The tournament, a Grade 3, began today in Shenzhen. The tournament site itself is quite impressive, even more so now that things are underway. Yesterday staff and volunteers were painting, putting up banners and generally getting ready. There are dozens of volunteers, lots of umpires and police in droves walking around the site.
The facility is impressive; 14 outdoor courts, 2 indoor courts (complete with high ceilings, air conditioning & sound proofing), badminton courts, a swimming complex and locker rooms. I’m sure there’s more, I haven’t seen all of the complex. The underground parking area has been turned into facilities for the tournament: eating area, check in, player rest area, et.
Today Glenn Busby, Morgan Young (both Aussies) and I did a “customer relations” event, sort of a pro-am, though I played with Glenn (pretty easy gig there), and all the “ams” were men. guess that’s why they put me with the best player.We played on the indoor courts which were nice and not so hot and muggy as the outdoor courts. There was a 4 team round robin with Glenn & me, Morgan and the Club manager, and a Chinese team. We played 1 set no-ad and won both sets; on the other indoor court there were several Chinese teams also playing a round robin.
After that event which took 3 hours, I came back to the hotel. I was supposed to be staying at the hotel on site at the tennis facility, but apparently it either failed a fire inspection or pipes burst, or both. So everyone was moved to the Vienna Hotel which is fine, and 15 minutes walk or so from the facility. There are also shuttles running often, except at lunch time. I was however asked if I minded a room without a window. I said yes, I minded, though given the level of soundproofing of the windows (sub optimal) and the degree of noise outside (very high), maybe an inside room would have been better!
I decided to try and find a supermarket after lunch. It took me a long time (I passed it once without realizing what it was, since it was on the 2nd story; the first story was a department store). The area looks like the city built the stores before infrastructure such as sidewalks. Building here is going on like crazy! I found a McDonalds and got a Coke Zero, found a fruit stand for apples and a bakery for bread before I finally found the super market. It was pretty interesting, I think I saw dried chicken feet as a snack for example. I took photos but didn’t put a vpn on my laptop (my bad), so once this is posted, I’ll add them by editing on my phone…I think. Also I noticed that the motorbike is very popular and I have yet to see a helmet, even on young kids.
Tonight Morgan & I are “teaching” some 60 teenagers for two hours on two courts. We don’t know what we are doing but hopefully everyone will enjoy it. This was originally scheduled for yesterday, then for this morning and now for same time as the players’ party. Things here are chaotic, mostly for me due to the language barrier which is real and high.
I think I play tomorrow, 1 or 2 matches. The 55s have a five player round robin, so I figure I play one or two matches tomorrow.