The players by Saturday night have mostly arrived in Turkey. I have seen all but a few members of the men’s 35, Italia Cup team. All the women have arrived. Everyone has been notified of the 8 am photo session tomorrow though there have been a few grumblings.
It has been cool to cold, cloudy and windy thus far. One of the Ali Bey employees here told me tonight that it would be much better in two weeks..the weather that is. This afternoon there was a sudden hail storm about 4pm that ended tennis for the day. Some of the women’s team members were out on B17, about a quarter mile from any sort of shelter when it rained.
Tomorrow morning I am going to attempt to take photos of all the USA teams and really hope that the weather is dry, though there is a contingency plan. Update, 6am…it seems to be cold but dry.
The clay is very soft and very slow, and it has been quite windy. Tough conditions for aggressive hard court players to compete in..or even baseliners. The club is closed from November through February and normally doesn’t open till April, so the courts haven’t been played on much other than the front few courts. There was a 10K futures tournament here which ends today…an American player won the doubles with a Czech player who lives in Florida. The American player is from Tennessee, where two of the Cup team members live, both knew her pretty well, and also played a Pepperdine #1, so she had a small rooting section (till they had to go and practice!).
This is an international event, even within teams from the same country at times. I met an American who is playing for Spain and a Canadian player who lives in London and then there’s Sue Bartlett who lives in Tennessee but plays for Great Britain…and there’s a Finnish player who lives in Germany. The USA Lenglen Cup team has players born in Argentina, Brazil and France….it’s truly an international sport.
My one adventure off the compound that is Club Ali Bey was to get some coke zero, and I rode my folding bike to do so…as players were looking on enviously, especially Shelly Works who has been unable to get to a gym since she got here…because it hasn’t opened yet! In fact many of the shops here are closed, since Club Ali Bey normally opens in April.
Below you can see how angry the Mediterranean Sea is right now. I can hear the waves crashing all night long against what’s left of the beach.
Tomorrow I hope to post team photos and the draws.