• Tag Archives tournaments
  • Hola Espana

    This morning I left rainy Essen, Germany for sunny Barcelona, Spain. I flew Vueling airlines (affiliated with Iberia), a discount airline that had the best nonstop flight today to Barcelona from Dusseldorf. I think Sunday may not be a great day to fly in Germany in particular. There was one woman at the check in counter for the entire plane full of people. And the way some of the fares work, is that a cabin bag (such as a small roller bag…anything that won’t fit under the seat) has to be checked. I got there early when there were only 30 minutes of people in front of me. But the check in counter only opened a bit less than two hours before the flight was to take off. By the time I’d checked my bags, the line was several hundred feet long. On the other hand, there were few people at security, most of the TSA equivalents were standing around. The security guy though where my bags were inspected decided to check everyone’s bags for what I assume was explosive residue. I still had plenty of time though and the flight was on time. By noon I was in warm Barcelona and at my hotel by 1pm.

    Long line to check in this morning in Dusseldorf
    Plane to Barcelona is at the gate

    After checking in and organizing my stuff, I walked to the Reial Club do Polo de Barcelona to meet the Guille, the son-in-law of members of my club at home. We’d hit once before when his family visited there, and they’ve since moved back to Barcelona. We had a good hit. The tournament is using the same Wilson balls as were used at the French Open and they were good to hit with, a little less flighty than the heavy duty Wilson US Open balls used three years ago. They seemed more durable too.

    After hitting, I walked to a gas station to get more water and snacks (all other stores are closed on Sundays) and then back to the hotel.

    Avenida Diagonal, Barcelona on a quiet Sunday afternoon

    I play my first match tomorrow at 6pm.

    Draws and results are here.


  • Essen Singles/Doubles Champion

    Draws are here.

    I played the singles final, and the doubles semis and final both today. I played Jutta Boekmann in the singles final and won 60 60, though she had several game points. It was a good style matchup for me, plus I scouted her yesterday and had a good idea how to play her. After about an hour break we played the doubles semis a bit early against Yvette DeRoche and Christina Gehrke. We won 61 60 and then played the doubles final almost immediately after against Sylvia Balkow and Gabriele Meier and won 60 60, though we had many fun points. So Essen is done for this year, I have the day off tomorrow to go to Dusseldorf and then on to Barcelona on Sunday morning.

    I watched a few matches including the 30 singles final against two ridiculously young looking “seniors”; Ellen Neumann, Heidi Eisterlehner, Keith Porter and Fritz Raijmakers and Haim Ohn.


  • Last Practice Day in Essen

    Draws are here.

    Today was another practice day in Essen. I hit quite a bit, first with Heide Orth (what a beautiful backhand and deadly drop shot), then with Heidi Eisterlehner (also a beautiful backhand!), then with Haim Ohn, the men’s 65s 9th seed, from Israel who was nice enough to hit with me. He’s a lefty with a great serve and forehand (massive topspin). I broke a string against him, the third one since I arrived June 24th. In Spain labor was 9 euros (about $11) a racquet (with my own string); here it is 15 euros (about $18). It was quite windy today especially in the afternoon. Below are photos from the courts around 9:30…two were very wet and two were dry; the Women’s 65 draw, and the flags blowing full out around 2pm.

    I went back to the hotel mid-afternoon and decided to do a load of washing while I was at the gym (the laundry room is off the gym). The machines are controlled by an app called Wewash…no coins needed. The app is pretty cool…you can reserve a washer or dryer or see if it’s occupied before going downstairs and when the load is done you get a notification.

    I cooked my pfifferlinge (chanterelles) tonight and added them to pasta (with tomatoes, a little butter)…very good.

    Tomorrow I play my first match at 1:30 pm. I am warming up early, 9am, and after my match I have to change out my rental car because I was notified there was a recall on it. I have a Toyota Yaris which is quite small, perfect for the small parking spots at the club, and pretty much everywhere in Europe.


  • Traveling to Germany

    It was a “hurry up and wait” sort of morning Saturday. I left my Airbnb early, before 6 am (finally saw a sunrise in Spain). Luckily I bought fuel the day before because the gas station at the airport was packed. My fuel gauge was still close to full so I passed. Good thing because I followed the GPS (google maps), not the rental car signs to the airport and ended up first in the drop off area, then in the parking garage (and it was tricky to exit… I owed 65 cents and the credit card payment wouldn’t process at the exit gate.. it took 15 minutes to exit). The rental car return signs are small but once I abandoned GPS I found them and returned the car.

    I flew Eurowings to Düsseldorf. It’s a discount airline owned by Lufthansa. I don’t really pack well to fly discount airlines but after figuring out where to check in (tip: take the elevator outside the terminal to the 2nd floor to check in. You won’t be admitted into the arrivals area.) and showing my vaccination card and passport (and paying a bag fee, since one small carryon only is allowed), I was good to go through security. FYI there was a COVID testing spot at the airport and the line was long. Take a self antigen test with you if you aren’t vaccinated or are returning to the USA and take it the day before flying.

    Another tip: go upstairs to go through security unless you are traveling to another Baleric Island. There’s an escalator by the front of the terminal.

    Once in the terminal the waiting began. We left the terminal 30 minutes late. As is common in Europe, buses took us from the terminal to the plane. In this one terminal there were so many airlines: Eurowings of course, Lufthansa, Ryan Air, Lauda, Norwegian, Wizz Air, Easy Jet and more. Europe feels like one country in some ways but this was definitely an international terminal.

    Crowded restaurant at PMI, walking through duty free is mandatory to get to the gates in Palma, varietal of airlines at Terminal C in Palma

    Upon arrival in Germany, unlike in Spain, I didn’t have to show any proof of a covid test or vaccination which surprised me. So the check-in personnel at the airport are the ones validating vaccination cards or covid tests, at least traveling from Mallorca to Germany. And no one asked me how long I had been in Spain. Mallorca is considered a low risk area.

    In Dusseldorf is in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, about 45 minutes north of Cologne, is not really a big tourist destination. The airport wasn’t super busy, but was not empty. The rental car pickup is on airport ground but quite a walk. I rented from Alamo and it was on the 7th floor of the parking garage and was pretty much deserted. There were only a few cars there and no line for once.

    After driving to Essen, (30 minutes north of Dusseldorf) and I checked into my hotel (and there I was asked for a negative covid test…I showed my vaccine so I was ok). I then went to get my racquet strung at Tennis Point (which recently I believe bought Midwest Sports, an online retailer in the USA..or the other way around). This is a big retailer what sells lots of racquets, balls, shoes, accessories, bags, and clothes. There are different brands than we normally see in the USA, such as Bidi Badu, Ellesse, Lotto for clothes, and there were large numbers of clay court shoes and even some indoor shoes (smooth soled). In the USA K-Swiss doesn’t normally sell clay shoes but there were a large number of them in the store. I bought a can of balls and paid for my racquet and it was on the next stop.

    I went to Decathalon to get an exercise mat (about $3), and came across a large grocery/variety store, so of course I had to check it out. It was another large store like the one in Spain which sold everything from washing machines to candy bars, but not quite as nice, particularly the produce. There was more bread but less ham (still a lot) and of course a huge number of yogurt and quark options. The chocolate and candy aisles were larger too. Since I was in Germany I bought some Ritter Sport bars, which were present in large quantity, variety and low in price (about $1-2 for a 100 gram bar).

    All the eggs including colored ones, on display in Essen; every American fast food place here in Germany (Subway was around the corner too)

    After dropping off the items at the hotel I walked to a nearby Lidl which happened to be at the train station. I am also near the center where there are some pedestrian streets full of shops and people who were enjoying their Saturday afternoon.

    Later today I am hitting at ETUF-Essen where the tournament is set to take place. Weather permitting…looks like there will be some thunderstorms in the afternoon.


  • Westwood 65 Singles/50 Doubles Champion; More to Play

    Austin, Texas, USA

    Click here to see draws, schedule and results.

    I played the 65 singles final and 50 doubles final today and both went well. I beat Mary Morgan of Houston 62 61 and even served and volleyed and chipped and charged some! (1: Hard courts encourage that behavior; 2: Fast hard courts encourage it even more). Mary is one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet (and very extroverted to boot). It was a pleasure to play the match.

    Jenny Klitch beat Shelly Works in the 55 final 60 62 and played a terrific match, combining hard drives with superb drop shots all match long.

    After our singles wins Jenny and I played 50 doubles against a good team from Kansas City (Victoria Marks and Theresa Lampe and Valerie Marks)…they beat Works/Rainy Miller yesterday. We won 64 76 (3) and it was a good, competitive match with many changes of strategy.

    We play the 55 doubles final tomorrow against Miller/Works and Jenny plays the mixed final (which was rained out tonight) directly afterwards.

    There were a lot of matches today…I saw a few since I was at the club from 7:30 am till 4pm. I also ran into some old friends…Hugh Thomson, Jerry and Marcia Thomas, Ellen and Tony Dawson, and others…it’s nice to see tournaments going again!

    In men’s 50s, Eoin Collins (1), a former world champions, beat Todd Smith 62 62 to reach the final against Sean Staley, who took out #2 seed Garry Nadebaum. Collins used his impressive lefty groundstrokes to lead his march to victory.

    In men’s 60s, Tim Klitch (2) (Jenny’s brother) beat David Luedtke (4) 63 61, using on the rise hitting and the apparently patented Klitch touch to advance. He faces Peter Markes who had an interesting match with Alex Behar. Alex injured his foot (plantar it seems) in the 2nd game and was hobbling around the court thereafter…but for a set he redlined his shots, limping to the ball and giving it a rip, and won the first set 62. It’s hard to play an injured player! The match was on serve at 2-3 in the second when there was a short rain delay…Peter didn’t drop a game thereafter, and took the second 62 at which point Alex retired.

    The match of the day was the men’s 55 doubles final. Featuring the #1 (Scott Works/Kelly Ward) and #2 (Steve Schultz/Marc Weiner) seeds, the match had everything…tight score line (the top seeds winning the first set; the #2 seeds coming back from a break down to win the second, the third set culminating in a tiebreak), great serves/returns/volleys/touch, all played in front of an appreciative crowd on the center court. Schultz/Weiner won the match.

    Works has a second chance for a title in the 50 doubles, with Nadebaum.

    Kaysie Smashey won the 40s, Julie Thu the 45s and Nancy Hilliard the 50s…all are multiple time Cup members. Terri Thyssen took the 60s and Barbara Starnes took the 70s title.

    In men’s tennis, many finals are still to be played, but Robert Barrie won the 65s, John Newman the 80s, and the remaining divisions either have finals tomorrow or the scores haven’t been reported.

    In doubles, Mary Morgan/Terri Thyssen won the 60 doubles; Rush/Starnes took the 65s title.

    Thu/Haggard won the mixed 40s; the remaining divisions were rained out Sunday night and will be played Monday.

    Swenson/Foster won the men’s 65 doubles; Tommy Connell/Tony Dawson (on the comeback from a shoulder replacement!) took the 70 doubles; and the 75 and over doubles score was not reported yet.

    Clockwise From top left: Eoin Collins; Alex Behar and me; Rainy Miller, Terri Thyssen, Shelly Works, Nancy Hilliard; Tommy Connell, Mary Morgan, Tony Dawson


  • Westwood Level 2 Tournament

    Writing from Austin, Texas

    View the draws here.

    I’m here in Austin for the Memorial Day tournament at the Westwood Country Club in Austin. It’s a big tournament with age divisions from 35 to 85 and some family events plus some NTRP age divisions. The senior age divisions earn ITF S700 points in addition to USTA Level 2 points.

    I have been practicing here the past two days since I don’t play till tomorrow. Today I scouted my potential singles and doubles opponents in between hits. It was very hot the past two days, and humid, which led to the massive thunderstorms that hit around 6:30pm today, with thunder and lightning.

    The Klitch siblings, Hugh & Carol Burris with Mary Morgan (center); a very loud peacock and a chameleon around the grounds.

    It is nice to see friends from around the country I haven’t seen for a while. The social events are not on this year but everyone was given a nice shirt and a gift card to a barbecue restaurant.

    Tomorrow, weather permitting I have singles and doubles.


  • Nideffer/Spence Nasim, Juliani/Pendo, McEvoy/Dixon & King/Wasser (corrected) Win Gold at the Level 1 Women’s Hard Courts Sunday

    Click here to view draws and results.

    Ros Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim (1) beat Dina McBride/Tracie Currie (2) to win gold at the 50 Hard Courts. They dominated the division, never dropping more than 5 games in any match. Jenny Rens Keller/Jen Dawson (3) took the bronze over Vicki Buholz/Gayle Prejean.

    In contrast to the 50s, an unseeded team won the 60 doubles, Sue Pendo/Julie Juliani, taking out local favorites Una Davis/Lucia Romanov in a match tiebreak. They were the only unseeded players to win gold this year. The bronze went to Colleen Clery Ferrell/Tracey Thompson who beat Julie David/Gail Warden in straight sets.

    The 70s title went to Vicky McEvoy/Judy Dixon over Kathy Barnes/Carol Gay. Sue Bramlette/Cindy Babb (who lost 11-9 yesterday to McEvoy/Dixon in a final set MTB) took bronze with a straight set win over Barnes/Gay. Interestingly, the two teams who played a MTB instead of a full third set yesterday, won in straight sets today.

    Roz King/Dorothy Wasser (2) beat top seeded Suella Steel/Sheila Weinstock by default (Suella hurt her Achilles I believe…it was a lower leg injury of some sort which forced her to retire in the final). Charleen Hillebrand/Sheila Palmer took bronze over Lorna Brooks/Jean Ainger.

    Ann Young placed 9th in the 60s beating Kim Dean 10-8 in a MTB, her 2nd straight 10-8 MTB win. Christen Bartelt was 9th in the 50s. Gloria Melendez was 9th in the 70s (though there was a lot of attrition in that division…lots of injuries). Dorcas Miller took 9th in the 80s.

    And that’s a wrap for this year’s edition of the USTA Level 1 Women’s 50-80 Hard Courts. It was a different sort of tournament with no beach or cocktail party (but nightly happy hour, complimentary food). The format for Level 1 doubles was different to the dismay of many players, but dictated by the USTA National Adult Comp Committee not by the tournament. (Since the men’s event was a Level 5, the section, not the national committee determined the format…but it was confusing). It was great to see far flung friends again. Till next time…happy hitting.

    Clockwise from top left: Camilla Sutherland, Joan Avedian, Lorna Brooks; Andrea Rice, Conan, Nancy Hilliard, Lucia Romanov/Una Davis & Ann Young

  • Rice, Nideffer, Dixon & Hillebrand Win Singles Titles in La Jolla

    Click here to view draws.

    Andrea Rice put on a dominating performance in the final of the 50 Hard Courts, beating top seeded Nancy Hilliard 61 62. Dina McBride finished third (winning the 3/4 playoff by default). Mariko Atoji finished 5th.

    Ros Nideffer won the 60s in equally dominating fashion, beating Fran Chandler 60 63. Vicki Buholz beat me 62 64 in the 3/4 playoff and the consolation is still ongoing. Ann Young edged Terri Thyssen in a match tiebreak 10-8 and faces Kim Dean who ousted Ginny Beneke in straight sets.

    Judy Dixon cruised past everyone in the women’s 70s, beating first time national singles finalist Barbara Hubbard 63 61. Barbara is a player from Hawaii who has been playing national tournaments for year, gradually improving from losing first or second round, to now, in the 70s reaching singles finals…a gold ball will follow some day! Cathie Anderson took the bronze and Carol Gay finished 5th; the 9th place playoff is ongoing.

    Charleen Hillebrand ousted Suella Steel to win the 80s; Hillebrand led 5-2 when Steel retired with a leg injury. Lorna Brooks finished 3rd, beating Susanne Clark by default (Clark pulled a calf in the 2nd set tiebreak of her semifinal against Steel).

    The 50 doubles final will be #1 Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim (who ousted Jenny Keller/Jen Dawson) vs McBride/Tracie Currie (who beat Vicki Buholz/Gayle Prejean).

    In 60 doubles, La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club members Una Davis/Lucia Romanov are in the final after beating Colleen Clery Ferrell/Tracey Thompson in a match tiebreak 10-7. They will take on unseeded Sue Pendo/Julie Juliani who ousted Julie David/Gail Warden.

    The 70 doubles semis were a bit odd though extremely competitive. The USTA has mandated a new format for doubles involving round robins leading to a knockout draw and has dictated that all doubles matches be decided by match tiebreaks. The USTA has mandated that the same format be used for all Level 1 (gold ball) tournaments. The top seeds, Kathy Bennett/Liane Bryson played Kathy Barnes/Carol Gay (3)…and Barnes/Gay won 63 16 76 (7)…they played a full third set due to umpire error. (The Level 5 men’s event is playing out the third set of singles and doubles and the same umpires are used for both events.) The #2 seeds Vicky McEvoy/Judy Dixon faced #4 Sue Bramlette/Cindy Babb and they also split sets (the score isn’t correctly reported but each team won a set) and then played a match tiebreak won 11-9 by McEvoy/Dixon. Both were great matches and it was unfortunate that an umpire error marred the results.

    In 80 doubles, Steel/Sheila Weinstock will play Roz King/Dorothy Wasser in the final while Lorna Brooks/Jean Ainger take on Hillebrand/Sheila Palmer.


  • Upset Day at the National Hard Courts in La Jolla

    Click here to view draws

    It was quarterfinal day at the USTA Women’s Level 1 hard courts and there were a number of upsets.

    The 50s division did not have any upsets though. Top seeded Nancy Hilliard, #2 Andrea Rice, # 3 Dina McBride and #4 Marlo Carruth all advanced in straight sets, though Christina Kaus gave Carruth a battle before losing 64 63. Dina finished her 9:30 match at 10:05..very efficient. Hilliard has moved into the final when Carruth defaulted the semi later in the day due to injury.

    In the 60s, two “age-ups”, Vicki Buholz and Fran Chandler, took out #4 Shannon Gordon Carney (62 36 61) and #2 Susan Wright (62 63) respectively. Chandler though is a multiple world singles champion and Buholz has won her share of gold balls, so the upsets were minor ones. Ros Nideffer (1) held off unseeded (but a member of the 100+ gold ball club) Tina Karwasky 63 64 and I beat Kathy Vick (5) who retired down 3-1 40-15 with a foot injury (and we are at urgent care in La Jolla as I write this). I play Fran tomorrow and Vicki plays Ros.

    Updated…the visit to the physio ended like this for Kathy:

    Kathy Vick broke a bone in her foot when she was wrong footed in our match today…she’s off the court for a few weeks.

    In the 70s, upsets were rampant with only top seeded Judy Dixon avoiding the upset bug. Cathie Anderson (5) edged Carol Gay (3) in 3 sets; Carol Clay (4)retired down a set and 1/0 to unseeded Marianne Saibara, and Barbara Hubbard (5) upset #2 seeded Kathy Barnes in two tight sets. Judy plays Cathie while Saibara plays Hubbard for a spot in the final.

    In the 80s, 2019 champion Lorna Brooks (unseeded in 2019, and again in 2021) beat #4 Sheila Weinstock 64 64. Suella Steel upset #3 Roz King 62 in the third. Top seeded Charleen Hillebrand and #2 Susanne Clark advanced in straight sets. Hillebrand takes on Brooks and Clark will face Steel (a 97 gold ball winner herself) in the semis.

    The last matches of the doubles round robins are this afternoon, and the knockout quarterfinal rounds begin tomorrow.

    In men’s action, Bill Kellogg has sailed into the 60 & 65 doubles finals and 70 singles final (receiving a walkover in the semis).


  • Successful 2021 Level 1 Debut

    Click here to view draws

    Top: Mariko Atoji, Annemarie Brigandi, Jen Dawson, Rainy Miller; bottom from left: Shelly Works, Dee Williams-Horne, Gayle Prejean, Dee & Tracey Thompson
    Dina McBride & Tracie Currie

    One thing I noticed today: The tournament for the first time in the 26 years I’ve played it, is using Wilson regular duty balls…normally reserved for indoor and clay. The women at the US Open used regular duty balls but use 6 balls per match and get new ones every 7/9 games. We get new ones only for third sets…and the regular duty balls wear out QUICKLY on outdoor hard. (Apparently containers of goods are going overboard from ships at record rates this year, over 1000 lost at sea already in 2021 per the UK Telegraph).

    Here are the singles results; there weren’t doubles upsets today in the women’s divisions. There were a few upsets in the men’s division, notably the top seeds in men’s 75 doubles lost today. And TD Bill Kellogg is still in 60 & 65 doubles and 70 singles. He’s a great multitasker!

    In the 60s, there weren’t any upsets but there were a couple of three-set tussles and #5 seed Jennifer Shorr defaulted to Tina Karwasky with a leg injury she suffered in her 76 76 marathon win yesterday. Doubles partners Shannon Gordon-Carney and Susan Wright had to battle hard in singles to advance to the quarters. Shannon took on former San Diegan Tracey Thompson (now of Las Vegas) and had to regroup after losing the 2nd set 60, winning 64 06 63. Shannon said Tracey just blew her off the court in the 2nd set. Susan took on Maria Nunez who displayed her much more consistent game, which is always tricky since she is a lefty using plenty of spin. Maria won the first set, closing it out 64 after leading 52. Susan won the second set 61. The third set looked to be a continuation of the 2nd, but Maria rallied from 25 down (despite taking a big tumble during the set) to serve at 4-5, but Susan closed out the set and the match 64. I beat Terri Thyssen of Texas 60 63, but the 2nd set was tricky and play another Texan, Kathy Vick in the quarters. Kathy beat Lynn Young 63 64. Fran Chandler plays Susan; Ros Nideffer plays Tina and Shannon plays Vicki Buholz (who is playing 3! Events here).

    In the 50s, Christen Bartelt (5) lost to Regina Melosch of La Jolla, Wendy Elliott advanced when Jenny Rens Keller (5) withdrew from singles and the remaining seeds won in straightforward manners.

    There were no upsets in 70 singles though Marianne Saibara advanced when Sue Bramlette (5) had to pull out due to a knee injury.


  • USTA Level 1 Women’s 50/60/70/80 Hard Courts (& Men’s Level 5) Start May 11 with Strong Draws

    Draws are here

    The first Level 1 tournament of the year for women is taking place this week at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in La Jolla, CA. For many players this is their first event in over a year. The 50 & 60 draws are particularly strong.

    Here are the seeds for the 60 women. Note that notable unseeded players are Tina Karwasky, Tracey Thompson, and Ann Young (Pellow). Former world champions Ros Nideffer and Fran Chandler are making their 60 debuts along with Vicki Buholz.

    1. Nideffer, Ros2. Wright, Susan3. Nichols, Carolyn4. Gordon-Carney, Shannon5. Buholz, Vicki5. Chandler, Frances5. Shorr, Jennifer5. Vick, Kathy

    The 60 doubles features some excellent teams including 2019 champions Susan Wright/Shannon Gordon-Carney (#1) and Carolyn Lane/Kathy May (former top 10 player and mother of ATP #31 Taylor Fritz) as the 2nd seeds.

    Here are the singles seeds for the 50s:

    1. Hilliard, Nancy2. Rice, Andrea3. McBride, Dina4. Carruth, Marlo5. Atoji, Mariko5. Bartelt, Christen5. Kaus, Christina5. Keller, Jenny

    Andrea Rice was a 2019 finalist here and Dina McBride has won the 40s (and was a 40s finalist twice only to tear one of her Achilles’ tendons in the final…she’s resilient).

    The doubles is even stronger I think than the singles with Nideffer/Debbie Spence Nasim seeded 1, Tracie Currie/McBride at #2 and defending champs Jen Dawson (of pickle ball fame) and Jenny RENs Keller at #3 followed by Jami Jones and Deb Higa…

    The 70s seeds are here:

    1. Dixon, Judy2. Barnes, Kathy3. Gay, Carol4. Clay, Carol5. Anderson, Catherine5. Bramlette, Susan5. Harris, Lois5. Hubbard, Barbara

    The 80s seeds:

    1. Hillebrand, Charleen2. Clark, Susanne3. King, Roz4. Weinstock, Sheila

    The men’s draws are very strong for a Level 5 (there are 7 levels with Level 1 being the “gold ball” level). Bill Kellogg, the TD for the tournament is playing in his first 70s tournament and is the top seed.


  • Saturday Results from Palm Desert

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

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

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

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

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

    Herm Ahlers won the 85 singles.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    Bookmark this link because the draws can be found here.

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

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

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

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


  • Date Change for Women’s 35/45/55/65/75/85/90 Clay Courts in Houston, TX

    NEW DATES: September 20-26, 2021 for the Women’s 35-90 Clay Courts at the Houston Racquet Club

    Sue Bramlette TD off the Houston Women’s Clay Court Championships reported today that the USTA has confirmed the dates of September 20-26 for the National Women’s Clay Courts in Houston.

    The dates changed due to the delay in the vaccine distribution, making the original mid-April too risky for the players and club.


  • La Jolla Hard Courts: 40s Men & Women, Father/Son & Grandfather/Grandson Cancelled due to California Regulations

    Sadly, the Men’s and Women’s 40 Hard Courts, Father/Son Hard Courts and Grandfather/Grandson Hard Courts have been cancelled, another victim of Covid-19.

    From the email I received yesterday (from Pierrette Featherby of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club):

    “Greetings,

    I was hoping this day would never come, but it has, so sadly I must inform you we have been forced to cancel the USTA 40 & over Men’s, Women’s, Mixed & Father/Son, Grandfather/Grandson Designated Open Sectional Hard Court Championships. Because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases San Diego County has shifted into Tier 1 otherwise known as the Purple Tier. Tennis tournaments will not be permitted.

    This being said, we would still love to have you come; play some tennis, relax and have a good time.  If you choose to do so we will offer you the tournament rate and help you arrange some tennis matches.

    Below is a message from Bill Kellogg (which you may also read on the tournament website)

    Unfortunately, we have learned that the State of California is currently not allowing tennis tournaments to take place. In addition, the County of San Diego has returned to the most restrictive purple COVID rating, Given the way the rating system works, it will not be possible, even under the best circumstances, for San Diego County to return to the Red Level anytime soon (earliest would be four weeks from 11/20/20 – i.e. after Thanksgiving). We had expected We had expected that the rules relating to sporting events would be relaxed by the first week in December, but that is not a possibility now. For those reasons, we will not be able to hold this tournament.

    A number of people made room reservations at our special tournament rates. We will, of course, refund your room deposit upon request. However, if you would like to stay at the club during the originally scheduled tournament dates and take advantage of the tournament rates we offered participants, you are welcome to do so. You will be able to play tennis while staying on property and we would be happy to arrange tennis matches while you are here if that is of interest to you. Just contact our reservations department and let them know what you want to do.

    If you have questions, please feel free to call Bill Kellogg at 858-735-6500 or Conan Lorenzo at 619-846-3094.

    May I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and that 2021 will see the end to Covid-19!

    In the meantime please stay healthy and safe.

    Best regards,

    Pierrette Featherby”


  • 2021 Men’s USTA Level 1 (Gold Ball) Tournament Schedule

    The USTA schedule (as of 11/4/21) for Men’s Level 1 (Gold Ball) tournaments. For 2021 and going forward the Indoors will no longer receive Level 1 (formerly Category 1) points nor will gold balls be awarded to the winners. Click here to see the official USTA schedule and to check for updates and cancellations: https://www.usta.com/en/home/play/adult-tennis/programs/national/adult-tournaments-category-i-schedule.html
    ITF Points: The Clay and Hard will be ITF Level 1000 events; the Grass will be Level 700 events.

    Age DivisionClayHardGrass
    30 Dec 3-8
    Lauderdale TC
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Oct. 1-3
    Plaza Tennis Center
    Kansas City, MO
    Level 1
    August 14-17
    30/35Grass
    Philadelphia CC
    Philadelphia, PA
    35 Oct. 5-10
    Weston, FL
    Dates: April 29-May 2
    Location: Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex
    Surprise, AZ
    Click here

    Level 1
    August 14-17
    30/35Grass
    Philadelphia CC
    Philadelphia, PA
    40
    April
    Lauderdale TC
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Nov 29-Dec 6
    La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
    La Jolla, CA
    New Dates and Location
    Sept. 29-Oct 4
    Agawam Hunt Club
    Rumford, RI
    45
    April
    Lauderdale TC
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    NEW DATES: Oct 25-31.
    Westlake Athletic Club
    Westlake Village, CA
    New Dates and Location
    Sept. 29-Oct 4
    Agawam Hunt Club
    Rumford, RI
    50TBA Nov. 6-10
    Peachtree City, GA
    New Dates and Location
    Sept. 29-Oct 4
    Agawam Hunt Club
    Rumford, RI
    55 Oct. 2-8
    Franklin CreekTC
    Savannah, GA
    Nov. 6-10
    Peachtree City, GA
    Sept. 21-26
    Agawam Hun
    Rumford, RI
    60Oct. 24-31
    New OrleansLT
    CNewOrleans, LA
    June 1-8
    60/70 Level 1 Hard Courts
    Irvine, CA
    Sept. 21-26
    Agawam Hun
    Rumford, RI
    65Oct. 24-31
    New OrleansLT
    CNewOrleans, LA
    May 17-23
    Barnes Tennis Center
    San Diego, CA
    Dates: Sept. 7-13
    Location: Seabright Lawn Tennis Club
    Rumson, NJ
    70
    Level 1
    Sept. 12-19
    70/85/90Clay
    Pinehurst, NC
    June 1-8
    60/70 Level 1 Hard Courts
    Irvine, CA
    Dates: Aug 17-23
    Location: Philadelphia Cricket Club
    Philadelphia, PA
    75Sept 26-Oct 2
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Sept 20-25
    Laguna Woods TC
    Laguna Woods, CA
    Dates: July 22-26
    Location Agawam Hunt Club
    Rumford, RI
    80Sept 26-Oct 2
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Sept 20-25
    Laguna Woods TC
    Laguna Woods, CA
    Dates: July 22-26
    Location Agawam Hunt Club
    Rumford, RI
    85Sept. 12-19
    Pinehurst TC
    Pinehurst, NC
    Sept 20-25
    Laguna Woods TC
    Laguna Woods, CA
    Dates: Aug. 23-27
    Location: Longwood Cricket Club
    Chestnut Hill, MA
    Click here to enter and view player list.

    90Sept. 12-19
    Pinehurst TC
    Pinehurst, NC
    Sept 20-25
    Laguna Woods TC
    Laguna Woods, CA
    Dates: Aug. 23-27
    Location: Longwood Cricket Club
    Chestnut Hill, MA
    Click here to enter and view player list.


  • FAQ: 2021 Tournament Changes

    Click here to read the FAQ on USTA.com. The text is below.

    RANKINGS

    Q. Are ranking points awarded for voluntary consolations?

    Yes, ranking points per win will be awarded for voluntary consolation as well as round-robin formats.

    Q. How will round robin points fit in the points table?

    Round robins will have points per win table based on the tournament level played.

    Q. Should we mandate Cat 1 to use the best of three set formats unless unforeseen events, such as weather delays the progression of the event? The other formats would then be optional for TD’s to implement if needed to keep the event on the schedule.

    The Adult Comp Committee is working on a proposal for a consistent scoring format for all Level 1 tournaments. Once the proposal is approved, we will have another TD webinar to discuss the new changes.

    Q. Is ranking based on age and NTRP?

    Yes, the ranking will be based on age group and NTRP levels. For example, if I am a player that plays 18+ 3.0 women’s singles events, I will show up on 18+ 3.0 women’s singles rankings.

    Q. Will the ranking points for any level will be awarded “the same” for any of the scoring options a director uses?

    Yes, as long as the scoring format falls in the list of scoring formats available, that will not impact the points awarded.

    PLAY FORMATS

    Q. Will consolation allow only one match; not a complete draw? And if consolation requires a draw, won’t this discourage clubs from holding tournaments due to court time needs, especially indoors?

    Although we strongly encourage tournament directors to finish the consolation draws, we understand that some unforeseen circumstances may arise. For this reason, it is ok if consolation draws are not fully completed.

    Q. Are fast four formats still available?

    Yes, a short set format will be available across all levels.

    Q. Will there be 2 out of 3 sets in any tournaments?

    There will be 2 of 3 sets in various levels of tournaments. However, for the L6 & L&7 tournaments that option will not be available.

    Q. How are Open tournaments affected?

    Open tournaments will not be affected. If anything, open tournament players will have the opportunity to generate a national ranking based on their performance.

    Q. Is there a chart showing the “Maximum # of Rounds per day” that can be played and Rest Periods in the various scoring systems?

    Yes, you will be able to find this at Friend at Court. Please click on the following link: Friend at court

    NTRP TOURNAMENTS LEVELS

    Q. Will there be regulations concerning NTRP tournament players “playing up”, similar to the Leagues to allow for more accurate ratings?

    Yes, we will continue to align as much as possible with the League program for NTRP sanctioned tournaments, and follow their rules as it relates to playing down and up, appeals, self-rate process.

    Q. Will the National NTRP Championships in 2022 reflect the 18s, 40s and 55s categories of NTRP ranked tournaments in 2021?

    Yes, in 2022 the NTRP divisions for NTRP Nationals will reflect 18s, 40s, 55s divisions.

    Q. Will NTRP Tournaments have Open Divisions?

    No, we will not have NTRP Open divisions for now. We are looking at expanding the NTRP tournament product, but we need to do so in phases.

    Q. Will suspension also include league play?

    The league program does not follow the same suspension point system, as other programs do. For now, it does not count towards the leagues program. 


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

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

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

    The HRC plans to host the tournament in 2021.


  • USTA Suspends Play Through May 31; ITF Suspends Play Through July 31st

    For future USTA updates click here.

    The publication of the National Standings list has been suspended along with tournament, league and other USTA programs until at least June 1st, 2020.

    The entirety of the April 13th post from USTA.com is posted below.

    Update on Suspension of Play and Event Changes – April 13, 2020

    Due to the continued situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, and after discussions with the USTA Medical Advisory Committee*, effective immediately the USTA will extend the suspension of USTA sanctioned products and events through May 31. This includes:\

    • Adult and Junior Tournaments

    • USTA League

    • USTA Junior Team Tennis

    • USTA Social Leagues

    • Team Challenge

    • Team Tournaments

    • USTA Schools programs

    • Tennis on Campus

    • Wheelchair events

    Additionally, recognizing the evolving and fast-changing nature of this situation, the USTA will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future determinations about events and activities taking place after May 31.

    All Category 1 and Super Category 2 National Adult Tournaments with an ITF status, all ITF Junior events, all Junior, Adult and Wheelchair L1 – L3 events, and all USTA Pro Circuit and professional events will align with the same calendar as the ITF, ATP and WTA, and be suspended through July 12. The National Clay Court Championships, slated to begin on July 11, will proceed as scheduled, at this time.

    “The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the tennis landscape, and it is our goal to ensure that the sport is able to be played in a safe and healthy fashion at the parks and facilities throughout the country once the pandemic subsides,” said Patrick Galbraith, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “One of the greatest aspects of this game is that it fosters a true community, and we look forward to the time when we can return to our local courts and use tennis to unite us all, once again.”  

    The determination has also been made to suspend the calculation and publication of the National Standings List (NSL) for Adult, Junior and Wheelchair play until further notice. The NSL published on March 18 will serve as the most current until tournament competition resumes.

    In addition, to ensure that play taking place at local facilities will be the focus once the pandemic subsides, the following events will be canceled for 2020: 
     

    • USTA League National Championships

    • USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championships

    • USTA Junior Intersectional Team Championships

    For more information on the cancellation of the USTA League National Championships and USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championships, please visit the FAQ.

    The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., is currently closed to the public. The facility’s Indoor Tennis Center has been converted to a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients, while Louis Armstrong Stadium is being utilized as a commissary to facilitate the creation of meal packages that are being distributed to patients, workers and New York City school children.

     

    The USTA National Campus, in the Lake Nona area of Orlando, Fla., will remain closed for play and instructional opportunities through May 31.

     

    Any patron who wishes to cancel participation in a scheduled activity should contact the specific location for refund information. These policies will be in effect pending additional guidance or directives from each local governmental agency and the CDC. The USTA will continue to monitor and assess conditions to make future determinations about all activities at these facilities.

     

    * The USTA Medical Advisory Committee includes: Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA and USTA Board Member; Dr. Brian Daniels, MD, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla., and Medical Director, US Open; Dr. Mark Kovacs, Senior Director of Sports Science and Health, Cleveland Cavaliers; Dr. Bernard Camins, Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Mt. Sinai; Mike Rodriguez, USTA Senior Director and US Open Security.
     


  • Palm Beach Gardens Super Cat II/ITF Grade I: Bonder-Kerkorian, Klitch, Nichols & Dixon Win Singles Crowns on Friday Day 4

    Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

    Friday was a long and busy day at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. Matches started early and were only halted after 7pm by a downpour.

    Singles:

    Lisa Bonder-Kerkorian started off the singles with a win in the 40 singles over Kristine Kraujina 61 62.

    Erin Boynton and I started at the same time; Bonder-Kerkorian finished their match about the same time we finished the first set! It was a very close match, with a lot of momentum changes. I won 64 63, but the finish was in doubt till the last point finished. Wendy McColskey beat Terri Thomson 61 64 to finish third.

    Jenny Klitch played after her doubles partner Bonder-Kerkorian on the same court and we just managed to finish before Klitch beat Julie Dybenthal 60 61. However Dybenthal was happy with her play and said she played much better than she had last time against Klitch. Laurie Capra beat Jill Sickle 61 61 to finish third.

    Judy Dixon edged Toni Novack 76 76 in a repeat of last year’s 70 clay court final. Toni said Judy played great. I watched a bit of that match and Judy moves really well and was able to get to many of Novack’s deadly drop shots. Brenda Carter received a default from Molly Hahn, so finished third.

    In the 80s, Susanne Clark beat Burnett Herrick and Grace Woo edged Carol Wood 76 in the third; the doubles partners face each other in the final today (weather permitting).

    The 30s is a round robin; however Elizabeth Kobak of NY has won the division winning all three of her matches including a 63 63 win over Bonder-Kerkorian.

    Doubles:

    The 30s had only two teams but Kristen Charlton/Grace Haggerty got their money’s worth in one match, winning 61 36 76 over Kobak/Jennifer Einhorn.

    The 40s final is today (weather permitting) and pits Klitch/Andi Piski agains Tara Pressley/Julie Axelrod.

    The 50s was won by Klitch/Bonder-Kerkorian over Boynton/Abbi Neuthaler 61 63. Karen Rembert /Alice Stubbs beat Daniella Esswein/Dybenthal in three sets to place third.

    The 60s semis have Aimee Norris/Anne Frautschi against the winner of the rain interrupted match between Neuthaler/Kim Jones and Anne Jacobs/Kathy Zanon which is tied at 22 in the third.

    Carter/Dixon won the 70s over Sue Kimball/Pam Simons (who upset #2 seeds Sue Bramlette/Hahn). Carol Clay/Ellen Goodman won the 3/4 playoff by default.

    Carter/Dixon; Weber/Wood; Simons/Kimball; Ellen Markowitz, Weber/Boynton, Clark/Woo

    Bottom: Trish Faulkner/Boynton/Nichols; Boynton/Bonder-Kerkorian

    Photos can be found here. (I will be adding action photos over the weekend to this album.)

    All tournament results can be found here.

    Palm Beach Gardens USTA Super Cat II/ITF Tournament

    Palm Beach Gardens ITF Grade 1/USTA Super Cat II, Day 2, Wednesday

    Palm Beach Gardens Grade 1/Super Cat II Thursday, Day 3


  • 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.