Today was the final day of the Karlovy Vary tournament. I had a 10 am match, and had to take a bus from the hotel to the club. It’s walkable but I had a lot of stuff…camera, clothes to change into etc and my racquet bag. The bus (#7) comes to my stop only at 8:18 and 9:28, so I had to take the early bus and hope the schedule was correct. The bus stop is sort of in the middle of no where, by a field and stream.
The bus did come, a few minutes early and I have the procedure down; get my ticket stamped (right side up) and then hit the stop button on the bus when we get close to the courts. It was pretty sunny, no rain in sight and the birds were singing and it was pretty much empty at the club at that hour. I hit some serves, then got to warm up with John Burness from Australia who was in the men’s 60 final against Wayne Cowley.
I played Olga Markova from Czech Republic. We’ve played before and she’s a nice player, very aggressive, good volleys and a fantastic drop shot. I think she hit about 30 of them during the match; I hit about three! I won the first set pretty handily 60, then she woke up and the second set was 63 (after I led 3/0). We received porcelain dishes and I got a large towel and Olga received bath oil…the same gifts were given to the guys who seemed a bit perplexed by the bath oil (and bath soap for doubles).
I had arranged for transport to Prague airport at 3:30 so I was able to watch a bit of the end of John and Wayne’s match, had lunch and saw some other Aussies/Kiwis play before Philip Seeman, a Kiwi offered to give me a ride back to my hotel. He was waiting for his mixed match which he won later on.
It turns out that the airport hotel I booked is in the terminal here in Prague, and has a pretty cool view.
It was a fantastic three weeks of tennis, off to London and then home soon.