It’s Monday evening and I’ve already finished my first round match in Bordeaux and play the semis tomorrow (small draw). The French player I played today is just beginning to play ITF tournaments…this was her second one, and I won quickly. It looks like it was going to rain as we started, but it never did, it was just very windy.
This tournament has yet a different vibe from the other two I’ve played. The club is very old with many photos of former Davis Cup and Grand Slam champions adorning the walls. Unlike Essen and Barcelona, this is just a tennis club (with a small fitness room) though it has a good dining room attached. There’s a big porch where players gather, and also a lot of trees and open spaces where players find shade or watch matches. Instead of a shirt, the player gift is a small bottle of wine (though I got a set of string instead) and a wine and appetizer party tonight.
The only downside is that there are no outdoor practice courts after 9am, only indoor “clay” which is really a dusting of red powder on top of concrete…so it feels like slippery hard courts. But they are covered and it’s better than no courts at all. I had a nice practice for 30 minutes with Shirley Friedel which was great and the indoor court was fine.
All of the tournaments have had a physio (for a fee, but the fee is reasonable, 20 euros a half hour).
The balls here are Dunlop Tournament which are quite different from the balls used in Barcelona. These are much heavier and take a bit of getting used to after the light Wilson US Open (heavy duty) balls used there.
One of my first stops today was at the amazing sandwich shop that is on the way to the club from my apartment. The combination of chicken, egg, veggies and multigrain baguette for 4.20 euros (about $5) is great and it’s enough for lunch and dinner.
Even the water bottles here look beautiful.
Semis tomorrow afternoon. A bientot!