Friday, April 1, 2011
German Open: A flashback in history
Friday marks the beginning of the 30th German Open. This is a perfect opportunity to look back into the past of one of Europe's oldest tournaments. Unfortunetly, there not many documents in the German archives. No draws and results have been safed. The only valid information is that Bob Ellis from the USA was the winner of the first German Open back in 1981. Thanks to the modern technologies and the internet, Bob Ellis were found awhile ago. He is now back in the US for quite some time and resides White Oak, Pennsylvania. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the German Open, Bob gave a rare interview to the German Racquetball Federation: German Open 1981 - what memories do you have from this event? I have good memories, I believe it might have been the first time I won against Lou Souther (US military Champion at the time). Do you remember who you played in the final? I beat Danny Winn in the finals. Where were you stationed in Germany back then and when did you leave? I was station at Ramstien AB, and created a organization called Racquetball Germany. I left Germany in 1983 and went to San Antonio, Texas. I retired from the Air Force in 1986. What other events did you play in? We ran racquetball tournaments at many different military installations in Europe. I won the Dutch Open twice and also the Swiss Open. I also won the Military. Are you still playing RB? I still hit the ball every now and than but I don't play tournaments anymore. Do you have plans to ever come back to Germany and Europe? Some day I would love for my wife and I to visit Germany. What German player do you remember from the time? Willi Wenzel. We thank Bob Ellis for this short interview and trip to the past. And we wish him all the best for the future.