Today was a practice day. I met up with Heide Orth and we hit for well over an hour, with a break to change courts. The balls used are Wilson Tour Clay, which are light, and wear out pretty quickly. They play like a US clay court ball. Heide is playing down into the 65s, and she’s an amazing player, such a great backhand! And she moves better than most 55 players.
After hitting with Heide, I hit with Australia’s Andrew Rae. He’s #1 in the world in men’s 60s and for perspective, beat our #1 60 men’s player, Larry Turville, like a drum in the Cup final last year (though the USA won the tie). I learned a lot hitting with him, but he rarely misses and hits deep and accurately, it was tiring.
After a trip back to the hotel and a few errands (well, more getting lost than doing errands), I headed back to the club (via the tram), as matches start at 6pm. I met up with some friends, and met new players, from Austria, Netherlands, Germany, and also talked to the tournament director, who explained that they want all the players on site in the evening, that’s why they play so late, not just because it might be hot.
There was a barbecue for the players, (not the official dinner), a buffet for 16 Euros, about $19, for all the steak, chicken, sausages, salad and melon you could eat…only drawback, it didn’t start till about 8:30 at night. Below is a photo of Spanish, Austrian and Dutch players.