We have been gifted with another beautiful week of weather … low 70s during the day and cool nights … perfect for sleeping! Grottammare is a small city on the eastern coast of Italy to which we wouldn't think of coming save for the tennis tournament here. What struck us immediately is that most people here don’t speak english. English was pretty commonplace in Prague, Vienna and Koper, so it took us a bit by surprise that there was wasn’t much english spoken here. The good news is that we have had to learn enough Italian to get by.
In the finals yesterday, Sue played the #1 seed in the midday sun (it was HOT!). The match took 2 1/2 grueling hours but Sue came through victorious with a 7-6, 6-3 win. Sue has now won both women’s single events she has entered, both in younger divisions … the 45+ in Koper and now the 65+ here in Grottammare.
Mas on the other hand had a fairly easy match in the 1st round then ran into a very wily #2 seeded Italian fellow. Everything was high and deep with no pace, pushing Mas back 15 - 20 feet behind the baseline. Switching to a more attacking game, Mas managed to play a better second set but lost the match 6-4, 7-6. His comment after the match was “Boy, I have to get in much better shape to play on this red clay stuff”. The good news is that his opponent went on to win the tournament, beating the #1 seed in 3 sets ... 6-0 in the third.
man with powerful groundstrokes) and Carola, who had a backhand that was as good as any we have ever seen. After losing the 1st set 6-4, we managed to get off to a good start in the second with some slight adjustments to our strategy … coming to the net more and Mas getting a higher percentage of first serves in. It made all the difference as we cruised to a 6-3 win of the 2nd set. We continued our winning ways in the third and eventually won the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Carola invited us all to come join her and her friends at a beach cafe for drinks and dinner. We were happy about that since we were wondering where we could get something to eat at 10:30 at night after our 3 hour match.
In Italy eating that late is no problem - the cafe was still hopping and we were able to sample some local delicacies (fried seafood - wonderful) with the help of our friends who spoke the language. After many stories exchanged, some karaoke singing (even Mas!!), and exchange of emails and phone numbers for future reference, we stumbled off to our hotel around 1:00am after profusely thanking them all for including us. We have been so lucky in meeting such nice people during our trip thus far.
Unfortunately, the team we were to play in the finals withdrew so we won by default. Rumor has it that they did not want to play us and lose ... so, we'll take the win and the ITF points. Perhaps in the next tournament we'll get seeded!
Next stop ... England!
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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