Thursday: I played singles at 10 today and fortunately was able to play on Court 2/Pisa 2/Cancha 2… I was scheduled for Court 12 and the referee switched us to 2 (and Heide Orth to 12). Court 12 has interesting bounces…as does Court 2, but 12 has more of them. Most of the time today I was able to play the ball off the bounces, only got one that bounced 90 degrees to my left as I swung at it and one that hit near the line and rolled. (The service lines are indented, sort of small valleys due to the continual cleaning of the lines). I played Shirley Friedl of Austria, who took out the #2 seed, Fritelli of Brazil, yesterday 46 64 61. I play Fritelli in my last round robin match tomorrow at 10am. Shirley and I had a good match, I won 62 62 and it was played in good spirit, no problems with line calls and we had some good points. Shirley is a lefty with an extreme western (Hawaiian?) forehand, but the ball bounces high here so it was hard to get it out of her strike zone.
I have mixed at 7:30. Why so late? Because one of our opponents is a club member and works till 7pm. She’s playing with Marc Pepin from Canada who is a good mixed player. The lights look sketchy, so that will be a challenge.
Last night I had a nice dinner with Heide and Ludwig Orth at their hotel. On the way back though, the cab driver, who looked barely old enough to have a driver’s license, didn’t clear the meter and tried to charge me 6 times the going rate…I finally gave him a bill and left the taxi, but it left a bad taste in my mouth for sure. Most of the Chileans here have been super helpful and friendly and it feels very safe here. There are several other players event at my apartment hotel, and we all walk back and forth to the courts at different times.
There are a few other Americans here…John Powless in the 80s (he’s cruising) and Nick Ourusoff in the 75s (he was up a set and 3/0 in the semis against the #2 seed when I left) and William Poist (who was playing the #1 seed in the semis) and his doubles partner, Donald Matthias. Poist and Matthias are seeded 2nd in the 75s. Ourusoff is playing with a Chilean and is seeded #4 in doubles and Powless and his partner are the 4th seeds in the 75s and won yesterday.
Well, off to watch a bit of tennis and play mixed under the lights which will be a challenge (balls bouncing sideways etc under dim lights…) but at least I know March Pepin doesn’t hit too hard!