Santiago Champion

Santiago, Chile

The final day was a big letdown. I got to the club early for my 10:30 match (8:30) to warm up because there was only one warm up court after 8:30 and I hadn’t reserved it. I warmed up, then went to check in…and saw I had won by walkover (no one told me). Apparently Fritteli had a pain in her shoulder and decided she wasn’t fit to play today, though I saw her practicing a lot yesterday.

So I practiced some with Shirley Friedl and Marc Pepin and a little more later with Shirley, and waited for the awards ceremony. I also watched some of the women’s 35 final, which was very interesting in a crash waiting to happen way. Rous Lorca is a club member or local anyway. She moved well and hit deep topspin strokes, never came voluntarily to the net and wasn’t able to flatten out the ball to finish a point but had a nice dropshot at times and a good slice and 2 handed on the backhand side. She pummeled her opponent’s backhand. Loreto Painmill, her opponent had a more well rounded game but by the time I started watching, deep in the second set (about 2.5 hours into the match), Loreto was cramping after points frequently. Loreto would grind, then play a short point (which was frequently successful). Rous won the first set 75 and then 76 (7). Loreto had at least one set point, and I think she was way up in the breaker. But Rous just kept grinding…oh, and she only served underhanded, a big topspin underhanded serve, which wasn’t too attackable. Anyway, it passed a lot of time.

Around 1:30 they started putting out some food, small sandwiches, and a big paella was being prepared, and was ready around 2pm. There was also an open bar and champagne. Then there was a pretty long awards ceremony, with trophies for first and second and for the singles winners, a bottle of wine and a box of knives (for the women) and a big knife, for the men, and quite nice knives.

I found new areas of the club today I hadn’t seen…the gym, racquetball courts and some other racquet sports court which used a small ball and tennis racquets and playing off the wall. I watched a lesson but don’t know exactly what they were doing.

And that’s a wrap on the tennis portion of this trip. I have a hike in the Andes tomorrow and am off to very southern Chile on Monday where instead of 90 it’s going to be in the 50s and windy.