• Tag Archives tournaments
  • World Championships, Mallorca: The End: Waldman, Fales/Corley Win Gold on Saturday

    Sunday Oct. 24, 2021

    Draws are here. 

    Photos are here

    The 40th ITF Super Senior World Championships ended with a whimper more than a bang as the final mixed doubles and men’s singles champions were crowned. The men’s 75 with Chris Ornstein and Antonio Claudi (who beat Michael Beautyman in the semis) was a tight three setter won 64 in the third by Claudi; the remaining finals were straight sets with one walkover and one retirement in mixed. It was super windy and quite cool yesterday which made excellent play difficult.

    Dan Waldman (USA, Washington DC) beat reigning world champion Frits Raijmakers (NED) 64 61, coming back from a 0-3 ad out deficit to win this fifth world singles title, one in each age division, 45/50/55/60/65. Frits was playing his third week in a row and was a doubles finalist the day before. Alfred Boekl of Germany beat Bruno Renoult (FRA) 63 61 to claim the 70s singles title. To no one’s surprise, including his doubles partner and final round singles opponent, Jaime Pinto Bravo (Chile) was too strong for the men’s 80 field, beating Peter Pokorny (Austria) 60 63, in a repeat of their final in the ITF 1000 in Font de sa Cala two weeks earlier. Pokorny actually plays on a league team with Raijmakers (Frits plays line one and Peter line 6) in Austria…Frits says Pokorny never loses at line 6. Herbert Althaus (Germany) won his first ITF World singles title over Herm Ahlers (USA, Las Vegas) 64 61. Ahlers said Althaus was just too fast and got to all his drop shots. Althaus doesn’t have the prettiest strokes but he is really speedy, which in the 85s is key. The 90s was decided yesterday, and France’s Henri Cruchet won the title.

    In mixed, Benedict LeGrand and Marc Renoult (Bruno’s brother, also from France) won the 65 doubles over Sabine Schmitz (GER)/Alan Rasmussen (DEN) 62 10 retired (pulled muscle by Rasmussen). The 70 doubles was won by Reinhilde Adams (Germany)/Jairo Velasco Ramirez (Spain) over Marie Anne Semester Ghisolfi/Daniel Montel, France 62 61. USA’s Donna Fales (Florida) and Dean Corley (SoCal) won the 75 mixed over Teische Andree (Germany)/Zoltan Fabian (Hungary) 63 62. The 80 mixed was won by Suella Steel (USA, California)/Pokorny by default. It was a three-team round robin, and the first match was last Sunday, the second not till the following Saturday for Steel/Pokorny.

    Liane Bryson (USA, California) won the 70 consolation to add to her 70 doubles gold.

    After the medal ceremony, I checked out of my airbnb and Donna Fales and I drove to Palma, where I dropped her off at her hotel there. I returned the rental car to Hiper and fortunately the rental car agent was insistent that a phone was left in the car. It wasn’t mine, it was Donna’s. (I got a hold of her at the hotel and she knows I have it, a relief to her.) Then I flew to Barcelona, arriving about 8:30 at my hotel. After dinner I walked down the Passeig de Gracia for quite a while…my hotel was near both the Gaudi House (Casa Batlo) and Casa Milo, another famous Gaudi building. The street is lined with high-end stores…Gucci, Bulgari etc (also Uniqlo though). It was busy even after 11pm…because it’s Spain, it’s Barcelona.

    Now off to USA via London (do NOT forget to fill out that record locator form if you are transiting through London! Many of the passengers in line this morning had no clue…so I was the first person checked in.

  • Silver Medalist (x2); Fales Dominates 80s in Mallorca; Dittmer/Grossman, Liana Bryson, Dorothy Wasser Also Win Gold

    October 22, 2021

    Draws are here. 

    Photos are here

    The good news today was that the weather forecasters were wrong about the rain today…it never came (80% chance of rain = 20% of no rain at all). The weather app right now says there’s light rain…but it’s so light I can’t see or feel it.

    The bad news, at least for me was that I lost both my matches today. I lost in singles and doubles (with Sabine Schmidt) to Pat Medrado (with Tina Karwasky). Medrado was very good and there were two long games at 3/4 and 3/5 in the second in which I had game points…on one she hit (yet another) great backhand which kissed the baseline and sideline and I don’t really remember the others except I was up 40-15. She makes very few errors and can do just about anything with her backhand. I lost 62 63, an improvement on our previous matches and it lasted just over two hours…but I learned a lot from the match and it was good competition. In doubles, we lost 76 61. Tina came alive in the second set and didn’t miss much. I served and volleyed the entire match…it’s exhausting though rather fun. We played a really good first set and had some chances, but not many in the second set. Congratulations to Pat (x2) and Tina and many thanks to Sabine for playing doubles with me. It was a good effort.

    Top: Karwasky, Medrado, Schmitz, Nichols; bottom, Medrado, Nichols

    Donna Fales continued to impress, winning the singles 60 40 ret…maybe her opponent considerately retired so Donna could get to breakfast before the buffet closed at 10am (the match began at 9am). However, her opponent recovered sufficiently to play the doubles match which Donna and Dorothy Wasser won 60 61. If you are keeping track, Donna lost four games total in winning the 80 singles and doubles, but the 75 mixed has been a challenge (she plays the final tomorrow.) For Dorothy, it was her fourth straight 80 world championship, which is very impressive as well. Dorothy also won the 80s consolation singles.

    Carolyn; Fales/Wasser; Carolyn/Sabine; Ditmer/Grossman; Fales; Eisterlehner/Bryson; Beautyman/Buck; Tina/Pat Medrado; M85 SF: Chuck Nelson/Ned Buckman;
    Dorothy Wasser; TD Helge Albrecht; King Van Nostrand; Pinto Bravo; Adams; Velasco/Rae; Cruchet; M75, Anderman (far right)

    In men’s action, Doug Ditmer and Daniel Grossman won the 65 men’s doubles title, 64 36 10-8 over top seeded Frits Raijmakers/Alan Rasmussen. Frits plays USA Danny Waldman in the 65 singles final tomorrow while Alan and Sabine play for the mixed 65s title. It was a first world title for Ditmer who hadn’t played on red clay or in Europe for decades, but he arrived early and practiced hard the week before the tournament (as did Grossman) and it paid off.

    Liane Bryson combined with Germany’s Heidi Eisterlehner to win their second (or maybe third?) world title, the women’s 70 doubles. They beat Reinhilde Adams (who won the 70 singles) and Rotraut Spriess 61 26 10-8. That was an exciting finish.

    Michael Beautyman/Les Buck, playing men’s 75, fell to Italians Antonio Claudi and Paolo Lazzari 36 76 (2) 10-7…so close!

    The men’s singles finals and mixed are tomorrow. Dan Waldman is playing in the 65 final against Raijamkers; Suella Steel (with Peter Porkorny, Austria) is playing the 80 mixed final (six days after their first and only other match!); Herm Ahlers is playing the men’s 85 final (against Herb Althaus); Donna Fales/Dean Corley are in the 75 mixed final, Bryson is playing the 70 singles consolation final.

    Here is a list of the winners thus far:

    • W65 Singles: Pat Medrado (first singles in 5 years, hasn’t missed a beat)
    • W65 Doubles: Medrado/Tina Karwasky
    • W70 Singles: Reinhilde Adams
    • W70 Doubles: Liane Bryson/Heidi Eisterlehner
    • W75 Singles: Gudula Eisemann (unseeded)
    • W75 Doubles: Eisemann/Barbara Von Ende (also unseeded)
    • W80 Singles: Donna Fales (with the loss of 1 game0
    • W80 Doubles: Fales/Dorothy Wasser (4 in row for Dorothy)
    • W85 Singles: Odile Niox Chateau (by default)
    • M90 Singles: Henri Cruchet
    • M90 Doubles: Cruchet/Yves Lehman
    • M65 Doubles: Doug Ditmer/Daniel Grossman
    • M70 Doubles; Andrew Rae/Jairo Velasco Ramirez
    • M75 Doubles: Paolo Lazzari/Antonio Claudi
    • M80 Doubles: Jaime Pinto Bravo/Peter Pokorny
    • M85 Doubles: Helmut Lotz/Gerhard Specht (61 06 10-5..odd score)

    I will write something about tomorrow’s finals either Saturday or Sunday. I’m flying home starting tomorrow evening. It’s been a good trip! I recommend Mallorca and also playing the ITF 1000 that Helge runs each October for Super Seniors.

  • Survived Doubles Semi; Finals Friday (Weather Permitting); Semis Results

    Thursday October 21, 2021

    Draws are here. 

    Photos are here

    Today was a day off for singles but Sabine Schmitz and I played Hildegard Bruggraber/Christiane Deryckere. In contrast to our last match, everyone was from Europe except me, Sabine from Germany, Hildegard from Austria and Christiane from Belgium. We started well, winning the first set 62, and leading 53 in the second but from there it was tricky as our opponents started playing better and the sun became tricky. We had a match point at 54 and Hildegard actually hit the ball wide but I failed to call it, so we played on and eventually ended up in a tiebreak which we lost 73. So onto the match tiebreak which I don’t have much experience with. They had the momentum and forged 5-1 and 6-5 leads…maybe even 7-5. We then cut down on errors and went up 9-7, and as a loud altercation took place on the court next to us (it was an 85s match, so they probably didn’t realize how loud they were talking), I missed a shot and then it was 9-9. We finally won the match 12-10 in the tiebreak, though were never down a match point. Hildegard has improved a lot (she hadn’t lost a doubles or mixed match all year till today), and Christiane set her up nicely as the match went on. It shows how different singles and doubles are: I beat Christiane 61 60 in singles and Sabine beat Hildegard 61 61….In contrast to our meandering way to the final, Tina Karwasky and Pat Medrado won their semi 60 60. So we have our work cut out for us tomorrow. Singles is scheduled at 9am and doubles at noon.

    Nichols, Schmitz Bruggraber, Deryckere

    In other action: Men’s 65, Dan Waldman advanced over Italian Paolo Moscelli 75 retired. Apparently Moscelli is a tricky opponent, reading the ball well and dropshotting well. Dan faces a different opponent on Saturday in Frits Raijmakers, the top seed and defending champion from the Netherlands, who belts the ball. Doug Ditmer and Daniel Grossman beat the #2 seeds American Danny Shaw and Swiss Peter Heller to advance to the 65 doubles final against Frits and Alan Rasmussen. In 65 mixed, Schmitz/Rasmussen beat Shaw/Bruggraber and face Marc Renoult/Benedict Legrand in the final; they beat Steven Dance/Caroline Glaszmann.

    In the 70s there aren’t many Americans, but there were plenty of upsets. However, Reinhilde Adams was not one of them…the #2 seed took out Leyla Musalem of Chile and plays Heide Froeystock (4) who beat Micheline Van de Wiele (11th seed, who took out #1 Heidi Eisterlehner) 75 60. She was thrilled to reach the final. Eisterlehner did reach the doubles final, with USA Liane Bryson. They play Adams and Rotraut Spriess. In singles, Afred Boekl (2) beat Jorge Camina Borda in 3 sets and plays Bruno Renoult who beat Pedersen in 3 sets (Pedersen took out Andrew Rae yesterday). Rae is in the doubles final though with Velasco against Frans Norby/Kasper Rud of Denmark. The mixed final. is not yet set, there’s a semifinal match to be played still involving Adams.

    In men’s 75, Michael Beautyman fell to Antonio Claudi of Italy, who faces Brit Chris Ornstein in the final. However, Beautyman/Les Buck won their doubles convincingly to advance to the final against Claudi/Paolo Lazzari of Italy. In women’s 75, Eisemann plays Von Ende; Eisemann/Von Ende upset top seeded Heide Orth/Suzy Burgraff who take on Chileans Lilian Eisele Pardo/Alicia Salazar Garrido. In mixed, Donna Fales/Dean Corley (USA) advanced to the final, in a match tiebreak for the second straight match (against Roger Dowdeswell/Anneke Jelsma) and play Telsche Andree/Zoltan Fabian, who won their semis against an Israeli team 11-9 in the MTB.

    In the 80s, Donna Fales/Dorothy Wasser won their doubles semi 61 61 and play Germans Irmgard Gerlatzka/Elisabeth Van Boemmel in the final. Fales plays Gerlatzka in the singles final. In men’s play, Peter Pokorny and Jaime Pinto Bravo from Chile are in the singles final and doubles final (against Giovanni Argentina/Giancarlo Milesi of Italy. Mixed is a three team round robin & American Suella Steel is playing with Pokorny on Saturday (I think they played last Sunday…so it’s been a long week of waiting for Steel).

    King Van Nostrand had to default his Men’s 85 singles final to fellow American Herm Ahlers due to severe tennis elbow. Ahlers will play #2 seed Herbert Althaus who beat American Ned Buckman. The doubles final was set yesterday. Gallay/Marx play Loesl/Specht in the mixed final on Saturday as was the women’s singles final.

    In the first ever 90s event, Henri Crochet of France will take on Brit Leonard Lawrence in the final. They reached the final with the loss of only 1 game between them.

  • ITF Super Senior World Championships; Into the Semis; American Results Update

    Tuesday October 19, 2021

    Draws are here. 

    Photos are here

    Today I warmed up again with Sabine Schmitz even though I didn’t play till 2pm…it was good to hit early regardless. I watched the first set of Sabine’s match with Carmen Chillida. Sabine won it comfortably 63 and I left as it was noon and I thought Sabine had the match under control…which she did but she won 63 16 61. Carmen is very calm and methodical and has excellent passing shots and was moving well. Sabine has more firepower and was attacking well and mixing up her offense with drops, angles and volleys. Elsewhere (at Na Taconara), Pat Medrado allowed Benedicte Legrand only one game though Benedict said she had so many game points, but on all of them Medrado played great points and hit almost zero unforced errors. And she said Pat’s backhand was unreadable. Pat had a world ranking on the WTA tour of 48 in singles and 9 in doubles. She’ll play her doubles partner tomorrow (as I will), Tina Karwasky, who beat Caroline Glaszmann 75 63. Tina. had a WTA ranking high of 88. I beat Dagmar Sperneder 61 60; Dagy played well and hit some great drop shots and forehands. She certainly had the crowd behind her, there were even fans in the balconies off the hotel rooms above the courts yelling out her name, and any winner she hit was received with a roar of approval (my winners, not so much, but to be fair, the crowd didn’t applaud my errors).

    Later in the afternoon, I returned to the courts to watch some of the Americans play and found Liana Bryson watching Donna Fales and Dean Corley play in the 75 mixed. Donna just turned 80, but runs more like she’s 10-15 years younger. Donna reached the singles and doubles quarters at Wimbledon and Roland Garros and the singles semis and doubles final at Forest Hills where she also won the mixed in 1966. She was ranked in the top 10 in the USA seven times during the 1960s. She also captained the USA Fed Cup team. Dean and Donna played the #2 seeds, Chris Ornstein and Christine Baron and won 75 64 in a highly entertaining match. On one point there was a high ball and Dean called the overhead…after which Donna calmly put the ball away. Donna complimented Christine on her down the line forehand and I thought Donna moved unbelievably well, she seems to see the ball so early.

    There were some upsets around the grounds; In women’s 70s, top seeded Heidi Eisterlehner lost to a Belgian player she beat twice last week in the team competition. Heide Froeysok, winner of the marathon match yesterday, advanced to the semis and will meet Heidi’s conqueror there. Gudula Eisemann upset top seeded Sylvie Galfard-Kirsten decisively (and beat her in the Cup too but in a tight 3-setter); she plays Heide Orth next (who beat Marja Liisa Hedman, her conqueror last week in the Queens Cup);

    In other action:

    Dan Waldman advanced to the quarters in the 65s and takes on the #2 seed, Czech Radovan Cizek. Doug Ditmer/Dan Grossman and Danny Shaw play men’s 65 doubles tomorrow and Shaw is in mixed semis. Michael Beautyman and Donald Long both advanced to the 75 singles quarters; Beautyman/Les Buck and Miguel Cordova advanced to the semis but Corley/Long were upset in a match tiebreak by an Italian team in men’s 75. However Corley/Fales are in the 75 mixed semis. In men’s 80s, Robert Anderman lost to Italian Roberto Fumgalli in a match tiebreak. Anderman/Thomas Brunkow though are in the semis of the doubles and face Jaime Pinto Bravo/Peter Pokorny in the semis. Fales takes on top seeded Elisabeth Von Boemmel in the 80s semis (my $$$ is on Donna to win that one) while Fales/Dorothy Wasser have been waiting for a few days to play their doubles semi. As are Suella Steel/Pokorny. In the men’s 85s, three of the four players left are Americans with only Herbert Althaus, the #2 seed victorious against a USA player (he took out Chuck Nelson); #1 King Van Nostrand takes on unseeded Herb Althaus (who beat the #3 seed) and Althaus will play Ned Buckman, who advanced after winning a match tiebreak over Peter Jessen. Buckman/Nelson and Van Nostrand are in the doubles semis.

    Adrienne Sprouse, Dorothy Wasser and Sheila Palmer
    Les Buck, Suella Steel, Don Long
    Liana Bryson who finally gets to play tomorrow, Wednesday; her last match was on Sunday and she has yet to play a doubles match (she plays consolation singles and doubles tomorrow).

  • Two Matches! Successful Start in World Championships

    Monday October 18, 2021

    Draws are here. 

    Photos are here

    Today I played my first singles match at the ITF Super Senior World Championships, ten days after my last match in the ITF 1000 here. I warmed up with Sabine Schmitz, my doubles partner at 8:15 (sunrise is about 8am). I played at Son Besso tennis club about five minutes from Font de sa Cala. I practiced there a few days ago and my match ended up being on the same court. I arrived early at Son Besso had my temperature taken (I was NOT hot headed), and watched Patricia Medrado, a former top 30 player and multiple ITF singles and doubles champion play as well as Tina Karwasky. Both cruised to victory and Medrado was very impressive in her movement. Tina was all over the net and also played really well.

    I played Christiane Deryckere of Belgium. I’ve played her several times before and we’ve had some good sets. She started out blasting the ball, and hitting quite a few winners. But I figured out some of her pattens (and she made some errors on big points), and won 61 60 but it was nearly 1 1/2 hours including warm up. However she plays quite a bit slower than I do, or at least did so today. There were a few interesting moments; after I won the first game of the second set she was sitting down on the changeover and I reminded her that she could not do that after the first game of set (she didn’t sit down after the first game of the match). She asked when that rule changed (around 2000)…but it turns out she thought the set score was 62, not 61 (even though the scoreboard showed it to be 61), so her confusion made sense, in retrospect (after the match). We had a fair match; she called a ball out on herself (it was 8 inches out but I had trouble finding the mark initially); I called a serve out but overruled myself when looking at the mark (it just caught). In ITFs which aren’t chaired a player can be invited over to the other end of the court to check a mark; Christiane wasn’t sure of whether a mark was in or out and so called me over (it grazed the line in my opinion, and she gave me the point).

    Christiane Deryckere and Carolyn

    Sabine won easily over Hildegarde Bruggaber, who said she played well but came away with only two games. I play Dagmar Sperneder again (I played her in the semis of the ITF 1000 two weeks ago); she beat Leena Ranta of Finland in a good match 64 76.

    In the afternoon we (Sabine and I) played doubles against Rosa Mendoza from Peru and Barbara Tsur from Israel. So we had players from four continents on the court, North & South America, Europe and Asia. Pretty cool. We won 60 60.

    Sabine Schmidt and Carolyn

    After the match we watched a dramatic women’s 70s match between two Germans, #4 seeded Heide Froeysok and Irene Smutny. They were half way through the second set when we started our doubles, and were at about 21 in the third when we finished. Another doubles match went on after our match and also finished before the women’s match (granted it was a 60 60 match). Heide finally won 76(5) in the third but not before Irene had two match points at 6-5 and led 52 in the tiebreak. Neither player held serve in the final set. There was quite a crowd watching to see who could finish off the match, which started about 1:30 and finished just before 5:30.

    Round up of American results: Tina Karwasky won singles/doubles in the 65s; Doug Ditmer/Daniel Grossman and Danny Shaw all advanced in 65 doubles; Danny Waldman won in 65 singles; Michael Beautyman and Donald Long advanced in 75 singles while Miguel Cordova lost; Beautyman/Les Buck won in 75 doubles as did Dean Corley/Don Long (top seeds) and George Balch/Karol Placek (by default); Heide Orth won in 75 singles and plays the Finnish player she lost to in the Cup last week; Robert Anderman won in men’s 80 singles; Donna Fales won in women’s 80 singles; Anderman/Thomas Brunkow advanced in 80 doubles; Fales/Dorothy Wasser won in 80 doubles; Four of the eight remaining players in the men’s 85s are American: top seeded King Van Nostrand; unseeded Herm Ahlers (who beat the #8 seed), Chuck Nelson (beat the #7 seed…all that practice the week of the Cups must have helped) and Ned Buckman (beat the #4 seed). Van Nostrand, Buckman/Nelson all advanced to the doubles semis. Sheila Palmer lost in 85 singles and 80 doubles. Leona Bryson hasn’t played doubles yet.

    Tomorrow I play singles only; all of the quarters in the 65s are at 10:30 except my match which is at 2:30 for some reason. I play at Beach Club Font de sa Cala. The schedule for the tournament is not done for the week as is normal in USTA tournaments…each evening an order of play is posted for the next day, so from day to day one may play only singles or doubles or mixed or all three, but till about 5pm it’s a mystery.

  • Last Practice Day (8)

    Sunday October 17, 2021

    Draws are here.

    Photos are here

    Today was the last practice day before the Individual World Championships for me. I checked on practice courts in the morning (there were none till after 5pm at the earliest) so I checked on other options in the area, and found available courts at the Canyamel Park Hotel (for a fee, 20 Euros an hour per court). I reserved a court and practiced with Michael Beautyman again. We were given a court in the back that was very beach-like…thick and sandy. There was a steady stream of lessons net to us, all taught in German. On the first court, when we arrived five players were playing “dingles”…though they didn’t call it that.

    Top left, Carolyn Steve Dance, Dagmar Sperneder, Sabine Schmitz; Top Right, Carolyn and Salma (head of the Tunisian Tennis Association and Chair of ITF Seniors Committee); bottom; Tennis Club in Canyamel

    Canyamel is about 15 minutes down the coast from Font de Sa Cala, and is a beach resort, primarily visited by Germans.

    After practice I picked up my racquet I’d had strung and chatted with some of the players. Suella Steel lost a tight match to the #2 seed in the 80s, an unfortunate draw for her. She wasn’t used to all the softer balls and drop shots. Donna Fales (80s), Sheila Palmer (85), Dorothy Wasser (80), George Balch (75), Michael Gurmai (75), Miguel Cordova (M75), Dan Waldman (M65), advanced while I believe in men’s 75, Karl Placek & Les Buck both retired with injuries (the winner isn’t listed but both were hobbled) and Dean Corley lost. In the 65s, Danny Shaw (an American who lives in Austria) and Andrew Stanley (a Brit who lives in USA) both fell. Liana Bryson and Adrienne Sprouse lost in the women’s 70. Warren Mosler, the only American in men’s 70, lost.

    The Americans mostly did well yesterday in mixed with Suella Steel (with Peter Pokorny), Donna Fales/Dean Corley, Danny Shaw (with Hildegard Bruggaber) and Andrew/Ann Stanley advancing.

    I play tomorrow against a Belgian player, Christiane Deryckere at 10 at Son Besso tennis club, about a 5 minute drive from here. She’s a nice player, should be a good match. I practiced there two days ago and the courts are rather like the ones I practiced on today.

  • Practice Day 7 & Castell de Capdepera

    Saturday October 16, 2021

    Draws are here.

    Photos are here

    The ITF Super Seniors Individual World Championships began today with a light schedule: Men’s 65 Round of 128 and mixed doubles. Americans Dean Corley/Donna Fales advanced over a pair of Canadians to the quarters. Danny Shaw, who plays under an American passport but lives in Austria won both his singles and mixed matches today. Andrew and Ann Stanley won their mixed (and Andrew, who plays under the British flag but lives in the USA won his singles match).

    In the morning I decided to visit the Castell de Capdepera since I was not hitting till 1pm. I drove up near the Castle, up some very narrow streets (one car wide given that there were cars parked on the street and that it was 2-way traffic). The castle is pretty large on a hill. From the top views of both the sea and the surrounding farm land and the old city of Capdepera can be seen. The castle was first built in about 300 AD by Romans and enlarged by Moors, then destroyed, then rebuilt around 700 AD. There’s a church at the top.

    The castle looks…like a castle with the typical battlement at the top and openings in the walls for rifles and canons. There are parts near the top of the wall where visitors can walk. The cost to enter the castle is a reasonable 3 euros (about $3.50).

    Castel de Capdepera
    Narrow two-way street in Capdepera.

    After I returned to Font de Sa Cala I practiced with Michael Beautyman at one venue, Na Taconara. I saw a few other Americans there, Tina Karwasky, practicing with a Spanish player, and Leona Bryson. Later I went to Tenis Club Aguait near the water and hit some more with Michael and Les Buck. I had not played at this club before and it is a nice club, with a very busy restaurant (and the food looked very good), and lots of padel courts.

    Padel Courts at Tenis Y Padel Club Aguait

    Someone (or someones) were having a happy Saturday afternoon at Club Aguait.

    I don’t play tomorrow but my potential opponents do in singles so I may scout them before practicing in the afternoon.

  • Practice Day 5, Wednesday

    Writing Thursday Morning 10/14/21

    Yesterday was my last practice day at Global Tennis, in Marraxti. I drove over in the morning, over the now familiar route, past the small agricultural towns in the center of Mallorca. I know know that on 2-lane roads the general speed limit is 90 km/hr unless otherwise posted (about 55 mph); 100 on four-lane highways (about 60 mph) and 120 on the freeways. The difference between highways and freeways: on the highways, about every 5 km there’s a roundabout for drivers to exit the highway or continue on the same route. On freeways there’s a normal exit (then most likely a roundabout…there aren’t many stoplights or stop signs in Mallorca but there are hundreds at least of roundabouts!

    The two-lane roads are often lined with stone walls (most ungrouted) and the farms are dotted with stone buildings and cisterns to water the fields. There are lots of olives (domesticated and wild) and almond trees all over the island, and citrus near the southeast part.

    I stopped again at Montuiri for a photo with a better camera…the town is actually even prettier from the other side. Montuiri is known for its many windmills.

    Montuiri is known for its many windmills, used in agriculture extensively in Mallorca.

    After a 90 minute practice, I got gas, then hit the Alcampo one last time (peanut butter and apples of course) and drove back to Font de Sa Cala where I hit with Les Buck from USA who had arrived the day before. I saw Tina Karwasky, who was hitting with her doubles partner, Patricia Medrado from Brazil, an excellent player. And while waiting for a court I watched the French 65 team practice…they are playing Spain now and then Germany…the Germany/France match tomorrow should be a good one. I don’t believe any of the players on the teams has won a world team championship before (regards to the missing teams), so it’s a big match for all involved.

    A lot more Americans arrive this afternoon and evening.

    The singles draws came out last night for the individual world championships which begin Saturday. Doubles draws will probably be posted tonight. The link is in my previous blog post.

  • Draws Posted for Individual World Championships

    The singles draws have been posted for the ITF Super Seniors Individual World Championships.

    View draws here.

    The doubles draws should be posted tomorrow.

    Play begins Saturday. Women’s draws begin Sunday (other than perhaps mixed.)

  • Mallorca 1000 Wednesday: Into the Final

    Draws are here.

    Photos are here.

    Wednesday was semifinal day in Mallorca. There were some ominous looking clouds in the not too distant sky as we waited for our court assignment. It was also very windy (not by Florida standards though). I played my warm up partner for the week, Dagmar Sperneder. We had a good warm up and then were out on the same court 15 minutes later. I posted a solid win (and hit about half a dozen aces which was a personal best against a decent player), as did Sabine Schmidt, the top seed, who took out Encarnacion Gomez-Ruiz in the other semi. Sabine said Encarnita was a bit tired/hurt from her long three setter the day before. We both finished by 10am, and had to play through intermittent showers, which still feels weird for someone who grew up on California hard courts where rain = stop playing! These clay courts absorbed the showers, though just as we finished it started raining a lot harder.

    I didn’t watch a lot of tennis today because I moved into the apartment I rented for the rest of my stay. It turned out to be just across the street from the tennis courts, the location couldn’t be better. So now I have fast wifi (fiber), and a washer and dryer, a nice patio with a barbecue. The flat comes complete with an outdoor cat and food to give it. Of course, after transferring my luggage I had to hit the grocery store, Lidl and Eroski. Lidl is a lot like the European Aldi (quite a bit different though from American Aldi stores). I felt like a pro at the store…got bread, sliced and bagged it, a selection of Spanish cheeses they had which looked interesting, turkey, apples (of course), various drinks and items I hadn’t packed. The eggs of course weren’t refrigerated. They always have Feltsalat (I don’t know the word in English…something like lambs lettuce)..[update: it IS lambs lettuce] which is hard to find in the USA and delicious. And at the Eroski, some mango chutney sauce which is great on sandwiches. No peanut butter to be found though, so I’ll have to get that on the other side of the Island Friday or Saturday.

    There were some interesting results today though. Stephen Dance from Australia (given special permission to travel as was Andrew Rae) upset #1 Fritz Raijmakers of Netherlands, handing Fritz his first 65s ITF loss of the year, 75 64. the conditions were really difficult with the wind and rain, but Stephen was the steadier player. The men’s 80s final will feature Jaime Pinto Bravo from Chile (who looks nowhere near his age and plays like a much younger man), who won 60 60 while Peter Pokorny had to fight hard to beat #4 seeded Eckard Kaercher 10-8 in the match tiebreak. Pokorny looked good too, hitting his topspin lefty forehand over Kaercher’s head a times.

    In women’s 70, Heidi Eisterlehner (1) will face Leyla Musalem (2) of Chile in the final. Heide Orth will face her doubles partner Suzy Burggraf in the final.

  • ITF S1000, Font de Sa Cala, Mallorca: Into the Semis

    Draws are here.

    I played the quarters of the ITF S1000 in Font de Sa Cala, Spain today, against Katrin Dippner. I warmed up early (8:30) with Dagmar Sperneder of Austria (and Netherlands and Spain). The procedure is to book a practice court no earlier than 3pm for either 8 or 8:30 the next day. (As I was writing this I realized it was 3:30 and I had not booked a court for tomorrow, though now that the draws are whittled down to the semis, booking a court is pretty easy, and there were plenty of courts left.)

    She’s a good player (her ITF resume says she started playing at age 4), and has a good record against the top seed, Sabine Schmidt (who is playing very well). Katrin has four children (two of her sons and some of her six grandchildren are here), and recently retired so now has time to play more tournaments. I won 60 61 today, but we had some good points and a few close games…playing Dippner in two weeks could be a different proposition after she’s played the team event next week. Dagmar won too and even though we play each other tomorrow we are warming up together.

    After I finished, I watched Fritz Raijmakers of Netherlands (top seed and world #2 in 65s) play a British player, Peter Warnock. Warnock tested him…he began by ripping forehand returns to break the top seed and the two exchanged periods of good play with periods of…less perfect play. Raijmakers finished well, winning 63 76 (1) in front of an entertained crowd. Fritz maintained his 2021 perfect ITF Seniors record.

    After lunch I walked up to another venue, Na Taconara. It’s been a while since I was in Font de Sa Cala, and the Sports Club Na Taconara has added many beach volleyball courts, all of which were busy, though at the expense of four red clay courts. The fitness area seemed much upgraded too. There were a smattering of consolation matches from the tournament taking place there.

    I wandered back, and along the beach, which on a lovely day was busy. Back at the Beach Club there seems to be something for every tourist…big pools, kids pools with water features and small slides, bocce courts, mini golf and more.

    The dinner last night, buffet style, was quite good. There’s a lot to choose from: pasta bar, prepared meats and fishes, huge salad selection, fresh breads, potatoes of all sorts, fresh grilled chicken and fish and lots of deserts from fruit to cakes to ice cream. There is indoor seating and semi-outdoor seating in a screened in porch.

  • Mallorca, Font de Sa Cala ITF Seniors 1000

    Font de sa Cala, Spain

    I arrived in Font de sa Cala at around 9:15, checked in (my room was to be ready at 10:30, had a bit of breakfast, and read while I was waiting. The buffet breakfast was pretty much as remembered, lots of fruit, eggs, bacon, yogurts, breads (dozens) and cereals. Very nice and complete.

    When I arrived the decision had just been made to postpone play till noon. So I was able to get into my room (once I found it…it was tricky) and get ready to play. I was told 1:30 pm. I ran into quite a few people I knew and caught up a bit, then got my racquets and ran around on the basketball court up by some of the courts. There are quite a lot of clay courts here, all red clay. I played my first match though without having hit a ball on red clay for over two months. I won pretty easily and tomorrow play Katrin Dippner from Germany, a very good player and many time former champion here.

    I was able to get a practice court for tomorrow morning, get a bit of massage and finish transferring my luggage to my room in the afternoon, and get ready for tomorrow. I play second match on tomorrow, at 10:30 on Font A wherever that is, I just know it’s here at Font de Sa Cala.

    This tournament is very nice, they do a lot for players…provide a shuttle between venues, a shirt and towel to all players, a player party at the Beach Club, a happy hour, physios (trainers) (2) are available, and it’s well organized…practice courts for example can be booked at 3 pm for the next day.

    Also, I found out that antigen covid tests can be booked at the Beach Club for 30 euros, about $36…the antigen test is what Americans need within 3 days of departure for the USA return.

  • Chandler, Smashey, Fales Win Singles at National Women’s 40-89 Clay: Palm Beach Gardens Day 5, The End

    Draws are here

    Fran Chandler won another marathon battle today, this against Vicky Buholz, 57 61 75, rallying from 0-3 down in the third to win the 3-hour match. In the bronze medal match, I lost to Diane Barker 61 64 in 1:45 hour. Susan Wright, who drew Chandler in the round of 16, won the consolation over Terri Thyssen, her first round opponent.

    Vicky Buholz and Fran Chandler
    Carolyn Nichols and Diane Barker

    This tournament was unfortunately only an ITF 700, not 1000, despite having over 10 world titles in the draw! The downgrade is due to Europeans not being able to freely enter the USA for tourism.

    Kaysie Smashey beat Yulia Bolotova 62 62 to win the 40 singles. She combined with Nancy Hilliard to beat Boltova/Mamie Inoue 41 ret inj. Christen Barrett won the consolation.. receiving three straight defaults. Barnes/Chaplin, the #2 seeds took bronze.

    Donna Fales cruised to the 80s singles gold, and teamed with Dorothy Wasser to win the doubles. Next stop for Fales Wasser is the Individual Worlds in Mallorca in about two weeks.

    Many thanks to Trish Faulkner, Bill, Wendy, Andi and the staff and volunteers for the tournament for having us as guests this week.

    Next stop for me is Mallorca…very soon.

  • Chandler Survives Battle with Wright; Carruth edges Alcini: Palm Beach Gardens National Clay Day 2

    Draws are here.

    The popcorn match on Wednesday started at 9am on the center court at Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. It did not disappoint. Fran Chandler, the second seed, took on Alice Marble Cup teammate Susan Wright in the round of 16 (there were only four seeds). The rallies were fierce from the beginning with Chandler defending and pummeling her backhand while Wright was offensive from both wings, particularly her backhand. Both players are slight but hit a big, hard ball. Chandler won the final three games of the first set to win it 64 and looked on track for a straight set win when she finally held serve in the second to go up 5/4. It was Wright’s turn to win three games in a row and she seemed to have the edge with her superior court positioning and excellent ball string. Wright was up 3/2 when I had to play my match; by the time I finished, Chandler had won the set 63. Vicki Buholz, Diane Barker and I won our matches in straight sets.

    Amy Alcini and Marlo Carruth, weekly practice partners, faced each other in the 50s and Carruth won in a good match 75 76 (4). They would have been seeded had the draw been larger; as is there are only two seeds. Nancy Hilliard and Julie Cass advanced without incident.

    In the 70s, the top seeds, Toni Novack and Liane Bryson both had tough matches today. Toni won 62 76, but was down 5-2, 40-15 in the second set before rallying to win it. Liana Bryson had to go three sets to oust Janet Watanabe 76 46 60. Cindy Babb upset Barbara Hubbard (3) in straight sets and Sue Bramlette got past Simmy Pell 75 62.

    In 50 doubles Veronia Barni and Daniela Alvarez upset the #2 seeds, Pollyanna Clark/Diane Barker (Pollyanna is Diane’s niece) to reach the final.

    In 60 doubles, the #2 seeds, Vicki Buholz/Cindy Johnson, survived a tough encounter with Tracey Thompson/Terri Thyssen. The latter team won the first set 76 and were up 5-3 in the second before Buholz/Johnson rallied to win the 2nd set and the match tiebreak. Vicki in particular was very solid during the tiebreak.

    In the 70s, Bryson/Cindy Leprevost and Sue Bramlette/CindyBabb are in the doubles final, having won their respective round robin groups.

    Toni Novack and her daughter Lynn Vosloo are playing in the 70 and 40s respectively.

  • National 40-80 Clay: Practice Day

    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    Draws are here.

    The women’s tournament season in the USA basically skipped most of the summer for higher level tournaments (only 2 from June-mid-September), but now is packed! I flew from Houston on Friday night. It was an uneventful flight but I did leave my phone in the rental (I realized it pretty quickly…before I got on the shuttle), then went through security before remembering to do my “Clear’ biometrics…which had to be done in a different terminal. I had arrived nice and early though and was still early to the gate.

    Yesterday I had a tennis rest day but a busy one…laundry, packing for my international trip next weekend, flu shot, grocery shopping (always hard to dash in and out of Costco or even Trader Joe’s for that matter) for next week (three house guests)…plus getting ready for one guest who came in last night.

    Today I practiced with Erin Nevin from Palm Beach Gardens who also practices with Jenny Klitch. We practiced a lot during lockdown and it paid off for all of us. The courts at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center are really nice…new, hydro-courts and the clubhouse is also new and quite nice and beautiful to look at. Two years ago the clubhouse was a couple of temporary trailers, so this is quite an upgrade. There are two more stadium courts as well. It was breezy and warm but not too oppressive and the weather forecast for the week is mostly dry.

    I don’t play till Wednesday but then the tournament starts with a bang, singles and doubles.

    Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center (A public facility! 20 green clay courts plus some hard courts and pickle ball. )

  • Houston Day 7: Smashey Wins 35 Singles; Morris/Toney Win 45 Doubles

    Click here to see the draws and results. 

    Click here to see photos.

    Sunday was the final day of the 2021 Clay Courts in Houston, which was the 50th anniversary of this tournament. It’s always a great event but this year’s edition seemed better than every. Many thanks to everyone who made the tournament great, especially Sue Bramlette and the very supportive Bob Bramlette. It was fun and see you next year!

    Kaysey Smashey beat Alina Mihailescu in three sets to win the 35 clay singles.

    Jennifer Toney/Tammy Morris won the 45 doubles over unseeded Corrine Loeffler/Kristin Warren 76 60. Brandi Bratek, the third seed won the bronze.

    And that’s a wrap on the 2021 Clay Courts in Houston…coming up, the 40-80 Clay in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida!

  • Houston Clay Nationals Day 5: Klitch, Nichols, DeVries, Price Win Singles Titles; Buholz/Prejean Take 55 Doubles

    National Women’s Clay Courts, Houston, Day 5

    Click here to see the draws and results. 

    Click here to see photos.

    It was another beautiful, sunny warm (but not humid) day in Houston Friday, and there were a lot of matches both in the main draw and consolation draws. 

    As usual there was a delicious lunch and breakfast for the players…on the menu for lunch were make your own burger (using hamburger, barbecued chicken or portabella mushrooms), various salads, green, coleslaw, potato, house made potato chips, sweet potato fries and the club’s awesome cookies. Again, I cannot say enough thanks to Sue Bramlette for directing the best senior tournament, full stop. 

    I had a 9am match, and Jenny K and I warmed up as usual at 7:30. I played Tina Karwasky, the 2017-9 champion in the 65s and won 62 63. Tina slipped during the second set and skinned her knee…she was icing it, her other knee and right shoulder after the match. The conditions weather wise were perfect..70s and no wind, but the extreme contrast between sun and shadow made play tricky at times. Bunnie Jackson beat Sherri Bronson in three sets to take the 65 bronze. Lisa Musgrave beat Andrea Barnes in three sets to place fifth. In the consolation to determine 9th place, Pat Purcell beat Leslie Murveit in three sets and takes on Frances O’Sullivan next. 

    After I finished, we took some photos and I watched Jenny Klitch, (#1 in the world in 55s) play Renee Saheim, an energetic lefty who is an excellent player. Klitch though played a terrific match, smacking winners left and right (no Renee hit seemed safe from Jenny’s returns) and making Renee run a lot. The points were great but Klitch won 62 62. Gayle Prejean took third. In consolation, beating Laurie Capra 62 ret. (Capra had a loooong match two days earlier, with kathy Vick, plus doubles), Tracey Thompson won a marathon with Heidi Gerger 67 76 (12) 63! She faces Paulson in the 9-10 playoff. Vicki Buholz won the 5-8 playoff over McWilliams (winner of the 5 hour 15 minute match against Kathy Vick yesterday) 61, ret. McWilliams was pulling up after every point. Winning a match against Kathy Vick this tournament was a pyrrhic victory. After singles Renee had the doubles final with Lori Gonzalez against Buholz/Prejean, the 55 world doubles champions. Buholz/Prejean dropped the first set but rallied to win and take the gold in three sets.

    Dori Devries won the Women’s 85s when Carol Wood had to retire after dropping the first set 64 with hamstring and arm injuries. Sheila Palmer took the bronze over Burnett Herrick 64 64. Laurie Leach was 5th.

    Julie Thu took very little time in beating Dianne Lee Friday..Lee didn’t play badly but Thu just kept hitting winners at the end of points, angles then line shots. She plays Luciana Roldan in the 45s final this morning. In 45 doubles, the 1, 3 and 4 seeds survived but the #2 seeds, Stacey Williams/Mariana Hollman lost to Loeffler/Warren.

    Kaysie Smashey started her tournament with a win in the 35s and faces #3 Brandi Bratek in the semis. Alina Mihailescu (2) faces unseeded Chiara Combs who beat the 4th seed when she had to retire at 1-1 in the third set.

    Rita Price won the 90 singles despite not having played singles for two years and being 95! She attributed her wins to Tai Chi and dancing…and she is a very good dancer. If you are on Facebook check out the video from the player party of Rita dancing to New York New York.