Monday was a nice day in La Manga, cool but not wet, not windy. However, it did rain really hard Sunday starting just before 11:30 (Jenny Klitch and I were lucky we hit at 10!). We warmed up at 8:30, since I had a 9:30 match. However, ome courts here don’t respond well after rain…they don’t drain well and stay wet for days. (See below). I had a 9:30 start, but ended up playing at 11 since there weren’t enough dry courts for all the 9:30 matches. I played a French woman, Marie-Therese Depoux, who had actually warmed up next to us in the morning. I walked to court 20, and a discussion was going on about whether a third set was a match tiebreak, a full third set or a hybrid; a full third set unless both players agree to play a match tiebreak! The roving referee (there’s only one for 20+ courts) confirmed that it was a third set unless both players agreed to play a match tiebreak! Hmmmm, new ITF rule? (The head referee, Francisco Ruiz, confirmed that indeed it was a full third set to be played, the roving referee was unclear on the correct rule). Anyway, I won my match 60 60, though we had a bunch of deuce games. Jenny, who was scheduled for 11am, finished quite a bit earlier than I did and she won 60 60 (no deuce games).
In the evening, we went back to the club to see if we could hit a few more balls. They had more courts in play but were still well behind, and they cancelled some 4pm matches. We scouted for a court that would finish around 5:15 (sunset is around 5:45), figuring that it was too late to put another match on an unlit court. We were correct, and got in a good hit.
So, what I learned here about La Manga, is that it’s almost all British! It’s sort of weird…everyone speaks English and there are British foods everywhere, especially at breakfast (beans, mushrooms, cooked tomatoes, eggs & ketchup are among the offerings).
The club is nice, around 20 clay courts and quite a few hard courts and a few omni courts (carpet with sand), plus a lawn bowling field, and a couple each of volleyball/beach tennis and Padel courts. There’s a restaurant at the tennis site and locker rooms, a gym, and a pro shop.
I walked around the area near the hotel. The water isn’t too far away, there’s a bay and the Mediterranean. This is a huge golf area…most people at the hotel seem to be British golfers.
Brad Sprayberry (Jenny’s husband), Jenny and I went to dinner at a small restaurant they found that’s in the country on a working farm. The atmosphere was great, complete with a wood burning fireplace, and so was the food.
Today Jenny and I practiced at 8am for nearly 90 minutes, since we both have a day off. I play a Russian player tomorrow while Jenny seems to be playing mostly Brits.
Photos are uploading to here. https://goo.gl/photos/23Sna6iCf4GTVbpX8