Bordeaux Tuesday: Success in the Summer Heat

Bordeaux was pretty toasty today, it felt like summertime where I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California, only a bit cooler. (Yes, it was a dry heat). The scheduling here is quite different from that at a US tournament. Players are assigned a court, which in my case today was Court 3. I was the fifth match on and the 2nd match, not before noon. So I had to be there by noon in case there was a default or retirement. I finally got on the court at 5pm! Matches moved slowly on my court and with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees, players moved slowly, took their times on changeovers and found shade when they could. Europeans aren’t used to this type of heat in general.

I arrived around 11am having taken the public bus and hit with Ross Persons for about 40 minutes, after which my legs were covered in clay from the knee down. The court we practiced on was dry and dusty. By the end of the day I felt like I was covered head to toe with clay! Then I hit the grocery store, a Carrefour, which is a big chain. There was a wall of chocolates (but it was too hot to buy any, it would have melted) and another of jams (but no peanut butter, only Nutella). The cheese display was impressive too. I got some warm bread, cheese and a cold drink and went back to the club…only to wait and wait. Ross and I had another short hit in the middle of the match described below.

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The match before my court was a women’s 60 between Austria’s Dagmar Sperneder and Marie Christine Deleuse of France. Dagmar wasn’t pleased with the heat and it was making her feel ill when the match started a little before 2pm. And it was pretty warm. She conserved her energy in the first set (sometimes at the wrong times) and came two points from claiming the set at 5/4, only to eventually lose it in the tiebreak. It seemed that Marie Christine would then take the match, but no, somehow Dagy started feeling better, despite not wanting to drink much water! She won the final two sets 64 62 a little before 5pm.

My match with Marie Christine Rambaud was quick though. She didn’t have much experience with tournaments I think, and I won 60 60.

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One nice thing about the tournament is that every match is umpired, by juniors from the club, I think and they do a good job. They umpire four matches a day, regardless of the length, so the umpire for my match, which was under an hour, was lucky; the one umpiring Dagy’s match, less lucky.

There was a cocktail party at 6:30 but I was covered in clay and hadn’t brought a change of clothes, so I hopped on the bus back to the hotel…and my air conditioned room!

Draws are here. I’m 4th match on Court 9 tomorrow.

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