2nd Warning — this post is about a Pro Tennis tournament taking place this weekend at the Pécs Városi Tenisz Club (city tennis club), so you can feel free to skip it if you’re not into tennis. We visited a nearby mining town called Komló yesterday afternoon where we took about 500 photos and visited a section of the town’s museum dedicated to Margaret’s great-great grandfather (ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING!!!), so I hope to get that post ready in the next few days.
But if you like tennis, this post might amuse/interest you…
I went to hit tennis balls with my new friend Laszlo, a 45 year old Hungarian who recently moved back to Pecs after several years of selling real estate in San Diego. When we met at the club, the manager told us we were lucky to get a court as they were just starting qualifying matches for the Men’s and Women’s Hungarian championships (the largest pro event in Hungarian tennis). This is the first year that Pecs has hosted the tournament — it’s a $10,000 event only for Hungarians and they accept the top 32 players in the country. I went back to the club the next afternoon to watch some of the first round matches in the main draw. The men were quite good — all clay court players (it’s THE surface in Hungary), with great spin, great movement. I saw a few players wearing Hungarian Olympic team shirts — mostly likely they played for Hungary in the Olympics. In the women’s draw, I watched a junior player who looked to be about 15 beat the #1 seed. She was down 2-5 in the third set and fought back to win the match in a tie-breaker (which she won 7-0… AMAZING!).
But what I really want to do in this post was show some video of a particular men’s match. Clicking on the photos will take you to my Vimeo page where you can see the video clip. Unfortunately, I cannot embed video directly into this blog, so you have to hit your back button to come back and continue with the story. So you’ll be going back and forth between my blog and the Vimeo page…
First, here’s a link to a panoramic video of the club I made with my iPhone — there are ten clay courts — I think they might put a bubble over the front 4 courts in winter. It’s a nice, simple club:
I started watching one particularly interesting match at about 2-2 in the third set (they’d been playing for almost two hours), then I started capturing parts with my phone. It was a classic match between an aggressive Big Hitter and a Wiry Defender. The Big Hitter (in the dark shirt and shorts) had a huge serve, big groundstrokes — always on the offensive (though he needs to work on his overhead). The Wiry Defender (in the blue and white) was all defense, moonballs and drop shots. I found out from another player who had just finished playing college tennis at UT Chattanooga this past year, that the Wiry Defender is ranked significantly lower than the Big Hitter. Here’s a video of a few points leading up to a crazy line call dispute at 5-5 in the third. It seemed like in all matches I watched, the line judges have to climb down from their chairs every few minutes to check a mark.
The chair umpire comes down to check the mark:
But the Big Hitter does not like the overrule, so he asks for the tournament referee:
In this next clip, you can’t see it initially, but the Big Hitter is in agony with a leg cramp on the other side of the net, so the Wiry Defender starts jumping up and down to show how fit he is… this clip has a couple of points in it, ending with a match point for the Big Hitter and a classic racquet- toss from the Wiry Defender:
So the Bit Hitter hung on at the end. I’m hoping to go back and watch more this weekend… I especially want to watch the guy who just graduated from UT-Chattanooga. He’s going back in the second semester to start a graduate program and work as Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach.