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Kelly Ward of League City, Texas Blogs from Turkey

March 14, 2013 11:18 AM
Mario and Jeff, with their opponents - March 21
Mario and Jeff, with their opponents - March 21
US earned the silver medal for the Dubler Cup.
Kelly Ward from League City, Texas is blogging from Antalya, Turkey about the Dubler Cup teams experience with fellow Texan Eoin Collins from Houston. Seven of the 40 players who will represent the United States at the 33rd ITF Seniors World Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey are from Texas. They will join the other top American tennis players (men and women) in age divisions 35-55 to compete March 18-23, 2013 at the Ali Bey Resort on slow red clay.
By Kelly Ward



March 23, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - Well, not as good a day as we had hoped for. The fresh legs of the French (with a quarter final bye and two matches with only one game lost in the semis) proved too much for our singles one and two.
Mario played a great singles match at Line 2 only to fall short in a third set tiebreaker. He had a couple of chances, but the French guy played very well.
Jeff unfortunately faced the same result in a straight sets besting by the French Line 1. After the first singles loss, we were hoping for a chance to take it in the doubles, but it wasn't in the cards this year. We earned the silver medal for the Dubler Cup and are looking forward to Boca Raton next year!

March 22, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - It was a long day. First match at nine, Line 2 singles, Eoin played the Italians best player. It was a close match, but the Italians won 4 and 3.
In the second match, Jeff played Line 1 and schooled his opponent 6-1 in the opening set. In the second set at three all we had a 3-hour rain delay. After the rain delay, Jeff came out and won 13 out 14 points to win the set 6-3.
That set up a dramatic finish between the two best doubles teams under the lights and in chilly weather for a spot in the finals of the Dubler Cup. Jeff and Mario got an early break in the first set only to lose it, but broke again at four all and Jeff held for the first set. The Italians played better in the second and won it 6-4. In the third set, after four breaks of serve, Jeff and Mario went on a roll to win third set 6-2.
It was a great win, despite the fact that it was cold, windy and dark we were able to find a good group to come over and give our guys the extra energy to win.
Now if that was not enough, we now play the French in the finals tomorrow morning at nine on the Stadium Court. It will be great tennis and hopefully we can fill up the stands with team USA supporters and root our boys on to victory.

March 21, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - Well, The Netherlands upset Germany yesterday in an all day-long marathon match. So, this morning we played The Netherlands in the quarter finals match.
Here are the pics of our top guns, Mario and Jeff, with their opponents.
Mario as usual was very calm and surgical as he moved his opponent around the court to open up his best shot, the dropper, and cruised to a straight set victory.
Jeff, at Line 1, was next. It was a close match with Jeff winning the first set in a tiebreaker. His opponent came back to win the second set at love to force a third. Jeff was much more decisive and aggressive with his shots and won 6-2 in the third.
They did not want to play doubles, so we are on to the Semis tomorrow against Italy. It should be another day of great tennis. I will keep you posted.
Team picture night was very nice and everybody looked fabulous.

March 20, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - Another good day! We won over Latvia 2-1. I played No. 2 singles and lost four and three after 2 hours. This red clay is much slower than anything at home. Eoin came in at Line 1 and won three and zero. He started slowly, but won easily after settling down. Then the ‘World Champions,’ Jeff and Mario, took over and won the doubles zero and one. Now we get ready for Germany Thursday. The tennis should be fantastic.

March 19, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - It was a good day. We won over Ireland 3-0. Eoin took the first match, Line 2 singles very quickly and then Jeff did the same at Line 1. Mario and I then won the doubles. The Irish team were very good sports.
The day was capped off by the win of the Men’s 40s team who won after playing over nine hours against a tough Romanian team. Each match was a three-hour, three set marathon. Everybody was there watching and cheering them on as they broke serve at four all in the third set in the final doubles match. I was very exciting!
We play Latvia in the morning to win our group and earn a spot in the quarters.

March 18, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - Not much to blog about because we had a bye and play our first match in the morning. We hope to win our group and probably face Germany in the quarters. They have a good team and it should be some fantastic tennis. The most noteworthy event of the day was that Shellie Works won her singles match against Turkey in under two hours. That has to be a personal record.

March 17, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - Last day of practice. The wind is strong and the surf is high as you can tell by the pictures. The mention of rain yesterday was a bit premature. At the beginning of our second practice of the day the clouds rolled in and let it go. Not only rain, but the hail. It didn't last long, but soaked the courts and all of us. The resort is nice and it is great to have the courts right here.
Mario is getting us a top seed at the Captains meeting and we are getting ready for the Opening Ceremony. Everybody is ready to get started. More news and pictures to follow.

March 16, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - After 25 hours of traveling, it's great to finally be here! There are three of the four of us ready to practice (Jeff arrived later than the rest of the team). It is beautiful here. Incredible views, monster surf and mountains as a backdrop. Wish it was a bit warmer, but there's no rain! Looks like we are in for some great tennis with a lot of great players!
Good luck and good practice to all the USTA teams while they are here in Antalya!

March 14, 2013

ANTALYA, TURKEY - Well, the first leg is completed and we are about to board for Istanbul. I have not seen any other players and we are ready for a nap. Next stop Turkey.



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