• Tag Archives Palm Desert
  • Saturday Results from Palm Desert

    Here’s a short Saturday update on the Wilson World Tennis tournament. I left yesterday so this update is from the results posted on the website. Click here to see all draws and results.

    Toby Crabel ended Wendell Pierce’s great run in the men’s 65s singles, winning the final in straight sets. Crabel didn’t drop a set all week. In doubles, the top seeds, Tim Garcia/Bruce Nichols (no relation) edged Doug Ditmer/Andrew Stanley 76 in the third…if the score is any indication it was a fantastic final.

    In men’s 70s, Lenny Wofford won the singles (winning the final by default over Paul Wulf) and doubles (with Wulf) over Mike Talmadge/Frank Zebot. Lenny and Paul dominated the doubles, never losing more than three games in any one match.

    Felix Ponte won the 75 singles over Don Clark; Ponte grew stronger with each match played. #2 seeded Dave Van Den Berg/Les Buck won the 75 doubles over Ken Robinson/Chuck White (3) in straight sets.

    Randy Mellinger was a rare unseeded victor, winning the Men’s 80s over William Wolff. Tom Brunkow/Dick Landenberger, also unseeded, won the 80 doubles over Wolff/Wilbur Jones.

    Herm Ahlers won the 85 singles.

    Tom Rettenmaier/Dee Williams-Horne won the gold ball in 70 mixed over Liane Bryson/Frank Zebot. Brent Abel/Ann Stanley took the bronze.

    Dean Corley/Suella Steel easily won the gold in the 75 mixed when their opponents, Andi Polisky/John Popplewell retired when down a set and 1/0 with an injury. Tad Yukawa/Linda Bucklin took the bronze.

    The mixed 80 doubles result isn’t yet recorded but you can go to the draw to see who won the gold out of the three teams entered. Dori deVries and Wilbur Jones are facing Roz King/George Sarantos in that match.

    UPDATE: DeVries/Jones edged King/Sarantos in three sets to win the gold.

    The women’s 75 doubles draw consisted of three teams and each team ended up 1/1. Barnhill/Giacommini appear to have won since they won their match in straight sets; the other teams had to go 3 sets to win.

    The last match scheduled is the third match in the men’s 90 singles round robin which will take place tomorrow morning. Len Paulson and Waymon Hennessee are playing in that one.


  • Beating the Heat in Palm Desert; Singles/Doubles Champion

    Click here to see all draws and results.

    On another 100 degree day I played a long singles match against Jennifer Shorr…whom I have played several times in NorCal tournaments but not for about 20 years or so. She still has a big serve (and I still do not), but I put a lot of balls back in play and managed to overcome a set point in the first set and win 76 (3) 62. We finished just before 1pm…out doubles final was scheduled at 12:45…but after about a 75 minute break Robin Harris and I took on Tina Karwasky and her third doubles partner of the week, Ann Stanley (Una Davis (back) and DeeWillams-Horne (heat) recused themselves). Ann played well; she’s had a couple of hip surgeries (that’s senior tennis for you) and is moving better and out of pain. We came back from 3-5 down in the first to win 75 60. It was around 100 when we finished.

    103! Temperature after we finished doubles.

    Yes, it was hot when we finished! 103

    Carolyn, Shorr, Tournament Director
    Carolyn, Robin, Tina, Ann

    Kathy Barnes won the 70 singles over her doubles partner, Carol Gay. Then they played Kathy Bennett/Liane Bryson in the doubles final. Bennett/Bryson won in three sets. Bryson is also in the mixed final with Frank Zebot. They will take on William-Horne/Tom Rettenmaier in the final. The latter team had a long 3-set battle with Brent Abel/Ann Stanley to reach the final.

    Susan Wright beat Terri Thyssen in the 60 singles final 62 63. The second set was a tussle; Susan led 3/0 but Thyssen, a quick mover with a very good backhand kept fighting. Susan has a great backhand of her own though and makes few errors…she closed out the match and added the singles title to the doubles title she earned on Thursday. She was going for the trifecta (singles/doubles/mixed) with Kurt Chan against Jonathon Fears/Shannon Gordon Carney, but the latter team were too tough in the final and took the gold ball in straight sets. Cindy Abel/Joseph Kennedy won the bronze.

    In men’s 60s, Bill Moss edged local star Mike Fedderly, 64 75 to win the title in a repeat of the Pacific SW final they played in September. Ross Hessler/Glenn Petrovic, (5) continued their fine run, beating Mike Tammen/Mike Megale (4) in straight sets to win the 60 doubles title.

    Wendell Pierce, unseeded (what a great comeback story!) will face Toby Crabel (1) in the men’s 65 final. Crabel beat Bruce Nichols to reach the final while Pierce advanced by default over Andrew Stanley. In doubles, it will be #1 vs #2, as Crabel/Tim Garcia (1) take on Doug Ditmer/Stanley (2) today (Saturday).

    The men’s 70s semis were both excellent battles. Paul Wulf (1) took on Bob Litwin (3)…it was just a great match. The accuracy of each player’s shots was amazing as the ball seemed to nestle inside just inside a line on each shot and points were won, not lost. Wulf prevailed 76 57 64 in over three hours. Wulf’s doubles partner Lenny Wofford (4) beat Phil Landauer (unseeded) in three sets. Wofford won the title when Wulf withdrew from the final. In doubles, Wofford/Wulf (1) beat Litwin/Brian Cheney (3) in straight sets as did Mike Talmadge/Zebot (4) over Bill Hahn/Rettenmaier (5). The doubles final is this morning.

    In men’s 75, Don Clark (9) edged Roger North (5) in a match tiebreak (10-1) and Felix Ponte (5) beat #2 MichaelStewart in straight sets. Clark has an unusual style but moves great and the ball keeps coming back. In doubles, Ken Robinson/Chuck White (3) edged Dean Corley/Stewart (1) 76 76. Dave Van den Berg/Les Buck (2) beat Gary Doi/Tad Yukawa 75 61. In mixed, it will be #1 vs #2, with Corley/Suella Steel (1) taking on Andi Polisky/John Popplewell (2).

    In men’s 80s, William Wolff (1) advanced to play Randy Mellinger (unseeded); Mellinger edged L Hill Griffin 62 67 10(4) while Wolff beat #3 Wilbur Jones in straight sets. In doubles, both semis were decided by match tiebreaks; Wolff/Jones (1) beat Robert Jones/Stephen Rothenberg while Thomas Brunkow/Dick Landenberger upset Bob Quall/Bennet Serkin (2).

    In men’s 85, Herm Ahlers (1) will face unseeded Walter Steige this morning in the final Steige beat Jack Sanders (2) in the semis in straight sets.


  • Thursday Update: Into the Final in 65 Singles & Doubles; Wendell Pierce Still Winning in his RH Comeback Tournament

    Click here to see all draws and results

    We’ll start with women’s 65s today. I won my match against Andrea Barnes. We had not played singles in a tournament for decades; it was a very pleasant match, I played well and won in straight sets. Tina Karwasky, who I don’t think has ever lost a singles match in the Desert in her age division, took on Jennifer Shorr who has the biggest serve in the 65s, a fluid easy motion with lots of power (first serve) and lots of spin (2nd serve) plus nice touch to go with groundstroke power. She edged Tina 64 76 (5). Both players used power plus drop shots throughout the match. I take on Shorr at 9:45 tomorrow morning.

    In doubles, Ann Stanley, Tina’s third doubles partner since the draw was initially made, and Tina won their doubles semis decisively; Robin Harris and I struggled against and inspired team, Julie David and Betsy and rallied from 41 down in the first and a break down in the 2nd to win 76 (3) 64. We played around 2pm and it was mighty warm…the match lasted about 2.5 hours.

    In the 60s, Susan Wright edged Tracey Thompson in the first set 76, and then played a flawless 2nd set, winning 62. She plays #4 seed Terri Thyssen who overcame cramps to win 61 in the third. Susan with Shannon Gordon Carney, won the doubles over Shelley Goodson/Kellie Jacquez. Susan teamed with Kurt Chan to reach the mixed final against Shannon and Jonathon Fears.

    Carol Gay and Kathy Barnes will vie for the W70s singles title tomorrow; Barnes/Gay reached the doubles final in an upset over the #2 seeds and take on Liane Bryson/Kathy Bennett in the final. Both semis were 3 sets.

    In men’s action: 60s: Bill Moss will take on Mike Fedderly, #1 vs #2. Fedderly fought off a determined Peter Markes in the semis 64 64. It was a long, fierce battle. In doubles, Tammen/Megale take on Hessler/Petrovic in the final.

    Bill Moss

    In the 65s, the 1, 3 & 4 seeds are joined by Wendell Pierce, who again beat a seed to reach the semis. He’ll take on Andrew Stanley in the semis, while #1 Tony Crabel takes on Nichols (no relation). In doubles, the top 2 seeds advanced and each plays and unseeded team in the semis.

    Wendell Pierce

    In the 70s, Dave Sivertson got injured against his doubles partner, Phil Landauer at 5-4 for Dave in the first set and retired; they also had to default their doubles. so Phil plays Lenny Wofford (4) while Bob Litwin (3) takes on Paul Wulf (2); Wulf played flawlessly to beat Wesley Jackson 60 60.

    In 70 doubles, the 1, 3 & 4 seeds advanced with Hahn/Rettenmeier advancing when Landauer/Sivertson had to default.

    In men’s 75s, the #1 (Les Buck) and #3 (Dave Van Den Berg) seeds retired down a set yesterday; Michael Stewart (2) will face Felix Ponte (5) in one semi while Donald Clark (9) takes on Roger North (5). In contrast to the singles, the 1-4 seeded teams all reached their predicted spots in the draw.


  • Wilson World Tennis Classic Tuesday, Where the Tennis was as Hot as the Weather

    Click here to see all draws and results.

    Susan Wright, Julie & Kurt Chan
    Tad & Lisa Yukawa (and Sophie, sleeping)

    Tuesday was another warm and sunny day in the Desert, but much calmer. I had a couple of hits, with my cousin Don Beer (M70 doubles) and Jenny Keller, and lunch again with my sister and parents. I finally play tomorrow, 8am sharp!

    In the afternoon I watched Jenny and Judy Newman win the women’s 55 doubles final over Anne Kerwin-Payne and Lisa Montero. It was a fabulous match, with very few unforced errors. All four players displayed great hands, nice touch, fabulous anticipation spiked with doses of power. Jenny & Judy both have great overheads and had plenty of opportunity to display them. Lisa in particular had a booming forehand and Anne was all over the net and lobbed great as well. Judy also won the 55 singles final.

    The seeds haven’t started play yet in the W65 or 70s.

    In men’s action, Dana Gill (3) will take on Jeff Greenwald in the 50 men’s final tomorrow, an all NorCal final. Gill had to go 3 sets to beat Kevin Smith while Greenwald took out Brendan Murphy in straight sets.

    In the 55s, Dan Goldie (1) will take on Peter Smith (2); each won his semis in straight sets.

    In the 60s, Mike Tammen, seeded 3rd, retired against Alexander Pier down a set. Pier took out a 9th seed the day before. Jeff Goldfien (9) beat Maurice Hunter (5); the other seeds advanced to their expected positions in the draw, though the result of Markes vs Linebarger wasn’t posted yet.

    In the 65s, there were a few upsets of #9 seeds; Brian Patno beat Don LeSage, Eric Youmans beat Anthony Foux; Michael Grindon dropped the first set 64 but advanced when Michael Megale retired with an injury; and Wendell Pierce (yes, he’s back and he’s playing right handed!) beat Marc Krupp…he now faces Tim Garcia (2) who had a tussle against Darrell Nicks, finally winning 46 64 61.

    In the 70s, there were no upsets today and the top 4 seeds, Sivertson, Wulf, Litwin and Wofford advanced comfortably.

    In men’s 75, which has a large draw, Phil Cox beat Mike Saputo (9); that was the only upset today.

    80 & 85 men’s haven’t started play yet.

    Men’s Doubles:

    50s: Mike Noel/Paul Settles (4)edged top seeded Art Hernandez/Carsten Hoffmann in 3 sets; I caught part of that match and it was a good one, interesting points and nice volleying by all four players. They take on the #2 seeds, Neel Grover/Julien Heine in the final tomorrow.

    55s: Vivek Varma/Rick Leach are in the final but the other semi’s score hasn’t been reported yet;

    60s: Jeff Goldfien/JosephKennedy upset Marc Krupp/Thomas Lopez (5); the rest of the seeds advanced.

    No seeds have played in the 65-85 divisions and most play hasn’t begun yet.

    Mixed:

    50s: Caroline Vis/Oren Motevassel will play Tracie Currie/Pat Crow in the final.

    40s: Angela Henry/Ryan Pang (1) beat Hiromi Sasano/Trent Aaron in 3 sets in the final.

    35s: Tanya O’Neil/Stephen Robertson, unseeded, took out the top 2 seeds to win the event.


  • Manic Monday: Wilson World Tennis Classic Battles Continue in the Desert

    Draws and results can be found here.

    Monday in the Desert brought high winds (fortunately, most were away from the main venue). The geography of the Palm Springs area with mountains surrounding this Desert Oasis, means that some areas may have 40 mile an hour winds while others only 10 minutes away will be nearly calm.

    I looked outside this morning and where I am staying, not far from Interstate 10, it was extremely windy. However, we hit about 12 miles further south west it was calm, as it was at Shadow Mountain Resort, the main venue (the other venues were windy). It was another hot (high 90s) day in the Desert…I’m glad I have had a few days to acclimate to the heat.

    Andrea Barnes and Shannon Gordon Carney
    Bob Litwin, Me, Les Buck
    Anne Kerwin-Payne & Lindsay Montero

    I had lunch with my parents and sister and her husband (whom I’d not seen for a year..my sister and spouse, not my parents.). All of us have been vaccinated so it was a nice and safe visit.

    Before and after lunch I went back to Shadow Mountain to watch some of the action and caught up with some old friends…Andrea Barnes and Shannon Gordon Carney who were getting ready to hit; Julie David holding down the NWTO fort, Bob Litwin & Les Buck; Anne Kerwin Payne and Lindsey Montero, Kathy Settles, Jodi Rea and more.

    Here are some results stating with the women’s singles & doubles today:

    Unseeded Pernilla Putnik won the 45 singles over Tanya O’Neill in a terrific three set battle, one a lefty, one a righty and both hitting the cover off the ball, with both power and spin. Played on the front court following the marathon 50s final, it was a good front court match.

    Marlo Carruth, seeded 1, edged Michele Rudi, in an interesting battle. Rudi won the first set and looked close to winning in straight sets when leading 5-0 in the 2nd set tiebreak; Carruth never stopped battling and rallied to win the tiebreak and the third set 64. Rudi is a very good counterpuncher and kept the ball mostly out of Carruth’s strike zone but Carruth found the courage to go forward and hit out on her forehand at key times.

    Julie Silveria/Mary Beth Williams cruised past Lisa Traylor/Krista Oconnor to win the 50 doubles.

    In the 55s, Christina Kaus upset #2 seed Jenny Keller 64 16 63, and said it was the best win she’d ever posted. Kaus kept the ball deep, moved and passed well to win the nearly three hour battle…after which she was told she had only 30 minutes to rest before doubles! (USTA 2021 FAC would beg to differ). Keller, with partner Judy Newman avenged her singles loss to Kaus, decisively winning the doubles semis over Kaus/Maria Nunez. They face Anne Kerwin-Payne/Lindsay Montero who also advanced in straight sets.

    The 60s and older divisions start play tomorrow.

    The men’s results are below

    Shibu Lal, seeded third, edged top seeded Jesse Shouton to reach the 40s final vs JR Chidley, the 2nd seed. Lal is quick and throws a lot of different looks at his opponents.

    In the 45s, Jesse Walter, seeded 1, will face Nicholas Chasseray in the final. Chasseray followed up his win yesterday over #2 Ryan Pang with another straight set win, this one over #3 William Casas .

    In men’s 50s, Kevin Smith is the last unseeded player in the semis. He faces #3 Dana Gill while #2 Jeff Greenwald takes on #5 Brendan Murphy.

    The seeders did a perfect job in men’s 55s: Dan Goldie (1) will play #3 Craig Hiddleston while Peter Smith (2) takes on #4 Leland Rolling.

    The men’s 60s are out to the round of 16 with only 2 upsets today, of 9-16 seeds: Tom Breece upset Mark Weil in 3 sets; and Jonathon Fears was edged by Alexander Pier. David Seibel advanced again; he beat a #9 seed yesterday.

    In the 65s, David Wilson pulled off the only upset to date, beating #9 Rudy Sanchez.

    In Men’s 70s, Mike Talmadge beat #9 David Kueffer; #9 James Quenzler withdrew from the tournament allowing Phil Landauer to advance to the round of 16.

    All the seeds in the Men’s 75 had byes today.

    In men’s 50 & 55 doubles, the seeders again were stellar, with all four seeds reaching the semis. Rick Leach, former world #1 is playing 55 doubles with Vivek Varma and they won in 3 sets today.

    The seeds haven’t started yet in the 60 and up divisions.

    There’s also mixed…more on that tomorrow, particularly the 50-80s which are Gold ball/USTA Level 1/ITF S700 (normally S1000, but only S700 since players from other countries for the most part can’t get into the USA to play them).

    Link to Sunday Results


  • Back in the Tennis Tournament Rythm

    Click here to see the draws and results.

    The first Level 2/ITF S700 and Level 1 Mixed since early last March began Thursday in Palm Desert (just east of Palm Springs) in the California Desert. Summer landed as well…it was over 100 today (about 38 Celsius) with bright sunny skies.

    The tournament began with the 35s, 40s and 45s, moving on to the 50s yesterday and the 55s today.

    The main venue is at Shadow Mountain Resort in Palm Desert but there are several other venues in the area being used.

    I practiced in the morning (I don’t play till Wednesday) before visiting my parents and cooking Easter lunch (happy Easter everyone!). It was nice at 8:30, but noticeably warmer, in the 90s by 10. It’s a dry heat but once it hits 100, it’s hot, especially on hard courts where the concrete absorbs and reflects the heat upwards.

    I went over to check in for the tournament and ran into most of my recent practice partners, who had mostly had a successful day on court.

    Lisa Traylor/Krista Oconnor
    Jenny Rens Keller, Christina Kaus, Maria Nunez
    Men’s Doubles at Shadow Mountain

    Despite issues with the USTA website, the seeders did a great job seeding this event, with very few upsets. Below is a quick overview of the action to date.

    In the mixed 50, which is a Level 1, Bozeman/Mills took out #5 seeded Carruth/Heroux in 3 sets to reach the quarter; the other 7 seeds advanced in straight sets.

    In 35 mixed O’Neil/Robertson took out the #1 and #2 seeds, both in close matches to win the tournament.

    Men’s Singles

    The top two seeds, Trent Aaron/Hiromi Sasano (2)will take on Henry/Pang (1) in the 40 mixed final.

    Stephen Robertson (1) beat SanadRasheed (2) to win the 35 singles

    In the 40 singles, Rob Condiotty edged #4 Marin Parker’s to reach the semis along with JR Chidley, Shibu Lal and Jesse Schouten.

    In the 45s, Nicolas Chasseray beat #2 Ryan Pang to reach the semis along with William Casas (3), Leon Bax (4) and Jesse Walter (1)

    In the 50s, Oren Motevassel (1) withdrew before the start of play with an injury, as did #4 seeded Julien Heine. Kevin Smith upset #5 Pontus Swenson and Steve Heroux took out #5 Esteban Altuna, leaving only 4 seeds in the final 8.

    In contrast to the 50s, the final 8 in the men’s 55s are the 8 seeds, led by Dan Goldie (2) and Peter Smith (1) .

    The huge men’s 60 draw (128) is out to the round of 32 without any upsets; Bill Moss and Mike Fedderly are the top 2 seeds.

    Women’s Singles

    In women’s singles, there was no 35s division (a few players entered but withdrew).

    Christen Bartelt (1)played down but won the 40s convincingly, beating #2 seeded Christine Lee in the final.

    In the 45s, the top half was all upsets, with Pernilla Putnick beating top seeded Farrah Northcott 4,5 and then Yoko Tanko (0,6); Tanko beat the #4 seed, Kimberly Allen. Putnick takes on #2 seeded Tanya O’Neil in the final; she beat the #3 seed Michele Mouttapa-Matek in the other semi.

    The 50s final is between Marlo Carruth (1) and unseeded Michele Rudi. The two took far different paths to the final; Carruth winning her semi 61 ret (inj) while Rudi edged #2 seeded Mariko Atoji 76 in the third.

    The two seeded players in the 55s, Judy Newman (1) and Jenny Keller (2) are in the semis without hitting a ball (bye for Newman, default for Keller).

    Men’s Doubles

    Cohen/Sablan won the 35 RR doubles.

    Condiotty/Richards beat the top 2 seeds to win the 40 doubles.

    Mike Brown/Rodolfo Rodriguez won the 45 doubles, taking out Bax/Chasseray (2) in the semis and unseededJeff Schlotterback/Jesse Walter in the final.

    The Men’s 50 are only out to the quarters with no upsets.

    Women’s Doubles

    Julianna Gates/Lauren Lancaster (2)won the 35 doubles upsetting Tarrin Dougherty/Caroline Vis 76 67 64 in the final.

    Lauren Lancaster

    Pernilla Putnick/Chotika Wannachinda won the round ronin 40 doubles over Angela Henry/Amy Rogers (76 in the third)

    Shannon DeVall and Tanya O’Neil won the 45 round robin doubles with Susie Duffy/Brahma Pastorini finishing 2nd.

    Krista Oconnor /Lisa Traylor beat top seeded Trina Eggers/Wendy Elliott in 3 sets and face Julie Silverado/Mary Beth Williams in the final; they beat the #2 seeds Nancy Daly/Rochelle Whelan in straight sets.

    All four seeds in W55 are in the semis.


  • Wilson World Tennis Classic Covid Guidelines

    This was sent to players today. Happy to get to play the event!

    WILSON WORLD TENNIS CLASSIC

    USTA HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDE

    Player Guidelines

    Physical distancing requirements:

    • Maintain 6 ft distance at all times
    • Players shall not congregate in groups
    • Masks must be worn at all times except when actively playing on the court
    • On-court seating or benches shall be socially distanced

    Tournament entry and screening:

    • Players are permitted to bring only one guest on-site per day
    • Health screening to be conducted upon entry to the site each day (symptom questionnaire); anyone who does not pass the screening will not be permitted on site
    • Players must leave the facility immediately after their match is complete
    • Once eliminated from both singles and doubles, players are no longer permitted to access the tournament site

    Practice courts:

    • Maximum of 4 players permitted on the court
    • No coaches or players sitting on court watching

    Cleaning and sanitization:

    • Players are expected to keep their area and their chair or bench on court clean and sanitized
    • Sanitizer will be available at each tournament location
    • One player shall be designated to update the scoring tenders 
    • High-touch surfaces and common areas must be cleaned regularly

    Other:

    • No player parties are allowed
    • Awards ceremony must be physically distanced  

    [From] Desert Tennis Events


  • Draws Up for ITF S700/USTA Level 2 (plus Level 1 Mixed) in Palm Desert, CA

    The first big USTA tournament since February of 2021 will take place in Palm Desert, CA April 1-11, the Wilson World Tennis Classic.

    Bookmark this link because the draws can be found here.

    This tournament offers singles and doubles, men and women 35-85 plus mixed (50/60/70/75/80 are Level 1/ITF S700 events).

    The USTA has a new “play tennis” software platform, but it wasn’t quite ready for prime time so the draws were done using the TDM/tennislink platform.

    All events will be played on hard courts at various venues in the Palm Desert area. This tournament has a long history…I remember playing it over 30 years ago for the first time. Steve Solomon (father of Ken Solomon, creator of the Tennis Channel) was a long time director followed by Ed Trost. Caerwyn Evans is the current TD.

    It’s nice to be writing about a tournament that is happening instead of one that’s being cancelled or postponed (again).


  • Whitewater Preserve, Whitewater, CA

    Palm Desert, CA

    Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the USA, is traditionally the start of the Christmas shopping season, where there are many big sales. It’s so named because it’s the day that retail operators start to turn a profit for the year.

    My cousins and I, instead of shopping went for a hike to Whitewater Preserve, about a 30-40 minute drive from Palm Desert. It was a chilly morning in the Desert, but in the 50s, so I wore shorts and a down jacket. I didn’t realize that Whitewater was at elevation. It was 42 degrees (about 4 degrees Celsius) when we exited the car…and starting to rain. My rain jacket was in my car…40 minutes away. Three of the group turned back to go hiking instead in Palm Springs. I didn’t which was both good and bad.

    The first hint of weather trouble was actually on the way out when we saw a big rainbow over the windmills. Rainbows always mean there’s rain somewhere.

    The good was that the Whitewater Preserve is beautiful, with streams abounding, snow covered mountains in the distance (after the Thanksgiving Day rain, which turned to snow in the mountains). Once we got going it wasn’t too bad, especially when the rain stopped and the sun came out. However, on the way back it began to hail! There weren’t too many people around though by the time we returned it was much busier.

    There was one stream that was a little trickier than others to cross…my cousin was trying to help with a piece of wood but then I spied a better area to cross (but it was a good thing I had waterproof shoes on.

    In the afternoon my dad and I considered hitting tennis balls, but you can see it was pretty wet…but the snow capped mountains were a beautiful silver lining.

    This is probably the last long blog for a bit.

    Happy holidays everyone!


  • Over the Hills, the Road to the End of the World, Four Flights and Three Drives to Thanksgiving

    Palm Desert, CA

    It was 42 hours door to door to get from Torres del Paine, Chile to Palm Desert, CA for Thanksgiving. It was a pretty morning in Patagonia. I took a two hour or so ride to Puerto Natales, changed vehicles and driver. We then took the “Ruta del Fin del Mundo” to Punta Arenas airport, where arrived two hours in advance of my flight.

    The Punta Arenas airport is pretty small, though the plane was pretty big. There’s a very small lounge and a couple of coffee places that also sell sandwiches and a gift/snack/drinks shop.

    Three hours after leaving Punta Arenas, I was in Santiago where the temperature was nearly 80. Chile is VERY long and narrow, with huge climate changes from north to south. At the Santiago airport I retrieved a bag I had stored there, thinking I could then check in my bags and relax…alas that was not the case. Check in is only three hours in advance of a flight and I was there five hours early. So my luggage cart became my lounging area in a relatively deserted part of the busy airport. Having not had internet access for a week time passed pretty quickly. The Santiago airport before security though is pretty basic anyway, not enough room for all the people entering it.

    I finally was able to check in, got past security and wandered around the airport a bit. Pro tip: Don’t buy any drinks before boarding the plane to the USA in Santiago, as there is a secondary security check just before boarding and they will confiscate any liquids exceeding 3 ounces/100 ml. On the other hand my laptop never had to be removed and my shoes and hat stayed on my head and feet respectively at all times.

    I had a long flight, about 10 hours, to Houston, a three hour flight to LAX, another three hour layover home, a Lyft ride to my house, then a three hour drive to Palm Desert…left at 7am, arrived in PD around 9pm.

    Getting home for Thanksgiving Day with my parents and cousins was worth it though.

    Tips:

    • It takes a long time to reach or return from Patagonia, plan accordingly. It took me 42 hours without any issues. I could have saved some time not flying via LAX (but it was much less expensive doing it that way)
    • Do not buy liquids before boarding the plane to the US in Santiago (other than Duty Free which is delivered to the plane in sealed bags)
    • Do not wait too long to go to Patagonia. You can see much of the park without rigorous physical activity, including Grey Glacier but to see some of the best views, hiking is really necessary


  • Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Hard Courts: Surviving the Heat!

    The Father/Daughter (Open, 60,70 & 80+) & Mother/Son Hard Courts is taking place this weekend in Rancho Mirage, CA, near Palm Springs.

    I drove over on Wednesday from San Diego where it was sunny, balmy (70s) sort of day…when I arrived in Palm Desert it was in the 90s at dusk. That’s California, if you don’t like the weather, drive East or North and it’ll change.

    Dad and I had a good practice match on Thursday with Hirsch, who with wife Sheryl run this event, and Tad Yukawa, a long time friend who lives in the area. It was already in the 90s when I drove to the Springs Country Club at 8:30am…and well over 100 by the time we finished. But  it’s a dry heat (and still super hot!). I did some running drills after with Tad and believe me, dry heat or not, it’s hard to breathe after a while.

    It was a great warm up and today we won our first round, but have a much tougher match tomorrow against a team that won the Indoors in this division, father/daughter 80+ a couple of months ago, the HIcks. The 80+ means the dad has to turn 80 sometime in 2017. My dad is 92 (!). And competitive. It was over 100 again today too.

    There are a lot of really good players in these events: Alissa Finerman who has won a lot of doubles gold and has been on winning cup teams, is playing the 80+; Dina McBride and her husband Desi are playing Mother/Son and Father/Daughter respectively; Kathy Settles is playing Mother/Son with Christian; Tim Sah who is going to Stanford and playing on the team there next year is playing Mother/Son too with Valerie Tan (and they play the Settles tomorrow). Julia Cohen, a former top 100 player is playing 60+and 70+ with Richard. Julia already has over 40 gold balls and is only 28! Semis are tomorrow in all divisions.

    Tomorrow the weather changes a lot, with highs only in the 80s, and the wind will pick up a lot as well. By Sunday it will only hit 70.

    Below is a photo of the courts and one of Sheryl and Hirsch.

    Hirsch and SherylSr FD

     

    Draws can be found here: http://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=187933


  • Palm Springs USTA Senior Circuit Tournaments January 2017

    Disclaimer: I am collating this information from tennislink. Deadlines and tournament dates are subject to change, so please click on the links to verify the summary information presented.

     

    These deadlines are accurate as of today, 12/16/16.

     

    January 3-7, Monterey Country Club, Palm Desert, CA  Entry deadline is December 24, 2016

     

    January 9-15: USTA Senior tournament at Desert Princess, Cathedral City OR . Click here for an entry form.  Entry deadline is December 30th for online entry.

     

    January 15-21: Palm Springs Tennis Club Seniors, Palm Springs, CA . Entry deadline is December 30th for online entry.

     

    January 21-29: Asics Cat II, Mission Hills CC, Rancho Mirage, CA Entry deadline is December 31st 2016 for online entry. This is a Cat II or Super Cat II for USTA ranking purposes.