Today I successfully navigated the trip to the courts…so far have not been lost…today. I hit in the morning early, 7:30 for an hour with Nora Blom from the 55s. She’s a lefty, won the tournament in Rottach over Tomanova handily and an excellent clay court player. The conditions here are much heavier than they were in Rottach and the area behind the courts is much larger. Dropshots are going to be a factor and drop volleys, and hitting high loopy balls will be more difficult I think. The courts are also quite slippery under a thick clay topping. The courts are nice though and so is the club. They gave everyone in the draw a tennis shirt and put the logo from the club on it (ironically, the logo size far exceeds the ITF specifications in size, more like 4 x 4 inches). The clothing is from a company called topspin tennis, I like that. They are also hosting an informal dinner tonight, bratwurst I think and a more formal one on Thursday night at a hotel, both free to the players. They do seem very organized here, but don’t have enough courts, they didn’t finish all matches last night before dark and there are no courts for practice after about 8:45 and even those are difficult to secure, though there are other sites in the area.
I walked around Bad Neuenahr yesterday, it’s a pretty town and I’m going to Ahrweiler this afternoon and also by the tennis courts here to check things out. I hope to post photos later.