Into Singles Final in Lima

Draws are here.

First post is about tournament which is my ostensible reason to be here. (Next one is about sightseeing etc).

Thursday: I played my first match yesterday. Luisa Gouveia and I hit at 7am then she played at 8am and I played not before 10:30 on the same court. Luisa won 3,2 but it took two hours, hard to finish quickly on clay! The men’s match following was the same score but took an hour and so I played around 11:30 and won 60 60. My opponent, Claudia from Chile, had a large arm brace on her right arm but served lefty and played righty. Her sister said her shoulder was bad and she’d had surgery on her right arm/wrist. She ran well though and served pretty well lefty…better than I did yesterday!

Friday: Luisa and I warmed up again and again she played at 8am…this time winning in an hour 60 61. I was “not before 9am”. The first match was 60 60 and finished before 9am but we didn’t start till 9:15…court preparation, then the referee and ball boy weren’t there till after 9am. I won 60 61 against a player, Elizabet Goldman from southern Argentina. I play doubles not before 4pm. I also scouted my potential opponent, arriving just as the third set was starting, between Argentinian Graciela Donoso (3) and Fritelli (2, defending champion). It was a tight set but Donoso was more consistent and a better mover and won 64 in the third…till the last point was played it was unclear though who would prevail, lots of shifts in momentum. There was a large group watching….we had a photo taken.

When we were practicing on hard courts early in the week we shared a court with Isabel and her husband…I ran into Isabel again and we started talking (they are from Chile)…own or run tenistrentino in Chile (ITF MT400 there in December fyi).

I ran into Toni Novack (who had a second day off from tennis) and we did some shopping for tennis skirts…the prices were low (60 sol) and the quality was high. Stringing this week is 25 sol (less than $7)…it was jacked up from the normal price of 15 sol for the tournament week.

As for the late matches…on Wednesday at 11pm the city abruptly shut down the tournament for the day (they played Tuesday till 4:20 am)…the club is in the middle of a residential/hotel area and the lights are very bright. This is the 9th year of this tournament and the first time this has happened, so the tournament committee was discussing what steps needed to be taken (negotiate for 12 or 1am, invite the residents to the club during the tournament or encourage them to play, etc). Stay tuned. Meanwhile last night the schedule for today for singles came out around 12:30 am and for doubles at 1am! I may think that’s too late, but really feel for the referee posting this at 1 am, knowing matches begin at 8am. He and the staff have to be exhausted.

This tournament has a lot for the is included in the entry price, there are three restaurants on site, all good and reasonably priced, several shops with the aforementioned bargains, as mentioned, ball boys and umpires for each match, court maintenance between each match…brushing, lining, watering as needed, nice atmosphere with lots of people/players watching. But it’s reaching maximum capacity with six days, 745 players (also no consolation).

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