Juego de Pelota
Our Juego de Pelota team finished 3rd out of 5 teams. Rick Fried and Les Nicholson played singles and took turns playing doubles with Chum Steele. France with three former Davis Cup players defeated each of the other 4 teams thus finishing first. Mexico finished second, Great Britain was 4th and Austria came in 5th. The facilities at Racketa Bosques were magnificent. An earthquake on Friday added a touch of danger to the matches, but there were no injuries or damages. Chum Steele had the best percentage record on our team, winning three of the four doubles matches that we played.
The US Windmill Cup Team battled valiantly at altitude in Mexico City this year. After being placed 8th out of 8 teams in the seeding the US drew top seed Italy in the first match of the round robin portion of play. The US battled valiantly but fell 5-1 to a tough Italy squad. The US then went on a tear defeating Mexico 6-0 and Luxembourg 5-1 in round robin play earning them a spot in the semi finals again an unbeaten Belgium squad. The US took out Belgium 4-2 to advance to the final and a rematch with Italy. The Italy squad proved to be to tough as did the montezumas revenge that ravaged our US Team. A second place was respectable and we look forward to meeting in Germany in 2017 to battle again.
Bruce Lipka, Captain
USIC's Columbus Cup team traveled to Mexico City for the 40th Anniversary of the Mexican IC held the week of April 14-20, 2014.
Mexico City is 7800 feet above sea level so high altitude balls were used in the tournament on the beautiful red clay courts of the Reforma Club. In addition to the amazing tennis, it was a glorious week of authentic Mexican food and drink, visits to Museo Soumaya (named after Carlos Slim's late wife), the Museo Nacional de Antropologia and the Chapultepec Castle in the middle of Mexico City.
This team consisted of 65+ players Captain Michael Beautyman, Les Buck, Julian Krinsky & Charlie Hoeveler and the 55+ team of Robb Bunnen and Cliff Adler. The tournament was divisional round robin play. The USIC team beat the Carribean team, tied the Austrian team, lost to the Mexican team, missed the semi-final round by one point and ended up in 5th place overall. The French team won the finals over the Austrians.
Charlie Hoeveler, Columbus 65's Captain Report
The best word to use is 'gritty'. Due to injury (and passport!) difficulties we were undermanned, yet still came very close to being a 'final Four' team..
Day 1: tough draw! While our 65s and 55s were still getting acclimated to the challenges of competing at 8,000 plus feet (wow..how did that ball fly out?), we battled opponents who were born and raised in Mexico City! USIC goes down 5-1 with the lone victory coming at 65s doubles (Buck and Hoeveler)
Day 2: from the pan into the fire..USIC faces the top seeded Austrians (with their Swiss recruit..Kolochek..world's #1 65 in 2010, 2011, 2013)..'rookie' Julian Krinsky plays like a demon, wins at #2 65s singles while Les Buck pulls off a dramatic upset of Kolochek at #1 65s singles..55s (Rocket Rob Bunnen and Clutch Cliff Adler) manage to win a set while losing three matches. US 65s doubles team of Buck and Hoeveler wins in straight sets over Austrian pair..so matches split at 3-3..sets even at 7-7 but Austria wins on games..so close!
Day 3: USIC takes down the Belgians! Mexico has a chance (two match points at # 1 65s singles) to sweep the Austrians, which would have propelled the USIC into the semi finals (with a win over the hapless Bahamas team)..but, bummer, Austrians pull out the match and advance.
Day4: USIC crushes Bahamas to finish 5th overall..
Summary: so close to glory for the USIC..we clearly had the best 65s team and a courageous and scrappy 55s duo..
Many thanks to Les Buck, Julian Krinsky, Rob Bunnen and Cliff Adler for representing the USIC so well..thanks to the wounded Beautyman for being there as coach and trainer and thanks to the Mexican IC for being such gracious hosts..a wonderful event!
Respectfully submitted, Charlie Hoeveler, 65s Captain