ITF Bredeney Ladies Open ’17
Sorry for Patty Schnyder, who had to retire due to some hip issues. Wishing her to get well soon is very selfish by me because I love to watch her play and want her out on the courts again pretty soon. Nice to see her little cozy family system up and running so well. Always a pleasure to talk to Patty's husband, who's a quite impressing person as well and an extraordinarily good father to their lovely little princess. Double birthday wishes and congrats for Carolin Daniels and Kaia Kanepi. And congrats to everybody out there in Bredeney for making it such a well-rounded affair. Looking forward to Bredeney Ladies Open '18.
Best Of Day Six
Had some errand in Essen - ah yes, you already know my new pal, music student "Still" (calm), whom I paid his fee today. That was at about 11 am. Then, on my way to Bredeney, it started to rain and it didn't stop til 2:30 pm. Although living just ten minutes away in neighboring town Mülheim I decided to stay at the venue, not only, because I had become rather wet already on my Vespa ride to Bredeney and didn't want to get soaked completely, but mainly in order to share the player's experience of waiting. While doing so, I eavesdropped some interesting things. Mr. Rekasch, the tournament director, doing some math for another event ("48 matches, 6 courts, start at 9 am..."). Players talking inside stuff, about other players, traveling or injury issues, jokes... One player, whom I had reckoned as utterly tough a person, revealed herself as absolutely incapable of watching horror movies, doing so would prevent her from getting some sleep for several nights. Those boyish-looking girls, who explicitly avoid any so called "femininity" in their clothing, gestures and behavior, always find my interest and sympathy. One can feel and imagine, that there is some decent amount of thinking behind this kind of courageous and stubborn attitude. And often a sensitivity, which might be so intense, a heart so big, that both simply need to get hidden and cloaked for protection. The only seemingly tough player gives another example of her fine character, as some woman, mother of a fellow player, can't be stopped chattering on to her, not getting any of the albeit very subtle hints of exhaustion on the other side. Our horror-movie-avoider-with-the boyish-look shows an incredible patience, by then swiftly and elegantly slipping out of this trap with the excuse that she'd have to do some important talking with somebody else, which probably even was the truth. Very very fine and polite. And what calm and soft voices many of these on-court predators are talking with in private. Gold. Pure gold. Well, and then, after hours of waiting, the rain stopped and the tennis finally was able to begin. Remarkable the performance of Katharina Gerlach. After she had lost the first set 1-6 to Schnyder, I thought by myself: Well, at least she has managed to avoid the "double bagel" (0-6 0-6). But then she came back amazingly strong in the second, winning it 6-3, and was able to get another three games in the third. Courageous, spirited, focused, fighting and enjoying it up to the last point. More of that, please!!! Then I watched a little bit of the other semi, driving home then, riding off into the sunset with my old pal, the Vespa "Granturismo", which is my personal Jolly Jumper. So, what a nice day of beautiful tennis this was again...
8/6/17 Best Of Day Five
…and a few more
Today I sent a student from local "Folkwang" conservatory to the music school where I give piano lessons on Thursdays. His last name is "Still", which means calm in german. So albeit not knowing this guy I trusted the recommendation and am quite confident that he did a good job with "my" kids. Tomorrow Schnyder vs Gerlach. Will be tricky for me, because I do like both of them very much. Of course it's likely that the Swiss will win. So I hope that Katha will find a way to enjoy the match and to avoid stumbling into her good old nice and cozy frustration pitfall too soon or too often. Last year in Bad Saulgau there was a match where I knew that she would lose it as early as in the third or fourth game of the first just by watching her body language and facial expression. Since then she has improved that a lot, is much more positive and competitive now and with psychologically wise premium coach Ute Strakerjahn at her side, who's instructions are always most entertaining and informative to listen to, she has every chance to cope with her tendency to implode into negativity, which is still there, and to make it a thriller for herself and the crowd instead. Given a Patty Schnyder impressingly in-form, it's absolutely no shame to lose against her. Enjoy! And learn...
7/6/17 Best Of Day Four
Same precedure as yesterday, lots of rain and fun, not so many pics. Memorable the long conversation with this elderly chap (well, much too soon I'll be one myself), which started as benign small talk leading to a discussion then about whether immigrants and refugees are riff-raff or human beings. Fortunately at the end of the talking there was some sort of agreement about the latter. And the guy full of bias and simplistic stereotypes finally turned out to be quite a nice human being himself. Just confused and anxious he was, which is very human in our times. The killer argument I always use in such discussions, is "How many foreign immigrants have you met and talked with in person yet." And I always get the answer "None." Followed by some refreshing thoughtfulness. Gottfried Benn, the german poet, once wrote "Kommt, reden wir zusammen, wer redet, ist nicht tot..." "Come on, let's talk with each other, those who are talking are not dead..." Certainly would have liked to talk to Benn in person as well, as he unfortunately chose to sympathize with the f***ing Third Reich. As Knut Hamsun did, another of my favorite writers. Is it admissible to cherish the qualities of an artist who fell into ugly and inexcusable error privately? Even if not, I can't help doing so with these two exceptional beacons of the word. Well, but now let's return to talking tennis again... or butterflies...
6/6/17 Best Of Day Three
Lots of rain today. Had a long chat with pro photographer Horst, whom I owe some precious tips and advice. But how good, that I don't have to obey the laws of the very tough and swift media business, I thought by myself. Therefore I also will not need some of the tricky skills of pro software like Adobe CC this utterly nice guy found the time to show me on his computer. After that I indulged myself in mainly putting the camera aside and watching some tennis instead. That's, why there are not so many pics this time. How nicely Patty Schnyder asked me to leave after I thoughtlessly had entered the court for some pics at 5:6 from her point of view in the first. Not only the way in which she said it was kind and clear, she even added a short explanation of what would be ok for her and what not, and why so. This in two little sentences. At 5:6. Very impressing. Sorry, Patty! And thanks for the lesson in sensitivity, which I obviously needed.
5/6/17 Best Of Day Two
After the first Gerlach match (she had to play two on this day) a butterfly came to sit on my right index finger, a precious moment, which lasted for several minutes. Even as I started to walk slowly off the court, where I had been sitting on my swedish stool shooting some of the pics you can behold in the gallery below, the animal chose to stay with me. Then he/she took off and both of us continued each with our probably quite different life plans. How nice an episode this has been! As if it hadn't been enough to watch lovely "Katha" Gerlach play. Yeah, sometimes life is good...
4/6/17 Best Of Day One
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