Archive for June, 2010

Wheelchair tennis at NTC

DSCN6933 GOODThe 2010 Jana Hunsaker Memorial was held last week, June 10-13 at USTA. They had about 54 players competing for US$10,000. Men’s singles champ would take home $1,760 while the Lady’s $1,000. The top 4 gentlemen singles players are

1. Yoshinobu Fujimoto of Japan
2. Yann Mathieu of Canada
3. Paul Moran of USA
4. Stephen Welch of USA

This picture was taken while Paul was playing Joel Dembe in the Quarter final. He beat Joel 6:4, 7:6 (5). Pumpkin balled for the match.

I watched Steve Welch vs Anthony Anderson match. They traded many amazing shots. One of the players who were watching told me that Welch is the top dog in the USA and played a challenge match against Howard Stern the radio host about 4-5 years ago.
“He (Steve) kicked his behind big time.” 🙂

Welch DSCN6833

The wheelchair community is rather and pretty tight knit. Steve and Anthony would high five each other at change overs. At one point, Anthony cried out loud,
“You got to be kidding Steve!!” as he was trying hard but unable to save one of many incredible shots.
The few players I asked, all had played tennis before they became disabled.
“Would a wheelchair player has advantage if he played before became disabled?”
They said it’s a debate.
Oh well ..
There was a big dude in the red t-shirt who was the only one talked about his injury – a fall into a ditch. As an ignorant AB – their way of referring us, the able body – I didn’t know what to think/do around them but curious. In fact, they’re very self efficient and able – dumb of me to even think otherwise. The first day in the parking lot, as players arriving with their gears – sitting in a wheelchair and pushing their tournament wheels, I offered my help timidly: didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Only two players accepted my help.

All grand slams have the top 8 to play. The Wheelchair US Open is held in St Louis each year.

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Stephen Welch at NTC

At Jana Hunsaker Memorial Wheelchair tennis tournament at National Tennis Center, June 11, 2010

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NJ

Our last match on Sunday was again being played indoor at Tri-City. Nadal was demolishing Robin Söderling 6–4, 6–2, 6–4 in Paris.
Our opponent was from the other side of the Hudson River, New Jersey. Their team consisted Chinese too. Paul suggested to me that I should seeking its captain out and get acquaintance for some friendly games in the future: a great idea. When I saw a lady who resembled Paul’s description, I approached her.
“Good morning, are you Sherry?”
“No.” Wow ..
“Oh .. do you know where is she?” Thickening my skin, I persisted.
“Why are you looking for her?” She looked at me with suspicion.
“I’d like to talk to her.” I replied cheerfully.
“What do you want to talk about?” she asked in such rawness, I decided not to pursue any further. It’s so unpleasant.

DSCN6815 DSCN6793

NJ has also large Chinese tennis community and they’ve been hosting tournaments for a long time and continusly doing so with great success. Their USTA league participation has produced couple of National Champions.

#1 Doubles Wai Chiu Leong/Mary Wong vs Cheng Mei-Ju Tzeng/Yi Qiu: 6-3 6-1
#2 Doubles Kai H. Chung/Anna Leung Vs. Ban Tran/Jan Kay Smith: 2-6 7-6 1-0
#3 Doubles SEAN YUEN/Irene Lum Vs. Polly Wong/Ronald C. Tai: 6-4 6-1

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Buffalo

After the rain and drama, our second match of the day against Buffalo/Western was played out door as scheduled. Weather turned out to be nice again. Competitive matches with very friendly atmosphere – the way this game should be played.

Friday night the league gave a cocktail party in the afternoon followed with a raffle. There I met my team’s tormentors 🙂 for the first time. The players on the league were mostly veterans, it felt like a big reunion, cozy and jolly. The raffle prizes include from tennis bags to little hand towels. The bag being the more desirable, were gone quickly. It seemed the winner of the raffle could pick and chose. Then a Chinese player from NJ held the winning ticket and he came forward to claim his prize. The presenter was about to give him a towel. Like players before him, he asked for the bag. Unlike the previous ones, the presenter insisted offering him the towel. No one at my table made any comment at all, I wasn’t sure if any of them had seen it. When my ticket was called, almost at the very end, there were only little towel left.

the control center the portables 0 DSCN6722 June 4

As if happened, the following day, our last match was against NJ. Paul used to play on their teams so he knew them well. When I chatted with Sherry, they were pretty upset by the raffle episode, feeling being discriminated by the league, often in the past as well.

girls night out .. June 5

We had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, as if we don’t have in back home.

#1 Doubles Kelly Z. Draper/Darren J. La Padula Vs. SEAN YUEN/Chin Teng 6-2 6-0
#2 Doubles Mary Wong/Sai Wah Wong vs Becky B. Gennett/Scott P Engleman: 1-6 6-2 1-0
#3 Doubles Kai H. Chung/Anna Leung vs Susan E. Vail/John S Miller 6-4 6-4

DSCN6759

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An IQ test

What’s the hottest beach sport? .. Come to the NTC and play America’s beach sport. It’s free and lighted. And no g-string c-sting or full-string required.

Tennis anyone?

DSCN6828 Court 18

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The Color Purple

she's 5.0 this yearI saw her at the sectional playoffs at Syracuse last summer when she played for a 4.5 ladies league, now a 5.0 in a mixed doubles 10.0 league – ya baby, you go girl! Reportedly she’s from the Albany area and a former college player.
The USTA Eastern Mixed Doubles sectional championship has 5 flights from 6.0 to 10.0, scheduled on June 4-6 at Central Park at Schenectady, New York. Each day the first match starts at 8am and the last one is around 2pm.
For my 7.0 flight, we have 6 teams competing for a spot in the Nationals. It’s round robin format. My team represents Metro ..
#1 Friday June 4, 8am vs Southern (Westchester): 1st D – 1:6, 1;6; 2nd D – 6:1, 0:6, 0:1; 3rd D – 4:6, 3:6
#2 Friday June 4, 11am vs Northern (Albany): 1st D – 2:6, 5:7; 2nd D – 6:3, 6:2; 3rd D – 4:6, 6:4, 1:0 (13:11)
#3 Saturday June 5, 9:30am vs Long Island: 1st D – 6:4, 4:6, 0:1; 2nd D – 1:6, 2:6; 3rd D – 6:4, 6:2
#4 Saturday June 5, 12:30pm, vs Western (Buffalo): 1st D – 2:6, 0:6; 2nd D – 1:6, 6:2, 1:0; 3rd D – 6:4, 6:4
#5 Sunday, June 6, 9:30am vs New Jersey: 1st D – 6:3, 6:1; 2nd D – 2:6, 7:6, 1:0; 3rd D – 6:4, 6:1

usta sectionalThe fairytale run has ended: we’re 3:2 in the sectionals 3 court wins shy.
Only the winners and the runner ups receive trophy. I promised my troop that I’ll order them identical pieces from the trophy store in town, some time soon.
THANK you so much for being part of this team and I appreciated your contribution very much, and for putting up with me over the past six months. Being my kids are not easy: beside expected getting 120 out of 100 every time and the veggies and fruits that you have to consume and endless emails you have to digest .. .. .. Let’s keep the worst ones private -:)

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A play

the green hat
Directed by Irene
The leading Cast:
Green Hat
Fire Marshal
Eunuch

The supporting Cast:
..
..
Argument in their bedroom over xxx .
Ready .. Camera ..
..
Let’s roll ..

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2010 USTA Eastern Playoff

Central Park at Schenectady, New York staying at Hilton Garden. file 23067

  1. Friday June 4, 8am,  vs Southern – Westchester
  2. Friday June 4, 11am, vs Northern – Albany
  3. Saturday June 5, 9:30am, vs Long Island
  4. Saturday June 5, 12:30pm, vs Western/Buffalo
  5. Sunday, June 6, 9:30am vs New Jersey

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Current standing

usta current standing, as of Sunday 8amRaining, raining and raining ..
It isn’t the Hundred Acre Wood but our last day matches had to move to indoor.
Our Sectional Championship schedule of play at Central Park at Schenectady New York:
#1 Friday June 4, 8am vs Southern (Westchester)
#2 Friday June 4, 11am vs Northern – Albany
#3 Saturday June 5, 9:30am vs Long Island
#4 Saturday June 5, 12:30pm, vs Western (Buffalo)
#5 Sunday, June 6, 9:30am vs New Jersey

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The bona fide captain

For the record, the Long Island – Hempstead Lake, Moramarco team has no captain. Both Captain and Co-Captain fields listed N/A. But Adam is more than a skipper than any of us combined – he would scout out opponents with a note book in hand: hope my kids won’t ask for it .. I simply can’t measure up ..). I met him at the captain’s meeting on Thursday. Someone said he was banned from captaining due to some shady dealings in the past but he came anyway. He was very talkative and loudly claimed that he’s the nicest team, and how fair group of players he has. When he learned that I’ve played with one of the girls on his team, his comment was ..
the path“If you think Darlene’s former partner was great, you would definitely enjoy her current, Cary (Gary?). He’s such a gentleman. Once during a match when she was getting hammered by the man, we kept on urging him to do the same. ..”
In the mixed doubles parlance .. hit to the girl. Simon said it zillion times. (On gentler side Wai said, many times that unless the opposing man does it first he would not hit hard at the girl.)
So Adam acted it out for us, as Cary: stood straight and shocked his head, meaning no he would not do it. Adam even added the sound effect..
“He totally refused to do the same. Never once did he hit hard at the girl.”
Heart warming. I loved it.
(But by the way, isn’t that a coaching? And coaching is forbidden.)
And they won that match, btw. Eventually Darlene and Cary won all their four matches at Albany as second (1) and third (3) doubles team.

French OpenIt rained on Saturday so we moved to indoor at Tri-City Fitness at Latham. French Open was on TV, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone was battling Aussie Samantha Stosur 6–4, 7–6(7–2).
Adam’s Long Island is the first team scheduled to play against us on the second day. It rained so we moved indoor. Sean and I – the newly minted 7.0 are the second doubles. As if happened, we faced the duo whose combined ranking is 8.0. Cary (4.5) looked bored from the beginning. Sorry sport, we weren’t up to your level. And yes to Adam’s proclamation, Cary never once hit it hard to me. Actually he never once hit it hard to Sean either. No need. A little drop shot and a soft touch there, we were out of breathe. He toyed with us for the most part when he finally got bored did he hit a somewhat forceful shot to end win the point. Under such circumstance, Adam could not refrain himself from coaching from the little opening on the side.
“Come on Cary, calm down .. concentrate .. don’t let up .. hit to .. ”
smileCalm down? Was he ever excited (too much credit to Sean and I ..) or anxious?
I wasn’t aware that Cary and Darlene were ever in danger of losing a point. Adam would come back again and again offering his advice. It was so annoying. You had your 8.0 playing on the 7.0 level, what’s there to worry? If I was fortunately enough to be in his shoes, you would be seeing me 叹世界 with a glass of martini in feet up, watching the French Open on TV.

Sean and I lost our match quickly, 1 and 2. .. that freed me up to to see my kids playing.
Wai and Mary were in the corner and the atmosphere was tense: scores were close disputed and judge was called. What’s more, that match has produced a huge drama that played out in the parking lot. It required not only my team but the coordinator to smooth it out .. it became the talk of the town for a long time.

Anne and Kai were in another corner court (I think it’s #12?). When I got there, I heard whispers again, coming from the little enclosed corner to the end. I opened the flip, and saw herd of opposing teammates whispering tips and encouragements to their players. I said to them, please no coaching. They looked at me wearily then one by one they filed out of that cozy corner. There isn’t a million dollar on the line .. .. why would people willing to sink so low? Show me some good sportsmanship, not sneakiness.

It’s my first time to a playoff. My feeling is that the up state teams are very enjoyable to play with. They are competitive yet exhibit great sportsmanship while New York metro area teams were less so, too cutthroat.

the hard working skipper tongue out .. it's hot or what? the parking lot ..

#1 Doubles Nicholas Robert Tursi/Esther Forrester vs Kai H. Chung/Anna Leung: 4-6 6-4 1-0
#2 Doubles Cary J. Markowitz/Darlene Sotomayor vs Sean Yuen/Irene Eng: 6-1 6-2
#3 Doubles Wai Chiu Leong/Mary Wong vs Gary Spitz/Amanda L. Aniboli: 6-4 6-2

xxxx

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