• Tag Archives red clay
  • 2021 Super Seniors (65,70, 75, 80, 85) Cup Team Information

    • Location: Mallorca, Spain
    • Team Event: Sunday, Oct. 10 – Friday, Oct. 15, 2021
    • Individual Event: Saturday, Oct. 16 – Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021

    Are you eligible to participate? Read the guidelines here. Of particular importance are the following changes which supersede the eligibility requirement and timelines as follows:

    • Approved 24-month USTA Category I USTA National Championship eligibility requirement, the option to participate in one USTA Super Category II National Tournament or one USTA Category II National Tournament within the last 24 months or participation in one Designated Open Sectional Championship within the last 12 months to fulfill the eligibility requirement; and
    • Approved to lengthen the selection time period for results that will be considered for selection from 24 months to 36 months.

    2021 Super Senior International Teams Timeline

    • Location: Mallorca, Spain
    • Team Event: Sunday, Oct. 10 – Friday, Oct. 15, 2021
    • Individual Event: Saturday, Oct. 16 – Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021
    • Applications Open: April 1, 2021
    • Application Deadline: May 1, 2021
    • Players who have applied for consideration will be listed on the Preliminary Applicant List posted on USTA.com: May 5
    • Deadline to notify the USTA of any omissions to the posted Preliminary Applicant List (cutoff date for 24 month period for which to consider results): May 10
    • Team selection posted to USTA.com and players will be notified of their status: June 1
    • All paperwork (excluding travel itinerary) due to USTA staff (including player agreement, media packet, copy of passport, & IPIN): July 1
    • Players may make their travel arrangements: August 1
    • Travel arrangements due to staff: September 1

  • Seniors (50/55/60) Cup Team Information

    Are you eligible to participate? Read the guidelines here. Of particular importance are the following changes which supersede the eligibility requirement and timelines as follows:

    • Approved 24-month USTA Category I USTA National Championship eligibility requirement, the option to participate in one USTA Super Category II National Tournament or one USTA Category II National Tournament within the last 24 months or participation in one Designated Open Sectional Championship within the last 12 months to fulfill the eligibility requirement; and
    • Approved to lengthen the selection time period for results that will be considered for selection from 24 months to 36 months.

    The 2021 USTA Seniors International Team Timeline is below:

    2021 Seniors World Championships (50/55/60)

    • Location: Umag, Croatia
    • Team Event: Sunday, June 6 – Friday, June 11, 2021
    • Individual Event: Saturday, June 12 – Saturday, June 19, 2021
    • Applications Open: December 1, 2020: Click here to apply.
    • Application Deadline: January 10, 2021
    • Players who have applied for consideration will be listed on the Preliminary Applicant List posted on USTA.com: January 13
    • Deadline to notify the USTA of any omissions to the posted Preliminary Applicant List (cutoff date for 24 month period for which to consider results): January 18
    • Team selection posted to USTA.com and players will be notified of their status: February 10
    • All paperwork (excluding travel itinerary) due to USTA staff (including player agreement, media packet, copy of passport, & IPIN): March 10
    • Players may make their travel arrangements: April 10
    • Travel arrangements due to staff: May 10

  • 2021 ITF Seniors (50-55-60) To Be Held in Umag, Croatia June 6-19, 2021

    The 2021 ITF Seniors (50-55-60) World Team & Individual Championships will take place in Umag, Croatia from Sunday 6 June – Saturday 19 June 2021.

    From the ITF press release which can be found here.

    The International Tennis Federation is pleased to announce that the ITF Seniors (50-55-60) World Team & Individual Championships are now scheduled to be held in Umag, Croatia in June 2021.

    The ITF Seniors Committee approved the alternative venue to hold the 50-55-60 World Team Championships from Sunday 6 – Friday 11 June and the 50-55-60 World Individual Championships from Saturday 12 – Saturday 19 June 2021. This follows the decision announced last month that the Championships would not be held as originally scheduled in Boca Raton & Palm Beach Gardens, USA due to the ongoing impact and uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The ITF will continue to monitor the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and work closely with tournament hosts and the relevant authorities to prepare for this event. The priority in all decision making will remain the health and safety of participants. Nations and players are also advised to wait until the tournament fact sheet is published, expected in January 2021, before making travel and/or accommodation arrangements.

    The full schedule of ITF Seniors World Championships in 2021 is now complete with the Young Seniors World Team & Individual Championships also in Umag from 12-25 September and the ITF Super-Seniors World Team & Individual Championships in Mallorca, Spain from 10-23 October 2021.

    Matt Byford, ITF Juniors & Seniors manager said “The ITF is delighted that an alternative host for our Seniors World Championships has been secured so quickly and would like to thank the Croatian Seniors Tennis Association, Croatian Tennis Association, Plava Laguna and the City of Umag for their cooperation. The World Team & Individual Championships are a great highlight of the ITF Seniors calendar and it is fantastic for our playing community that they can now look ahead to June 2021 after the unfortunate cancellation of the event this year.”

  • 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 Tennis: Into the Final

    Santiago, Chile

    It was another beautiful day in Santiago, perfect for playing tennis. I played Graciela Donoso early and won 60 62. Afterwards I watched some tennis and warmed up my opponent from yesterday for her mixed doubles match. There is a kiosk here for tennis clothes and now I have a new Chilean skirt at a very reasonable price, a good souvenir.

    The score cards here are interesting…the cards swivel so the score is always showing who is ahead correctly, and instead of having a marker showing which player won the first set, in the middle are numbers I-V, indicating which set is being played, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

    Today the club was making good use of their multipurpose covered area. Tennis was being taught on one court; girls were doing gymnastics in the middle and basketball practices were on the front court, with music (for the gymnastics), shouts and whistles (basketball).

    I walked back to the club after dinner and matches were running about an hour late, with the lights coming on as the sun was setting.

    Potted plants on walls is a very Spanish way of displaying flowers…I found a couple of walls of potted geraniums today. The flowers and trees in general are very pretty here.

    I have a day off tomorrow since the other round robin group didn’t start till Wednesday. We could have played the final tomorrow…the #2 seed won both her matches so has won her group, but they have an awards ceremony on Saturday and play most finals then.

  • Wednesday: Singles & Laundry Successes

    Santiago, Chile

    Today I played my first match, against Austria’s Shirley Friedl. She is a nice lefty player, but I played pretty well and the altitude helped my high balls jump a bit and I won 60 60. It’s always an enjoyable, fair match. We played on Court 1 and again, the courts this year are playing much much better than five years ago. I don’t know what they’ve done but kudos to the grounds people for making them so nice to play on.

    After the match (and a short massage, $8 for 15 minutes and the guys working in the massage area are good and seem to be pretty knowledgeable physical therapy.

    After lunch I decided to see if the app I downloaded to pay for the laundry machine worked. What one does is open the app, give it access to your camera and then point it at the QR code on the machine you want to use. The laundry is in the basement, but there was some cell service there (this wouldn’t work without it), but it was slow. It took a few minutes but I managed to get both machines working, so I will have no more issues with a lack of coins for the machines.

    While I was waiting for my laundry to finish, I went to the Unimarc for some food and sunscreen. The packaging all has warnings (not the carrots I bought of course)…the chocolate says high in calories, saturated fat and sugar. As a result it’s quite good.

    I think I figured out why the stores were all closed early yesterday…buses stopped running at 5pm, and the metro shortened its hours, and there were more demonstrations at the Plaza Italia, and also in other cities in Chile. But there’s not much in the English language newspapers I can find. In Las Condes today, it was business as usual, and calm. But downtown, in the center, it’s a different environment.

    Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)

    First Practice in Santiago

    Practice Day 2, Santiago, Chile

    Practice Day 3, Monday, Santiago

    Santiago Tuesday: Last Practice Day

  • 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.

  • Santiago, Chile (Las Condes)

    Santiago, Chile

    I’m on the bottom half of the world now, in the Las Condes part of Santiago.

    The flight from Houston was delayed…not because the plane was late (it arrived around 5am; our flight was scheduled for about 10PM), but because no one brought it to the gate in time and when it arrived…it hadn’t been cleaned after the flight from Australia! It makes me wonder what the plane was doing…did it have an invisibility cloak? Did it decide to make a quick trip to Florida or Cancun? Anyway, we only arrived a bit late though it was a loooong walk from the plane to passport control. (Hint…there are about 10 restrooms along the way, so if there’s a wait at the first, keep walking). There were a lot of signs advertising this climate conference which has now been moved out of Chile due to the riots in late October.

    I had a taxi waiting, which I was happy about since several people approached me who weren’t official taxi drivers. There’s been a lot of vandalism here and rioting but honestly, we went through a lot of tunnels and I kept falling asleep, so didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary on the drive from the airport, but it was midday, not when the unrest has been occurring.

    I was able to enter my apartment and after putting my bags away, went to the bank (where there was an armed guard who was quite alert, by the door), and managed to get some Chilean pesos out of a machine which had instructions only in Spanish. Then I went to get a SIM card for my phone, in the subway area. It was humming, full of open shops in the middle and both sides of the passage. Then I went to the grocery store. The grocery seemed pretty normal. But there was a guard at the entry, and the entryway windows were covered with plywood. There was a very large area for avocados, another for citrus, and juice oranges, but overall the produce section was small. The refrigerated beverage section was huge and I even found bags of ice. Cookies seem very popular, chocolate bars less so.

    After I put my stuff away I decided to try and find the tennis club. Google took me to the parking garage. Instead walking a bit farther the same direction (which would have led me to the entrance), I walked around the opposite way which was over a mile, but I know now how to get to the club tomorrow for practice. (Turn right by the McDonalds).

    There were a lot of boarded up stores along Apoquindo Ave. but overall everything seemed here like business as usual. The area around the club had some really nice houses. A lot of them were in the half-timbered style of Normandy, and all had high fences with spikes on top. The club had a double fence.

    The weather here was nice today, warm but not humid and overcast so it didn’t feel very warm.

    Buenas noches.

  • McColskey, Van Nostrand Win World Singles Titles; USA Shines in Doubles at World Championships

    Writing from California, USA

    The ITF Individual World Championships concluded yesterday in Umag, Croatia. Though there weren’t many Americans in the draws, those that were there came home with many gold, silver and bronze medals.

    Wendy McColskey won her first every world championship, the 65 singles, the hard way, beating her Kitty Godfree Cup teammate Tina Karwasky (holder of two consecutive 65 Gold Slams in singles and winner 11 straight 65 national singles championships) in three sets. Earlier in the year Karwasky beat McColskey in the final of the 65 Clay. Karwasky was a doubles finalist too, with Jan Kirkland-Cochran, losing to Aussies Helen Worland and Adrienne Avis. Avis won the mixed too, with Marc Renault, FRA over American Danny Shaw and Hildegard Bruggraber, AUT.

    In women’s 70 doubles, Liane Bryson, playing with Germany’s Heidi Eisterlehner were silver medalists, also losing to and Aussie, Kerry Ballard (who won the singles) and Shirley Fox (GBR). Bruce Barrett, USA and Chris Ornstein, GBR, the defending men’s 70 doubles champions reached the final but fell to Petr Kolacek, SUIand Jairo Velasco Ramirez, ESP in the final.

    In the 75s, Dean Corley/Michael Stewart won the doubles in an all-American final over Jimmy Parker/Don Long. Heide Orth, GER won the 75 singles and doubles (with Petro Kruger, RSA); Kruger won the mixed with Peter Pokorny, AUT (who won the singles).

    In the 80s, Herm Ahlers/Wilbur Jones fell in the final to the Aussie duo of Bruce Rehn/Bob Howes. Inge Weber, CAN won the women’s singles. In another all American doubles final, Dorothy Wasser/Burnett Herrick beat their Doris Hart Cup teammates Sheila Palmer/Carol Wood. Palmer/Jones were 80 mixed finalists, falling to Aussies June Simpson/Don Biddle in the final round.

    King Van Nostrand continued his dominance of the men’s 85 division, winning the singles and doubles, with John Powless of the USA. They beat their Gardnar Mulloy Cup teammates, George McCabe/Joe Russell in the final.

    Bronze medals went to: Dorothy Wasser, W80 singles, Bruce Barrett, 70 Mixed, Suella Steel, Corley, 75 mixed, Bryson, 70 mixed, Cathie Anderson/Carolann Castell, W75 doubles, Jimmy Parker, M75 singles. Hopefully I didn’t miss anyone!

    Draws are here.

  • USA Men’s 75 Advance to Final in Umag; Men’s 70 Fall to Denmark; Women’s 80 Fall to Argentina; Men’s 65 Down 0-1 and Men’s 80 Up 1/0

    Reporting from California, USA

    I will update the results of the Men’s 65 & 80 later today.

    Update, 10 pm CET:

    USA lost 2/1 to Chile in the M80 and 3/0 to France in M65. Both teams and M70 play for third tomorrow.

    W65/70/75 play for first along with M75 & 85.

    W85 have won their division.

    The Bitsy Grant Cup team, Men’s 75, led by Jimmy Parker, won both singles against France to advance to the final on Thursday in Umag. Don Long put in a gritty performance against Francois Pierson, winning 76 (5) in the third set to give the USA a 1/0 lead. Parker sealed the win with a 64 63 win over ?Serge Andres to send the USA into the final. Dean Corley/David Dollins were scheduled to play the doubles.

    The USA Men’s 70 team (Jack Crawford) fell to Denmark in two tightly contested singles matches. Brent Abel lost 64 in the third to Claus Peterson at #2 singles and Bob Litwin fell to former top 50 player Kasper Rud 63 in the third. They will play for third place tomorrow.

    The Men’s 65 team (Britannia Cup) is down 1/0 to France. Bruno Renault, last year’s world champion, playing #2 singles, beat Geoff Cykman handily; Mark Meyers is playing Didier Kaisserian at #1 singles; if he wins, he’ll play the deciding doubles with Tom Smith.

    The Gardnar Mulloy (M80) team is up 1/0 vs Chile behind the strong singles play of Lester Sack at #2 singles. Bob Quall is playing the very tough Jaime Pinto Bravo at #1; Wilbur Jones/Sack are scheduled for doubles.

    The Doris Hart Cup team (W80) lost 2/1 to Argentina; Burnett Herrick won at #2 singles; Dorothy Wasser lost at #1 to Romero and Flint/Romero beat Herrick/Wasser 76 75. Argentina plays Great Britain tomorrow in the three team round robin. If Argentina wins, USA finishes second. If Great Britain wins, then it will come down to sets and games to determine the order of finish. The USA will finish 1, 2 or 3.

    The following teams are off today: Kitty Godfree (W65); Althea Gibson (W70); Queens (W75); W85 (who have already won their division) and Men’s 85. All play for gold tomorrow and are guaranteed silver. In fact, all 10 teams will medal in Umag, what a great result for our “super” Super Seniors!

    Draws for 2019 Super Senior Cups in Umag Now Posted

  • USA Wins Inaugural Women’s 85 Cup in Croatia

    As told to me by Margaret Canby, W85 Captain:

    “We have won,  today Rose [Austin] and I won the doubles 6-0 6-1.  Really played well!
    Yea USA 85 Women Cup winners 2019!”

    Congratulations to Margaret, Rose and Irene Bretzel!

    Irene, Margaret, Rose

  • USA Men’s 70s (Jack Crawford) Wins RR Group on Wednesday in Umag

    Reporting from California, USA

    The USA Men’s 70s team beat Ireland 3/0 today, winning their round robin group. They move into the quarterfinals which begin tomorrow.

    Brent Abel #2 and Bob Litwin, #1 won the singles; Geoff Moore and Steve Gottlieb won the doubles point.

    Photo from Brent Abel.

    The remaining US teams (other than Women’s 85) had the day off.

    USA Women’s 85

    Draws for 2019 Super Senior Cups in Umag Now Posted

  • USA Women’s 85

    Reporting from California, USA. The women’s 85 division is new in 2019. Some teams pulled out and only USA and Argentina are in Umag this year. Below is a report from Margaret Canby, captain of the USA Women’s 85 team which is playing in Umag, Croatia.

    USA players (l-r) Rose Austin, Margaret Canby, and Irene Bretzel 
    ITF has us playing Doubles on Monday, 2 singles on Tuesday, Doubles on Wednesday, 2 reverse singles on Thursday and another doubles on Friday.  We won doubles yesterday 6-3 6-4 and today Irene won her singles as her opponent had to retire for illness and Margaret won a nail-biter 11-9 in the tiebreak 3rd set.  If we can win one more match, we will WIN!

  • USA Wins RR Group in W65, 80, M65,75; First Monday Update; 2nd Monday Update: W75, M80 Win RR Group

    Writing from California, USA around 5:15 pm Croatia Time

    Update 7pm Croatia time: USA Men’s 80 finished a 3/0 win over Sweden; Quall won 10-4 in a match tiebreak and Ahlers/Jones won the doubles point. USA won its round robin group

    USA Women’s 75 defeated Canada 3/0; Hillebrand won in straight sets as did Cathie Anderson/Suella Steel in doubles. USA has won it’s round robin group.

    Still no score for women’s 70 doubles.

    The USA won the Women’s 65, 80, and Men’s 65, 75 three team round robins today. The women’s 70 split their singles against Germany and the Women’s 75 & Men’s 80 are up 1/0 after #2 singles. (They may be done but I’m only going from the scores reported on the ITF website). The men’s 70 are also undefeated but are in a four team round robin. The men’s 85 team is in one, five team round robin group and are 2/0 so far.

    Kitty Godfree (W65): The USA beat So Africa 2/0 behind the singles play of Wendy McColskey (#2), Tina Karwasky (#1) and the doubles play of Lil Peltz-Petow and Jan Kirkland-Cochran.

    Althea Gibson Cup (W70); Judy Dixon beat Barbara Van Ende at #2, but Toni Novack lost to Heidi Eisterlehner (multiple world singles champion) 63 63. Dixon/Liane Bryson are set to play the doubles.

    Queens Cup (W75): Carolann Castell won a tough three setter against Canada (Claude) and Charleen Hillebrand was next to face Gisela at #1 singles.

    Doris Hart Cup (W80). The USA beat Australia 3/0 yesterday. Carol Wood and Sheila Palmer did win the doubles point late in the day after the USA won two marathon singles matches. Today in contrast, they beat Ukraine 3/0 without losing a game in any match. Wood and Burnett Herrick won the singles points and Palmer/Dorothy Wasser won the doubles.

    Britannia Cup, M65. The USA handled Poland easily, behind the singles play of Geoff Cykman at #2, Mark Meyers at #1 (who won 60 60) and Gary Jenkins/Tom Smith won the doubles.

    Jack Crawford Cup, M70. The men’s 70s team is looking strong so far. They are ahead 2/0 as of now, having won the #2 singles (Brent Abel) and #1 singles (Bob Litwin) handily with Abel/Gottlieb set to play the doubles point. They played Italy today. The photo is from Brent’s FB page.

    The Bitsy Grant Cup team (M75) beat Sweden. Don Long won at #2 and Jimmy Parker at #2; Dean Corley/Dave Dollins were set to play the doubles point. They won their group with this win.

    The men’s 80, Gardnar Mulloy Cup, won at #2 singles (Lester Sack) and Quall was to face Gaba from Denmark at #1 singles. No results reported yet.

    The men’s 85 Cup team beat Great Britain 3/0. Today George McCabe played #2 singles, Van Nostrand won at #1 and John Powless/Joe Russell won the doubles point. D

    Draws for 2019 Super Senior Cups in Umag Now Posted

    Super Seniors Umag 2019 Information (links to blog articles, players and more)


  • USA Super Senior Teams Go 9/9 on Day 1 in Umag

    California, USA, Reporting from Afar

    The opening ceremonies of the ITF Super Senior World Team Championships (ISSWTC) in Umag took place yesterday, as well as the captains’ meetings, during which the draws were made.

    Photos courtesy of Carol Wood, Bob Litwin and the players’ facebook posts!

    The USA is seeded in each category and all teams, other than the Women’s 85 (a new division which only has 2 teams, USA and Argentina).

    The most dramatic tie of the day was that of the USA Women’s 80 team vs Australia. Both singles matches went to match tiebreaks (match tiebreaks are only used in the 80 & 85 divisions). First Burnett Herrick won 64 46 1/0 (6). That match was not exciting compared to the one Dorothy Wasser won. Dorothy, playing on her first ever cup team, debuted at #1 singles! She dropped the first set 62, won the second 76 (4), then squeaked out the tiebreak 13-11! I wasn’t there but imagine she held off some match points along the way. That gave the USA, the #2 seeds, an unassailable lead. Carol Wood and Sheila Palmer (another woman making her Cup debut in the 80s), were scheduled to play the doubles point.

    In contrast to the women’s 80s, the women’s 65 (Kitty Godfree) easily beat Croatia, dropping only two games in beating the host country. Wendy McColsky & Tina Karwasky played #2 and #1 singles respectively, while Jan Kirkland Cochran made her Cup debut alongside Lil Peltz-Petow in doubles.

    The women’s 70 (Althea Gibson), beat Sweden convincingly. Judy Dixon made her singles Cup debut at #2 and Toni Novack, fresh off winning the 65 singles at the GMP Cup in Umag the week before, won at #1 singles. Brenda Carter, returning to competitive play after a knee injury, combined with Liane Bryson, the 2018 world doubles champion, to take the doubles point.

    The Queens Cup team, W75, took on Argentina. Carolann Castell at #2 and Charleen Hillebrand at #1 prevailed in singles and doubles.

    The Britannia Cup, M65, beat Hungary 3/0; Geoff Cykman played #2, Mark Meyers #1 and Gary Jenkins/Tom Smith won the doubles point.

    The Jack Crawford (M70) team easily beat Australia in the singles behind the play of Geoff Moore (#2) and Bob Litwin (#1); Brent Abel/Steve Gottlieb dropped the first set in doubles before rebounding to finish strongly 26 62 61.

    In men’s 75 (Bitsy Grant) play, USA beat Zimbabwe 3/0; Don Long won at #2, Jimmy Parker had a tough 2-set tussle with Roger Dowdeswell at #1 and Dean Corley/David Dollins took the doubles point.

    USA won 3/0 against Croatia in the Gardnar Mulloy Cup (M80). Lester Sack at #2 and Bob Quall at #1 played singles; Herm Ahlers/Wilbur Jones won the doubles point.

    The very strong men’s 85s team, led by legendary Kin Van Nostrand, beat Australia 3/0. Joe Russell held on to win a tough 2nd set 76 at #2 singles while King at #1 and George McCabe/John Powless (another legend) completed the win.

    Draws for 2019 Super Senior Cups in Umag Now Posted

  • Draws for 2019 Super Senior Cups in Umag Now Posted

    Please click on the following links below to view the final draws for the 2019 ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships.

    Kitty Godfree Cup, W 65 (USA is in Group A); USA is in the 1-4 playoff

    Althea Gibson Cup, W70 (USA is in Group B); USA in the 1-4 playoff

    Queens’ Cup, W75 (USA is in Group B); USA in the 1-3 playoff

    Doris Hart Cup, W80 (USA is in Group B); USA in the 1-3 playoff

    Britannia Cup, M65 (USA is in Group C); USA in the playoff or 1st

    Jack Crawford Cup, M70 (USA is in Group F); USA in the 1-6 playoff

    Bitsy Grant Cup, M75 (USA is in Group B); USA in the play off for 1st

    Gardnar Mulloy Cup, M80 (USA is in Group B) USA in the playoff for 1st

    Men’s 85 Cup. (5 team round robin)

    More information here including links to blog articles and players.

  • 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.

  • Tennis & Hiking, Fornalutx & Biniaraix, Mallorca

    Mallorca, Spain, July 29, 2019

    This post was lost in the Ethernet the last month.

    My last day in Mallorca was a busy one! I hit tennis balls or 90 minutes, all was good, so I decided to visit Fornalutx, another mountain village near Soller.

    I did some research and read that the hike to Fornalutx was a pretty easy one, about 45 minutes. I parked about 15 minutes outside of downtown, adding to the walk, but it was an easy place to park and not a bad walk into town.

    I apparently missed the route that wasn’t on the main road. The walk, though pretty, wasn’t particularly relaxing because the roads are so narrow, there’s no shoulder at all and no sidewalks. So I stayed quite alert and avoided being hit by a car or more likely, by a motorcyclist, they ride fast and loudly here.

    The scenery was pretty, orchards, almonds, olives, lemons, oranges, and even a few pomegranate trees were nestled up against the dramatic mountain background.

    When I got to Fornalutx (it was well over and hour, since I stopped and took photos and was meandering), I found the main plaza, got some water, and found the route for the next part of the walk. It was an uphill route for a long ways, up uneven and rough stone steps. But the views were beautiful. At the top I was on a main road for a short while, then found the path down, which wound through olive orchards mostly, and was quiet and free of cars.

    On the way back, I detoured through the tiny village of Biniaraix, which still hard a small plaza by the church. There weren’t many cars on that detour either, and once I was past Biniaraix, I was only 20 minutes from Soller.

    Soller was really hopping at 8pm, the plaza was packed with people having drinks (a bit early yet for food, though some were eating). I walked through the main shopping street and back to my car.

    I leave Mallorca tomorrow for Lisbon. It’s been nice getting to know a different part of this diverse island.

  • 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.