The seeds began play today in San Luis Potosi (SLP), but I didn’t play today. I did however practice from 7:20 (when it really was barely light) and 8:30 am. The matches begin at 9am and at 8:30 we had to leave so the courts could be swept and lined and watered. At 7am the courts were great, nice and slow and wet, but later in the day they were dustier, since it was nice and warm today.
After practice, Susan Wright and I went into downtown SLP and looked at the church, plazas and went to the “mercado” which had handicrafts and lots of food stalls…we saw a fishmonger scaling a fish and someone else selling cactus leaves. We walked down Hilgado street which had about 50 “zapaterias” (shoe stores), and some restaurants and a “sombrero” store. The plazas and streets were filled with people, it’s a holiday week here and felt more like a Saturday than a Tuesday. There were a lot of balloon stands, stands selling corn on the cob, others selling pork rinds, quite a variety of foodstuffs.
The people running the tournament here have been so nice. I left something (ok, singles sticks) on the hard courts yesterday and went to inquire about them. After explaining what a singles stick was, then translating it into Spanish…they were returned and I felt like I had made new friends. In contrast to the packed courts for the 50s and 55s, the venue for the 35s and 40 (men) was quiet, courts were open, matches were on time. These courts are really nice.
I ran into Fran Chandler, Erika Smith and Mary Dailey on my way over, they had had a successful day at the women’s 40, 45 & men’s 45 venue. Fran, Vesna McKenna, Julie Cass, Michelle King, and Mariana Hollman all won their singles and Erika and Michelle and Vesna and Julie won their doubles. Vesna told me that the courts at that venue were quite different, painted asphalt, which was slow but sticky. Mary Beth Williams lost in the 35s to a British player who was quite lanky and according to Mary Beth had such long arms she was really tough to pass. She lost in 3 1/2 hours. Morgan Shephard (M40) and Jim Slonac (M35) won on the hard courts. Erika Smith fell in singles to a seeded player.
On the clay, the US players had good success. Egan Adams from Palmetto, Mike Tammen, Mike Fedderly, and Ross Persons all won in the 50s; Danny Waldman, Sal Castillo, Tom Smith and Fred Robinson won in the 55s. The match of the day was that between Robinson and Aussie Bruce Osborne (huge serve), won 26 75 62 by Fred. That sounds somewhat tense, but doesn’t tell the whole story…Fred was down 25, 2nd set after losing the first 62 and down 3 match points (on ads) at 53, Osborne (remember, BIG serve) serving. He was down a 4th match point on his own serve and somehow won those points and in the third, Osborne tired. It was quite warm today (high 80s and sunny).
Susan Wright and Diane Fishburne won their doubles handily. Tomorrow I play my first round of singles in the afternoon (no doubles yet) against a tough Dutch player who beat her opponent from Mexico today 60 60.
Below are photos from San Luis Potosi and from the tennis club. The big pink building is our hotel.