Today the singles finals were held in Barcelona. I played Carmen Chilleda from Madrid and we had a good match despite a lopsided score. This is the third time we have played in the final here.
Erin played Magda Gaul from Spain, an excellent and very fit player who took out last year’s champion in the semis then beat Erin in the final. They played on court 10 which was tough because the court went east /west in the evening. It was super hard to see on one end. I missed the match as I was playing but the second set was close.
After our matches we thanked the volunteers, received our prize money and trophies and successfully got a Cabify ride back..we are competent with the app just as we are finished with the tournament!
Tomorrow we have an early flight, luckily, because there is a strike later in the day and many flights have been cancelled.
This is what I learned playing in Barcelona:
- Matches all start at night
- Last matches are scheduled for 10:30 pm!
- The Abba Garden (tournament) hotel is straight up a hill…best to walk down and cabify/taxi up
- Red clay is much different from green, slower, higher bouncing
- European players understand the clay and have some wicked spins!
- The tournament is played at a leisurely pace, a singles match one day, doubles the next
- The schedule is posted only on the morning of matches for that day.
- The club members really support the event
- There is a filtered water fountain near the pro shop!
- There are water spigots on all courts
- Sign up for practice courts starting at 11am at the tournament site
- The tournament really starts rocking after dark, with the food trucks open, and often music
- The referee and staff work till the wee hours and are really helpful
- The staff sweep the courts and take pride in it..and are efficient!
- The courts face all different directions
- There were 29 courts being used the fist couple days of the event, 4 matches per court
- Everyone is given a shirt and there is plenty of bottled water and sports drinks,,and bananas for everyone
- Towels require a 5 euro deposit
- Physio is on site and stringer
- The tournament is not conducive to playing the tournament, finishing and then sightseeing…it never ends before Saturday when they have a big closing ceremony