The tournament in Klosters, Switzerland began yesterday. Different age divisions begin on different days. There are seven courts at the club, but age divisions 40-80 (men) and 40-70 (women), in five year increments and a few doubles divisions. There are no indoor courts here, but five of the courts are lighted for night play,which is unusual, as outdoor tennis here is mainly a summertime sport and the days are long.
One very nice feature of the tournament is that every match has a chair. The chairs are junior players from the local area, most of whom are part of the regional training center and very nice players. The older players chair the matches and the younger ones sweep the courts after each match and line them, and dry off the chairs before play and after rain delays. The juniors are quite good chair umpires and are willing to come out of the chair to look at marks. They call the matches in German and if a non-German speaking player is present, in English as well. We also are being given four balls for each match. On the other hand, the scheduling can be frustrating…today I am the fifth match on Court 1, so if matches go long I won’t play till late, and the forecast is for rain (90%) this afternoon. Matches began at 9am and as of 11, it’s not raining.
Yesterday when I woke up it was raining and had been for a while. I was to warm up with Heide Orth but the courts were too wet. Since we were scheduled late, fourth match on Center Court for Heide and fifth match on Court 4 for me, Heide arranged for us to hit indoors in Davos, a much larger (and less charming) town about 10-15 minutes away. The Tennis Halle (Indoor Tennis Center) had three cushioned hard courts, two badminton courts and a huge climbing wall. All were in use when we started hitting. There’s some altitude which takes a bit of adjustment on certain shots.
After hitting we checked out the courts which had dried (they do dry amazingly quickly), but at noon only the first round was on court. I went back to the hotel for a while and came back in time to see Murray demolish Federer (which didn’t go over well in Switzerland as you can imagine). It rained again and play resumed about 5pm. I was now the 4th match on, but the second match was still playing on my court. I ended up playing about 7:45, I was the last match on and the lights were already on and it was sprinkling again. Fortunately, no big rain came and I won quickly as did Heide, in the 65s. The match before mine on Court 4 was between an Italian, Luisa Tinelli, and a German, Nanda Fischer, both of whom are USTA members and play USTA tournaments as well as ITF tournaments. Tinelli belongs to my club in Fort Lauderdale and beat Fischer in two long sets.
I saw the top seed in my division play, Renata Tomanova. She was formerly from Czechoslovakia but now is German, and was a top 10 player at one time. She was very smooth and won easily.
Heide and Ludwig Orth invited me to dinner at their hotel…I rushed back to my hotel (about 10-15 min walk but uphill going back) and had a nice dinner. I also ran into friends of my parents, Clair and Mirek Kizlink which was nice and they looked great. Mirek is 94, but his face looks 64 and he speaks five languages. Obviously he’s not an American.
After dinner I walked back to my hotel, it was about 11…and it was locked up tightly, no one answered the phone or my knocking or the ringing of the button I was to ring for night arrivals..and I’d forgotten my coat, it was chilly! I was about ready to walk back to the hotel where I saw a “Zimmer Frei” sign (meaning room vacancy) when someone drove up and opened the door with a key and then drove back off. Whew….next time I will check with reception before leaving for a late dinner.
Here are some photos of the tennis action and scenery around the club.