Today was Day One for the Barcelona Grade A tournament. I don’t play till Wednesday at 6pm, but did get in a practice with Heide Orth and a bit with Kerry Ballard who arrived early this morning from Essen, Germany. Kerry and I are playing doubles here this week.
The courts here are softer than those at Global but the balls are Babolat which fly and are lighter than the Head ATP ones we practiced with last week, so conditions seem sort of similar. It was quite warm too by noon, and still warm in the evening.
After lunch, I went to the Corte Engles department store. It is a big one and two levels down has a great grocery store. There are two aisles devoted to shellfish and tunafish; a lot of ham (some quite expensive too), dozens of Nutella and nutella type spreads but only 2 kinds of peanut butter; and an entire aisle of jams and jellies. It was interesting to see.
In the evening I went over to watch the tennis and pay my entry fee. I saw Sue Kimball and Ross Persons from the USA and some Aussies I know. Dinner starts here around 8:30 and goes on late; there was a lot of activity since it was the first day and the tournament goes from about 6pm to midnight. One of the lights was out on the main stadium and it seemed quite dark.
I watched Ross for a bit. He doesn’t sit down on changeovers (big believer in the “continuous play” rule). His opponent sat for what seemed to be five minutes and was sucking air big time, but hung in, losing only 64 64.
They don’t really call footfaults here (and Ross’s opponent made much bigger ones than this one at times).