• Tag Archives ITF Grade A
  • ITF Seniors Tournaments to Resume August 31st: Grade 2, 3, 4 ONLY to Resume; Rankings Changes through 2021

    The ITF has announced a resumption of play for the ITF Seniors Circuits of August 31, 2020.

    Grade 2, 3, and 4 tournaments only shall resume in 2020; Regional, Grade A and Grade 1 tournaments can apply to take place as Grade 2 tournaments if the ITF approves the change.

    Rankings:

    Best 4 tournaments from the period of March 18, 2019-March 14 2021 will be used.

    Starting March 15, 2021, results from 2019 or 2020 will start to drop, replaced by their 2021 points. This is subject to change if the pandemic continues to restrict travel or for other reasons determined by the ITF.

    Through at least December 31, 2020, players can only add to their point total, they cannot have their frozen point total reduced.

    The ITF plans to return to the 52 week ranking period in December 2021.

    Read below for exact details. This is subject to change if ongoing travel restrictions and lack of tournaments warrants it.

    NOTE: All tournaments must adhere to the new ITF Covid-19 protocols which can be found here: https://www.itftennis.com/en/news-and-media/articles/itf-outlines-initial-plans-for-resumption-of-play-on-junior-senior-wheelchair-tennis-and-beach-tennis-tours/ (Links found within article).


  • USTA National Senior Women’s Clay Courts (35/45/55/65/75/85/90) Cancelled for 2020; Will Resume in 2021

    Sue Bramlette, the tournament director for the National Senior Women’s Clay Court Championships (NSWCCC) in Houston, Texas, after consulting with the COO of the Houston Racquet Club (HRC) and the membership director of the HRC has concluded that the HRC will not be able to host the NSWCCC in 2020.

    There were a number of issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic that would or could impact the hosting of the tournament this year.

    The HRC plans to host the tournament in 2021.


  • Recent Category I Champions

    Husband/Wife Grass: 100: Kathy/Paul Settles; 120: Mai Ichikawa Abel/Brent Abel; 140: Dean Corley/Randi Reznik

    50/60/70/75/80 Hard Mixed: 50: Pat Crow/Tracie Currie; 60: Jonathan Fears/Shannon Carney; 70: Kathy Bennett/Jimmy Parker; 75: Suella Steel/Dean Corley; 80: Wilbur Jones/Roz King

    40 Hard Court/Father/Son/GF/GS: M40S: Francisco Clavet; M40D: Ross Duncan/Simon Chen; W40S: Hiromi Sasano; W40D: Debbie Spence Nasim/Tracie Currie; Mxd: Spence Nasim/Duncan; F/S: Bruce & Bruce Man Son Hing; GF/GS: Ethan Smith/James Stelson

    Men’s 60/75 Grass:  60S: Mark Vines; 60D: Mike Fedderly/Mike Tammen; 75S/D: Jimmy Parker (with Ken Robinson)

    Husband Wife Indoors: Open: Kathy/Trung Nguyen; 100: Kathy/Paul Settles; 120: Peggy Kirkeeng/Michael Sperling; 140: Dean Corley/Randi Resnik

    30 Clay: WS: Charlotte Sikora; WD: Katrina Barnes/Marissa Chapin; MS: Christian Guevara; MD: Kriegler Brink/Cameron Nash; Mxd: Guevara/Abika Sperl:

    Father/Son Clay: Sr: Brett/Jerry Morse Karzen; SSr: Scott/P Estes; 80+: Alan/Robert Croll

    Men’s 35 Clay: S: Rodrigo Pacheco; D: Darrin Cohen/Ryan Sablan

    W90Grass: S/D: Rita Price (with Jane Lutz)

    M/S, F/D Clay: FD Open: David/Karly Friedman; SrFD: Steve/Jordan Vaughn; SSr FD: Julia/Richard Cohen; 80+ FD: Sheldon/Chance Fechtor; M/S: Caryn/Jordan Krasner; Sr M/S: Kyle/Anni Collette

    Women’s 35-85 Hard: 35S:Laura Graff; 35D: Jennifer Lyons/Julie Shapiro; 45S/D: Dina McBride (with Debbie Nasim); 55S: Fran Chandler; 55D: Rainy Miller/Shelly Works; 65S: Tina Karwasky; 65D: Andrea Barnes/Kandy Chain; 75S/D: Carolann Castell (with Heather Fiscalini); 85S/D: Margaret Canby (with Rose Austin)

    Men’s 75/80 Clay: 75S/D: Jimmy Parker (with Ken Robinson); 80S: Lester Sack; 80D: Wilbur Jones/William Woflf

    Men’s 60/65 Clay: 60S: Dan Waldman; 60D: Mike Fedderly/Mike Tammen; 65S:Fred Robinson; 65D: Stanley Mescon/Alan Turner

    40-70 Mixed Clay: 40: Ben Cook/Liz Kotz; 50: Garth Thomson/Laurie Yarbrough; 60: Shannon Carney/Jon Fears; 70: Ann Bradley/Bernie McGuire

    M/D Clay: open: Michelle/Caitlyn Williams; Senior: Sheila/Nicole Chiricosta; SSr: Brenda Humpheys/Shelly Stillman Scott

    Men’s 55 Clay: Erik Luxembourg; D: Scott Works/Willie Alumbaugh

    Men’s 50 Clay: S: Oren Motevassel; D: Johan Hoegstedt/Fredrik Skoglund


  • Houston Women’s Tournament (ITF Grade A/USTA Cat I) Postponed to September (Updated March 14th)

    • The ITF has cancelled all tournaments including all seniors tournaments till April 20th
    • The notice today on the Houston website is: New tournament dates!! Due to the COVID-19 virus and with an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this event. All entree fees will be refunded. Our new tournament dates will be September 19-25 2020. NOTE NEW DATES! We will celebrate the 50th year then!! Wash you hands and stay safe!
    • Tournament website remains the same.
    • To get a refund of your entry fee for the original dates go to the website and withdraw. You will need the email (which I’m sure everyone saved) which has your confirmation numbers. If you didn’t save the email their are instructions on how to withdraw. You will get a refund of the entry fee minus the USTA tennislink fee.

  • Palm Beach Gardens USTA Super Cat II/ITF Tournament

    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    This week there is a strong tournament going on at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center for women 30-80 (even divisions only). The courts are great, though the new and improved clubhouse is under construction (so facilities are located in temporary trailers). Fortunately the weather is great and there are large tents where the players can relax or eat.

    I’m playing in the 60s, which has a very large (25) and strong field. Wendy McColskey, #1 in the world in W65 held off a determined attack from Aimee Norris, winning in three sets, though you’d never know by watching that she was threatened, she’s very calm. Also in the 60s, only one of the 5-8 seeds (Suzanne Siegler) survived. The others fell as follows: 1: Grace Haggerty of Vero Beach took out Kathy Foulk, 62 62 and followed it up later in the day with a victory over Cori Reese by the same score; 2: Terri Thyssen of TX took out Janet Mosely, in straight sets; 3: Mary Colonna, MI, also beat Tami Bass, VT in a long three setter.

    In the 50s, Jill Sickle of Chicago and Palm Beach Gardens upset #4 seed Andrea Wohlschlaeger. Julie Dybenthal of Tallahassee escaped in three sets against Andrea Hines but won the third set 61.

    The third seed in the women’s 70s, Brenda Winstead of VA had to withdraw with an injury but the remaining three seeds advanced including Brenda Carter of SC who is making a singles comeback after an ACL injury. She faces Carol Clay, Ft Lauderdale who is making her way back after knee and shoulder injuries.

    It’s a wonderful, addictive and often painful sport, tennis.

    The 80s start tomorrow. There are current and former singles and/or doubles world champions in the 80s including Burnett Herrick, Inge Weber, Dorothy Wasser and Carol Wood. Six out of the nine entrants have played on USA or Canadian cup teams!

    Also playing this week in 30 & 40 singles and 50 doubles is Lisa Bonner a former top 10 player.

    I’ll take some photos tomorrow….

    The results can be found here.


  • Santiago Champion

    Santiago, Chile

    The final day was a big letdown. I got to the club early for my 10:30 match (8:30) to warm up because there was only one warm up court after 8:30 and I hadn’t reserved it. I warmed up, then went to check in…and saw I had won by walkover (no one told me). Apparently Fritteli had a pain in her shoulder and decided she wasn’t fit to play today, though I saw her practicing a lot yesterday.

    So I practiced some with Shirley Friedl and Marc Pepin and a little more later with Shirley, and waited for the awards ceremony. I also watched some of the women’s 35 final, which was very interesting in a crash waiting to happen way. Rous Lorca is a club member or local anyway. She moved well and hit deep topspin strokes, never came voluntarily to the net and wasn’t able to flatten out the ball to finish a point but had a nice dropshot at times and a good slice and 2 handed on the backhand side. She pummeled her opponent’s backhand. Loreto Painmill, her opponent had a more well rounded game but by the time I started watching, deep in the second set (about 2.5 hours into the match), Loreto was cramping after points frequently. Loreto would grind, then play a short point (which was frequently successful). Rous won the first set 75 and then 76 (7). Loreto had at least one set point, and I think she was way up in the breaker. But Rous just kept grinding…oh, and she only served underhanded, a big topspin underhanded serve, which wasn’t too attackable. Anyway, it passed a lot of time.

    Around 1:30 they started putting out some food, small sandwiches, and a big paella was being prepared, and was ready around 2pm. There was also an open bar and champagne. Then there was a pretty long awards ceremony, with trophies for first and second and for the singles winners, a bottle of wine and a box of knives (for the women) and a big knife, for the men, and quite nice knives.

    I found new areas of the club today I hadn’t seen…the gym, racquetball courts and some other racquet sports court which used a small ball and tennis racquets and playing off the wall. I watched a lesson but don’t know exactly what they were doing.

    And that’s a wrap on the tennis portion of this trip. I have a hike in the Andes tomorrow and am off to very southern Chile on Monday where instead of 90 it’s going to be in the 50s and windy.


  • Last Practice Day, Santiago

    Santiago, Chile

    Today was a pretty mellow day. I practiced with Andrew M and Marc P in the morning, ran a few errands…got a little currency, hit the Unimarc supermarket, and did some tennis writing.

    Tomorrow I play the final around 10:30 and there’s a paella party after, which is fun.

    I heard rumors of protestors marching in this area, but didn’t see any. However, walking back from the club I saw two policemen who were standing at the rear of the car with the trunk opened. One of them bashed his head on the trunk lid, which doesn’t bode well for their ability to protect citizens.

    A couple more photos from the club. You can see how near the tall buildings are to the club. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom.

    Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)

    First Practice in Santiago

    Practice Day 2, Santiago, Chile

    Practice Day 3, Monday, Santiago

    Santiago Tuesday: Last Practice Day

    Wednesday: Singles & Laundry Successes

    Santiago Tennis: Into the Final


  • Santiago Tuesday: Last Practice Day

    Santiago, Chile

    What a match between Thiem and Djokovic! Incredible offense and defense. Pleasure to watch both players compete (thanks to atptennistv app…worth it).

    Onto info from Chile. I scouted tomorrow’s opponent (she won pretty handily), had a light practice in the morning and then watched some of the tennis, chatted with players, before heading back to my apartment. The street market by the subway was open, so I picked up some strawberries and blueberries, which are mostly missing from the grocery store. They smell good!

    Later on I walked over to the club to try and find a warm up for tomorrow. I play at 10:30 against Shirley Friedl from Austria, who won the ITF Grade A in Brazil last week. I did find a warm up partner, and stayed to watch the first match on TV of Thiem/Djokovic before heading back and watched the third set on a tablet.

    I saw a lineup of Lime scooters by the bus stop. I haven’t seen any Lime bikes…the scooters look like fun and I’ve seen a lot of people on various scooters, but I don’t think the time to learn to ride one is during a tournament (it was perhaps 40 years ago instead). There are docked city bikes somewhere but they aren’t so convenient.

    In the afternoon the stores in the subway, even the OK store (which is like a 7-11, but owned by unimarc, a big supermarket chain) were all closed early. I haven’t figured out why but the produce market was still going strong.

    The jacaranda trees continue to bloom and are very pretty. In the evening there were a lot of players watching matches; matches go on into the night with some starting around 7:30pm. It’s a really nice environment at the club, quite a yin and yang between the city life with it’s hustle and bustle and skyscrapers and the oasis around Estadio Espanol.

    Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)

    First Practice in Santiago

    Practice Day 2, Santiago, Chile

    Practice Day 3, Monday, Santiago


  • Practice Day 3, Monday, Santiago

    Santiago, Chile

    The tournament started today in Santiago, but the women don’t begin play till tomorrow. I play I presume on Wednesday. There are three players in my round robin group A and three in group B. The other two players are playing tomorrow morning. I play them the next two days.

    I was able to practice a decent amount today though always with three to four players on the court. I hit with Andrew Moraghan from GBR and an Italian, Marco Catelli, (I’m pretty sure…). Andrew and I hit a second time on Court 11 which was a mess of bad bounces, likely because it was a practice court all day and there hadn’t been an opportunity to groom and water it much. But the bounces were interesting, most creating no bounce situations but a few bouncing sideways.

    Where there was an empty garden yesterday, today there was a beehive of activity, with a trainer/masseuse, mobile pro shop (they even had Volkl racquets and bags!), a sitting area sponsored by what appeared to be a travel or tourism site promoting Chilean tourism (it’s really a very long and skinny country), and a display of old racquets for sale.

    I paid my entry fee, and got my player badge, which will be useful as it has a barcode to get into the park, and read the security recommendation, the last sentence of which is “They should avoid going out at night, especially alone.” Yet 7:30 matches are scheduled. So I didn’t sign up for mixed. It was played under the less than luminous lights five years ago.

    The weather today was great, cooler, only around 80, and cool by the time I left around 7:30 or so. I went by the grocery to get a chicken and a drink and the line for quick checkout was about 20-30 people, but moved very quickly and took only about 5 minutes.

    The jacaranda trees are almost in full bloom now, with the heat of the past three days and are very striking. The plants growing here are very similar to those grown in California.

    Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)

    First Practice in Santiago

    Practice Day 2, Santiago, Chile


  • Practice Day 2, Santiago, Chile

    Santiago, Chile

    It was another warm (90ish) late spring day in Santiago. I practiced twice today, with a pro at the club and then with a Canadian I ran into. He’d come from Brazil where he said the courts were soft & wet and there was no altitude and seemed surprised by how differently the courts played (keep in mind it’s his 4th time here..). Today the courts were drier and were playing pretty fast.

    As was true yesterday, the restaurants were busy in the afternoon, and again there were basketball and volleyball games going on, though today the basketball game was being played by men, not boys.

    After leaving the club, I walked back to my apartment, stopping along the way to buy water. In front of the big OK store, there are always many motorbikes with cases on the back for deliveries and their owners just hanging out waiting for a delivery. The streets were quiet today, but it’s Sunday.

    I decided to do laundry. The laundry is in the parking garage. There was no signage, so I asked and finally found it. I was hoping there would be a coin machine there (it takes 1300 Chilean or just under $2 a load, only 500 and 100 coins). There was not, and the person at the desk had no change. Since all the washers were full, I took the laundry back upstairs and went down to search for change and to figure out how to add money to my Chilean SIM card. At my third stop, the OK store (very similar to a 7-11), I found someone who knew what I was talking about regarding the SIM card. So now my phone works, though I’m not sure how much data I purchased! But they had no change. I only needed about 400 so I went to the grocery store and got an item I wanted and which would give me that amount of change, and successfully figured out the laundry instructions…you’ll be glad to know I now have clean, albeit wet laundry (not enough coins for the dryer!). Next time it will be easier.

    The difficulty for me has been that very few people I’ve run into speak English and my Spanish is pretty rudimentary. But now my phone works (google translate is my friend). I am really wishing I’d paid more attention in Spanish class!

    The tournament begins tomorrow but I think I won’t play till Tuesday or Wednesday…I’m in a round robin of three people and the other two seem to be playing Tuesday. My first round match is likely to be a good one.

    Tomorrow I am going to try and find some practice and watch a bit of tennis.

    First Practice in Santiago

    Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)


  • First Practice in Santiago

    Santiago, Chile

    The tournament I am playing next week is called the Alfredo Trullenque, an ITF Grade A. It’s been going on for a long time. It’s being played at Estadio Espanol, a club built along Spanish lines,with many interior courtyards, lovely gardens and many clay courts along with pools (indoor and out), soccer fields, a covered multipurpose area (tennis, and today basketball and volleyball games were going on) and more.

    There are many dining areas, formal and informal, indoors and out and all were being used today.

    I hit for a while with one of the pros at the club, and then hit some serves and ran some sprints afterwards. It was warm but there was a nice breeze and it’s very dry. There’s a bit of altitude, not much though, somewhere around 710 meters or about 2300 feet. So the ball carries some but not excessively. The court I hit on today was much better than any I remember from five years ago, there weren’t any more bad bounces than are usual for a red clay court.

    The draw is now published. There are six players in the draw, so we have two round robin groups of three players. There are two seeds, one for each group, but it doesn’t mean much…one of the players in my group just beat the second seed in Brazil 62 61 today.

    Here’s a link to the draws and results.


  • 2020 USTA Men’s Category I National Schedule

    Note that this is incomplete and until links are added is tentative. Dates taken from USTA.com. Check tennislink for up to date information. I will be adding links in the next few weeks.

    Official schedule published on USTA.com

    2020 USTA Men's Category I Natonal Champioships

    Age DivisionClayHardIndoorGrass
    30Dec. 4-9
    Lauderdale Tennis Club
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Sept. 11-13
    Plaza Tennis Center
    Kansas City, MO
    TBA
    Lexington Tennis Club,
    Lexington, KY
    Cancelled
    35Nov. 6-10
    Midtown Athletic Club
    Weston, FL
    Sept. 3-5
    Surprise Tennis Center, Surprise, AZ
    Suspended
    TBA
    Main Pines R & Fitness Club
    Brunswick, ME
    Cancelled
    40Oct. 23-28
    Lauderdale TC
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    11/30-12/6
    La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
    La Jolla, CA
    Suspended
    July 9-13
    Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness
    Lakewood, CO
    Cancelled
    45Oct. 23-28
    Lauderdale TC
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Nov. 11-16
    Nov. 11-16
    Westlake Tennis & Swim Club
    Westlake Village, CA
    Suspended
    July 9-13
    Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness
    Lakewood, CO
    Cancelled
    50Oct 4-11
    Bath & Racquet Club
    Sarasota, FL
    Cancelled for 2020

    Santa Barbara TC
    Santa Barbara, CA

    Suspended
    TBA
    Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness Club
    Lakewood, CO
    Cancelled
    55Oct 3-9
    The Landing Club
    Savannah, GA
    Nov. 6-12
    Peachtree City Tennis Center
    Peachtree City, GA
    Suspended
    Dates TBA
    Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness Club
    Lakewood, CO
    Sept. 24-27
    Agawam Hunt Club
    Rumford, RI
    60Oct 25-31
    New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club
    New Orleans, LA
    Dec 12-22
    Racquet Club of Irvine, Irvine, CA
    CancelledSept. 24-27
    Agawam Hunt Club
    Rumford, RI
    65Oct 25-31
    New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club
    New Orleans, LA
    Dec 12-22
    Racquet Club of Irvine, Irvine, CA
    Aug. 10-15 Lifetime Fitness Eden Prarie, MNSept. 1-7
    Seabright Lawn Tennis Club
    Rumson, NJ
    70Oct. 11-18
    Pinehurst Tennis Club
    Pinehurst, NC
    Dec 12-22
    Racquet Club of Irvine, Irvine, CA
    Nov. 9-14
    TBA
    Downtown Club at the Met
    Houston, TX
    Cancelled
    75Oct 19-24
    Virginia Beach Tennis & Country Club
    Virginia Beach, VA
    CancelledNov. 9-14
    TBA
    Downtown Club at the Met
    Houston, TX
    Cancelled
    80Oct 19-24
    Virginia Beach Tennis & Country Club
    Virginia Beach, VA
    CancelledSuspended
    TBA
    Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness, Lakewood, CO
    Cancelled
    85Oct. 11-18
    Pinehurst Tennis Club
    Pinehurst, NC
    CancelledSuspended
    TBA
    Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness, Lakewood, CO
    Cancelled
    90Oct. 11-18
    Pinehurst Tennis Club
    Pinehurst, NC
    CancelledSuspended
    TBA
    Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness, Lakewood, CO
    Cancelled


  • Hungarian Triple

    On a train near Lake Balaton, Hungary

    Janos Latura and I won the mixed doubles in Hungary today over Eva Bogar Szabo and Peter Sakovics from Hungary 64 31 retired. We were down 3/1 in the first set (we couldn’t get in a warm up, the tournament had not hired the courts we had been warming up on past noon today), and nearly down 4-1…we won a 3-3 point to make it 2/3. Eva was banged up from playing three events this week…she had a back brace, knee braces and both quads taped…the joys of senior tennis. We didn’t even have to ask for new balls today, we were just automatically given them, as it should be.

    The weather today really changed, it was cool and overcast and the forecast was for rain all afternoon. We were lucky to get on 15 minutes early and get in our match before the rain hit.

    After the match we went to the Krystal Hotel where we received our prizes, for singles a metal thermos and trophies for mixed and doubles. No prize money, though that’s not why we play ITF tournaments, it’s more about seeing and meeting old and new friends and playing tennis.

    I am on the train now to Budapest and fly back tomorrow to the USA. It’s been a fun summer in Europe but will be great to get home again.

    Thanks for reading.


  • Hungarian Doubles Champion; Mixed Final Friday: New Balls Please

    Keszthely, Balaton Lake, Hungary

    I played the mixed doubles semis and our first and last women’s doubles match today.

    Our mixed was scheduled yesterday for “not before 2 pm” but this morning it was changed to “not before 12;30 pm”. Good thing my mixed partner looked again at the time. Today there were no practice courts.

    We got on a bit early and played the #1 seeds who were better than they looked. Before we took the court I asked the referee if he’d given our opponents balls. He said yes. Then I asked if he’d given them NEW balls and he said no. So I asked for new balls. After a big sigh and and eye roll I got them. (See the photo…the balls at the top were the ones we were supposed to use for our match; the ones below were the new ones after we played nearly two hours with them. In other words, they not only expected us to play with used balls, they expected us to play with really bad used balls!)

    Our opponents formed a yin/yang team, the guy was a runner and steady, and pretty much played back the whole match, while the woman whacked her forehand and overheads and was not a runner. We lost the first set 62, made some adjustments, went up 42 and won the deciding point to go up 52 (we are playing no-ad in doubles). We circled the correct mark and our opponents came across to our side (allowed in ITF tournaments), found another mark (also out), complained to the referee…who looked at the second mark, said he wasn’t sure if it was in our out (to be clear, the referee was nowhere near the court during the point in question, so did not even know which mark was the correct one). The referee then told us we had to replay the point! After more argument, we did and lost the point and therefore the game and then lost two more games to go down 54. However, we ended up winning the set 75 and the tiebreak 10-3. We play another unseeded team in the final, my doubles partner Eva and her partner.

    We played doubles about an hour later. The time was a TBA time, after suitable rest. “Suitable rest” turned out to be 10 minutes after my partner and one of our opponents finished their mixed match. We won the match 60 64. We were down 43 but played a good last three games. We beat Sylvia Singer and Encarnita Gomiz Ruiz. My partner was almost mummified…she had both quads wrapped, her back wrapped and both knees. So I played singles and covered the lobs and she did a good job whacking her forehand and hit some nice volleys too. We got a default from the third team in the round robin, so are Hungarian Champions.

    After the tennis, I biked to the train station and bought my ticket back to Budapest for tomorrow. The ticket seller didn’t speak English, but I managed to convey the information than I needed the train times and to buy a ticket for tomorrow, and bought the ticket.

    We play not before 1:30 tomorrow afternoon, and then I will bolt for Budapest right afterwards.

    Draws are here.


  • Singles Done & Won; Mixed Semis and Doubles Await; Biking Around Keszthely

    Keszthely, Balaton Lake, Hungary

    It was an early start today at the Hungarian International Grade A. I had a “not before 9:30” match and warmed up around 8:30 and we started a little early. I played Maria from Venezuela and won 60 60 to finish first in the four player round robin. Later in the day Yanos and I played Maria and her husband Ricardo in mixed and won 61 63. Ricardo was given used balls for us to use in our match. All ITF tournaments which give ranking points are required to give players new balls…long story short, I asked for new balls and with some reluctance, was given them. However, the tournament continues to give players used balls unless they insist on new ones for doubles. The doubles and mixed format here is no-ad and if teams split, a match tiebreak. We started off using ad scoring but the referee came out and told us to switch. I also found out today that Hungarian players pay only 45 euros entry fee while non-Hungarians pay 90 euros. Players 80+ pay no entry fee. So younger and foreign players subsidize the tournament for Hungarians.

    Tomorrow we play the top seeds in mixed and play one of the two other teams in women’s doubles.

    In between singles and mixed, I biked around a bit. I finally saw the Balaton Sea. It was pretty calm at the courts, but only a few meters away, it was windy on the water. I was surprised that the water was so green. Also, though I read it was shallow, it was odd to see people 50 yards from shore and not waist deep in the water. School started here already and so many of the restaurants and shops were closed already for the season (or at least during the week). There are one-hour “cruises” on the Sea available at the pier, which is not far from one of the tournament sites.

    I visited one more grocery store, it was a small one and pretty much a miniature version of the Spar…lots of ketchup, mustard, mayo, drinks, a small deli and a big bread area. There were some seasonal fruits and vegetables..but no apples! So far here I like Lidl the best of the grocery stores I’ve visited.

    Draws are here.


  • Windy & Cool Tuesday in Keszthely

    Keszthely, Balaton Region, Hungary

    Today was very cool and windy, quite a change from the mid 90s on Sunday! There are two venues here, the Fonix venue and the Ady venue. The Ady venue is bigger, with six courts outdoors plus two (not very good) practice courts and a bubble over two courts. From the patio overlooking the courts one can see the big church in the distance. As you can see the courts are in a long line and on a windy day such as today, there’s not much wind protection.

    I played Sylvia Singer from Austria. She speaks several languages, German, English, Italian and seems to understand Spanish pretty well too. The other interesting thing about Sylvia is that she’s a diabetic and has a port in her arm for insulin and she tests herself pretty often to see if she needs to eat or needs insulin. She’s pretty high energy too. I won 60 61…the one game I lost Sylvia was convinced I’d won when it was deuce, but I wouldn’t win a game that way…and she ended up winning the game with a nice smash and was so happy. I play Maria Faria tomorrow in singles and in mixed.

    Sylvia is the tall woman in purple; Eva, my opponent from yesterday is bottom right; and Maria, my opponent tomorrow is top left with Eva.

    I watched a couple of matches today; there were two American guys playing, both lost, Janos lost in 3 sets to the 5th seed and had 2 match points (the Hungarian guy was a very good counterpuncher, who footfaulted 90% of the time at least); Aussie Alan Walsh beat Hans Webber who played a good match; Alan was simply too good.

    Warming up this morning there were more Aussies on the court next to us than Americans in the entire tournament…four. And none were under 75.

    Draws are here


  • Train to/for Success in Hungary

    Keszthely (pronounced “Kes Kay”) Lake Balaton, Hungary

    Yesterday was a pretty long and tiring day…travel can be stressful in new places and Hungary is definitely a new country with a confusing and difficult language, at least for me. It’s not as foreign as China, but the communication is nearly as difficult. Thank goodness for Google translate!

    The train trip from Budapest was nonstop, but nearly three hours, and with outside temps in the mid-90s, it was a warm trip as there was no AC on the train (I know, first world problems..and I did have an open window). The owner of the apartment I rented picked me up. (I recommend the Dora Holiday house in Keszthely.) The apartment is is great and there’s Eurosport so I can watch some of the US Open, and a bicycle to get around…perfect!

    The couple staying in the upstairs apartment are from Florida and the husband, Janos, is playing in the tournament and speaks Hungarian. He’s a nice lefty player, and was nice enough to warm me up today for my match, which as it so happened, was against a lefty. We are going to play mixed here.

    Anyway, yesterday I set out to 1: find the Lidl before it closed at 5pm and 2: find a racquet stringer, as my strings were starting to look like Susan Wright’s strings did in Portugal…ie one racquet with broken strings and another an hour away from breaking (though I had three racquets with me, not two). I succeeded in finding the Lidl, though I’m not exactly sure how I got there. I biked by the Festetics Castle on the way to Lidl and down the market street (a pedestrian street lined with souvenir shops, restaurants and a copious amount of ice cream vendors) on the way back. The market street ended at the big church, “Our Lady of Hungary Church” set in a large plaza. So I pretty much hit the highlights of Keszthely in one bike ride, other than Lake Balaton. .

    I next went in search of a racquet stringer. I went to the courts nearest my apartment, where I could see the ITF Seniors and Tennis Europe signs going up. But no one there really spoke English, though I did learn that the tournament office was in a hotel, not at either tennis venue. He said the Krystal hotel and pointed. I found the hotel, but somehow went to the back of the hotel, tried a door and it was closed, and the hotel from that side appeared to be closed. I never looked on the other side, which had a patio and was clearly open. I ran into a couple of Aussies, one of whom had been there before, and he led us to where the tournament used to be. So I did see the lake (it’s the largest one in Central Europe, about 50 miles long, and fairly shallow, so it warms up nicely in July and August). Finally I looked again at the fact sheet, entered the hotel name into the maps app, and we walked in a big circle to, you guessed it, the Kristal hotel, this time to the front side. We checked in (the tournament is giving each player a nice vest…nice for the men as they are not even unisex in size and the men’s small was huge, even on me…would be nice if they had women’s sizes too as we pay the same entry fee). I was told to go to the venue I first saw on Monday (venue #1) to get my racquet strung. And we also found out information about practice courts, and where the Fonix courts were (venue #1) so it wasn’t a wasted trip.

    I warmed up today with Janos at venue #2, and then biked to venue #1, where I was to play, to try and get a racquet strung. At venue #1 I was told to go to venue #2. I went back to the hotel, and the referee again told me to go to venue #1…where after more confusion (apparently the racquet stringer was not answering), someone came to pick up my racquet and it was done by the time I finished my match. Stringing was 2000 HUF or about $7. As confusing as Hungarian is to English speakers, English must be equally confusing to Hungarians.

    My match was at not before 11:45, but since the previous match was scratched, we were set to go on a bit early…..then it poured for about 20-30 minutes. And 15 minutes after it stopped raining we were playing! Amazing. I played Eva Bogar Szabo, who is a nice player, with a good attacking lefty forehand that was very effective on short balls (such as my second serve). She won the first game and I won the rest of them, but we had some deuce games and good points. The training in Spain was helpful. The other two 60s players had an occasionally dramatic match next to us, Sylvia Singer from Austria and Maria Faria from Venezuela. So our draw is small but quite international. I play Singer tomorrow not before 1:30.

    After our match, we stayed for a while, and I offered to buy Eva a drink but ended up with Eva and her husband buying me a drink (cola zero of course) and strudel. The cherry strudel was good, not quite as sweet or rich as strudels in the USA.

    Today I hit the Spar market. Judging by the aisles, Hungarians like ketchup and also like sweets; the fruit flavored soft drinks were in the same aisle as the hard liquor and wines across from them.

    The weather has really changed, from the 90s the past three days to low 70s tomorrow for a high and very windy. Fall is in the air.

    And that’s a wrap on Day 1 of the Hungarian Seniors…back to watching Schwartzman hit winners against Zverev (7-5 in forehand winners at the moment, midway through the second set).

    Draws are here.


  • Bordeaux Thursday; Singles Success; Slippery Clay!

    Bordeaux, France

    I played my second round robin match today against Carmen Lang, who just won the Spanish closed nationals in the 60s. We were the 2nd match after 11am on court 7, the 4th match overall on that court. The 3rd match began about 11:30 but went three sets so we didn’t start till after 2pm. Meanwhile, Court 8 next door was open for hours, till after we finished our match, while many matches were waiting for courts. But I was told that it was not possible to change courts once posted on the schedule.

    Anyway, it was my only match, a pleasant afternoon and neither hot nor cold so it was not unpleasant to wait under the trees. I warmed up with Ross Persons who is in the men’s 60 semis after upsetting the #2 seed yesterday. He had the day off from singles today. We warmed up on the slippery fast indoor clay (picture a cement court with thickly painted lines and a lot of red dirt thrown on top and you get the picture…VERY slippery). It was a perfect warm up because Court 7 was also very slippery, very dry, quite fast and had painted lines and clay thrown over cement. It was also pretty windy at times.

    I won 61 62, and Carmen played a good second set. She really whacked her forehand any time the ball was short or mid court, and whacked it pretty well to the corners, but also made a fair number of mistakes, which helped me out. We again were given pretty water bottles (which I didn’t’ realize was in my backpack so I carried it home).

    I also caught up with some friends I hadn’t seen for a while, Andrew Moraghan, Catherine Taylor and Darren Price. Darren fell in three sets in men’s 50s, Catherine lost in W45 but Andrew won, to face the #2 seed next.

    On my way to the club I walked by my favorite Patisserie and sandwich shop for a “poulet aux crudités” or a chicken, veggie and egg sandwich on a fresh baguette. It was wonderful (and I have half left for tomorrow)…all for about $4. On the way back from the club I picked up some carrot salad which is so very good in France and had a wonderful dinner with that, some Tomme cheese and baguette.

    Tomorrow Sue Bartlett and I play doubles, our final RR match and then on Saturday we play each other in the singles final. It’s been a pretty spread out schedule with only a match a day starting Tuesday.

    Draws are here.

    Traveling…

    Bordeaux Doubles Day


  • Traveling…

    Bordeaux, France, Wednesday (WiFi was down Tuesday….)

    After a long weekend watching my nephew getting married (The Carmel Mission Church is beautiful as was the wedding), I drove to SFO. I had a stop in Scott’s Valley (bear Santa Cruz) for a tennis match. We interrupted the match several times to listen to Wimbledon Radio as the men’s final kept going…

    I flew Tap Airlines to Lisbon. It arrived late but I made my connection. Neither flight left from a gate. We were bused to the terminal a long way. There were only stairs, not ramps.

    I cleared passport control and security and made my flight where we waited for quite a while, 20-30 minutes outside on steps for a bus, then once again were driven to the plane.

    The flight to Bordeaux was smooth and my bags came pretty quickly. I arrived at my lodgings on time. After a walk to the market I went to the club, only 10 minutes away by foot and hit some balls with Sue Bartlett, with whom I am playing doubles this week. The courts, red clay of course, are very very dry and quite fast for red clay.

    I won my first round on Tuesday over Sylvia Shipley from Great Britain. Sue had a tough match with Fiona Walker, winning 75 64. The second set was pretty topsy-turvy. Sue led 30- 40-15, Fiona leveled at 4-4, redlining her ground strokes. Sue was up 5-4 but down 40-0 with Fiona serving and won five points on the trot to finish the match. Sylvia is shown below.

    I play the #1 Spanish player tomorrow, Thursday, but we play Fiona and Shirley today in doubles.

    Ross Persons from the USA, a member of the men’s 60 Cup team is here, one of the few Americans in the draw.

    Draws are here.


  • Successful Semis in Poertschach

    June 13, 2019, Poertschach, Austria

    The order of play here was posted pretty late yesterday (about 9:30pm), due to the thunderstorms which delayed play. I was scheduled for 9am which meant an early warm up. Fortunately Ellen Neumann and her friend Katy Boeroecz (who was in the 55 semis) allowed me to warm up with them!

    I played Cornelia Keller from Germany. We played on Center Court (only women’s matches were scheduled for such an early hour!). I won 60 61 and then watched the other women’s 60s semis for a while. I knew for sure I’d play another lefty, since the other semifinalists were both lefties. In the end Karin Theeuwes of the Netherlands won 75 75 over the #2 seed, Sylvia Reigl.

    I also watched a bit of Lucie Schwab’s final…she looked tired and her wrist was taped but she played very cleverly, using lots of spins and angles and drops and won 63 63 to take the 50s division over Karola Thumm. In the women’s 75s, Michelle Bichon beat Heide Orth again, in two close, tough sets. Laura DiVittori beat Katy in the 55s semis and Barbora Koutna took out Lisa Prechtl, so they face each other tomorrow. DiVittori played smart, mixing up the pace of her serve and ground strokes and holding off a determined opponent in the second set, winning 75 64. Koutna used her superior groundstrokes to power past Prechtl. In men’s 85’s, Aussie Adrian Alle lost but German Herbert Althaus won. Werner, the German 80s player I hit with the other day lost to an unseeded player who moved very well. Wayne Crowley of Australia won in men’s 65s. Heidi Eisterlehner, with whom I trained the second day I was here beat Carol Campling of Australia 61 61. Canada’s Taras Beyko was playing top seeded Alexander Lindholm when I left and the two were having a good, even battle in the first set. I ran into Danny Shaw, and American living in Europe. He was playing doubles with Keith Porter of Canada and mixed with an Austrian.

    The weather today was great, no rain, sunny and warm. They had a nice display of trophies up today since some finals were already played.

    I play the singles final tomorrow and doubles semis (50s).

    Draws are here.


  • The Sun Returns…then So Does the Thunderstorm

    Wednesday June 12, 2019, Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    This morning was beautiful and sunny here in Carinthia (the sun rises at 5am!). I hit midday with Laura DiVittorio (Italy, W55), and watched a little tennis. I ran into an Austrian friend and we arranged to hit at 3:30.

    I went back to my hotel for lunch and to do some writing (no, not this blog). I had the drapes shut so I could see the screens and did hear noises from time to time but thought it was the AC cycling on (it wasn’t…I had actually turned it off). A bit after 3pm I left the hotel and saw that the ground was wet. It was sunny…I had totally missed a couple of downpours. The practice court was soaked, and matches delayed. Back to the hotel for a bit.

    I went back around 5pm to see if my doubles partner was playing yet (she ended up coming on court after 6:30pm) and stayed to watch a really exciting women’s 50s match between #2 seeded Lucie Schwab (Austria) and #3 Petra Dobusch (Germany). This match was of a high level (the power was ridiculous) featuring huge forehands and service returns, insanely powerful overheads and magical down the line slices from Petra and gorgeous drops, slices that didn’t bounce (but still were returned), and lovely heavy topspin forehands combined with ferocious slice forehands from Lucie. Lucie won the first set before I started watching. Petra won the second 64. The two players didn’t take much of a break between sets, neither left the court and they didn’t even ask for new balls! Lucie won the first two games quickly; Petra rebounded, finding the court again from 2-3 down to go up 5-3 (Lucie gifted her the 53 game with two double faults and errors). Petra then blinked a bit…backed off with the power allowing Lucie to raise the ball more and hit some gorgeous dropshots, to win the final four games. This match was on court 11, the last court in the club. It should have been on a show court, it was a semifinal, or even center court. But center court seems to have only men’s matches. OK…there are more men than women by at least a 3/1 ratio but some women’s matches (and this was one) should be on center…and Lucie is Austrian!

    The other match I watched was a 35s women’s match (on a show court) which was in the third set when I sat down. It was interesting as it was between a counterpuncher who slid beautifully and an aggressive baseline who occasionally went to net. Apparently, after I left, one of them injured an ankle (the blonde aggressive baseliner). It was either Katherina Jacob or Christine Kraupa. Scores aren’t posted, so obviously it was the loser of that match. (I’ll update with the winner later). Update: Kraupa won by retirement, so Jacob was the one who was injured (taken to the hospital).

    American Bruce Barrett was upset in the quarters today. That match was next to the women’s 50 match, but other results aren’t posted yet.

    I didn’t play a match today…the match which went unfinished yesterday turned into a default today as the Austrian player had a conflict. So actually the four seeds all reached the semis and I play the German Cornelia Keller while two lefties battle it out on the bottom half of the draw.

    Draws are here.


  • National Clay Courts Day 2: Never in Doubt

    It was a long day on the courts in Palm Beach Gardens today at the USTA National Clay Courts/ITF Grade A.

    Day 1 Blog

    Draws/results are here:

    I played Carolyn Franca…we knew going in both that Carolyn would win and Carolyn would lose today. I was the victor, rallying from 1-3 in the first to win 63 60. The result first posted online showed Franca winning which resulted in a number texts to one of the other Carolyn’s of “what happened” or “congratulations, great win” till it was sorted out. However, our match was still in the first set when Susan Wright had already finished, even though she played only one more game than us, winning 60 62. The tightest match played in the round of 16 was that between Kim Dean and Bunnie Allare, which went three sets. Allare prevailed. I play Sally Smith tomorrow at 12:30pm EDT.

    Our doubles prompted the second part of the headline…we played Vicky and Mary and were winning comfortably, up 5-2, 15-0, serving when it poured for a short while. We resumed 30 or so minutes later and everything changed. We did serve out the set ok, but that was the last bit of comfort we had till the last game of the match…in between…well we went down 4-1, leveled at 4-4, then lost 64…then it was tight in the third till 3-3, when they pulled ahead 5-3. We won the next game at love, then it was my serve…and we went down 15-40. We had a crazy point and Vicky had a chance to put away an overhead (though it was about her 7th one in the point…she was pooped!). Mary missed her return off my serve which could have been outpaced by a balloon punched over the net…then we won the next nine points, and I hit an overhead to finish off the match. Susan held us in…and an “Alexa” tennis joke loosened it up. We play the semis on Friday afternoon.

    In the 50s there were a couple of upsets of the #5 seeds; Kristen Kepler beat #5 Daniela Esswein, though since Kepler won the indoors last year it wasn’t a huge upset. Sandy Mills upended #5 Andrea Wohlschlager. Mills takes on #4 Vesna McKenna and Kepler faces #1 Julie Cass.

    In the 70s, Gwenda Ward upset #3 Molly Hahn and Barbara Hubbard took out #5 Leslie Pixley.

    Roz King withdrew from the women’s 80s with a leg injury allowing Lola O’Sullivan (who won her first round match) to advance to the semis.

    In 70 doubles, Vicky McEvoy and Judy Dixon survived the decimation of the seeds; Top seeds Liane Bryson/Kathy Bennett fell to Ann Loose/Gwenda Ward (having an awfully good tournament!); Donna Fales/Betty Wachob upset #4 Goodman/Winstead; and Hahn/Kimball edged Hubbard/Watanabe.

    Addendum: Bennett and Bryson retired mid-match vs Loose/Ward; Bennett fell and hurt her right hand/fingers, we wish her a speedy recovery.

    The 80 doubles is a round robin…Dori Devries/King barely avoided an upset, edging Sheila Palmer/Ingrid Rehwinkle 64 in the third.


  • Smashey, Parson Siegel, Chandler, Karwasky, Orth, Kyvallos & Lutz Win Clay Singles Titles in Houston

    April 4, 2019

    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    The 49th National Women’s Clay Court Championships took place at the Houston Racquet Club last week. This is the best women’s senior tournament and this year, was not only a USTA National (gold ball) Championship, but a Grade A ITF Championship which added to the character and prestige of the tournament.

    Tournament directors Sue Bramlette and Cathy Lassiter along with Harriet the referee and Judy Job did their usual stellar job running the event.

    Kaysie Smashey won the 35 singles and doubles (with Julie Thu), avenging her loss earlier in March to Heather Nobler when she beat her in three sets in the final.

    Amanda Parson Siegel took out Patricia Zerdan in the semis in a grueling 75 76 encounter before she beat #2 seed Julie Cass 62 60 to win the 45s title. Zerdan took out top-seeded Nancy Hilliard in the quarters. Jenny Klitch edged Zerdan for bronze.

    Cass and Tracie Currie, top seeded, won the 45 doubles with a straight set win over Tammy Morris/Jill Toney, the 2nd seeds.

    Fran Chandler won the 55 singles and did it the hard way, beating #2 seed Shelly Works in three sets before taking out top seed and defending champion Vicki Buholz in the final in straights. Works took the bronze. Buholz/Gayle Prejean won the doubles with an emphatic win over top seeded and defending champions Mary Dailey/Erika Smith.

    Tina Karwasky won the 65 singles for the third straight year, taking out Wendy McColskey, also for the third straight year in Houston. Lil Peltz-Petow took bronze. The 65 doubles winners were more of a surprise, with long time senior players, Kandy Chain and Andrea Barnes taking the gold. They beat the top seeds, Karwasky/Jan Kirkland Cochran in three sets in the semis before beating unseeded Becky Timmis/Sue Sprague in straight sets for the gold. Karwasky/Kirkland/Cochran took the bronze.

    Heide Orth from Germany beat South Africa’s Petro Kruger to win the 75 doubles, then teamed with Kruger to beat Cathie Anderson/Carolann Castell in the doubles final. Anderson took bronze in singles; Ann Hunt/Sheila Weinstock won the doubles bronze.

    Lucille Kyvallos’ hard work paid off when she won the 85 singles; Mary John Lynch was the finalist. Lynch/Rose Austin won the doubles in a round robin; Margaret Canby/Angie Ray took silver.

    Jane Lutz won the 90 singles over the ever ebullient Rita Price and doubles with Price.

    Results are here.

    Photos (courtesy of Judy Job) are here.