First Round Test Passed in Feld am See Austria

Draws are here.

It was another sunny beautiful day in Feld am See today, but from here on out the forecast is a bit grim, 90% chance of rain each day (thunderstorms, so hopefully they are intermittent).

Today I played an Austrian, Inge Pils-Feichter, who is also #2 on their Cup team this year. She was unseeded, (seedings in most ITF tournaments are done only using ITF rankings) despite having beaten the #4 seed here 61 60 in the ITF 700 in Villach this summer. I thought she was going to be tough, especially since there is a fair amount of altitude here and she lives not far away. She just aged up this year to the 65s and moved well, hit a big forehand using a semiwestern grip (so handled high balls well), and had a sneaky drop shot. Inge was streaky and very good during those streaks, hitting many winners in a row. Fortunately her hot streaks were followed by error strewn streaks every time she got close (and I mixed things up as much as possible!). At any rate I am used to the courts and conditions much more now and it was a match played with a good spirit.

There are scorecards on each court with the names of the players written on them…but the names are on the opposite side of the scorecard…on our side it just said “Heim” and “Gast”. Inge told me she would be “Heim” since she’s Austrian. Made sense, but my name was on the other side as being the “Heim” player, so it looked as if I was losing the match. The tournament organization corrected the scores after the first set.

I next play my doubles partner for this week Karien Theeuwes from Netherlands (#1 on the Dutch 65s Cup team and a member of the same German team), who won 60 60 today. She’s the #3 seed. So the top half of the draw is #1 vs #3 and on the bottom half both seeds lost today, #2 Diana Smith (#4 on the British Cup team) and Sylvia (#3 on the Austrian team). Both lost to Austrians who are not on the Austrian Cup team. Lots of good players in Austria in this division it seems.

Luisa won though 63 61…she played a hard hitting Dutch player but was too quick and steady for her.

I had lunch with a couple of German players and Bruce Barrett from USA whom I’d not seen since 2019. He won too. And after I chatted with Wanda Howes (AUS), Luisa, Hildegarde (AUT) and another player I didn’t know from the 60s, perhaps Wanda’s first round opponent (Wanda won too).

I didn’t do much today other than tennis, lunch, getting my racquet strung and shoulder exercises…and a much needed nap after lunch! It’s very pretty here, on the small lake, with high, green mountains making a spectacular backdrop to the red clay courts. I don’t play tomorrow, I assume because our draw is out to the semis already (tournament ends Saturday), but am meeting up with some friends from Florida, MJ and Rudy Pachl for lunch and exploring a bit.

This is an ITF 700 tournament run by Helge who will run the ITF 1000 and World Championships in Mallorca so is very well organized by his team who are professional and really nice as well!

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