• Tag Archives Baden Baden
  • Baden Baden Champion

    Today, Friday, was finals day in Baden Baden for several divisions. Our final pitted World #1 Lyn Mortimer from Australia against World #2 (me) from USA. We were scheduled for noon, and about noon we were given the court assignment and balls, and told that the court would be free in a few minutes. We thought that meant the previous match had finished and the players were sweeping the court. However, that was not the case. The previous match was still going on, though one player was up 62 5-0…then 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5. It really looked like a three setter was in the works! However, the player who was leading finally managed to close it out 7-5 and we went to the court…just as the predicted rain showers materialized. They were light showers though, so we warmed up and started to play. It’s weird for someone who grew up on hard courts to play in the rain. I’ve done it many times, but it’s really not too pleasant, and my gut strings don’t  appreciate it either. However, the coatings on gut are pretty good these days and my strings held up fine. Anyway, I won the first set 64 after trailing 2-0. Lyn was up in the second set 2-0, 15-15 serving when it started raining pretty hard, so we stopped for a while. The court was starting to get muddy and we agreed to wait till it dried a little. Play on some of the other courts never paused. We were just told by tournament staff that it was up to us when to resume play. No roving umpires were every in evidence to look at the courts (or call foot faults). When we resumed, the rain had gone, there were patches of blue sky and we finished the match under dry conditions. I won the second set and the match 63. It was a very close match since there were a lot of deuce ad games.  Lyn and I are below with Angelika from the Baden Baden Club.

    Lyn, Carolyn Friday-001

    Heide Orth won the 70s here this week. Carole De Bruin, with whom I have been practicing this week, won her first round singles and mixed and is into the finals of mixed. In the 55s, Betty Michel (France) upset top seeded Laura DiVittori (55s, Italy) in three sets in her first ITF tournament outside of the world championships or French nationals. There seemed to be quite a few upsets overall in singles. The doubles draws were small. Marc Pepin of Canada advanced to the men’s 55 final without playing a match (bye/default) and to the mixed final by playing a single match, but the finals should be competitive.

    The rain continued on and off during the afternoon, but the courts here dry really quickly, so play wasn’t halted for too long, and matches ran mostly on time. I went to the Penny Market (sort of like an Aldi or Trader Joe’s) to return bottles (you put them in a machine and get a credit to use in the store, 25 euro cents per 500 ml bottle. The store bakes bread in house, has a vast array of chocolates at good prices, decent fruit and veggies and everything from shampoo to ice cream to spaghetti sauce. It’s always a good place to go shopping in Germany.

    Tomorrow I’m going to warm up Carole DeBruin and then wander around Baden Baden and perhaps watch some tennis. Then it’s taxi/train/bus/plane/taxi to Poertschach, Austria.

    Below are shown Carole/Carolyn.

    Carole and carolyn-001


    Photos can be found here.

    Draws and results can be found here.

  • Sunny Day in Baden Baden

    Today was a beautiful day in Baden Baden, temperatures in the mid to upper 70s, light breeze and no chance of rain. It’s so beautiful here when it is sunny, as there is so much green foliage and grass.

    I had a good warm up at 10 and played Margreth Beyer in the semis of the singles and won 60 63. We had some really good points in the second set.  Lyn Mortimer beat Sabine Robertz 64 62. We are scheduled for noon tomorrow. There may be some rain…this morning it said 100% chance of rain but the chance of rain has diminished since then especially earlier in the day.

    Margaret and Carolyn

    I have been trying to watch the French Open but the TVs don’t work where I am staying, apparently they need a digital converter. So I’ve been listening to Radio Roland Garros which is quite interesting. Otapenko just reached the singles final, the youngest to advance to a Grand Slam final in 2009 (Wozniaki). Nice birthday present for Ostapenko who is now 20.

    Draws here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038588

    Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/ppQJmr1VSydtATEB7


    baden baden first day (3)

  • First Round Test Passed in Baden Baden

    Today, Wednesday, I played my first round match in Baden Baden. I warmed up well with Carole DeBruin again. We got to the courts at 10 just as it started raining. So we started hitting as soon as it stopped on a fairly soggy court (on one end). We got in a great warm up though, using one up one back and then as the court dried advancing to full court play. As I was leaving, another player, Margreth Beyer, asked me if I also played at Singheim. My answer was what???? Apparently the venue for the women’s 60s and some other women’s matches changed from Baden Baden to another club in another city! (Thank you Margaret!). It absolutely poured at my apartment around 12:30 but when I called the club, they said there was no delay. So off I went to get the shuttle. I ran into Lyn Mortimer, the top seed here and asked her if she also played at Singheim. She knew nothing about the venue change either, so we took the same shuttle and went off the the new venue. The courts there were quite good, five courts in a rural setting, complete with locker rooms and a clubhouse where players could get tea or coffee (de riguer in Europe I think).

    Wednesday (2)Wednesday (1)Wednesday (3)

    As I strated playing against Gunda Jacks the skies looked pretty threatening. We didn’t waste much time warming up or sitting between points and I won 60 60.  Gunda is a pretty good player, has won some Grade 4 tournaments and got a lot of balls back at times so we had some good rallies. It was pretty windy and started sprinkling just was we finished. We swept the court, brushed the lines and I was back in Baden Baden two hours after I left it.

    Tomorrow I play my friend Margreth Beyer, a very nice player & person and it should be a good match.

    Draws here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038588

    Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/ppQJmr1VSydtATEB7

  • Practicing in the Rain…Again!

    If you like three seasons in a day then you would have loved Baden Baden today. There was sun, there was rain, there was wind and then it repeated (with the wind sometimes coming with the rain and sometimes with the wind). In one thirty minute period, looking out my window, there were dark clouds, heavy rain, then bright sunshine!

    church spire 4 ways (2)church spire 4 ways (3)church spire 4 ways (1)

    I practiced again with Carole DeBruin in the morning. We hit for 30 minutes, then it rained hard, we did some grocery shopping, and then the rain had stopped, so we got in another 45 minutes to an hour during which it rained off an on. Then it rained quite hard and we finally stopped.  And it was not even noon yet.

    I went back to my apartment and did some laundry…having realized that what I thought was laundry soap was actually fabric softener…so I had to redo my wash. (I don’t read German, but something seemed off, so I googled the name of the product and it was indeed fabric softener. I thought it was just mild detergent since it had a photo of a baby on the bottle!).

    I needed to get a racquet strung, so I took my racquet back to the club for stringing. When I went back for it, I found a set of mangled gut and a racquet strung with some sort of black string that looked like poly, at what tension I had no idea and no one could tell me! The girls who were working the desk told me that the transport driver could take me to a tennis shop where I could get it restrung. There were some things lost in translation (for example no one could tell me WHEN the transport/shuttle would arrive). But I waited a bit and then he took me to what I thought was going to be a tennis shop. It was a huge store called “Decathalon”, something like a Dick’s sporting goods on steroids. After some discussion, I had it strung there. The store had lots of sporting gear, from bicycles to archery to soccer to tennis to yoga. And free wifi as well! The “discount” Dunlop balls were about $15 a can (for 4 balls). Others were considerably cheaper though, more like $6 for four balls (Babolat).

    While I thought I was waiting for my racquet to be strung I visited the rose garden nearby. The courts were being dried too.

    rose garden (2)rose garden (3)rose garden (4)rose garden (1)court wet and dry (2)court wet and dry (1)

    So that was my day, the racquet adventure took about four hours.

    I play tomorrow afternoon, weather permitting against a German player, Gunda Jacks.

    And there are obviously a lot of dog lovers here…


    Draws here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038588

    Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/ppQJmr1VSydtATEB7

  • Practicing in the Rain

    Rain is a pain when you are trying to play tennis, but I guess that’s why it’s so pretty and green here in Germany. I did get in a hit in the morning which was cut short by rain. I went into Baden Baden, the center of which is normally lovely. This year it’s all torn up by construction…big excavations are going on in the middle of the streets. However, I did manage to find an open bakery with some delicious German bread. The German’s take their bakeries seriously. There are a lot of them and they are all full of dozen’s of kinds of pastries and breads from white rolls to heavy dark rye bread. It feels a lot like a Sunday here as it’s a holiday of some sort and stores are mostly closed. The buildings here are really pretty and sometimes it feels like I’m on a movie set. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy when I went out.

    Baden Baden Monday-001Baden Baden Monday-002Baden Baden Monday-004Baden Baden Monday-006

    There seem to be a lot of tourists here too, I heard several languages spoken. Baden Baden is a short drive from Strasburg France so of course there’s a lot of French spoken here too.

    Here’s a photo  of the church next to my apartment. The apartment’s windows are sound proof when closed I think as I didn’t hear any church bells this morning.


    Baden Baden Monday-007


    Afternoon update. I got in a good second hit under sunny skies with Carole DeBruin from the Netherlands. I have one more day to practice, then the tournament starts on Wednesday for me.

    Draws here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038588

    Photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/ppQJmr1VSydtATEB7

  • Plane, Trains and Automobiles to Baden Baden

    I was in London last night but only near the airport. I didn’t know about the attack till I was already in Germany. I really feel for London, but the British are resilient as well as very polite.

    I took an early morning flight (and not surprisingly  a 6:30 am flight on a Sunday to Frankfurt was not packed, so it was an easy flight. Frankfurt is not my favorite airport though. The planes land far away from the terminal and passengers are bussed in, then have to walk about a mile to get to baggage. On the other hand, the baggage was there minutes after I arrived at the baggage carousel. So that was the “plane” part of the travel.

    The various train stations connect to the terminal. It was a bit of a hike but not bad. I bought a ticket (that wasn’t as easy as it should have been…I couldn’t use the kiosk because my credit card does not have a pin and I didn’t have euros in small enough denominations to buy a ticket for cash…..US, get with the chip AND pin!), and had a quick trip to Baden Baden via Manheim (always nice when the platform for the next train is next to the platform of the arriving train.

    A taxi took me to my apartment I rented for the week. It’s quite nice and has a washing machine (!!!). The only downside is that it’s right next to a church and the church bells are quite loud. I think if I close the windows and exterior shutters though it will be ok. It’s nice to not be in a hotel this week.

    I played a bit of tennis with Marc Pepin of Canada today too. The red clay is certainly a lot different from the green. The court we hit on was very soft and of course much higher bouncing than the green clay. I almost didn’t get to practice though. I went to use the ladies’ room, and locked the door…and it stuck and stayed locked. Wouldn’t budge. And there wasn’t enough room to go over or under the door. So I started yelling and pounding and eventually someone heard me…he had to go get a wrench to unlock the door (I would have felt like an idiot if he’d just calmly opened it though) and told me it needed oil. So that was an inauspicious start to this tournament.



    The Baden Baden Rot Weiss Club is an old one, set in a park along a stream. It’s really pretty in Baden Baden, and very green, with lots of old buildings as well. In fact the building I’m staying in was built in 1890.

    baden baden first day (1)baden baden first day (2)baden baden first day (3)baden baden first day (4)Kleine Prinze hotelIMG_6869

    Today is Sunday and tomorrow is another German holiday. When the Germans have a holiday they mean it…all the stores are closed (though not the restaurants). So I was happy I’d thought to get some fruit and bread in Frankfurt. Well, it’s nearly 10 and the sun is just setting…I’m practicing early, so hope the church bells also go to bed soon!.