Saturday the ETUF Essen team played a team from Dusseldorf, a larger city about 30 minutes drive to the south. We fielded quite an international team: the four singles players were from USA, Portugal (Luisa Gouveia), Germany (Gabi Dinu) and Netherlands (Karien Theeuwes). Captain Sabine Schmidt (Germany) played doubles.
The format was as last week: #2 and #4 singles first followed by #1 and #3 singles. Louisa played #2 and I followed her onto Center Court which was full of seats and empty of people, to be expected! I played Jutta Boekmann, who I played in the Essen MT700 a couple of years ago, and won again. Louisa won too and so did Karien. Gabi played a lefty with a unique service motion…but it nearly always went into the court deep enough and must have been distracting to return as there were many retosses.
Sabine and I played #1 doubles and won but we had some good points and games…Boekmann is a good doubles player…we won that same Essen tournament a few years ago. Karien and Luisa won the doubles very efficiently.
This league has four areas which compete at the top level. The winner of each group then plays for the German championship the second weekend in September. They rotate where the finals are each year…this year the final is hosted by the winner of the league in which Etuf Essen is participating. At the end of each match, Sabine has a day to enter the results online or she is fined…but she’s efficient.
After the doubles, we changed and went up to the restaurant terrace which overlooks the Baldeneysee. We rearranged the tables into one long one, sat down…and it started to rain…so we had to go indoors and repeat the process! The host team, well…hosts the visitors. We had a leisurely dinner and then I said my good-byes. It was a fun experience in Essen this week.
I had an early morning train to Frankfurt…I took one an hour earlier than I thought I needed because German trains tend to run late…and that was the case of the train I took anyway, it was an hour late arriving Into the Frankfurt Airport. The train station there is huge, but also directly connected to Terminal 1 which I was flying out of, quite convenient.