• Tag Archives Villa Primrose
  • Bordeaux Champion & Avoir Bordeaux, Hola Espana

    Bordeaux, France

    Sue Bartlett and I played the 60s final today and finally played on Court 1, which was a good court! We were the 4th match after 9am (and not before 1:30). Fortunately, the three previous finals were straight sets, so we got on court not long after 2pm. And then we hogged the court for nearly three hours. The first set was very long, and had a rhythm till the end; we actually were on serve till 5-5 with no breaks which for 60+ women on red clay was sort of amazing. We had a lot of long deuce games though, starting with the first one which lasted over 10 minutes I think. I finally broke at 5-5, won the first point of the next game….and then lost 8 points in a row, then won 7 straight to win the set 76 (4). The second set was also tough. I got up 4-0 because Sue slowed down, then she seemed to get a second wind and won 3 games straight. I managed to close out the set 63, but it took quite a few match points. Sue played really well and I scrambled well. As one spectator told me, she volleyed well and I had good legs for running.

    Sue and I with our doubles prizes.

    Ross Persons had a tough match with Pierre Godfroid in the men’s 60s final, losing 76 75. Ross said he had some set points in the first set but that Godfroid came up with big serves on the big points and accurate volleys. Persons though won the men’s and mixed doubles.

    Darren Price fell in the semis of the men’s 45 doubles in a match tiebreak (navigating those is tricky) and Catherine Taylor (Mary on the draw) lost her first round robin doubles match, but has another tomorrow.

    I didn’t see much this year of Bordeaux. I had to play one match each day at an undefined time and also had smashed my toes at the beginning of the week; they were ok by today but I couldn’t walk a lot on them till today. But I had a nice time, loved the local food and club.

    There was a nice awards ceremony after the matches finished (they were waiting for us I think) with prize giving, and some food and drinks. I won a huge bottle of wine (see above) which I exchanged for a gift certificate at a local tennis shop which sponsored the tournament. And we received tea towels from the club for doubles (much more portable than wine!). So we all went shopping after the ceremony and I have some more tennis clothes and a RF hat!

    The Alles (Adrian plays in the 85s) are at a lot of these tournaments…always smiling and dressed to kill!

    I’m off to Mallorca tomorrow to train for the worlds in Portugal. It’s very hot there so hopefully I’ll survive the training Monday!

    Draws are here.

    Previous posts about Bordeaux

  • Doubles Champions; Singles Final Saturday

    Bordeaux, France

    It was another lovely day in Bordeaux. Sue Bartlett and I were rescheduled to the 6th match after 8:30 (not before 2pm)…we got on around 5pm. We played two Spaniards, Encarnacion Gomiz and Carmen Lang and won 60 60, (and there were 3 no-ad games we played). We played on Court 7, which is basically concrete with a bit of red clay on top, painted lines, dangerously slippery.

    Sue and I play the singles final tomorrow 4th match after 9am, not before 1:30pm but on Court 1, the first time either of us has played a match on the main bank of courts. It’s unlikely I’ll see much if anything of Bordeaux this trip but I’ve seen a lot of Villa Primrose, which is a lovely old club.

    Don’t forget to sweep the court after play!

    Ross Persons finds himself in three finals; he won the mixed 55 with Luisa Gouveia of Portugal; and he’s in the 60 men’s final vs Belgian Pierre Godfroid and the men’s doubles final with Fritz from the Netherlands.

    Darren Price from USA and Andrew Moraghan GBR are into the QF of the men’s 45 doubles, beating two Brits to reach the semis.

    And that’s a wrap on today’s action. Final tomorrow then on to the next stop Sunday morning.


    Previous posts:


    Bordeaux Doubles Day

    Bordeaux Thursday; Singles Success; Slippery Clay!

  • Bordeaux Thursday; Singles Success; Slippery Clay!

    Bordeaux, France

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Draws are here.


    Bordeaux Doubles Day

  • Bordeaux Doubles Day

    Bordeaux, France

    Today was a pretty relaxing one since I only had one doubles match, 2nd match on court 9 after 2pm. We started around 3:30 or so I think and played Sylvia Shipley and Fiona Walker, whom we’d played in singles yesterday. We won 60 61. Here the format is no ad and a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set. We forgot about the no ad on our first deuce and won the point (and game; we asked the referee and he said points played in good faith stood); we remembered it the second time and lost the point.

    Sue won her round robin group today while I still have to play my second round robin match tomorrow. I play fourth match on court 7, 2nd match after 11am. So maybe around 1, 2 or3pm. It depends on the length of matches earlier in the day.

    Here’s a photo of Sue Bartlett and me. She’s playing the deuce side and when she comes to net for some reason our opponents lobbed me. Hmmmmm. We don’t have doubles tomorrow so she has an off day to tour a bit. My touring day will be on Saturday.

    Draws are here.


  • When Air Travel Goes Awry

    Today started off well. I woke up early and went to the club to run wind sprints. I almost didn’t since I was supposed to get to Frankfurt at 4pm and there’s a gym at my hotel. In the end I am happy I went. And happy I picked up a nice sandwich after (even if there were no madeleines available).

    Today I supposedly had an 11:45 flight to Frankfurt via Brussels. I checked in and was informed of a 15 minute delay. No problem I thought. I missed the turn to the star alliance lounge and ended up going past the secondary security into an austere waiting room. But hey it was only 45 minutes, no problem..except it was a problem.

    There was no one from the airline downstairs by the gate, other than passengers. The 15 minute delay had turned into 3+ hours. And we couldn’t go back into the terminal as there was no one from security, or the airline to help. One woman had 2 kids including an upset 2 year old. After a long delay we were finally escorted out of the airport. Anyone who could not navigate a lot of stairs was out of luck.

    I called Lufthansa and was told I was rebooked on TAP airlines, a Portuguese airline, to Frankfurt via Lisbon, 5 (vs 2) hours of flying. Next I had to go get my bags from baggage claim though. At least I had lots of time, and it took a while.

    Next I had to check in and go through security a second time…fun! Bordeaux airport is NOT where one wants to get stuck, especially with bags. It’s small, and uninteresting. One cannot check in till 2 hours before the flight is scheduled to leave. And of course one cannot go through security to the airport lounge or to the shops post security without checking big bags.

    About 2.5 hours before a flight the airport displays tell passengers where to check in. About 30 minutes later a couple of airline employees drag posts to cordon off 2 lines. An electric sign changes to show the airline’s name. I was lucky since I have star alliance gold and apparently no one else did. There was still a wait since Tap didn’t have an electronic ticket for me. But eventually the ticket was retrieved and my bags are checked.

    I am hoping that both my luggage and myself make the connection in Lisbon to Frankfurt. We should in an hour…fingers crossed 🤞 since I have a noon flight tomorrow to the USA.

    All in all nothing earth shattering but flying and traveling in general takes some patience and flexibility.

    Lots to drink in this lounge!

    made it to Lisbon, Portugal. Does an airport layover count as visiting a new country?

    Next stop Frankfurt. I am very happy my legs are short on this 3-hour flight!

    14 hours after I left my hotel in Bordeaux I reached my hotel in Frankfurt. Back to the USA tomorrow, hopefully with fewer delays.

  • Bordeaux Doubles Success

    Lyn Mortimer and I played the 2nd seeds in the doubles yesterday and won 61 61, but the match was a bit closer than that score would indicate. We had several long deuce games during which the lead changed hands a few times. We played Beatrix Mezger Reboul of France and Ayse Sevtap Akdere of Turkey.

    After the match I had some massage from the physio..because one can never have too many massages, then the tournament director gave us our prizes. I got 2 bottles of wine, a big one and a small one. Lyn drove from Germany and so ended up with a double prize.

    In the morning and early afternoon I walked around Bordeaux along with what seemed to be half of France. The shopping streets were packed and there were sales everywhere.

    I walked by the Cathedral and went by the Opera House and Intercontinental hotel. The doors on the old buildings are painted various colors and are pretty.

    I did some clothes shopping and never saw any yoga pants. In fact, most of the clothing was pretty fitted, not much stretch to them. It was warm and most of the French women wore dresses or skirts. That’s the end of my fashion report.

    Off next to Frankfurt then back to the USA.

  • Bordeaux Champion (not Champignon) in Three Sets

    Today was all tennis in Bordeaux (as opposed to other days which were 90% tennis). I played Lyn Mortimer from Australia (whom I played in the Essen final). In France, the tournaments schedule differently from other countries…we were third match on Court 1 not before 11:30. The first match started at 9 am. This means two quick matches can result in match #3 starting about 11:30…or a long one, such as the three-setter on Court 1 which finished at 11:30, can delay the start of matches on that court all day. We started around 1pm, following Roger Taylor.

    (Roger Taylor from Gr. Britain is a former Wimbledon semifinalist and US doubles champion who plays now in the 70s. He injured his left (playing) shoulder and rather than give up tennis, he learned to serve righty and then switches to hit groundless and volleys with his left hand. He lost today in the 70s semis to a swifter player, but still has lovely strokes and demeanor. )

    Lyn came out playing well, aggressively as always but with few errors and a very high service percentage. We went on serve to 4-3, but then Lyn broke and held, winning the last 10 or so points of the set and the set 63. I played a little more aggressively at the start of the 2nd and went up 4-0 before Lyn fought back to 43. I dug out the last two games to even the match. The third set I won 61 after dropping the first game but the games were long and the points were too. It was a good 2 hour final and I’m sure we set the schedule back a bit more. Several hours later we teamed up for doubles though and won through to the final which is tomorrow afternoon/early evening (second match after 3:30).

    Champignon means mushroom by the way in French.

  • Successful Saturday in Bordeaux

    Saturday I played the 60 final in Bordeaux against Hildegarde Bruggaber from Austria. We played in the semis in Austria last month, so I knew her game pretty well. It was quite windy, overcast and mild for our “not before 11:30” match, which actually began around noon. I played well and won 60 60. My reward? A magnum of wine from the Bordeaux area. Hopefully it won’t break in my suitcase going home.

    Erin played Chris French, the 2014 ITF World Champion. The first set was nip and tuck, with plenty of long games and great rallies using the whole court and more. Chris’ most impressive shot was a high loopy forehand which bounced over Erin’s head. Erin is 6’ tall and said that had never happened to her before! (The courts are bounce I must say…I bounced five balls over my opponent’s head in warm up on Thursday, unintentionally…though she was under 5” tall). Each ran down drop shots the other thought was a clear winner. Chris though won more of the big points and wore Erin down mentally, winning 63 60. Erin with Chris and with TD Shirley Friedl.

    starred photos final daystarred photos final day-001


    Erin and I played a Dutch pair in the 50 doubles, Frannie Van Opstal and Annemiek  Wissink. Wissinck won the 50 doubles final easily a bit earlier and both players were tough and a good team. Erin and Annemiek are shown below.

    starred photos final day-003


    King Van Nostrand of the USA easily won the men’s 80s to absolutely no one’s surprise.

    After the finals we tried to get a ride with the shuttle but it left without us (we were standing there)…it was pretty funny…Erin’s bag and daughter were on the bus too! Then I chose an Uber to take us back…and typed in the right street address…but wrong city. Erin sorted it out though and our uber driver was quite nice and took us to our correct address without any problem. We went out to dinner later with Chris and Paul French, who each won singles & mixed. We packed up and got ready to leave in the morning and then were off to the giant sand dune of Pilat near Arcachon on the Atlantic, then Poirtres, Blois, Chambourd, Chartres and even Paris…but that’s for the next blog.


    Draws: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100039294

  • Playing into the Night Again!

    It was a beautiful day in Bordeaux. We took the bus to the club midday and began a day of waiting to play. I was a “2nd match after a not before 11:30 match” and the fourth match on Court 1. The matches went fast…one was Heide Orth’s match and one was King Van Nostrand’s, both of whom were efficient. I got on before 1pm against Dagmar Anwar. Dagmar is pretty short, maybe around 5” tall and in warm up the ball was hopping over her head a lot (I blame the wind).We had some good points but I won 61 61. I play Hildegarde Bruggaber from Austria  in the final on Saturday. It’s been hard to get a match rhythm here…I played Tuesday then Thursday and next Saturday, and there are no practice courts (well there is one indoor court but it’s pretty dark, slippery and hard). After my match the 50s doubles draw was posted and Erin and I found out we had a doubles match today, the last match of the day as it turned out. We started the match, on an unlit court at 8:15pm and managed to finish it before it got dark. We play the semis tomorrow against the top seeds late in the day again. I even hit an ace, my third on this trip. The other two were in Barcelona and were slow wide serves that bounced twice before our opponent could make contact, but today I hit a kick serve that bounced over our opponent’s head! Erin said it hit the line…Erin also hit an ace, a wide slider which was pretty impressive. The doubles match had a lot of kooky points which left us laughing. We finished the match just before the sun set, after 9pm.

    We all hit the sandwich shop before we played. It’s just down the street from the club and has great French baguette sandwiches and pastries…the baguettes here are terrific and cheap! The food at the club is good too.

    Erin played well in singles and won her match to advance to the semis against the #2 seed. The consensus is that Erin will win this match and I think that’s a correct prognosis.

    King Van Nostrand, pictured below  is in the 80s singles final. Also pictured, an old house in a block of newer buildings and a view from the gym of the courts.

    IMG_7652Thursday (2)Thursday (3)

    Photos from Bordeaux: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ty4X78LOmIxqKDnv2

    Draws: Bordeaux: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100039294

  • Bordeaux Was Sizzling Today!

    Today I played my first round match and our apartment adventures continued.

    My match was not before 5pm, but due to temps in the high 90s my 5pm match was pushed back to 5:45. I played Sue Winters of Great Britain. I played a decent first set but Sue played better in the second, but I managed to win 60 63. It was pretty hot on the court and dusty, but cooler weather is coming tomorrow. In fact I think I see it coming, it’s getting really windy outside and seems to be raining. The rest of the week the weather is supposed to be nice, in the 80s, and 70s. The heat is bearable on the court but waiting to play is not so nice, because there is no air conditioning in the clubhouse or the nearby patisserie, only in the grocery store (but it doesn’t have seating). Waiting in 90+ degree heat is draining. (Spoiled American alert). They needed to water the courts a lot today but it was hard to keep the dust down in the heat. One thing about the French courts that is different is that the lines are painted, not a tape that’s nailed to the court. And here there are just brooms to sweep the lines…who knew floor sweeping skills would come in handy in sport?


    The apartment adventures…well today Erin, Hannah and I all hit early since Erin and Hannah wanted to go to the beach which is an hour by train from Bordeaux (and the train station is probably 15+ minutes away by bus). We hit at 7:30 then got back around 9am to the apartment…and the handle to turn the door was broken. We could work the key ok, but not open the door. I sent Hannah and Erin off with a credit card and euros and waiting impatiently for a solution. The owner finally sent his friend over and he managed to get the door open,  but there’s just a pin to keep the handle in place…it’s going to break again. The owner, who we think is a guy in his late 20s, is very defensive…default responses are  “this has never happened before” and “it’s your fault”.

    Tomorrow I play Dagmar Anwar from Germany. She’s a good, steady player. We play not before 2:30, but realistically, since it’s the 5th match and matches start at 9am, I think it will later, maybe 3 or 4 if I’m lucky.

    Erin and Hannah had their own adventure…they went to the beach in Arcachon, but not before the two of them managed to lose each other at the train station…well Erin lost sight of Hannah who was racing to buy train tickets…and then each was trying to locate the other..long story short they missed the train, but got the second one and got to the beach which they enjoyed. They nearly missed the train back, not having checked the bus schedule to the train station…but a grand prix wanna be taxi driver got them to the train on time and back to Bordeaux.

    I just got an email that I don’t play tomorrow after all because one quarterfinal match was halted by a big thunder and lightning storm. So we are going to pick up a rental car tomorrow…another adventure awaits.


    Photos from Bordeaux: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ty4X78LOmIxqKDnv2

    Draws: Bordeaux: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100039294

  • Bordeaux: Hot, Dusty Daytime Practicing on the Red Clay

    Today Erin Boynton and I had our first practice in Bordeaux, though it was not easy! First we (and by “we” I mean “I” since Erin would sensibly have been fine with Uber) decided to buy bus tickets for the week so we could easily go back and forth to the club. A bus ticket is about 10 euros for a week and includes bus, tram and a boat;  an Uber ride 6-10+ euros each way. We found a newstand that sold weekly tickets and that was the easy part…then we had to find the bus. We finally retraced our steps back to the apartment (Erin’s idea) and found tbe bus station. But I thought the direction the bus was going was wrong so we waited for another bus about 15 minutes. Then we tried to get off at the correct stop but the bus didn’t stop there. We later found out that due to road construction or something the bus wasn’t stopping there till the end of August. So we actually got off a stop early but found the club anyway. By this time it was 11:30. So we signed up for practice courts and went to get food and towels since there are no towels provided at the club. I gave Erin a tour of the store complete with one of the wine section and foreign food section (Erin is holding maple syrup). I don’t know bus routes but I do know store layouts!


    We were assigned a court and got on 5 minutes late for our 30 minute session due to a lesson (though actually we waited for court 14, and were supposed to be on 16…it was that kind of a day). We got bumped 20 minutes later by a kids’ camp. Oh…and the court was an indoor hard court covered with a slight bit of red clay, enough to be slippery. And it was really dry. So we went to court 16 and got bumped again this time after 5 minutes. Finally we were able to hit outdoors on clay since no one seemed to want to hit in the temperatures which were approaching the upper 90s by 2:30. We had an uninterrupted hit. The courts here are drier, not as heavy and very high bouncing. My shoes were caked with red dust by the time we finished. One unusual thing here is that all the chair umpires are young, junior tennis players in general, and they call all the lines! They do a pretty good job of it too. ITF White Badges in training.


    When we finished, all the courts were open as the referee paused play due to the heat. It only resumed after 5pm, when it was still very hot but the sun wasn’t beating down as much.

    We are staying in an apartment which is adequate but not as described. One problem was that we had only one set of keys. Hannah, Erin’s daughter talked to the owner and he said we could have the other set of keys, if we could break into the mailbox. Erin and Hannah managed to do that, using Erin’s surgical skills…so one problem solved.

    The bus back to the apartment is down till the end of August so we all walked back, about 20 minutes for Hannah and Erin who are in the 6 foot tall range…and about 35 minutes for me since my legs are short and I couldn’t help but stop to take some photos of the interesting old buildings along the way.

    IMG_7576 - CopyIMG_7577 - CopyIMG_7580 - CopyIMG_7582 - CopyIMG_7585 - Copy

    Tomorrow I am the last match on Court 9, not before 5pm…and if there’s a heat delay it could be later. So I still have a Barcelona schedule unfortunately. All the more time to eat baguettes and cheese.

    Photos from Bordeaux: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ty4X78LOmIxqKDnv2

    Draws: Bordeaux: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100039294