The day began under stormy skies, with streaks of lightening followed by booming thunder and heavy rain. The day ended like it began, with dramatic lightening flashes and thunder that had people jumping out of their seats. In between there was a Yankee near domination on the red clay at Ali Bey. In the end, six of the nine Cups contested went to Americans, with only Austria, men’s 70s, Canada, men’s 80s and Great Britain, women’s 65s, stopping a sweep of the nine cups contested by the USA.
Men’s 60s, Von Cramm Cup, was a thrilling finish, won 76 in the third set of the doubles by the Americans over Spain under the lights…not the brightest of lights either. I asked Larry Turville of the USA how he could see under the lights and he said he couldn’t, which is why he was staying back more than usual. Neil Newman, USA just commented about how great of hands the Spaniards had. The Spaniards were world champion Jorge Camina and a former Davis Cup player, who beat the USA last year in the deciding doubles match on carpet in Perth. USA won a tight first set, lost the second and won a thriller of a third, rallying from 35 down to win it 76.
I’ll post more soon….off to dinner.
OK, I’m back. At dinner we were treated to a tremendous thunder and lightening show, followed by a downpour. All the Americans were celebrating at the Park restaurant at Ali Bey.
The women’s 75s only dicey moment came when play was ready to begin after a three hour rain delay and the captain, Boots Van Nostrand, could not find her #2 singles player, Burnett Herrick. She sent her teammates, Dorothy Matthiessen and Mary Boswell out to find her and Dorothy, who played doubles with Burnett in the US nationals, thought to look for her at the spa. Sure enough, she was getting a massage, and quickly dressed and made it to the courts on time. At noon it was still sprinkling, so it was understandable that she would think play was going to be further delayed. The USA beat Great Britain and New Zealand to win the Cup in a three team round robin.
The women’s 70s were the only women’s team which lost the #2 singles match. They played a tough German team and Dori deVries was beaten by a good player, Renate Castalucci, who had a great drop shot. Donna Fales quickly evened the match at a set apiece and Dori and Donna played the deciding doubles match. They were leading 42 when one of their opponents fell, injured her wrist, (a sprain or a break, to be determined tomorrow) and Germany had to retire.
The women’s 60s beat France. France upset Australia in the semis. Kerry Young played her usual merciless game, winning 60 60 at #2 singles, setting up a match with Nicole Hesse from France and Martha Downing, USA at #1. Downing lost to Nicole last year on a faster surface which normally would favor Downing. In 2008, Hesse was the world champion in the 60+ division in Turkey. Downing and Young came up with a game plan for the match, which Martha executed to perfection…high deep balls, judicious drop shots, low slice backhand, and occasional trips to the net and no power shots. Downing won 64 64 to win the Cup!!!!!
The women’s 65s, seeded third, were in the final after upsetting Germany in the semis. They took on a tough British team in the final. The Brits Sue Hill, a lefty, played a strong match, but Betty Wachob, USA was tougher, winning in three close sets; Charleen Hillebrand lost a tough match to Frances Maclennan and the two Americans lost in three sets in the deciding doubles match.
In the men’s 65, Hugh Thomson beat his French opponent at #2 singles; Jimmy Parker at #1 singles forged a 52 lead in the first set and held several set points, but his opponent fought them off to win the first set 75; Parker rallied from 42 down in the 2nd set to win it 64 and won the third 62, and with it the Cup!!!
The men’s 75 was the first cup decided today, when John Powless served and volleyed his way to a win and King Van Nostrand then put up his best performance of the week, playing a flawless match to clinch the Cup.
The men’s 70 team, which had such a tough match yesterday to reach the final against Austria, came close to a win; Joe Bachmann won at #2 singles; Lester Sack fell to Pkorny at #1 singles; and Fred Farzanegan/Rudy Hernando dropped the doubles point. It was a tough tie against a better team on the day.
The men’s 80 fell to a very tough Canadian team led by Lorne Main. Ken Sinclair edged Joe Russell at #2 singles and Main beat Clem Hopp at #1 singles. Main is legendary and rightfully so, he moves more like a 60 year old than an 80 year old, for sure.
It was a terrific performance by the American teams…unprecedented.