The Cup competition officially began today in Mexico City. My team, the Maureen Connolly Cup team, had a bye. We took the 8am bus along with the other seeded teams in our competition, France, Great Britain and Netherlands, all of whom had the day off from competition today. We were all eager to practice and get more used to the altitude and courts. We had only had an hour on the courts yesterday. These courts are really unique, to put it kindly. They seem to be cement courts, with painted lines, upon which a little red clay has been dusted, enough to slip on anyway and my shoes are certainly red. They don’t resemble any clay courts I’ve ever played on before. The balls either skid if they hit a bare patch (and leave a white mark, which is really the cement showing through) or kick up if they hit more clay. We were on the practice courts today, not the match courts.
The Reforma Club is a delightful place other than the courts. There is a full restaurant, good food and reasonable prices, overlooking the pools and grassy area surrounding the pool. They handed out a tournament program, which had listed the price of various services…racquet stringing, $10 (US); massage $10 (US)…for about an hour! When I saw that price, I thought maybe it was a mistake, but, I had a massage and with a tip it was just over $12, can’t beat that.
The US men’s 55 team, Austria Cup, is also playing at Reforma. They played So Africa today and won 3/0. I had dinner with them, Tom Smith, Fred Robinson (and his ipod Spanish translation ap that has a mind of its own), Chris Bennett and Joe Bouquin. We hit the popular Italian restaurant, and Fred found out why he kept getting confused looks when he asked for no ice (sin hielo = without ice); Fred’s IPOD ap translated “ice” as hiso, which does not mean ice. You had to be there.
In other US action: Men’s 35s won; Men’s 40s had the day off; Men’s 45, day off; Men’s 50 & 55 won; women’s 35 won; women’s 40, 45, and 55 day off; women’s 50 won. US women’s 35s team are the only unseeded team…they have a tough match tomorrow against Great Britain.
We play Turkey tomorrow, then Sweden in our round robin. Turkey brought a large delegation this year. They have hosted the world championships several times and since they started doing that, they have been much more active in international team play.
Here’s a link to the article about the opening ceremonies last night and it includes some photos. I was able to carry the US flag for our delegation and that was really special. Walking into the stadium carrying the flag…it gave me goose bumps, really a fantastic feeling. Below are a photo of me as we were getting ready to walk into the stadium, and one of the Turkish delegation marching in.