9/17 – Kathy Langer
We did it! Our talented 1 & 2 singles players once again came through, winning both matches so my partner and i did not get to play today. But we were not complaining!
I nearly had a Heart attack when Dorothy fell front on on the nasty red clay early in the first set after Dori had won her match in straight sets. A time out was called while she cleaned up all the blood on her knees, then she pulled herself together and won the set. She was up 5-3, match point in the second and watched it slip away, losing it 7-5.
More heart palpitations on my part.
A half of a banana, several sips of water and she went out and won the third set 6-3. Whew !
The Queen's Cup isn't really a cup, but a beautiful and heavy silver tray. We get to keep it for a year, the USTA will engrave our names on it, and we will take it to Austria in 2013 to try to win it again!
This has been an incredible experience in a beautiful place.
Thanks to all who were rooting for us and to the USTA for providing the opportunity to play for our country.
9/16 – Doris Lutz, Doris Hart Cup
A small train runs from the hotel Sol Stella to Umag, a city about twenty minutes from the tennis facility. Team members ride this amusement park locomotive there to walk downtown, shop at the numerous vendor stands or dine elegantly seaside, for there are countless restaurants along the shore. This area specializes in seafood, caught fresh daily in the Adriatic Sea. There are squid, mussels and all kinds of fish delicacies.
On Friday the ladies’ eighties played the number one seed, Canada. It was an extremely windy day, making tennis a difficult game. USA’s Doris Lutz fell to Huguette Fontaine, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3, in a long, grueling, battle. This match was followed by a Lucille Kyvallos loss to Rosemarie Arch, 6-2, 6-3. The wind was gusting and blowing and making the atmosphere nearly impossible. However, Margaret Canby and Lucille Kyvallos teamed up to give Canada its first loss of the tournament in two sets, 6-4, 7-6.
The championship will be decided by the number of wins, and in case of a tie the individual match scores will be analyzed for the winner. The USA having completed its play, has a score of 10, which Canada has a score of 8, but must play the Netherlands Saturday.
Canada prevailed on Saturday, winning its three matches against New Zealand and capturing the gold on this beautiful, sunshiny day. The USA team finished second for the silver with New Zealand ending the tourney as the bronze winners.
That concludes a fun filled week of tennis, camaraderie, and sightseeing in Umag, Croatia. "I love Croatia"; that is a slogan on many of my souvenirs, and it says it all.
9/14 – Brenda Carter, Kitty Godfree Cup
It's been a crazy couple of days. We had rain Thursday -- our first match against the Netherlands started at 2:30 with Carol playing the #2 position. She pulled out a long 3 setter, then I started around 5:15. I lost to their #1 player 6-4, 6-3. It was basically dark when we finished, so that gets us to today.
We played the deciding doubles match this morning and Betty and I won 6-3;6-3, so that put us in the semifinals to play Great Britain. Our first match in that tie started at noon with Betty playing the #2 singles. She lost in a tough two-setter. I went on about 2 PM playing their #1. Luckily I was able to win, but it took a long time -- it was two sets (7-6;7-5). So again, it came down to the doubles. That match started at 5 PM, with Betty and me playing their doubles team. We won the first set 6-0, then proceeded to lose the second 6-4. We were up 5-2 and at 5-4, we had two match points which we could not capitalize on. We are suspended because of darkness tied at 5-5 in the third, to be completed at 9:30 in the morning. The winner of this set goes to the finals, which will be played immediately following completion! Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Will post again after tomorrow's play.
Hope all is well with you -- until later......
9/13 – Brenda Carter, Kitty Godfree Cup
Believe it or not, we had a blemish in the weather today. We were playing Sweden and the bottom fell out just as Carol was about to finish her match. The rain created a 2-hour break and we were called back to the courts. They did a great job getting us back out. We all are surprised that thery were able to complete all of the matches!
Sweden has gotten much stronger over the years. They have three of the same players that I met in my first Cup and and new number one player. We were able to prevail in all three matches, but we really had to play well as they tested us. Carol won 6-7;6-2;6-2, Brenda won 7-5;6-2 and Betty and Leslie won the doubles 0 and 0.
Tonight there was a banquet for all of the players competing in Umag -- about 600 people! We were not sure whether we would be able to make it, but we did. It's always fun to see all of these people in one place. Everyone is always happy and upbeat, no matter what their circumstances have been on the court.
Again, all of the US teams came out winners and we all look forward to another day, with hopes the rain will be finished and we can stay on schedule. Here's another resource if you want to see scores of all of the USA teams: www.carolynnichols.wordpress.com.
Our team will play the Netherlands. Their #1 player is a former ITF World Champion, so we'll have our hands full.
As always, thanks for your good wishes.
Until next time!
9/11 – Kathy Langer, Queens Cup
Kathy Langer and her doubles partner, Lyn Tietz , were winners against the New Zealand team after their teammates easily won their singles matches in their first match of the ITF World Team Championships. their next opponent is Australia. Yesterday was a day off for the #1 seed so they were able to travel to truffle country and enjoy the quaint small town of Montovon, which is famous for the black and white delicacies.
Opening ceremonies were exciting and colorful. Kathy carried the flag for the US. 188 countries are represented in Novigrad and Umag, Croatia.
One down and 3 to go!
9/11 – Brenda Carter, Kitty Godfree Cup
Another beautiful day in Umag! We played our match against Turkey. It was a very enjoyable match as the ladies are delightful. It's been fun to watch them progress as they had never fielded a team until just a few years ago. Carol Clay won her match at #2 by a score of 6-2, 6-1; I won my singles match 6-3, 6-0; Betty and Leslie won the doubles 6-1, 6-0. It only gets tougher from here. We play Sweden tomorrow so I'll let you know! As far as I know, all of the USA teams also won today.
If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to know more and see more pictures of many who are here, you may go to www.Carolynnichols.com and click on "view all" in the right top quadrant of the site. You also can scroll down and click on International Tennis Federation Senior site, then click on ITF World Team Championships and snoop around.
Until later, hope all is well
9/10 – Doris Lutz, Doris Hart Cup
Croatia, Croatia, here we come, the ladies of the "eighties", ready to compete in the ITF Super-Seniors Team Cup Competition representing the United States of America, Captain Jane Lutz, Margaret Canby, Joyce Jones and Lucille Kyvallos.
We arrived in Umag, Croatia after long plane rides from Florida, Texas, New York and Washington. Landing in Rome, Italy the ladies boarded another plane to Trieste, Italy where a bus transported them through Slovenia to Umag. Uniformed police in the Trieste airport terminal were roaming the area with dogs. We assumed that was to make sure no drugs were being imported. In Slovenia, the country check point personnel were upset that Italy had not stamped our passports but flagged us on anyway. During the bus ride, the team glimpsed a beautiful, well-manicured countryside of many, many vineyards and various other crops. It gave a clean, well-kept impression to the sightseers. The terrain was extremely hilly green and scenic. In Umag, we checked into their hotel, Sol Stella, which is located on a huge resort grounds on the Adriatic. There are people from all over the world here and the area is definitely family oriented. One can see people in cars, on bicycles, on motorcycles and even some cruising by on roller skates. There is entertainment for youngsters in the huge waterway, as well as on ground bumper cars and other amusement activities for the young. There are many restaurants, souvenir shops and even a grocery store open twenty –four hours every day. There are bars, music nigh entertainment for adults.
We Americans learned early that Kunos are the customary currency, as wells as euros and even some places accepting credit cards. The hotel has currency exchange open round the clock as well as an ATM machine.
Communications was a bit of a problem, and the group learned that early. The team entered a restaurant and was seated. The waiter took their orders. One person ordered a coke, but said she wanted ice in it. Another person ordered beef soup. The waiter returned with ice cream and thought that was "ice". He said that ice cubes would be called ice rocks. Next the waiter returned with a huge steak dinner instead of the soup. When he finally brought in the "beef soup", it resembled what would probably be known as chicken noodle soup. The lesson learned was to be extremely patient and specific until understood.
For two days, Friday and Saturday, the team signed up for practice courts on the grounds of the huge tennis facility. It includes 17 red clay courts near a huge stadium which seats people and has two red clay courts as part of its amenities. Huge pictures of past champions including Dolgopolow, Davydenko and Fererro are on display above the entry.
On Sunday, the captains of the various teams met with ITF officials and learned the nine teams entered in the competition and the names of the individual players. Number one, two and three seeds as Canada, United States of America and Great Britain. They all received byes for Monday play as the draw was divided into three sections. In Group A France will play Argentina, in Group South Africa will play Australia and in Group AC the Netherlands will meet New Zealand. The play offs will begin Thursday with completion and a champion declared after Friday’s play.
The 80 years old competitors are ecstatic that their age division has jumped from its inaugural number of three teams last year to the nine teams enrolled this year.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Super Seniors Team Event was held Sunday Sept 9 in the Stadium court. Ten members, one from each team marched in and filled the stadium court where the Croatian anthem was played and welcoming speeches were presented under a sunny sky. Other team members and guests watched from the sideline seats. Following the ceremony and a hearty welcome from Croatian players, a cocktail party was held outside in the courtyard.
9/10 - Brenda Carter, Kitty Godfree Cup
Competitors have gathered in Umag and Novigrad, Croatia for the playing the the ITF World Team Tennis Championships, 2012. There are over 700 competitors from 34 different countries competing in 10 Cup competitions (5 women, 5 men), in age groups of 60, 65, 70, 75, and 80. This year’s event has a record number of competitors.
Umag is located in the Istrian part of Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is beautiful and serene and quite laid back, which makes for a very nice setting. So far the weather has been fabulous.
These updates will focus on the Kitty Godfree Cup (Women’s 65s). There are 21 teams competing – the largest group I have ever experienced in a number of years of Cup play. The opening Ceremony was held today -- it's just so moving to wave our flag with all of the other countries. We are so honored to be here. In addition, the captains’ meeting was held today. Team USA was named the #3 seed behind France and Great Britain. Germany is the number 4 seed. Three additional seeds were also named as the teams are divided into 7 groups of 3 teams. A round robin will be played within each group of three and the winners of each round robin will move into a quarterfinal draw.
We have Turkey and Sweden in our group and since we are the seed of the group, we will not play until Tuesday. Turkey will play Sweden on Monday, and then we will play Turkey on Tuesday and Sweden and Wednesday. My teammates are Betty Wachob (Captain), Panama City, FL, Carol Clay, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Leslie Pixley, Malvern, PA. We’ve spent two days practicing on the red clay courts, (which are in great shape) and we are excited for the competition to begin. I will keep you posted as I can.