• Tag Archives Werzer Cup
  • Werzer Cup Final Matches; European Regional Championships Draws

    Rafa, 12 French Opens; Dominic Thiem…fought so hard. I enjoyed listening the to the French Open final on Radio Roland Garros (Via Tuned In’s ATP Radio station, it’s great), while watching Eurosport. So much easier to watch when you are in the same time zone. Today was a pretty mellow day…watched some seniors tennis, watched Rafa/Thiem, recovery massage etc. Back to practicing tomorrow with Laura Vittori from Italy, then I play my first round of the next tournament Tuesday.

    The Werzer Cup finished today with a few singles matches (men’s singles of course on center court while the women were on a side court, that’s the way it goes here). Even when the 50s women’s final featured a fine Austrian player…

    Sabine Schmitz and Gundi Weiland won the 60 doubles quite easily today. Gundi teamed with Canada’s Keith Porter to win the 60 mixed. Taras Beyko, Canada, won the men’s 50s. Ted Bowen, USA (whom I just met…he’s from Ft. Lauderdale and has been playing tennis only 5 years!) won the 75 mixed with Kim Blackburn from Australia. That’s about it for North American winners (along with King Van Nostrand, 85 singles and doubles, and Dave Van Den Berg and Karl Placek, M75 doubles).

    Sabine Schmitz & Gundi Weiland, left, W60 doubles champions

    The European Regional Championships begin tomorrow and I play on Tuesday morning. In my division, the players are pretty similar except Sabine Schmitz has gone home. The 60 singles draw is below and the rest of the draws are here.

    Draws are here.  (Werzer Cup)


  • Werzer Cup Singles Champion

    I didn’t get to catch much of the French Open today because I had three matches…but did catch Thiem’s third (and final) match point and the first five games of the women’s final..(congrats to Ash Barty!).

    I played Sabine Schmitz today and it was a pretty good match, even at the beginning as Sabine is an attacking player who mixed up drop shots and approach shots effectively. As the match went on I countered better and won 62 61, but we had some good points and the range of my lobs (according to Sabine) was spot on (the lines).

    After having a drink with Sabine I got ready for our 2:30 doubles match in women’s 50s. We won our first match 64 61 against a Dutch duo. It was no-ad scoring which always comes as a shock to me even though if’s quite common in Europe to play this format.

    We agreed to play the final an hour later against Lucie Schwab and Valdone Povilioniene. Schwab is a very good player, a former world champion and once they got warmed up won a lot of points crossing and drop volleying. We had a chance in the first set but lost the 4-3 game, Valdone relaxed then and we lost 64 62. It was a fun match though, good points.

    Top: Ellen, Lucie and Carolyn; bottom left, Sabine and me after the match; bottom right, me with the wine and trophy.

    After doubles Valdone had to rush off to play mixed while Lucie, Ellen and I went to have a drink (ok, fizzy water for me), and had our photos taken.

    Tomorrow I have a day off, practice on Monday and then start the next tournament on Tuesday where I will probably play Gundi Wieland first round.

    Draws are here. 


  • King Van Nostrand Sweeps 85s; San Diegans Win 75 Doubles

    While in a rain delay during Thiem/Novack (and the Barty/Anisimova semi was…streaky).

    I won my singles semis against Gundi Wieland from Germany. She beat the #3 seed yesterday; I won 60 60, though we had some good points. Gundi is the second straight lefty I’ve played and I practiced with a lefty most of last week…so it will be a bit weird playing a righty tomorrow! However, I warmed up with my doubles partner, Ellen Neumann who is in the 55s and a righty.

    Ellen played an excellent match against Laura DiVittori who is the #2 seed in the 55s. When I started watching it was the beginning of the third set and there wasn’t much between the two of them…believe perhaps. Laura won 75 in the third set, rallying from 1-4 and 4-5 down. Lots of slices and drop shots and from Ellen, great drives, from DiVittori, high changeups at critical times.

    King Van Nostrand beat his doubles partner, Herbert Althaus of Germany in the 85 singles final and then teamed with him to beat Hans Jell of Austria and Ashley from New Zealand. Ashely was really happy since they won 8 games. King is on his way home to Florida after this tournament.

    Dave Van Den Berg and Karl Placek won the 75 doubles over Peter Pokorny and his partner, and they are off, Dave to Spain and Karl to his native Czech Republic. Karl lost his semifinal singles today.

    Lisa Prechtel won her singles today and plays DiVittori in the 55 singles final.

    Taras Beyko from Canada was playing again on Center Court and Germany’s Stephanie Kolar was on a side court playing W40.

    Michel Bichon beat Heide Orth in the 75s in three sets but they are the top seeds next week, so may play again soon.

    They are using Babolat Team balls (not available in the USA…and they come in a metal can!). 8 Euros for 3 balls or you can rent them with a 5 euro deposit. Needless to say we search for lost balls and on the warm up court there is a lot of foliage at the end and side of the court where balls go to hide. So far we’ve found them all.

    Lake Worth, DiVittori, Neumann, Prechtel, Kolar, Beyko, W60, Sabine, Karl & Dave

    one.

    Draws are here. 


  • Let the Tournament Begin

    So the French Open ended early on a delayed quarterfinal day…so I’m writing without that distraction! Who will reach the final: Konta vs Vondrousova; Anisimova vs Barty; Fed vs Rafa; Thiem vs Djokokovic?

    Onto the tennis at the Werzer Cup in Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria.

    I played my first round match today. I had a good warm up with Laura DiVittori from Italy, who plays in the women’s 55. I played Shirley Friedl who is a good player from Austria (lives in France too). However I won 60 60 in under an hour because she has a bad back, a stress fracture in her right foot and also a partially torn plantar in the same foot. It was nice of her to give me a match (and she won one yesterday), but I hope she heals up soon.

    Speaking of injuries…Luisa Gouveia hurt her right arm (she’s a righty with a one-handed backhand)…falling off a hover board while trying to jump (hmmm), so is playing lefty this week and her forehand looks good…she won a match yesterday, but lamented her lack of a serve and volley left handed! She did lose today however.

    Karl Placek from San Diego played the #2 seed today in men’s 75, Johannes Muehlenburg from Austria. Placek won the first set, lost the second and it looked bad for him when he went 41 down in the third. Muehlenburg had several points to go up 52, but Karl saved a big one by hitting a behind his back lob over Muehlenburg for a winner. He was in control from then on, even if he didn’t got to net as often as his doubles partner Dave Van Den Berg wanted him to (which was every point). He’s in the semis now.

    Karl Placek after a 3+ hour win today

    King Van Nostrand won today in the 85s over Adrian Alle to advance to the final against his doubles partner, Herbert Althaus. Althaus is always smiling, talking, really a nice guy and a good player…my money is on King though.

    Adrian Alle left, King Van Nostrand, right

    Bruce Barrett, USA fell to his doubles partner from GBR, Chris Ornstein and they were having a tough time in doubles when I left, playing Velasquez and Hoefling.

    In doubles, Ellen Neumann and I have to play in the 50s and are in the semis (5 teams). So that will be a challenge, but hopefully a fun one.

    Draws are here.


  • Last Practice Day

    While NOT watching the French Open….

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    Unlike Paris, where it rained all day, it was a warm, sunny day in Poertschach, and even a bit humid. I had a great hit with King Van Nostrand and then with Bruce Barrett, so hopefully I’m ready for my first round match tomorrow.

    I did scout my opponent a bit. I play a lefty Austrian who is a good solid player, and hopefully we’ll have a good match tomorrow. I watched from the top of the Center Court bleachers and could see the Worthersee and the red clay court at the same time. They played on court 1, which on the weekend was nearly unplayable and covered with weeds. It still has issues (grass growing into the court making the sidelines narrow) but is playing much better.

    Left: Heide Orth; Right: Shirley Friedl on Court 1

    I also saw Heide Orth play a really nice match against a Swiss player who could move. Heide hits each shot with purpose (her backhand in particular is gorgeous) and won quite handily against a not bad player (she could move!)

    The #4 seed, Karin Theeuwes of the Netherlands fell to an Austrian player, Inge Pils-Feichter in straight sets. Pils-Feichter won the Grade 2 last week in Klagenfurt and beat the person who is the #3 seed here so she’s obviously a good player.

    My doubles partner, Ellen Neumann played a solid match in the 55s, scoring with several aces and some nice net play against her athletic opponent. She plays Laura DiVittori of Italy next in round robin play.

    Dave Van Den Berg and Karl Placek who are from my club at home won their 75 doubles match. Placek, seeded 7th in men’s 75, plays singles tomorrow.

    That’s it for today…waiting for the schedule to come out and there are still many matches on court.

    Draws and schedule are here.

    Previous blog posts:


  • Biking Around

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    While watching Wawrinka play another classic, this time against Federer….well, now in a rain delay at 3-3 in the fourth.

    Today was another warm and sunny ☀️ day in Austria. I hit for an hour in the morning, and after lunch rented a bike and rode along the sea a bit and stopped by Aldi (called Hofer in Austria). It looked pretty much like an Aldi in the USA with better (and fresh) bread.

    After my ride I went back to the club and on center court who do I see but Dave Van Den Berg from Rancho Santa Fe playing the legendary Peter Pokorny. Dave impressed the locals who are used to Pokorny winning 60 60…it was 2,2 and Dave rued his missed opportunities. He played the correct strategy though, serving big and giving Pokorny little rhythm. Pokorny though hits pretty deep and accurately and has a wicked drop shot… When Dave missed his big first serve he got behind in the points.

    I set up practice for tomorrow and then stared watching the French Open…

    Poertschach, Austria…Planes, Trains and Tennis

    Practicing on the Dirt

    Werzer Cup: Hitting With a Legend

    Draws and results.


  • Werzer Cup: Hitting With a Legend

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    Today I had a chance to hit with King Van Nostrand. King is aptly named…he’s a king of senior tennis, and is true tennis royalty. From Vero Beach, Florida, he’s been honored by the ITF with a seniors lifetime achievement award, having won more than 10 Individual World Championships and more than 10 team championships.

    King is playing in the 85s, but his ball is so heavy and his dropshot so short and spinny. There are several good players in the 85s, but I can’t see King and his titanium knees having too much of a problem winning this event.

    There are a few San Diego area players here, and I watched a bit of Dave Van Den Berg. He was playing an Italian player with two pretty hefty knee braces and cruised to a win. He now however has to play Peter Pokorny of Austria, the top seed and like King, a legend whose won more than 10 individual ITF titles and team events. A couple of other Americans, Karl Placek (seeded 7) and Robert Anderman (faces the #4 seed) are playing 75 singles here.

    I just practiced a couple of hours today, hit the grocery store and drug store and watched more French Open tennis (and listened to it on Radio Roland Garros which is excellent).

    Photos aren’t loading right now….wifi in Europe tends to be dreadfully slow at least in hotels.

    Previous Blog Posts:

    Poertschach, Austria…Planes, Trains and Tennis

    Practicing on the Dirt

    Draws are here.

     


  • Practicing on the Dirt

    While everyone is glued to Tsitsipas/Wawrinka…practicing was going on here in Poertschach (Eurosport switched to cycling in the middle of the match but came back, only to go away to catch viewers up on the day’s events thus far…back for the 5th though!)

    I hit with Heidi Eisterlehner from Germany today. Heidi hits a cracking ball, and we had a good hit. We played on a court lined for juniors (a 60 foot court) and it wasn’t easy. The lines are cloth and nailed into the court. And much more visible than the tape lines. The court was pretty bumpy. Apparently it rained a lot the last few weeks and the courts were neglected and got quite soft. It’s warm now, upper 70s, and dry so they should play better day by day.

    The tournament going on here for young juniors has been interesting to watch. A lot of the players have apparently been taught to serve second serves underhand. Older kids are in the chairs calling all the lines (and doing an excellent job). Parents sit Courtside and encourage the kids and give them high fives, win or lose. They are all playing with orange balls.

    In the afternoon I hit with American Bruce Barrett again…we were bumped by my potential first round opponent though, Shirley Friedl & Bruno Renoult, but got in a good hit before that happened.

    They balls they are using here are Babolat Tour and I got a hold of a can today. They are a bit heavier than the Wilson US Open ball, and the courts are soft so one really has to get behind the ball and whack it to make it go anywhere. Dropshots could be very useful here.

    I ran into the legend who is King Van Nostrand today. He won in Bournemouth, England and now is playing here for two weeks. He’s 85 and still hits a great ball. Though he’s only seeded #3, the other players should be very wary (actually, they all know he’s the best).

    The draws and some times are finally online. I play my first match Thursday, the winner of a match played on Wednesday. Draws can be found here.

    Poertschach, Austria…Planes, Trains and Tennis


  • Poertschach, Austria…Planes, Trains and Tennis

    Poertschach am Worthersee, Austria

    Thursday and Friday were travel days…I left California around 11:30am Thursday and two planes and three trains later ended up in Poertschach (with a nine hour time change) at 9pm on Friday. I put my racquets in a Volkl backpack instead of a bigger racquet bag and since they were visible got a lot of questions about why I had three with me. (Answer basically is 18 gage string doesn’t last, particularly on red clay). A player from Vancouver (but a Czech native) was very interested in seniors tennis; the Americans from Charlotte, NC on the train to Salzburg with me also had questions. Tennis is more popular than I thought.

    I had scheduled an 11am hitting session with Bruce Barrett from Florida. He won the 70 doubles at the worlds last year and I know him from a number of tournaments. He’s also a lefty. As it turned out I hit with three lefties last week and again today (twice) and will be playing with a righty (Heidi Eisterlehner) and Bruce tomorrow too. The draws were posted here and it turns out that I’m very likely to play a leftie first round, so my scheduling turned out to be a fortuitous accident.

    Bruce and I hit at the main courts in Poertschach. There was a junior tournament for quite young players (they were using short courts and soft balls), and it was co-ed…lots of girls vs boys matches in singles and doubles. That meant the practice courts were limited. We hit on Court 1 which was in pretty iffy shape. Lots of weeds are growing on it and the lines are half buried under the dirt. We swept them and rolled one end, but the consistency of the bounces were more reminiscent of a grass court than a clay court…some balls rolled, some jumped up or sideways…or both! We practiced twice. Today was sunny, warm, dry and beautiful…lucky us, apparently it’s been raining here for nearly a week!

    The tournament begins on Monday. I have a bye so don’t play before Tuesday. There are 14 players in the draw, and a number of good players. The woman I am likely to play first round was my final round opponent when I played her here several years ago.

    All for now…I’ll add some more photos but I’ll leave you with this view or the Worthersee, and some photos of the planes, trains and scenery along the way.


  • Austrian Champion

    I played the final today against another American, Veronica Lima De Angelis. She plays a lot of tournaments in Europe, so many that I thought she lived in Europe! But I asked her and she lives in New England, near Concord, and teaches English as a second language, so she has summers free. Her husband is Italian so they come back in the summers. She hits with 2 hands and slices a lot because she tore tendons in her wrist and had surgery on three of them, and also rotator cuff surgery. I played very well the first set when the balls were still light (even though it was raining when we started playing). In the second set we had a few long games, and she made some adjustments (fewer lobs since I was smashing well), but I won 60 61. About 7-8 games in the balls start getting heavier and deader on red clay and I lost the 9th game in every match this week! There wasn’t much in the way of prizes this week…a plastic medal and a bottle of prosseco which I learned is a kind of sparkling wine (I thought it sounded like a liqueur actually). I gave it to a friend from Germany who drove here, Ellen Neumann.

    DSC00094

    Other results, W75 ,Sophia Garaguly edged Heide Orth 74 75, Nora Blom won 60 60 and Carol Campling and Michelle Bichon play in the 70s final.

    All results are here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038774

    After my match, I went for bike ride to Velden. Lake Worth is long and fairly skinny. Poertschach is in the middle and Velden at the eastern end. There’s a bike trail the entire way so it was a safe and easy ride. I walked around Velden, a bigger town than Poertschach, with more ice cream shops than people almost, and lots of lake front resorts. It was a nice end to the week.

    starred photos-003starred photos-006starred photos-010starred photos-013starred photos-014starred photos-023

    And that’s a wrap on Europe Part 1. Part 2 takes place in July. I’m off to Vienna early tomorrow and hope to get some nice photos, do a bit of shopping and see the Lippenzauer horses perform.

    Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/yBn489Bww8kg1f8u8


  • All American Final in Poertschach

    It was a beautiful day In Poertschach, Austria today. The lake sparkled and it was sunny and 80ish, i.e. warm. I  played Hildegarde Bruggraeber from Austria and won 60 61, though we had good points and some good games. My partner, Heidi Eisterlehner, hurt her knee so we had to default our doubles unfortunately. Tomorrow I play the singles final against Veronica Lima de Angelis, who plays under the US flag but I believe she lives full time in Europe. She upset the #2 seed, Encarnita Gomes Diaz 75 61, scoring her first win over Encarnita in four tries. She plays an unusual game…two handed moonballs off both sides combined with one handed slices and an opportune net game. She sliced and moonballed Encarnita very precisely and made only a few errors, so it should be a good match tomorrow.

    Heide Orth plays the 75 final tomorrow while Nora Blom plays the 65 semis. In the 70s, former world champions Carol Campling and Michelle Bichon are still on track to meet in the final. In the 55s, Lisa Prechtel plays Laura DiVittori in the final. It’s interesting watching the evolution of the game from the 35s to the 80s. The grips are different and the strokes and most of all the pace of the ball from the 35s and even 45s is quite a lot more than in older divisions. We all know that, but seeing it is different.

    Draws are here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038774

    IMG_6959


  • Practice Day

    No one in the 60s had a match today, so I just practiced a bit and rested up for tomorrow.

    I hit in the morning with Vladimir Etoj an Aussie who came from Russia. Tennis so international.  I met Vladimir in Klosters, Switzerland several years ago at the 40th birthday party of another Aussie, Jurate Hardy who is Lithuanian (but a naturalized Aussie), and Jurate lives in London. Jurate is actually playing here too. Vladimir plays in the 55s and had a match, so we had a warm up, played some points, about an hour altogether. An hour later I hit for an hour with Marc Pepin from Canada. Tomorrow morning I’m hitting with Nora Blom from Netherlands, and I’m playing doubles with Heidi E from Germany. And it all feels pretty normal. I ran into an actual American player today, Bruce Barrett from Florida, Heide Orth from Germany, and a few other friends.

    I wore new, white shoes today. I didn’t take a photo of the shoes before I hit (but here’s a photo from tennis warehouse europe) and next to it the photo of what they looked like after I hit for two hours! But now the top of the shoe sort of matches the orange trim…

    adidas shoeIMG_6996

     

    I also went to the Billa, a local grocery store. Here are photos of just some of the jam and chocolate selections:

    IMG_6979IMG_6981IMG_6982

    And here was the entire selection of salad dressings (though to be fair, there were many types of oil and vinegar…but I don’t have a kitchen this week):

    IMG_6983

     

    I play singles tomorrow at 11am and am warming up at 7:30 with Nora. I play an unseeded Austrian player.

    Draws:http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038774

    Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/yBn489Bww8kg1f8u8


  • Auf Wiedersehen Germany, Hallo Austria 

    Yesterday was a relaxing day in Baden Baden. I warmed up Carole, packed up and wandered around the old town and down Lichenthaler Allee and did a bit of shopping. It was a gorgeous day.

    In the evening I took the train to the Frankfurt airport since I had a very early flight today to Klagenfurt via Vienna. As soon as I arrived in Austria, even at the airport, I could feel the difference from Germany. The greeting becomes “Grüß Gott”. The chocolate changes from Ritter Sport to Mozart kugelen (involving chocolate and marzipan). The bread rolls shrink in size. German though is still the lingua franca.

    There were three Swedish players on the same plane to Klagenfurt from Vienna today, Sunday, so we shared a taxi. We had a detour because of  a bike race and ended up o some pretty narrow roads!

    I went over to the courts  and ran into some Aussies watching a men’s doubles final. The final was quite entertaining and quite international, Max (AUS) and Bruno (FRA) vs Quentin (NZL) and Keith (CAN). Max and Bruno won in a match tiebreak. I lost my doubles partner, Nora Blom, but  found a new one, Heidi Eisterlehner, so all is good.

    I also hit on the courts here with Luis from Brazil. It was good to get on the courts. The balls here are light, like the Babolat balls I practiced with in the USA (except here they cost 6 euros, nearly $7 per 3 ball can). The balls also bounce very high. The tournament venues have had successively lighter balls and higher bounces. Baden Baden was lighter and had a higher bounce than  Bournemouth and here the ball was really flying. It’s warmer and less humid here.

    Just behind the courts is the Worthersee which is a lovely lake with mountains around it. From my balcony I can see both the courts and the lake, and when the sun shines, as it did today, it’s gorgeous.

    Draws are here. 

    Photos are here. I’ll be adding more during the week.