Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Goodbye Holland + Eurogames tennis results

HIGH OVER HOLLAND...Flying over the Dutch countryside on my way to a final stop in London, I say goodbye to a place equal parts charming, libertine, liberating and hedonistic.


WINNERS...Eastern Europeans like these gold-medal winners from Bulgaria and the Czech Republic did well in the Eurogames.

A WISH COMES TRUE...see the wishing well? Players could place any wish they wanted in it prior to the start of the tournament, and a lucky few were drawn at the closing ceremonies and granted -- keeping with the 2005 Eurogames theme of 'Where Your Fairytale Comes True.' Well guess what? MY wish was the last wish picked! Above, tournament coordinator Jan-Hein reads it aloud to the crowd. So what, you ask, was my Eurogames wish? That Junior could play in a big annual tennis tournament in Europe next year, since he was unable to make it for the Eurogames this year or to Sydney two years ago. And they granted it, giving Junior a free entry into the annual Amsterdam tennis tournament next June, or any European tournament of his choice! No medal for me in these games, but I have to say that this surprise was just about as nice.

MEN'S OPEN WINNERS...the one in red (gold medalist) is from Russia; the one in white (silver medalist) is from Holland.


BRONZE MEDAL...for my friend John Grayson from England for winning the A men's double consolation division with his Dutch doubles partner. Go John!

VANQUISHED...This Dutch/South African team defeated me and Peter in the finals of the men's B doubles consolation division. Earlier in the day Peter and I had a dashing 8-2 victory in the semifinals against another (like us) Dutch/American team - but we were stopped just one match and a few games short of a finals victory by these fellows. Hats off to them. You'll note that one of them is the South African Dave who also defeated me in the B singles. I guess he's got the upper hand against me...for now.

This is Dave, a crafty counterpunching Englishman from South Africa who knocked me out of the B singles consolation round with a pro-set score of 8-6. He was the number one seed in B's. The day before, I lost in the first round of the main B singles draw with a devastating 0-6, 1-6 loss to an Italian from Switzerland. Hey, at least I didn' get DOUBLE-bageled.