Paul Smith and I won the mixed last night….or rather I should say Paul won the mixed. Let’s just say my mixed doubles expertise is minimal. We played Paula Lopez/Alvaro Araya from Chile. They play quite a bit of mixed together. This was 50 mixed, she is just 50 and he’s 51 so we were giving up a few years. Anyway, we lost the first set 76, won the second 63 (breaking Araya from 0-40 down) and then had a big tussle in the TB, going down 0-3 (with my serve at 0-3), only to win it 13-11. Paul saved about 3 match points, ,one with a spectacular behind the back lob volley when my short serve to Araya led to a net hugging slice backhand down the line; and another with a great overhead. Mixed is a different game for sure… Paula is a nice player, she’s in the 50 singles final today. After the match we chatted with some other players…the club is dead at 10 am but quite lively at 11pm, where some people are just starting dinner and others are having dessert. There’s a big restaurant at the club and it does big business in the evenings and at lunch (which can go till 4pm or so I’ve observed). The hours in Chile seem to be a lot like those in Spain. 6:30 is definitely NOT dinner time here. Below, Paul with his new $1 collapsible teaching hat.
In other afternoon news, Nick Ourusoff won the men’s 75 singles over William Poist (both USA); Poist and Donald Matthias (USA) won the men’s 75 doubles. Denis Dumas (CAN) teamed with Ireneusz Maciocha from Poland to win the men’s 50 doubles. Afterwards Denis and Marc and Ireneusz had some fun with trophies from the club before Denis had to jet back to Canada.
I watched some of the men’s 35s again, Barman from Argentina, the top seed, against a club member who had beaten the #4 seed earlier in the week, Jaime Lizana. Lizana though had a continental grip on his forehand and though he tried to hit with Barman, the Argentine’s heavy topspin shots resulted in Lizana’s forehands flying too frequently. Mid match though Lizana’s family, his wife and two girls came to watch and his daughter’s greeting of Hola Papacito made him smile.
There are several finals today, followed by a trophy presentation and then a big paella lunch. This is a Spanish club, so much of the food is Spanish, not Chilean. Apparently the paella they make for this event is huge, bigger than a dinner table and cooked on burners in the grassy area near the courts. Photos to follow!