Ali Bey Manavgat, Tuesday April 4, 2023
I played my first match in Turkey this morning against a German player (naturally), Iris Klag and won in straight sets. This clay is REALLY slow and bumpy. We are using Wilson Roland Garros Clay balls which are not bad, they just get heavy when the clay gets on them and they fluff up as well. And some of the bounces are…interesting. Though this is the third tournament in a row on these courts, they are still not as packed down as they will be later in the season…the courts and resort is closed for several months at the end and beginning of the year (tourists come here for the good weather…and the weather is not good in December-February here), so the courts take a while literally for the rough patches to be ironed (or rather rolled) out.
I play my doubles partner Sabine Schmitz tomorrow. Though she is the 2nd highest ranked player in the draw, Katrin Dippner was seeded 2, and since they are both Germans, once that happened, Sabine had to be put on my side of the draw, since seeded players from the same country are separated by ITF Masters Tour rules.
Once we are assigned to a court, the balls are placed on the court and each player gets a bottle of water, a towel and a banana. After our matches we sweep and line the court before reporting the score. So far matches seem to be running on time and the tournament seems well run.
I warmed up around 8:20 with Lisa Prechtel, went to breakfast and the gym before playing my match. I didn’t do a lot more today. It got very windy, gusty around 2:30 and looked like it was going to rain, but it never did.
This resort is pretty amazing…lots and lots of eating options as it’s “all inclusive” other than for special beverages, massage and the like. Ice cream is included…after my early morning hit I saw a young boy at the bar getting an ice cream bar (I was there for water…and a Coke Zero). There’s food at the courts, at the water park, and at the main restaurant for lunch (actually some food there at all hours). And an interesting variety of foods too, everything from smoked salmon to French fries to baklava.
The times for tomorrow won’t be out for a while…when they are out they will appear on the draws.