THis is an update for my friend Darren who doesn't use email:
Today was the first day of tennis in the Gay Gaymes in Sydney. There are 1100 in the tennis event with Open, A, B, C, D and Novice Grades as well as Over 35, 45, 55 and Over 65.
After a struggle in the opening round of the O35 Doubles, my partner and I won 26 63 62 in 90 minutes. On Tuesday I play my first singles, and on Wednesday is my first match in the Mixed. And if anyone else is reading, you may be interested to know that my partner is none other than former Aussie Open Champion Chris O'Neil. A lovely lady and still a great athlete. We are the #3 seeds in our event. She is also in the Open Mixed and the Open Women's Doubles.
My friend Ian lost his 2nd round of the A Grade singles 7-6 6-4 after led 5-2 and 40 love in the first set! Poor boy, he was very upset afterwards. :(
We are playing our event at the Olympics Games venue (which is the same venue that they play the NSW Open at).
Anyway, it was exciting to win a match and had to share it with someone! LOL
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:48 AM
Can I ask a silly question? Do you have to be gay to play this event? Also how could they verify it? Use their "gaydar"? :rolleyes:
Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:52 AM
U dont have to be gay ... Noone would really know. The event is to promote Gay and Lesbian athletes or something like that, but i doubt theyd let u compete if u brang ur Husband/Wife to the Games!!
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:08 AM
u played with her :) kewl. Good luck next round
Nov 3rd, 2002, 10:51 AM
Well done and Good Luck :)
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:17 AM
Your friend did better than I did..... i got creamed 6-1 6-2 against a Melbournian in the A Grade singles - god it was a hot day today ;) but no excuses! i totally got beaten fair and square....
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:26 AM
Mon53, i know it, you know it you werent 100% ;). Sorry but if ur were on form im sure u would push the majority of people there. As solid a counter puncher as you get, im sure in these conditions it wouldnormally be even more conducive for u to win ;):).
And i think it was too hot !! i went and played tennis and nearly dropped dead, albeit i was fatigued even b4 i went
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:30 AM
Monica@53 - what is your name so I can say g'day.... or come and say hi to me. Just ask for Craig (or Frankie Durr - LOL).
No, you don't have to be gay to play in these games. They are all inclusive, which is great. It's all about promoting tolerance and inclusion for all races, sexes, religions etc. A wonderful friendly and peaceful atmosphere. This is what life should be all about.
Yes, it was stinking hot today on the rebound ace courts. I have to say, I didn't find the courts sticky at all. I know there are often complaints about them during Aussie Open time, but I think there is nothing wrong with them. Perhaps on a 40 degree day (which is rare) they could get sticky.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 12:01 PM
I wish I could go watch the tennis at the Games, would be fun! :D When does it finish? I'll be in Sydney next weekend!
Nov 3rd, 2002, 01:38 PM
Anyone got any draws of the Open Mens or Womens or even A grade singles draws?? I would appreciate seeing how my friends are doing!
Nov 3rd, 2002, 01:50 PM
Steve - well i dunno.... you know, as i said "no excuses" ;) but yeah, it was a hot day, i had a stomach ache, i was tired, i couldn't move my feet, i made so many mistakes, barely got my first serve in, i was nervous and i couldn't adjust to the conditions ;) ;) ;) but you know, it's not really me to complain about it ;) seriously though, i think i got kinda deflated cos i had a break point in the first game of the match and when i couldn't convert, it kind of went downhill and his confidence grew and grew.... i couldn't seem to move the ball around as consistently as i wanted to cos i made a lot of errors very early in the rallies. but he was a really good player and there was nothing i could really attack or exploit in his game at all.
craig - my name is mike (i'm listed as michael in the draw though ;) ). actually i too didn't find the rebound ace courts sticky at all, i was kind of surprised about that actually, but maybe it needs to get into the mid 30's for it to get like that. i dunno if it was the guy's use of heavy spin, my dwarf like stature or the surface but i did find the balls bouncing a touch higher than what i'm used to - my opponent didn't really feed me any balls in my hitting zone and didn't give me any rhythm at all. btw, you are the #10 seed in the O35 draw?
Nov 3rd, 2002, 01:51 PM
How tough is the competition? NTPR's and stuff... Apart from Chris, are there any other former pro's playing? ;)
Nov 3rd, 2002, 01:52 PM
well they actually say that to play in the Opens is like 5.0 standard or above, A grade is 4.5, B grade is 4.0 and so on....
Nov 3rd, 2002, 02:00 PM
Cool. :) But what do those numbers mean? :confused:
In WA, we only go by the N-system. That is N1, N2, N3, N4, etc. How do those other numbers work? Are they assessment ratings?
Nov 3rd, 2002, 03:48 PM
If its all inclusive then why is it called the gay games?:confused:
Nov 3rd, 2002, 04:00 PM
Rock on Craig!! I hope you take home the gold! Good luck.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:53 PM
Aloysius - I used to play A Grade in Perth, and I would be playing A Grade in the Gay Gaymes, except I opted for the Over 35s instead. The Open is even stronger of course. There is another ex-pro in the women's but I don't know her name, not a big name of course. No ex-pros in the men's but some damn good players. One guy (who is seeded #14) just won the Riverina Open Championships here in NSW a few weeks ago - which is like beating the top players in State here.
Thanks Mark for your best wishes! I would be thrilled to win a few more matches, and if I get a medal in anything I would be over the moon!
Monica@53, yes I am #10 seed in the O35 singles.
PhoenixStorm - it's called the Gay Gaymes because it is promoted for the gay and lesbian community predominantly. However, anyone can enter if they wish. It is exclusively for gay & lesbian, but is marketed toward them. Bi-sexual, hetersexual, transgender etc can all play. And that's a great thing. Who cares what it is called, it is basically an event that gay people can enter and play in a safe and non-threatening environment, and others can join in.
Nov 6th, 2002, 11:35 AM
I lost today in the Round of 16 in the Over 35 Singles 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. I got the break to lead 3-2 in the final set but ran out of steam in what was my 3rd match of the day.
Chris O'Neil and myself won our QF of the O35 Mixed Doubles 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 against a USA pair so we are guaranteed at least a bronze medal which will be my first ever! So I am excited about that. I am also in the QF of the Mens Doubles tomorrow after winning with my partner today 6-3 6-1, but we face the #2 seeds from USA next so it will be tough.
My friend Peter defeated the #1 seed in the Open singles today 6-3 6-0 in a great performance! Some of my other friends are also doing well which is great.
Overall, it is just a wonderful week as the tennis is great, and the atmosphere is just so relaxed and friendly. This is how all tournaments should be. We have all met lots of new friends from other countries, it's great.
The other great thing I forgot to mention was that at the Opening Ceremony, during the parade of nations, the India and Pakistan teams marched together which was just brilliant, and they received a tremendous reception from the crowd. It just goes to show that with a bit of love, people can overcome any barriers.
Nov 6th, 2002, 12:05 PM
Mens singles, mens doubles and mixed :eek:
No wonder you "ran out of steam", i wouldnt be able to walk ;) after that much tennis. :o
Congrats on the doubles success. You must be v.v good! :cool:
Nov 6th, 2002, 12:44 PM
Any pictures, especially of Chris O'Neill?
Nov 6th, 2002, 01:30 PM
Congrats, Craig! That's very sweet about India and Pakistan.
Nov 6th, 2002, 07:48 PM
I will try and get some digital pics with my partner Chris O'Neil before our next match on Friday.
Thanks SM & Mishar :)
Nov 6th, 2002, 07:52 PM
awesome! Good luck..sounds like you are having a blast!
Nov 6th, 2002, 09:10 PM
Well done CRAIG & Better Luck next time MIKE :D
Nov 7th, 2002, 07:21 AM
My partner and I just lost an epic quarter final in the Over 35 Mens Doubles Championships to the #2 seeds from America. The score was 4-6 7-6 7-5 !!!!
We actually led 6-4 4-2 and serving but I think we got a bit nervous at being so close to winning a medal (the losing semi-finalists are guaranteed a bronze medal). My partner was in tears after the match as this was his only chance for a medal. It was a very tough loss for us... we have been a doubles pair for 20 years and this would have been a great win for us over such highly ranked opponents. One of the players is the #4 seed in the Open Mens Singles and he is in the semis of that, and his partner was the #4 seed in the Over 35 Mens Singles, so they were both good. I guess we can be happy we pushed them to the limit.
Tomorrow I play with Chris O'Neil in the Semis of the Mixed Doubles. I will get a few photos of us for sure and will post them here for anyone who is interested. Thanks for your support Jenny Fan and Katalampa! :)
Nov 7th, 2002, 07:24 AM
My friend Peter won his QF of the Open Singles today 6-2 6-0 so he is in with a big chance to take out the Open Championships! He is also into the Semis of the Open Doubles with Ian and the Open Mixed with Chris O'Neil (yes, she is in two Mixed Doubles events). Also my other friends Ian & Hayden are into the A Grade Doubles Final which is another very good effort.
It was another wonderful day of meeting people from all over the world. With 1100 in the tennis you can just imagine the atmosphere. Most of us are already planning for the next Gay Gaymes in Montreal in 4 years time! I can wholeheartedly recommend the experience. :)
Nov 7th, 2002, 08:46 AM
Well done Craig! Congrats on your medal but sorry to hear about the doubles loss. You can still hang your head high though, great performance. And thanks Eric for those words! Ya, i'm motivated to still get out there and improve ;)
Nov 7th, 2002, 09:13 AM
Thanks Mike! Have you been out to watch any more? All the Semis are on tomorrow and the Finals are all on Saturday. There should be lots of great tennis to watch! Have you enjoyed the atmosphere.... it's just the best!
I have had my little dog Spike with me all week (he's half Jack Russell & half Fox Terrier). He sits on his bed under my chair in the shade when I play and when I go to sit down at the change of ends he jumps on my lap! Just a great way to relax when you are in the middle of a tense match. Everybody seems to love Spike which is great. He's had a great week at the tennis as well. Have you seen him walking around with me?
Nov 7th, 2002, 09:37 AM
Mike im sure that you don't really need to improve much at all ;). If anything it was probably a mental loss by what you've said and tell me one person who doesn't have them, esp. when playing a much larger event then u r used to.
BTW - that dog actually sits? I have the same mixed breed of j.russel/foxy and it drives me insane. ;) definately doesnt relaxe me;)...did u train urs? GO GO GO CRAIG, and esp. Peter hes tearing thru the draw
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:28 AM
Hi SM! :)
Yes, our dog is the same as yours but he is very calm and well behaved 99% of the time. It's only when he first sees you during the day or if you try to get him excited by mucking around that he gets all silly. But the rest of the time he is an absolute angel. :)
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:29 AM
they should allow that on the wta too;)
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:42 AM
Funny, coz back in the 70s Frankie Durr used to have her dog (who was called topspin) carry a racket onto the court for her with his teeth !!!!!!
I have a photo of this and it's a classic! My dog is too small to carry my rackets onto the court though, but he is incredible how he just sits there watching me while I play (without a lead) and then when I come to sit down that's when he jumps on my lap. And this is his first tournament and I didn't have to train him. I think he is like my guardian angel. I will take a photo of him and post it on the website so you can see him. I'll try to take some other digital pics from the Gaymes tomorrow as well. I took the camera today but the battery wasn't charged.
Irma - who is Bobby?
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:43 AM
Nov 7th, 2002, 10:57 AM
I have had no opporunity to get out to Homebush and see any of the matches and throw a few "cheers" and "yahoos" your way......
Thankfully the weather has been fine...if a little hot.
Best of luck for the rest of the week......
Speak with you soon
Can you PM Chris Os email again (i have lost it)...... I would like to talk with her re. coaching etc before the end of the year.
Nov 7th, 2002, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the wishes! :)
I will send you Chris' mobile number. For anyone else looking for a great coach - Chris is THE ONE !
Nov 7th, 2002, 02:43 PM
Good luck Craig! Adorable about your dog. Question: Is the over35s competition generally "A" players or better or worse?
I've never played in any of the gay tourneys here in the US, but I've thought of doing so, and have some friends who do. Maybe I'll make it to Montreal!
Use Monica's victory last night for your inspiration! LOL! Hope you were able to watch that one. I think that I TIVOed it, but if it failed, I might be emailing you about getting a copy?!
Nov 7th, 2002, 08:26 PM
Hi Mishar - thanks for your wishes. :)
The Over 35 is usually a mix of Open and A Grade standard. There are a number of Open players in the Over 35 event so it is tougher than A Grade when you come up against a seeded player. Next time in Montreal I will be playing A Grade as the two matches I lost so far have both been against players who are also seeded in the Open events.
Hi Darren :) Yes, Spike is adorable. Don't worry, I will send you pics as soon as I get some. I haven't had any film developed from my 'normal' camera yet (still have the same roll of film in it from 8 months ago) and we haven't taken any digital pics in months either. But I will be taking some today for sure. Plus some video footage today and tomorrow. How's that?
Nov 7th, 2002, 09:30 PM
Btw, do you mind if I ask you a question?
How much did you pay to compete for those event (SINGLE, DOUBLES, MIXED)...???
Because I was going to compete to play BADMINTON (Unfortunately it's FULL!) and I have to pay for each event around $320...???
Nov 8th, 2002, 09:54 AM
Yes, it cost me about AUS $300 to be able to play in the tennis - but that got me into the 3 events - Singles, Doubles and Mixed.
Nov 8th, 2002, 10:07 AM
I hope this picture works... I haven't done this is so long I am not sure if it will work or not. But this is supposed to be a photo from today of myself with my Mixed Doubles partner (former Aussie Open Champion) Chris O'Neil, plus my little dog Spike.
Doesn't Chris look fantastic! She is 47 now and is in great shape!
Nov 8th, 2002, 10:19 AM
Here is another pic with Chris and Spike. This was after our Semi-Final today which we won 6-0 6-3 against the #1 seeds from the USA. Tomorrow in the final we play the #2 seeds from USA which should be exciting.
Also, my friend Peter won his 3 semi-finals in the Open today so he is in the Singles, Doubles and Mixed Finals in the Open Division! He never lost a set today! Amazing. Chris O'Neil is playing with him in the Open Mixed, and my other friend Ian is with Peter in the Open Doubles Final. So it should be an exciting day tomorrow.
Nov 8th, 2002, 10:20 AM
And here is a pic of Spike laying down on the lawn at the Tennis Centre. Isn't he a little cutie!!! Maybe I am biased though....
Nov 8th, 2002, 10:28 AM
Chris looks in better shape than many girls on the tour .Wow. Maybe her and Nav. could team up on the wta tour and teach the youngsters a few lessons. ;) Both of you are colour co-ordinated i see ;);)
Wish i could play there one day. Ive played at Melb. Park on s.courts 1, 3 and court 8. :) ...but yet to play at Homebush. Actually, the one time i went which was over a year ago it was completely booked out. :( LOL @ me/deano for not checking if there was a tournament running!!
btw...cute dog...looks much calmer than mine.
Nov 8th, 2002, 10:31 AM
btw - next time on on my comp downstairs ill post a pic of my dog. I think its cuter :p
Nov 8th, 2002, 10:32 AM
Yes SM - Chris is incredibly fit. Today she had 2 matches and she even went out for two hit ups beforehand even though it was a heatwave!
Yes, little Spike is so cute and he is very calm. Your dog must be a handful at times! LOL
Nov 8th, 2002, 10:33 AM
Yes, SM - post a pic of your Dog. We can have the cutest dog competition! LOL
Nov 8th, 2002, 12:26 PM
Darren - LOL !
I hope your other half never reads these message boards!!!!!!
I will pass on your best wishes to Ian! I sent you a pic of Ian via the email.
Nov 9th, 2002, 05:19 AM
i finally got on my stoneage comp down stairs cos its just too damn hot to use the one in my room. :(
I found 4 pics of my lil babe Ziggy. :)
Nov 9th, 2002, 05:20 AM
Nov 9th, 2002, 05:21 AM
Nov 9th, 2002, 05:22 AM
Its v.similar to urs craig. Both have the spots on the belly which i find soo cute :), but urs has tan and mine black markings obviously. I prefer black ;)
Nov 9th, 2002, 06:52 AM
Sooooooo cute !!!! Yes, he looks a lot like Spike! I will have a few more pics from today to post.
Chris O'Neil and myself won the Gold in the Over 35 Mixed Final after beating Scott Ferguson & partner 6-3 6-3. Scott used to be Australia's #1 gay Tennis Player before he moved to the USA about 4 years back so it was a great win for us.
In other results, my friend Peter won the Open Singles Final 6-3, 7-6 and he also won the Open Doubles Final with my other friend Ian by a score of 2-6 6-1 6-2.
Peter also partnered Chris O'Neil in the Open Mixed Final but they lost 7-6, 2-6, 6-2.
Now we are off to the farewell party which should be lots of fun. I will post some pics of the medal ceremonies later tonite or tomorrow - I took my dog Spike up for the medal ceremony and had them place the gold medal around his neck. Everyone seemed to love Spike... he became like the Tennis Gaymes Mascot. When I was playing in the Final he was sitting with our cheer squad, and then when Chris and I sat down at the change of ends he would come running over to jump on our laps! I got my other half to film some of that as it was so cute. :)
Nov 9th, 2002, 09:06 AM
Nice pictures Steve.. Zig is cute :)
Nov 9th, 2002, 09:13 AM
Congratulations tennisvideos :D
Nov 9th, 2002, 12:30 PM
hi steveee.... :D
just wanted to say that u look hot ;) haha
Nov 9th, 2002, 04:54 PM
Nov 9th, 2002, 10:26 PM
Thanks Paul & Irma :)
Here are a couple of more pics from the Finals day presentations etc....
This one is with Spike, my partner Chris and our opponent Birka. Her partner left the centre straight after the match and didn't stay around which was a shame.
Nov 9th, 2002, 10:30 PM
This pic is of my partner Chris, Spike and myself at the medal ceremony. I gave Spike my medal as he deserved it for his behaviour all week. Plus during the final, he would run over from our friends (who were watching) to jump on our laps during the change of ends when we sat down! Then just before the minute was up he would take off back to the spectators as though he just knew it was time for us to start playing again! I didn't have to say anything. The funny thing is that I never trained him to do this...
Nov 9th, 2002, 10:31 PM
The final pic is of my dog Spike with the medal! So cute...
Nov 10th, 2002, 12:12 AM
Ok. now that i've seen spike up closer they don't look too alike ;) Very adorable
Congrats. on the mixed title. :bounce:
Nov 10th, 2002, 12:14 AM
btw - im jealous of u and chris' tan :(...i havent had time the past few weeks to work on mine pffft
Nov 10th, 2002, 01:40 AM
those pics are cool !!! by the way SM/steve, you look hot in the pictures u posted ;)
Nov 10th, 2002, 06:45 AM
Hi SM - yes, both dogs are cute :)
And the tan has come automatically from playing so much tennis lately. Plus Chris coaches tennis out in the sun everyday so she is really dark and super fit.
Nov 10th, 2002, 12:57 PM
darren, tennisvideos and SM... u all are gays right? lol.... coz i am too... hehe
Nov 10th, 2002, 07:48 PM
Bis, I am pretty sure your assumptions about all 3 of us are correct. ;)
Darren - I am packing up at work today and tomorrow will be my first day in my new area with my new boss and team. We had a friend from Perth arrive for a week last night so I will call as soon as I get a little time.
Nov 11th, 2002, 03:41 AM
tennisvideos I would never have guessed you were "a gay"...
Check your pms!
Nov 11th, 2002, 01:28 PM
Nov 12th, 2002, 07:58 AM
Thanks Jenny Fan!
Bionic 71 - LOL!
Jan 17th, 2003, 10:51 AM
Chris O'Neil is doing special comments tonight (Fri 17 Jan 2003) on the ABC radio coverage of the Australian Open - and she's doing a really good job!