Today was a big contrast, weather-wise to yesterday, with nary a cloud in the skies and no rain in sight (tomorrow is another story). We were 3rd match on court 2 not before 11…and the court was ready by 10:30. Thankfully I had warmed up at 7:30 with Ellen Neumann because Jenny likes to whack the ball in warm up (and to be fair, in matches)…she definitely won the warm up. We had a few issues with calls (the umpire sitting behind the court was helpful) and a big one with the score (she was convinced it was 3-1 in the second set when it was 4-1, as she’d forgotten I had already served on that side…eventually, with the help of the umpires the score was sorted out, but it took a while). I won 60 61. She played better than last time we played and ran well for drop shots this time, and hit some big winners.
I hung around to scout my next opponent, the Italian #4 seed who looks to be a nice player, beautiful long strokes and a good backhand. This is the Italian National Championships, and held in Italy, so there are tons of Italian players but also quite a few German, French, Swiss and a large contingency of British players.
There were some upsets in the women’s 60s…Chris French is back playing great after a long injury layoff and took out # 2 seeded Magda Gual Lleo 61 62 while #1 Laura DiVittori fell 61 76 (had a set point in the second set I heard) to Francesca Ciardi.
After scouting, I went into the clubhouse to watch Taylor Fritz who upset defending champion Stephanos Tsitispas in Monte Carlo. Taylor played great especially for a Californian born and bred on hard courts. Turns out Dagmar Sperneder is a huge Fritz fan too.
Below, Chin and Carolyn, myself and a Romanian player, Clementina, a groundsman polishing up the Hanbury 100 (100th anniversary of the club’s founding) sign & Taylor Fritz in Monte Carlo (the TV is quite a contrast to the vintage memorabilia surrounding it)
After a light lunch, I decided to finally find the beach, which is only five or so minutes away from my apartment. I wandered down the narrow streets and walked on the beach and pier a bit. I love being near the water, it’s peaceful no matter how many people around. It was pretty windy and cool so it was not crowded. There are some nice plazas here and around 5pm when I was walking lots of people were having coffee and ice cream and conversations.
And that’s a wrap on Friday’s action in Alassio. Semis tomorrow…sometime…it’s nearly 8pm and no schedule is yet up.