Today I played the semis against Julia Smutny from Austria. I won 61 61 and played pretty well, and felt better adjusted to the altitude. I even hit one ace (that’s three this week, a record for me on clay…and maybe there would have been a fourth, but there was not a complete line on the court, and I hit it into a corner on the ad side where the service line didn’t reach all the way to the sideline.)
I play, as I expected, Shirley Friedl who lives in Austria and France. She’s a tricky lefty, and had a tussle with Cornelia Keller today, winning 75 64 after being down 53 in the first set. We play not before noon tomorrow, and the doubles semis are at 4:30 or later. Nora Blom, my doubles partner, also plays at noon.
I watched a few matches. Heide Orth lost a tough one to Sophia Garaguly, especially since, at 55 in the first set Orth appeared to have won the game at 15, but Garaguly insisted it was 30-40, not game, and ended up winning the game and set 75 then 64. The long break as the score was discussed was a critical part of the match. it means everyone should call the score out loudly before every point.
Things I have noticed this trip: There are no center marks so you know which side of the court to serve from; in fact, no footfaults are called so I guess they aren’t really needed; Foot faults as usual are rampant and go unpunished; most players don’t call the score between points; if a ball is out, unless it’s extremely close, no out call is made, not even an out signal is given; if close a mark may be circled; there are very few officials, though when two players had an issue with line calls, a referee did stand on the court the rest of the match; warm ups seem to take about 20 minutes and start with short court hitting; serves and returns are practiced, about 10 of each by each player;
I also watched Americans Hugh Stewart and Fred Kovaleski play doubles; they lost in a match tiebreak to a Russian pair. When I came up the two Russians, especially the weaker one (who in no way looked 85…he could move well and had a nice full head of hair!) were yelling like crazy, but they seemed to calm down and won the second set and the match tiebreak pretty easily (10-6 in the MTB). They had much better movement than the Americans.
I saw Heide and Petro Kruger win their doubles easily…the only scare was when Petra ran wide for a ball and tumbled over a barrier between the court and the sidewalk and fell…but she was ok and only wanted to know if she and Heide had won the point (they had). Petro plays Garaguly in the 70 singles final tomorrow.
Denis Dumas from Canada played pickup doubles with a guy who could hit the ball at mach 5 speed and with limited control…they lost.
I also watched a very good men’s 45 match, the one, Alexnder Pfann of Austria was a lefty and was just a great player, hitting angles, drop shots, serve and volley and had legs like tree trunks; he beat Michael Kocher, the top seed 60 75. Pfann was a Dubler Cup team member in 2013 for Austria, going undefeated in singles. HE’s in the yellow shirt.
Here’s a group of Aussies: the Hancys, Tom and Judy, and Carol Campling with American Bruce Barrett in the backwards cap.