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Brenda Carter Updates from Czech Republic

brendasBrenda 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 Prostejov, Czech Republic Brenda will be sending updates from the Czech Repulic throughout the tournament.

Monday, September 23

I'm sitting in the Vienna Airport awaiting my flight "across the pond" after an amazing time in Europe.  I thought I would send a quick recap of last week's competition in the ITF Individual World Championships, which followed our week of team play.  The Individuals were held at three sites in Austria -- Villach, Portschach, and Klagenfurt.  My age group played in Klagenfurt.  All sites are on or near the Worthersee in southern Austria.  It is a breathtakingly beautiful area!  Harry has been with me this past week and we've had a marvelous time.

Three events were offered in each age category -- singles, doubles and mixed doubles.  With trepidation, I entered all three, hoping to complete the tournament able to walk away!!!  The draws in all divisions were quite large and many of the players who competed in the team championships also played in the individual championships.

In singles, I made it to the quarterfinals and lost to World #1 and top seed Gail Benedetti from France.  In women's doubles, my partner and I lost to the #1 seeds in the final.  All of the doubles consisted of two sets, then if there was a split, a 10-point match breaker determined the winner. In the final, Betty Wachob (FL) and I won the first set,  lost the second in a TB, then lost the match TB.  Oh so close, so silver medals for us.  We were disappointed with our loss, but in reality, we had a great ride and lots of fun.

hughandmephotoI played MXD with Hugh Thomson (GA).  We were seeded fourth.  We had a good run to the finals, beating the 5th seeds, then the #1 seeds (semis), setting up a final against the # 3 seeds.
Behind Hugh's strong play, we were able to win the championship without dropping a set!!!!  Those 10-point TB's are nerve-wracking, so it was great not to have to play one!!!  We were thrilled to bring home the gold!!

There has been a tremendous amount of exciting tennis play over the past two weeks.  It is very inspiring to witness the level of play of these seniors from around the world who have maintained their fitness and passion for the game.  In a nutshell, there were five championships in each age category, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, men and women.  If you are interested in more results, please go to www.itftennis.com/seniors and have a look.

Again, thanks for "coming along with me" on this adventure.  Blessings to you all.




Saturday, September 14
Well, today's play went as predicted, but we put up a good fight. Molly and I both lost in straight sets, giving the French two points. The doubles was not played because of weather and it would have made no difference in the outcome.

After losing the first set 6-1, I jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the second, but couldn't hang on, even though I played well. I just needed a few "free" points, which my opponent was not willing to give!! Hence, I lost the second set 6-4. I have played my opponent a couple of other times over the past few years and have yet to find the key to beatIng her. A teammate Googled her to find even more information than I knew before playing her -- in the 1970's, she won the French Open doubles title several times and also got deep into the singles draw. She's kept herself very fit and is a tenacious competitor. Anyway, it was great fun and we've had a wonderful time in Prostejov!

Our 75's men (Bitsy Grant Cup) beat Germany today to win their Cup. They were led by Lester Sack (Southern section) winning the number one position in straight sets!

We all will attend the closing award ceremony at the conclusion of the last match on court. The women's playoff for 3rd and 4th is between Australia and Germany. They split the singles and are now playing the doubles for the bronze.

(Almost) Final Standings here in Prostejov:

Kitty Godfree Cup: France, Gold; USA, Silver; Australia or Germany, Bronze
Bitsy Grant Cup: USA, Gold; Germany, Silver; Australia, Bronze

Tomorrow several of us are traveling to Austria. There we will compete in the ITF Individual World Championships. So we say goodby to the Czech Republic and take with us many wonderful memories. Thank you so much for sharing this ride with us!

Blessings to you all!

Thursday, September 12
We did it!! We won our semi-final tie against Australia today, taking all three matches in straight sets!! Molly started the day with a two-set win 6-4; 6-1. When I took the court, I was so happy the team had that win, knowing we would at least get to the doubles. However, we all were hoping to close out the tie with a win at my position! My opponent has a long history of great play and I think I caught her on a slightly "off-day." For the most part, the games were very competitive. I came back from being down 2-4 in the first set to winning it in a tiebreaker, then took the second set 6-3. There were many tense moments in the entire match!

Carol and Betty put icing on the cake by winning the doubles 6-3, 7-5. Needless to say, we are elated to make it to the finals. We will play the finals on Saturday against France, who are the heavy favorites. We will go out and give it all we've got!

The official dinner was last evening and it was attended by all of the teams and accompanying persons. There was good food, music, dancing, door prizes and most of all, great fellowship.

Since we have the day off tomorrow, we plan to have a light practice, then take a train to a nearby town called Olomouc. Someone told us that, behind Prague, it is the most historic town in the Czech Republic. It should be a real adventure!!! We surely plan to take the phone that has the translation app!!

Thanks so much for cheering for us!


Wednesday, September 11
It was just as I thought it would be today -- a very challenging day on the courts. South Africa's number one player has several ITF World Championship titles. She had the better day today against me, winning in straight sets. Thankfully, Molly had bested RSA's number 2 player in straight sets. That meant that the doubles match would be the deciding match. 
Betty and I played the doubles and were able to secure the team victory in straight sets. That sets up the semifinals. Tomorrow, France (#1 seed) will play Germany (#4 seed) and we (#2 seed) will play the Aussies (#5 seed) who beat Great Britain (#3 seed). We are thankful to have gotten this far -- From now on, there will be no easy matches. All teams remaining in the semi's are composed of very good players.
The Bitsy Grant Cup (Men's 75's) is being played at our site as well. The team from USA has won all three of their ties without losing a match. They are also in the semifinals tomorrow. Lester Sack, from New Orleans and a fellow representative of Southern, plays # 1 for that team. All of the other Super Senior Cups are being vied for at three different sites in Austria.
Tonight we all will attend the ITF official dinner. It should be fun!
Until next report ......

Tuesday, September 10
The weather was beautiful today in Prostejov, and our matches went well, too! We won all 3 of our matches, however the team from Belgium put up a good fight in each match. The #2 singles match was 3 sets and the other two matches were won in straight sets. We felt fortunate to be assigned to Center Court, a stadium with a retractable roof. That was a fun experience, yet we were thankful the weather did not warrant the closing of the roof!!!

We completed the matches early enough to walk to town center, which is a beautiful, old city. We did things a little backward, as we found the ice cream shop, then went to dinner. We went to the same restaurant that we went to last night. The food there is good, but the greatest attraction is their wifi. The wifi in the hotel is sketchy and we have to be creative. At the restaurant, we look like senior citizen teenagers, with our noses stuck into our devices. It's a hoot.

We have a tough challenge with South Africa tomorrow (Wednesday). One of their team members has won several World Championship Individual titles. We are looking forward to more fun on the courts!

Again, thanks for your support.


Monday, September 9
We had a great day today playing the Czech Republic. Molly Hahn started the day playing our #2 singles. She played Hana, who is very steady, hits a mean forehand, has a good backhand and runs well. Molly's slices, dices and placement proved just a bit too much. The match ended in a steady rain and the balls looked like fuzzy oranges. If they had played much longer, the balls would have weighed 3 times as much as normal. At that point there was a several hour rain delay. Luckily, we were able to complete the tie as I won at #1 against Milena, then Betty Wachob and Carol Clay had a very competitive doubles match vs Hana and Zorka. Hence, we won 3 - 0. We had loads of fun. It's so fun trying to communicate when no one speaks the other's language. They were very nice.

Carol has an app on her phone that translates for us -- boy, is that great. Ordering at a restaurant tonight was a breeze and the waitress loved it. We were a dinner party of six and everyone got exactly what they ordered!! It was fun to celebrate our win AND Carol's birthday.

Tomorrow we play Belgium who lost a close tie today with South Africa. We are hoping for a full day of good weather!

Enjoy the pics on Pam Percy's blog at kittygodfree.wordpress.com.

Again, thanks for participating with us.


L to R: Betty Wachob (Panama City, FL), Brenda Carter (Charleston, SC), Carol Clay (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Molly Hahn (Boston, MA)

Sunday, September 8
Greetings from Prostejov, Czech Republic. Play begins tomorrow for the ITF Super Seniors Team World Championships. The Kitty Godfree Cup (Women's 65s) and the Bitsy Grant Cup (Mens's 75s) are being held here. The venue is great. It is the Czech Republic's National Training Center. The country is very proud of the venue and the staff is very competent!

Today I attended the Captain's meeting where the seeds and our draw were determined. France is the defending champion and their team is strengthened by the "aging in" of their #1 player from last year's 60s, so they definitely deserve being seeded #1. We received the #2 seed. There are 16 countries represented.
We are divided into 4 groups of four with the 4 top seeds each occupying a slot in separate groups. South Africa, #7 seed, Czech Republic, and Belgium round out USA's group. We play the Czech Republic on Monday, Belgium on Tuesday, and South Africa on Wednesday. The winners of the 4 round robins advance to a semifinal bracket. We'll just take it a day at a time!!!

A tie consists of 2 singles matches and a doubles match. The team that wins at least two of the matches is declared the winner of the tie. The team members of USA Kitty Godfree Cup team are: Molly Hahn (Boston, MA), Carol Clay (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Betty Wachob (Panama City, FL) and me. We are all extremely honored to be here representing our country, sections and states.

The opening ceremony was this afternoon as well. It is great to have all of the teams, men and women, come together in their official uniforms, for this social event. All players are "ready for the games to begin" tomorrow.

I will keep you posted daily with results. If you are interested in pictures and additional information, please go to kittygodfree.wordpress.com, which is a blog by Pam Percy, who is traveling with the team.

Thanks so much for your support!!! Go USA!!!!

Brenda Carter

Wednesday, August 28
Fortunately, I was selected again this year to represent the USTA and the USA in the ITF Kitty Godfree Cup (65s)World Team Championships to be played in Prostejov, Czech Republic, September 10 - 15. My teammates are Molly Hahn (MA), Carol Clay (FL) and Betty Wachob (FL). Sixteen countries have entered our division.
As I've done in the past, I will be sending daily (I hope) emails when we begin. Pam Percy, who is traveling with us, has also set up a REAL blog, which can accessed at kittygodfree.wordpress.com.
She has posted an initial entry which gives a little background on the Godfree Cup.
Thanks so much for your support.
Brenda Carter



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