great Britain 2/1. Len Wofford was the MVP of the tie, winning at #2 singles and combining with captain Padg Bolton to take the deciding doubles point. Dave Sivertson lost a tough 3 setter at #1 singles. (#2 singles is played first, followed by #1 singles, then doubles). USA plays Sweden in the quarters of the knockout draw on Thursday.
70s: The Jack Crawford Cup team lost 2/1 to Switzerland today. They lost both singles matches but won the dead rubber doubles match. They now play off for 7-12th place and await the winner of the Australia/Canada match, which will be played Thursday. So the USA won’t play till Friday. The Althea Gibson Cup plays off in the 5th-8th playoff group starting tomorrow. They have to play the top seeds, France, which were upset first round by So Africa, so have a tough playoff draw!
75s: Both the Bitsy Grant Cup and Queens Cup team advanced today with 3/0 wins. The women beat a tough German team and now have a day off before playing Great Britain in the semis on Friday. The men beat Slovenia and now are in the 1-6th place group. They play #5 seeded Great Britain Thursday and last year’s champions Germany if they pass that test.
80s: The Doris Hart Cup team beat Great Britain 3/0 but Burnett Herrick had to win a match tiebreak to win her match. Carol Wood won at #2 singles and Judy Smith/Herrick took the doubles point. They play France next; I believe on Friday. The Gardnar Mulloy Cup team swept past Sweden with the loss of only two games in three matches today. They play Friday against the defending champions Germany.
Sue Bramlette writes:
As I watch the sun set over the Adriatic Sea, I report to you another successful day for the Women’s 65s Kitty Godfree Cup Team. We defeated a very friendly team from the Ukraine. Toni Novack defeated Tetyana Petrovska 6-1, 6-1. Molly Hahn defeated Elvira Palshyna 6-0, 6-0; Kathy Barnes/Sue Bramlette defeated Halyna Khomenko/Palshyna 6-1, 6-1.
Tomorrow we play our final match in the Round Robin against the Canadian team.
USA teams went 6/0 on Tuesday in Umag and dropped few games and no sets. On Wednesday the round robin portion of the event concludes, and once the knockout portion of the event begins the matches get much longer and more competitive.
The men’s and women’s 65s teams both won 3/0. For the second day in a row, the powerhouse Godfree Cup team dominated their tie, losing only four games in beating Ukraine. They play Canada tomorrow; if they win they advance to the medal round (semis). The Britannia Cup team beat South Africa 3/0 and face Great Britain tomorrow which will be a tougher task as GBR is one of the seeded teams.
The women’s 70s, Gibson Cup, team won comfortably today against Canada, with Cathie Anderson and Brenda Carter winning the singles points in straight sets. They therefore finish second in their division unless Canada beats GBR tomorrow and will play for 5th in the knockout portion of the even beginning on Thursday . The men’s 70s, Crawford Cup, had a bye today and face Switzerland (led by Peter Kolacek) tomorrow; SUI beat Norway 3/0 today so will be a tougher out tomorrow than was Norway yesterday
The USA Women’s 75, Queens Cup team blanked Australia 3/0 with Steel and Fales winning in singles while Weinstock and Hillebrand won the doubles point. They face a tough German team next, led by Heidi Attlefellner (who lives in Vermont and is a USTA member) and Nanda Fischer (also a USTA member who is a former #1 ranked ITF player). The USA Bitsy Grant Cup team had a day off and play Slovenia next. Slovenia beat Ireland 3/0 and is led by James Baker, who is a Florida resident. Tennis does make the world smaller.
The USA dominated in the women’s 80s divisions, with the Doris Hart Cup team beating Sweden with the loss of only two games! They face a tough British team tomorrow. The Brits handed Australia a 3/0 loss on Tuesday. Last year USA beat GBR in the Hart Cup and Herrick beat June Pierce, the British #1, i straight sets. The Gardnar Mulloy Cup team had a Novack Djokovic experience today; they beat Austria 3/0 but only #1 singles was played to conclusion; Austria retired down a set in both #2 singles and doubles. USA plays Sweden (who lost 3/0 to Turkey today) in their last round robin match.
The USA Althea Gibson Cup (W70) team faced a tough adversary on Day 1, last year’s finalists, Great Britain. Betty Wachob started the team off with a win but Frances Maclennan leveled the tie at a match apiece when she beat Brenda Carter. The Brits, always strong in doubles, beat Carter/Wachob in three sets. The big upset in that division was So Africa over last year’s champions France. Petro Krueger, who spent several weeks in the summer playing tournaments on the red clay of Europe, used that tournament toughness to her advantage, beating Gail Benedetti in singles & then in doubles to lead the upset win.
In the men’s 70s, the Crawford Cup team beat Norway 3/0.
In men’s 75, Grant Cup, the USA blanked Ireland 3/0. In the women’s 75, Queens Cup, the USA blanked So Africa 3/0.
In women’s 80, the Doris Hart Cup, the USA edged Australia 2/1. Carol Wood won at #2 singles, but Burnett Herrick was forced to win a match tiebreak (played only in the 80s in this competition), winning it 10-5 to beat Helen Ferris and secure the win for the USA. Judy Smith/Betty Hill fell in straight sets in the doubles. The men’s 80s, Mulloy Cup, eased past Turkey 3/0.
In the men’s 65, Britannia Cup, the USA beat Ireland 3/0, dropping only five games. However, the women’s 65s, Godfree Cup, showed even less mercy on the host country, Croatia, not allowing them a game during their 3/0 victory.
Sue reports from Umag on Day 1 of the ITF Super Senior Team Championships:
It was another warm day in Croatia where the Kitty Godfree team competed. Early this morning we met for team pictures followed by the Opening Ceremonies. There are 112 teams representing 26 countries competing here. We all marched in with our flags, followed by speeches by ITF and Croatian dignitaries. We were then entertained by young dancers. Following the ceremony we warmed up and play commenced. Our team played a very welcoming Croatian team with the following results.
Toni Novack defeated Dusica Mamic Madzarac 60, 60
Molly Hahn defeated Djurdjica Anisic 60, 60
Kathy Barnes/Sue Bramlette defeated Slavica Cosovic Bajic/Gizela Senci 60, 60
Thunderstorms were in the area, but play was successfully completed. We are now headed out to dinner at a real Croatian restaurant called No No. We play at noon tomorrow against Ukraine.
Below: Kathy Barnes, Toni Novack, Molly Hahn, Sue Bramlette
It’s Sunday evening in Umag, Croatia, where the Kitty Godfree team had a good practice in the morning and then enjoyed a trip into the village of Umag. It was very quiet there and a nice blue sky day in the upper 80s.
Most importantly today, our Captain Molly Hahn attended the captains’ meeting. Our team was seeded first in the recommended seedings and maintained that seeding. The other seeds include Great Britain, France, and Australia. They are all very strong teams. Our first goal is to win our round robin. The teams in our RR include Croatia, Ukraine, and Canada. We start with Croatia tomorrow morning. The Opening Ceremony takes place in the morning, with play commencing immediately thereafter.
On 9/11 we remembered the families who lost loved ones back home 15 years ago. We are proud to represent the USA here in Croatia, and we will all do our best to play well and make friends.
Draws for Godfree Cup (USA is in Group A): Click here to see draws.
Here are a few photos: of Molly Hahn/Kathy Barnes; also of Umag City (from last year).
The 2017 ITF Super Senior World Team Championships begins tomorrow, September 12th, in Umag, Croatia and finishes on September 17th. The USA has eight teams participating in age divisions 65-80. Below is a photo of the USA teams which medaled in 2016 in Umag.
The USA is the top seed in the women’s 65, 75 & 80 Cups and is the defending champion in all three divisions. The Kitty Godfree Cup team (W65) is a completely new team from last year but all four players have been on Cup teams in the recent past. The USA Queens Cup team dominated the competition last year and benefits from the additions of Charleen Hillebrand, Suella Steel and Sheila Weinstock, all of whom aged up from the 70s. They join Donna Fales to form a formidable team this year. The defending Doris Hart Cup team has more depth with the addition of Carol Wood, but Canada has added 2014 World Champion Inge Weber to the mix and will be tough to beat.
The USA is also the top seed in the Gardnar Mully Cup, in which they finished third last year. However, they have a completely new and much stronger team this year, led by King Van Nostrand, who was recently honored with a seniors lifetime achievement award, only the third such senior player to ever receive this and the first American to achieve this honor, after Canadian Lorne Main and Germany’s Heide Orth.
The USA Althea Gibson Cup team, which finished fifth in 2015 in Umag, is unseeded and faces #3 seeded (and last year’s finalist), Great Britain, in the first match. The USA team has added last year’s #1 Kitty Godfree Cup player, Brenda Carter, so they have a stronger team and may score the upset, though Great Britain is really tough too with Frances MacClennan at #1 and their always strong doubles.
The USA Britannia (M65) and Bitsy Grant Cup (M75) teams finished second last year but are in Group D (with Great Britain) and Group C respectively. In the Britannia Cup, Australia, with Andrew Rae coming into the division is the second seed. In the Grant Cup, Italy comes in with a strong team and last year’s champion, Germany, was bumped to the #2 seed.
There’s an article about the draws and interesting opening day matches (from ITF Seniors) here.
Sue Bramlette is blogging for the USA Kitty Godfree Cup team (women’s 65) this week. The ITF Super Senior World Team Championships are being held this week in Umag, Croatia for the men’s and women’s 65, 70, 75 & 80 divisions. For more infor