Shenzhen Tuesday: Into the Final Round

I played a Canadian in Shenzhen today, Agatha, who lives in Malaysia with her American husband Ralph. So communication was easy, since Agatha also speaks Chinese and Malay. I won 40 40…it’s a round robin so the short sets continue all tournament I think…not sure if that will be the case tomorrow but it should be. I play a woman who has won all her matches, so it should be a good match tomorrow.

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Before I played though, I watched a men’s 40 match between an American, Daniel, who lives in Hong Kong and Desmond, a  Dutch player who already took out the top seed, Morgan Young from Australia. The points were long; Desmond is a counter puncher and quick, belying the fact that he has a huge knee brace (from a skiing accident 20+ years ago. Daniel is more aggressive but made too many errors. Despite the benign appearing score of 41 41, it was brutally hot and apparently Desmond passed out after the match (I was called to my court by then). The other interesting thing was that today all matches had not only a chair but a linesman for the far sideline. In this men’s 40 match there were also ball people, but they were fired by the players as I watched. (To be fair, they only had 3 balls to work with). There were four different video cameras videoing this match too!

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After my match I watched Lily, who played “Jamie” from Hong Kong (but who also lived in Australia and has an Aussie accent). Lily lost in three sets, cramping again in the third, but she fought hard! Actually, I watched the match before and after my match, it was pretty long, three (short) sets.

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It was very humid and hot again today but no rain, at least no thunderstorms when I was on site. After watching Lily, I went wandering around Shenzhen again. I saw ladies in the park again playing ping pong (check the google photos link or facebook or instagram); watched the school let out and just wandered around, still amazed to see a carpet store next door to a fancy clothing store or restaurant! I saw the older ladies playing ping pong in the park; a grandfather with his grandson; and lots of kids on motorbikes with their parents. I did my by now usual routine of getting a cold coke zero at one of the two places (other than McDonald’s) which sells it in this area; picking up some fuji apples at the super market and taking photos & video of Shenzhen.

I went to dinner with Lily and we ran into two players from Singapore. We had a half fish (yes, bones & head included); it was fresh and wonderful. We had broccoli too which was good and a shrimp dish for about $7 each. Food isn’t expensive here to say the least. On the way back we saw women dancing on the sidewalk to music…I took some video, hard to describe. It seemed choreographed and the women were of all ages. Apparently it’s a “thing” here.

Tomorrow I play following a 9am match, then after we are going to the one sightseeing spot here, Windows of the World/Splendid China.
Things I learned:

  • China is dirty! Bring old shoes.
  • Shenzhen is very casual; pack accordingly, and pack for a tropical climate (did I mention it’s hot?)
  • China is LOUD!
  • I needed to learn a little Chinese before I came here (I read that, but I didn’t do it)!
  • is blocked here without a vpn! (But is not).
  • Being literal doesn’t work at all in China.
  • I needed to add a vpn to my laptop!

Again, I’ll add links from my phone and a few more photos.


Chinese site:

ITF tournament site:

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