Sunday Oct. 24, 2021
The 40th ITF Super Senior World Championships ended with a whimper more than a bang as the final mixed doubles and men’s singles champions were crowned. The men’s 75 with Chris Ornstein and Antonio Claudi (who beat Michael Beautyman in the semis) was a tight three setter won 64 in the third by Claudi; the remaining finals were straight sets with one walkover and one retirement in mixed. It was super windy and quite cool yesterday which made excellent play difficult.
Dan Waldman (USA, Washington DC) beat reigning world champion Frits Raijmakers (NED) 64 61, coming back from a 0-3 ad out deficit to win this fifth world singles title, one in each age division, 45/50/55/60/65. Frits was playing his third week in a row and was a doubles finalist the day before. Alfred Boekl of Germany beat Bruno Renoult (FRA) 63 61 to claim the 70s singles title. To no one’s surprise, including his doubles partner and final round singles opponent, Jaime Pinto Bravo (Chile) was too strong for the men’s 80 field, beating Peter Pokorny (Austria) 60 63, in a repeat of their final in the ITF 1000 in Font de sa Cala two weeks earlier. Pokorny actually plays on a league team with Raijmakers (Frits plays line one and Peter line 6) in Austria…Frits says Pokorny never loses at line 6. Herbert Althaus (Germany) won his first ITF World singles title over Herm Ahlers (USA, Las Vegas) 64 61. Ahlers said Althaus was just too fast and got to all his drop shots. Althaus doesn’t have the prettiest strokes but he is really speedy, which in the 85s is key. The 90s was decided yesterday, and France’s Henri Cruchet won the title.
In mixed, Benedict LeGrand and Marc Renoult (Bruno’s brother, also from France) won the 65 doubles over Sabine Schmitz (GER)/Alan Rasmussen (DEN) 62 10 retired (pulled muscle by Rasmussen). The 70 doubles was won by Reinhilde Adams (Germany)/Jairo Velasco Ramirez (Spain) over Marie Anne Semester Ghisolfi/Daniel Montel, France 62 61. USA’s Donna Fales (Florida) and Dean Corley (SoCal) won the 75 mixed over Teische Andree (Germany)/Zoltan Fabian (Hungary) 63 62. The 80 mixed was won by Suella Steel (USA, California)/Pokorny by default. It was a three-team round robin, and the first match was last Sunday, the second not till the following Saturday for Steel/Pokorny.
Liane Bryson (USA, California) won the 70 consolation to add to her 70 doubles gold.
After the medal ceremony, I checked out of my airbnb and Donna Fales and I drove to Palma, where I dropped her off at her hotel there. I returned the rental car to Hiper and fortunately the rental car agent was insistent that a phone was left in the car. It wasn’t mine, it was Donna’s. (I got a hold of her at the hotel and she knows I have it, a relief to her.) Then I flew to Barcelona, arriving about 8:30 at my hotel. After dinner I walked down the Passeig de Gracia for quite a while…my hotel was near both the Gaudi House (Casa Batlo) and Casa Milo, another famous Gaudi building. The street is lined with high-end stores…Gucci, Bulgari etc (also Uniqlo though). It was busy even after 11pm…because it’s Spain, it’s Barcelona.
Now off to USA via London (do NOT forget to fill out that record locator form if you are transiting through London! Many of the passengers in line this morning had no clue…so I was the first person checked in.