Today, like the others, I warmed up with Heide Orth, and it was quite warm and sunny, very nice tennis weather, not too hot. The ball felt good. We found out that we both played at 5pm today, which was nice and early. I took the tram back to the hotel and for the first time there was someone policing the tram and my ticket didn’t work…I was told it was defective (I thought that it had 3 rides left and I was right). I was given tickets good for 1 and 2 rides and got on my way. The fine for riding without a ticket is 100 euros, so I was glad my ticket wasn’t out of rides.
So, I played the #2 seed, from Belgium Christiane Derykre, and won 62 61. She started slowly, bothered by the commotion, players walking past the court to get to their courts. The court, 22 was again facing east/west and the west facing end was very sunny, it felt like playing at 1 or 2pm. We had a chair umpire who called the match in Catalan and English and called all the lines, though she was quite willing to get down and look at marks on the far sideline. I ended up winning 62 61, and got a nice small trophy and prize money.
Heide also won, playing down into the 65s. Andrew Rae lost, to an Italian player who placed the ball well and didn’t miss, but Andrew’s movement seemed hindered, a pulled muscle perhaps, or just his opponents excellent clay court play.
Tomorrow I am off to Munich and then on to Salzburg where the weather is probably not going to be sunny…the forecast is for 100% chance of rain in the afternoon!
I enjoyed Barcelona, it has a lot to see and do. The tournament officials were very nice and though some of the rules weren’t followed (no new balls for third sets for example, and singles sticks only for the finals), there were some positives, low entry fee (50 euros, about $61 for singles, doubles and mixed), a polo shirt as a gift and a beautiful club at which to play.