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Updates From Turkey

Brenda Carter, a resident of South Carolina and member of the USTA South Carolina Hall of Fame, will be representing the USA, the USTA, the Southern Section and South Carolina in the ITF World Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey October 10th–15th.  She is one of four members, and serves as captain, of USA's Kitty Godfree Cup Team (Women’s 65s).  Brenda will be sending updates from Turkey throughout the week.
Update 8: Sunday, October 23

The ITF World Individual Championships came to a close late today (Saturday).  It’s been a glorious week of fabulous tennis and good weather since Tuesday.  The weather was a bit scary early in the week and AliBey even experienced a small tornado off of the sea.  There was a little damage near the beach, but thankfully no one was injured.

All finals were played today and the USA made a great showing on the awards stand.  Just briefly, out of the 22 finals played, USA won 8 golds. 

The Southern section players fared well.  Hugh Thomson (GA) and Jimmy Parker (NM) won gold the 65 men’s doubles, Brenda Carter (SC) and Heide Orth (GER) won gold in the 65 women’s doubles, Lester Sack (LA) won silver in the 75 men’s singles and Burnett Herrick (NC) won silver in the 75 women’s singles and doubles.   

I was the 7th seed and made it to the quarterfinals of the singles (65s) and lost to my doubles partner, who was the #3 seed.  The winner was the #1 seed from France.


After one last shared AliBey banquet tonight, everyone is now looking forward to getting back to their homes.  Thanks for caring and allowing me to share our adventures with you.



Update 7: Saturday, October 15
Again, what a difference a day makes, but for more reasons than the weather.  Again, it was a perfect day for tennis, or anything one would want to do outdoors here -- spend the day at the beach (on the Mediterranean), parasailing or by the pool or playing golf (no, there's no golf course on this property).  

We won our match against Germany, which was great fun for us.  Betty lost at #2 to a fine player no one on our team has ever played.  Luckily, I was able to win at #1, defeating a player I've played several times and it's always a toss up.  So again, it's down to the doubles.  Betty and I played the doubles and we won in straight sets, so that put us on the medal stand!!!   Many feel that the top four teams in our Cup are very equal and on a given day any team might win against any one of the others.  It was exciting.  

The ITF staged the awards ceremony for all of the Cups who finished today -- and that was seven of the ten.  The USA won five of these Cups.  Our team and the 80's women's team placed third, so we got bronze medals.  Three Cups will play finals tomorrow and the USA is in two of those finals and playing for bronze in the other (all men's teams).  It's been a wonderful week of tennis socializing with people from all over the world (27 countries).

The Southern Section people who are on teams are Hugh Thomson, Lester Sack. Burnett Herrick and I.  All are on different Cup Teams.  Gold went to Hugh's, Lester's and Burnett's teams.  I must say, the finale of the Britannia Cup (Hugh's team) was very exciting.  The men had split their singles and the doubles was the deciding match against France.  Hugh and Charlie Hoeveler (CA) played the doubles.  They won the match in the tie-breaker in the third!  You can't get much closer than that!  

The ITF also conducts the World Individual Championships right here next week.  Many of the Cup players stay and play this big tournament.  My teammates chose not to stay, but I will be playing.  I'll send a wrap-up of that event at the end of the week.

Thanks for your care and interest as the week has gone by.  Blessings to you.


Update 6: Friday, October 14
Well, Friday at AliBey was a beautiful day.  However, the report from the Kitty Godfree Cup is not the report I would like to be sending.  We had a tough day at the office, but we gave it a valiant effort.  We were playing Great Britain and we knew they were strong.  Betty started the day and won her match in two tough sets.  Then I played for three hours and lost in three sets.  The doubles would decide who would go to the finals.  Betty and Judy played the doubles, but lost.  The Brits played very well and got the last point, so they move to the finals against France, who beat Germany in the same fashion, having to win the doubles to make it to the finals.  We will play Germany tomorrow and they're tough, too, but we'll give it our best shot.

Losing did not keep us from eating.  We joined the 60's women's and men's teams, the 65's men's team, the 70's women's team and spouses/companions for dinner down at the beach restaurant. It was a beautiful evening.

We, as a team, are disappointed, but we all know we tried as hard as we could.  The USA is making a great showing as we are in the semifinals or finals of many of the ten Cups.


Update 5: Thursday, October 13
What a difference a day makes.  The weather today is ideal -- not a cloud in the sky, not windy and not too warm either.
We completed our tie with Sweden.  Betty had won yesterday and I finished my match with a win.  We didn't think the doubles would be played as the ITF is trying really hard to get everything on schedule.  As it turns out, Sweden needed to play because of the standings in the group, which our team was happy to do.  So Judy and Cathie played the doubles and won.  The Swedish girls are delightful people.
Tonight there will be an official dinner around one of the pools (I think there are four pools -- and that doesn't count the huge water park!).  I wish you could see how they present the food at this banquet -- unbelievable fruit carvings and beautifully arranged trays!!!  There will be music and some dancing too.  Club AliBey also has a troupe of actors, actresses and dancers that put on a stage performance each night -- an open air venue.  These people do a phenomenol job and have a variety of performances.
I'm quite sure all of our teams were winners today.  Some may be playing an afternoon match.  In the Kitty Godfree Cup, all four seeds made it out of their round robins.  Our team will play in the semifinals against Great Britain.  France will play Germany.  There will be some great, tough matches everywhere tomorrow!
Thanks for your good thoughts.  I hope all is well.  Until next time,
Update 4: Wednesday, October 12
First of all, I forgot to mention in the last update that all of the other remainding USA teams won their Tuesday matches!!

Well, today the rains came back.  We finally started play at 2 PM, but the rain and heavy winds came back around 4 PM.  Betty had completerd her match with a victory.  I am in the first set with a lead.  We will continue at 9 AM tomorrow.  At this point that's all I know.

All players were at the tennis center when the rains came around 8:30 AM and all had to stay because the thought is the rains will stop soon and it's hard to round everyone back up.  It's really delightful to interact with people from all over the world and watch others enjoying that as well.  Even if a person doesn't understand the language, attempts are made to communicate.  Our team enjoyed trying to learn some Turkish words from a Turkish nurse and she loved trying to practice her very limited English on us.  Lots of good laughs.  Everyone understands a smile and a high-five!  We didn't have much space, but we played a couple of fun games, including anyone who wanted to join in.  

Next on the agenda is a trip back to the restaurant!!

Until next time,


Update 3 : Tuesday, October 11
I'm really glad I told you about the iffy weather.  Your good thoughts about the weather held up well.  I was shocked we were able to play today.  Our team is totally caught up.  We defeated Canada 3-0.  Betty Wachob won at #2 and I won at #1, then Judy Louie and Cathie Anderson won the doubles.  Judy and Cathie also completed our tie with South Africa by winning their doubles match.  We play our last tie of the round robin tomorrow against Sweden.  If we're able to win that tie, we'll be in the semifinals!!!  

Hopefully the weather will hold and all will continue to progress on schedule.  Everyone was surprised at dinner tonight when a  storm passed through.  We were dining on one of the four restaurant's wrap around porch and the rain and wind was severe enough to run us inside.  The people who were dining at the outdoor beach restaurant were much worse off than we were!  The food here is unbelievable. It is beautifully presented in a large room where the hot food is cooked before your eyes.  There are large stations -- bread, antipasta, wonderful salad, fruit, and desserts, desserts, desserts.  It's "all you can eat" and that's dangerous, yet delicious.

I hope all is well with each of you.  Until later,

Update 2: Monday, October 10

Club AliBey experienced rough tennis weather last night and all day today.  The red clay courts (60 of them!) dry very fast, but it's tough when it doesn't quit raining.  Surprisingly, we did get to begin our tie today even though we started three hours late -- and we were able to finish both singles matches.  We won them both.  Then the bottom fell out again, so the doubles match has not been played.  The weather is still iffy (and iffy is optimistic) for tomorrow, however, if it's nice and we can begin play at 9 AM, we will play our tie against Canada.  If we can complete that, the doubles from our tie today against South Africa will follow the entire tie against Canada.

Only one other USA team was scheduled for action today and that was the 60's women's team.  They, too, are in exactly the same situation as we are.  If the weather is nice, all ten teams will play tomorrow.


Update 1: Sunday, October 9
I arrived in Turkey on Thursday and all is well. Official opening of the event was this afternoon with a nice ceremony and play begins tomorrow for all age groups.  The USA is represented by ten teams, 5 women's and 5 women's, age groups 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80.  There are approximately 600 tennis players here from around the world.  My teammates are Betty Wachob (Panama City, FL), Cathie Anderson (Del Mar, CA) and Judy Louie (FL and CA).

I am the captain of the Kitty Godfree Cup team (65s).  All captains attended a captains' meetings today and draws was determined.  We have 16 teams in our draw and we are the #3 seed.  The 16 teams are divided into 4 groups of 4 teams, with each group containing one of the top 4 seeds. Teams in our group are from South Africa, Canada and Sweden.  We play South Africa tomorrow (Monday).  If weather holds, round robin play will continue through Wednesday.  The winners of the groups will begin squaring off on Thursday -- more on that later.  I'm one who take it one day at a time.  The other seeds are France, Great Britain and Germany, respectively.

A tie consists of two singles matches and one doubles match.  Order of play is #2 singles, #1 singles, followed by the doubles.  A country must win at least two matches to win the tie.

It is such an honor to be representing the USA in this event.  Thank you for your support.