We came to Breda, The Netherlands because the couple we befriended during the tournament in Grottamarre, Italy was organizing this tournament. The weather did not cooperate for the first 4 days of the tournament. Mas was not happy … it was cold and wet … and in addition he managed to wrench his back picking up our luggage with all those heavy trophies in them (ha, ha).
Even though it rained Monday and Tuesday morning, we were able to play our first single matches Tuesday afternoon. Once again there was no W70+ division so Sue had to play down in the 60+ division. Her first match was against a Belgium woman who was a physical trainer and could run EVERYTHING down. It was a long (nearly 3 hours) match which Sue eventually won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Mas limped on to the court next to play the Netherland National Indoor Champion from 2014. He managed to lose with a respectable score of 3-6, 4-6. His division was a two group round robin with 4 players in his group and 3 players in the other. On the following days, playing indoors, Mas won his other two matches and ended up in third place overall.
In the meanwhile, Sue’s division was also a two group round robin with 3 players in each. She won her second match easily to meet the #1 seed in the final on Saturday which she lost fairly easily against a very good player from The Netherlands 1-6, 2-6. There were many comments on the sidelines about Mutt & Jeff and David & Goliath.
The good news was that we would get a chance at revenge with the finals of the Mixed Doubles scheduled after Sue’s singles. It was fortunate that there was an excellent chiropractor playing in the tournament (actually our friend’s brother) who gave Mas an adjustment. With that and drugs and a heating pad on his back, Mas managed to get around the court just enough and with Sue's excellent play, managed to win the mixed 7-5, 6-2 to complete an undefeated mixed doubles season on our European ITF Tour!
The third match of the day for us was Mas' Men’s Doubles semifinals. After he and his pick-up partner won their quarters on Friday, Mas had to tell him that we were leaving on Sunday morning so would have to retire when and if they got to match point in the semifinals. His partner assured Mas there was no way that was going to happen, explaining "team we play is very good team". Well, with Mas and partner leading 6-4, 5-3, 40-0, they retired. Their opponents were a bit confused, the crowd wanted to see more tennis, and the tournament director was very appreciative that there would be a finals. It was bitter sweet for Mas’ partner knowing that they would have gone to the finals but elated to play so well to beat a team he thought they had no chance against. Lots of beers, stories, contact information and promises to stay in touch were exchanged after the match!
Mas Kimball has been a pro at Farm Neck since 2006. He & his wife, Sue, have traveled throughout the United States and internationally ... mostly to play tennis.
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