This week I’m playing a Grade A tournament in Barcelona, Spain. The tournament is quite unusual in that play only begins at 6pm each night and the last matches are scheduled not before 10:30pm! On Tuesday Erin Boynton from Canada and I played our first match, in 55 doubles, against two Spanish players, one of whom was a member of the Royal Polo Club where this event takes place. We played at 10:30 at night, under the lights and managed a 61 61 win. the match finished after 11pm so we had a long walk around the club back to our hotel, as the gate to the hotel from the club closes at 11pm.
The Royal Polo Club is huge, with soccer, field hockey, polo fields, Padel courts, and lots and lots of red clay courts, plus a clubhouse, restaurant and pool area. And just across the street is another tennis/padel/fitness club that’s also quite busy. Sport seems to be big here in Spain.
It turned out that one of our opponents Magdalena (goes by Malen) is a curator at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Erin’s daughter Hannah just graduated with an Art History major, so she was delighted when she found this out. We ended up going to the museum yesterday, Wednesday and Malen gave Hannah a book on the museum that she’d help write. The Picasso museum here was mostly art from his early days. He was a child protégée, born in 1881 and most of the art was from the 1890s, but some was later. He actually painted landscapes and people who looked like people when he was young.
After leaving the museum we went to the nearby church which was beautiful. The whole gothic/old town area of Barcelona is quite interesting and vibrant. We walked to Las Ramblas to take the subway back to the hotel. We are pretty good at using the subway here by now. You can buy a 10 trip ticket which is convenient and not too expensive and the subway goes for miles.
Erin and I practiced in the late afternoon and Erin played a singles match in the evening. It was supposed to be a 7:30 match but started late since her opponent arrived late, in street clothes and then had to go back to her hotel to change, which she was allowed to do.
The club really wakes up at night. There are food trucks at the tournament, some other booths and lots of people watching matches, eating dinner or waiting for matches.
Today I play at 7:30 against a French player..7:30pm that is.
Draws can be found here: http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038580
Photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/alD0rfmCbTXULVv63