The Super Senior World Team Championships begins on Monday in Umag. Tomorrow the Captains’ meetings and draws take place, followed by the opening ceremonies at 5pm local time.
The USA is fielding eight teams, in men’s and women’s 65, 70, 75 and 80+ age divisions.
Why is it big news that Rudy Hernando arrived in Umag? Rudy flew from Fort Lauderdale on September 17th to Philadelphia and then was supposed to take a flight from Philly to Venice, meet up with us and go to Umag from Venice. The first part of the plan went well, Rudy arrived in Philadelphia…where his passport was stolen shortly before he was to board. He had it in his backpack in a cover with a string attached…someone apparently reached in and grabbed the lanyard and ended up with Rudy’s passport. Rudy has a cell phone but no computer, no international phone plan and no smartphone. At the airport he was told he could get an expedited passport in Philadelphia the next day. So he and his tennis bag went to Philly, walked for five hours trying to find a hotel…(not an easy feat since the Pope is coming to visit very soon). He finally found one, then went to the passport office the next morning early…and was #80 something in a slow moving line. He finally got his $95 passport for $400 (expedited fee $150; fee for not knowing his passport number $150) and checked out of his hotel (late…hotel waived fee though). He was back to the airport going standby (#US Air didn’t charge him for the change, which was great of them). However, one last bit of drama when Rudy realized he’d checked his wallet and money with his luggage…30 minutes later he was reunited with his luggage, rechecked it and was on his way to Venice…maybe. Actually, he was…someone didn’t show up so Rudy got one of those comfortable middle seats in the back for the eight hour flight. So now he was in Venice, and had to get to Umag…which he did by bus to the train station then train, then bus back to the Trieste Airport where the ITF found him. I ran into him tonight just as he’d arrived at 8pm. He had had nothing to eat all day, and was tired but relieved to be here, as was his team and so was I.
#1: Don’t lose your passport
#2: Stay calm if you do
#3: Go right now and write the number of your passport down and expiration date and make sure you can access it while traveling
#4: Don’t lose your passport!!!
Today was my first full day here. I rented a bike (naturally), met with the referees and ITF staff, checked out Camp Parc Umag where the women’s 70s will play then afternoon I hit some tennis balls with Cindy Babb. I stayed after to do a little fitness work…I looked up a bit later and there was a perfect half moon rainbow over the courts. It didn’t rain either, so that must be a good omen!
I hope to post photos of the teams, the draws and more tomorrow or Monday. Meanwhile, draws will be posted also at itftennis.com/seniors where you can also find links to the live scoring of matches game by game.